Smart strate­gies, med­i­ta­tion, right diet: stu­dents get set for Boards

CLASS 12 BOARDS They’re also chill­ing out by lis­ten­ing to mu­sic and work­ing out as they get into exam prep mode

Hindustan Times (Delhi) - HT Education - - Front Page - HT Ed­u­ca­tion Cor­re­spon­dent

We’re well on our way to the mid­dle of Fe­bru­ary and the ex­am­i­na­tion sea­son next month. Stu­dents who will be writ­ing the all-im­por­tant Cen­tral Board of Se­condary Ed­u­ca­tion (CBSE) Board Class 12 ex­ams have started study­ing in right earnest, plan­ning out all sorts of strate­gies to mas­ter all sub­jects and get good scores.

Many of you won­der­ing how best you can utilise this (al­most) one-month pe­riod be­tween the ex­ams can check out the smart study rou­tines of Ab­hishek Sa­hoo, Man­ish Soni, Mayank Singh Rathore, Shub­ham Nain and Tushaar A Madhu, Class 12 stu­dents who will be sit­ting for the exam this year.

Sa­hoo of Bal Bharti Pub­lic School Dwarka does not have a time table as he “does not re­quire one.” His aim is to do smart, ef­fec­tive work. He selects one sub­ject and goes through it thor­oughly and dili­gently for five con­sec­u­tive days. Af­ter that, he solves mock test pa­pers ex­actly as if he were sit­ting in the ex­am­i­na­tion hall just to get used to the process. “Af­ter com­plet­ing the test I recheck an­swers and cor­rect the wrong ones,” Sa­hoo says.

Soni of Mount Abu Pub­lic School in Ro­hini fin­ished his syl­labus by the first week of Fe­bru­ary. He will now start solv­ing the CBSE sam­ple pa­pers which are avail­able on web­sites for all streams: arts, sci­ence and com­merce. Solv­ing sam­ple pa­pers helps as these are based on Board ex­ams and give stu- dents “a feel of what the Board pa­pers are go­ing to be like.”

For Rathore of Sarla Cho­pra DAV Pub­lic School Noida the most im­por­tant thing at this time is to clear con­cepts of each and every sub­ject fol­lowed by ad­e­quate re­vi­sion. He starts study­ing early by 5.30 am and con­tin­ues do­ing so for as long as pos­si­ble. Af­ter a short break, he then de­votes two hours each to each sub­ject. “I be­lieve more in qual­ity over quan­tity and make the ef­fort to put in six to eight hours of study cov­er­ing all chapters,” he says.

Tushaar A Madhu of Tagore In­ter­na­tional School in Vas­ant Vi­har is keep­ing things sim­ple. He’s do­ing a thor­ough re­vi­sion of his NCERT text­books. “I have my tu­itions, but am con­cen­trat­ing solely on NCERT and NCERT notes. Once you re­vise the ex­am­ples and ex­er­cise I think you are done with 80 to 85% of the Board syl­labus and will be able to at­tempt most of the ques­tions,” he says. Madhu also fol­lows a 25-minute- 4-minute rule for an in­tense study ses­sion. “Study for 25 min­utes with­out any dis­trac­tions, keep a timer on your phone, look at the watch, do not do any­thing ex­cept study. Then take a four to five minute break and get back to stud­ies. The in­ten­sity with which you study is go­ing to help you, not the hours you spend on a chair. You need to have fo­cused in­ten­sity, fo­cused study,” he ad­vises.

Nain, also from Mount Abu Pub­lic School, gives two hours each every day to “main sub­jects like math, physics and chem­istry.” English and op­tions get one hour each.

Sa­hoo stud­ies in the morn­ing though he’s up once in a while for up to 1 am ore 2 am. How­ever, he makes sure he gets to sleep for seven to eight hours af­ter an all­night sched­ule. “Man­ag­ing sleep is my fit­ness mantra,” he says.

Soni’s a night bird who loves to study af­ter sun­down. One should study when one’s con­cen­tra­tion lev­els are high. “To me it’s at night. I love to study in the late hours when there’s no dis­tur­bance, noise, noth­ing – just me and my books,” he says.

Madhu is a morn­ing per­son. He fig­ures out that if he has to write the Board ex­am­i­na­tions in the morn­ings he has to be his best and “very alert self to give the ex­ams from 10 (to 1) in the morn­ing.” He re­vises lessons for four to five “con­cen­trated” hours a day.

Rathore feels his con­cen­tra­tion pow­ers peak in the night hours but he prefers study­ing in the ‘peace­ful early morn­ing hours’ as the grasp­ing power of the mind is at its max­i­mum and “you can un­der­stand con­cepts re­lated to each sub­ject eas­ily.”

On the tough­est sub­jects, Sa­hoo finds eco­nom­ics a tad dif­fi­cult, be­cause it has “lots of nu­mer­i­cals, lots of graphs and lots of writ­ing – and needs thor­ough prac­tice”. He deals with it by tak­ing a break now and then be­cause the mind is like a com­puter. “When the com­puter’s mem­ory is full we shut and restart it af­ter a few min­utes, which in­creases its speed, ef­fi­ciency and stor­ing ca­pac­ity.” So take a break, go out in the open, breathe, ex­er­cise and get back to the table, he says.

Rathore does not find any sub­ject to be par­tic­u­larly tough. “Give each sub­ject enough time and your whole­hearted at­ten­tion. I be­lieve if you pre­pare hon­estly and put in your max­i­mum ef­fort then noth­ing will be dif­fi­cult,” he says. For Madhu, sub­jects are not tough but “time con­sum­ing. They need dedicated ef­fort and the right amount of time to be thor­ough with them. Math takes up a lot of time. Bi­ol­ogy re­quires read­ing again and again,” he says.

So how are stud­ies and life bal­anced? Madhu finds it pretty easy to con­cen­trate be­cause he med­i­tates. He is nei­ther too chilled out nor too ner­vous but in a neu­tral state. “When I am in a non stress state I am able to study with my best con­cen­tra­tion and give the right fo­cus,” he says. He goes for long walks and med­i­tates – which boosts his con­cen­tra­tion and re­duces stress. Friends are great too. “I call up an old friend and talk about how my prepa­ra­tions are go­ing, we chat,” he says.

Rathore takes small breaks of 15 to 20 min­utes, work­ing out or lis­ten­ing to “re­lax­ing mu­sic,” which keeps his “con­cen­tra­tion in­tact and bore­dom away.”

These stu­dents are also watch­ing what they are eat­ing. Soni has a bal­anced diet with car­bo­hy­drates, fats, vi­ta­mins and pro­teins. Rathore fol­lows his mother’s mantra: “Ghar ka khao aur woh bhi pet bharkey.” (have home-cooked food and eat to your fill).”


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