Many people believe that preparation ends at home. There is nothing you can do on the way to the exam hall or in the exam hall. All you should do is to wait for the questions and answer. While the entire world thinks this way, you have a competitive edge when you think otherwise.
Because, the truth is, while preparing and practicing questions at home, you are within your comfort zone. You aren’t in a real examination mindset and you really don’t mind if your answers go wrong. You are always on the ‘Preparation mode’. You turn on the ‘Examination mode’ truly only in the exam hall. That is the place you need to perform well. No matter how hard you try, you cannot get the exam hall atmosphere at home. So what do we do?
Have an Exam Hall Strategy
Anticipate your state of mind during examination. We all have written plenty of exams and we know what happens when we enter the exam hall. This is no school examination and so, the state of mind will definitely be frenzied. Here is how you reduce the nervousness and utilize the time given to the maximum:
1. Time Allocation: Suppose the entire examination is divided into five subjects, with practice, you will know your strong areas. Divide the time available into six parts. Allocate more time for the papers that are time consuming for you and lesser time for your easy papers. Finally, ensure that you have an extra ten minutes to revisit marked questions or to do extra leftover questions in your easy subject. This will definitely help you score in the last minute, instead of panicking.
2. Question Allocation:Prepare an estimate of the number of questions you need to attempt in each subject. This depends upon your speed during practice sessions. If you practice more with the time estimate in point 1 in mind, you will increase your speed. Two days before the exams, prepare a final estimate of the number of questions you can attempt. Plan it in such a way that you will qualify with marks well above cut off, even if you get some negative marks.
3. Balancing: Do not forget that the clock is ticking. Sometimes, you may not be able to finish the estimated number of questions within the estimated time. Do not panic. Think of the last 10 minute slot you have allocated. Just drop the subject and go on to the next. Practice this at home. It will come easily in the hall. With practice, you will forget to panic.
4. Prioritize: Your subjects are basically divided into computation and theory. In case of theory, you either know or don’t know the answers.So, all you have to do, is to mark them. Reading a question and marking the answer barely takes 30 seconds. In case you are doubtful regarding any questions, read it twice and then leave it. You don’t want to lose time. Also, you don’t want to lose marks by marking a wrong answer either, right?
Remember! Dwelling on doubtful questions will cost you the time you could use for other questions.
5. Pick Smart: Once the theory section gets over, you’ll realize that you have lots of time. Do not relax. Keep the question and time estimates in mind and solve questions fast. Computation is an area where you tend to get stuck analyzing questions. Read a question twice and move on if you feel it is complicated. You have so many questions to answer from and you are bound to get a few easy questions. Why would you waste time on a question that takes 5 minutes to solve, when you have many questions that could be solved in a minute?
6. Huge questions – Pick Smart: You will have around 3-4 sets of big questions with many sub questions like graph, pie charts, seating arrangements etc. Take a cursory look at each type. Pick graphs and pie charts that look easier. For instance, some charts will have numbers written in the graph. It saves a lot of time when the figures are given, rather than deciphering them from the graph. There are many more hacks to pick the easy questions. You will know that only with practice, but trust me, you can definitely know the difference.
7. Avoid Last Minute Panic: It is a well-known custom to panic in the last few minutes, lose the time, give wrong answers and put all your effort for naught. While the others panic in the end, you have a competitive edge again – the last ten minutes in our plan. If you follow the estimates as mentioned, these ten minutes will come in handy. You can decide what to do with it.
If English is your strong area and if you have more questions left there, you may solve them and earn extra marks during the last few minutes. If you found some easy Math questions, you could go back and finish them off. If you left a huge question halfway, run and answer the rest. You cannot do all of these, but you can choose wisely.
One thing is sure. Your last few minutes will not go wasted because we have our strategy.
These tips require a certain homework as you can see. But the benefits can really be reaped only in the examination hall. This is why I mentioned that while most of the people believe that preparation ends at home, we need to realize that our results are also dependent on our mindset and presence of mind in the exam hall. Who knows? You might clear because of the answers in the last 10 minutes. Consider these strategies and work your way up the ladder. Wishing you all the best.