Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Gearing Up For CBSE Prep - Part 2

In the previous article, we covered the broad timelines and targets for the activities. In this article, we will now see some other aspects of preparing for the exam in the beginning of the academic year.
Stationery:          It is typical for all to pick up notebooks and write notes in notebooks. Students of 10th standard must restrict themselves to notebooks only in school and tutorials. For all other self-study and practice, they must practise writing on foolscap paper. The final board exams must be written on loose sheets of paper. This paper usually has margins on 2 sides whilst margins on other 2 sides have to be drawn. Drawing margins is also a time-consuming activity and takes out about 10 to 15 minutes of time [coupled with the fact that you have to fill in your admit card details on every main sheet and supplement] By practising the self-preparation in foolscap paper, you make yourself efficient in the process.
Why drawing both left margins and right margins is so important???

Once you fold the paper and tie up all sheets, 2cm on either side of the page folding line will get covered and the examiner won’t be able to see what is written in that portion
The other aspect is regarding pens. One should figure out which pen is suitable for oneself and for the paper as well. Some students like to use gel pens whilst some like to use ball point pens. Please remember that the quality of paper given for exams varies from location to location. Moreover, during paper correction, the paper sets move from location to location for checking. So gel pens should be avoided for board exams! Ball point pens are always better but you have to ensure that you select ball point pens with thicker nibs rather than pointed nibs. Pointed nibs are very sharp and may end up tearing the exam sheet when you write [either due to quality of paper or force applied by the student due to exam stress]
Our body and mind tend to get used to certain things; for instance, we are more comfortable with a particular brand of t-shirts and footwear, particular flavor of ice-cream, particular variant of pizza etc. Same way, there will be a  particular kind of pen you may like better. So from the very beginning itself, one must keep 4 pieces of that pen and practise throughout the year with the same set of pens and keep refilling them when they get exhausted. This may sound very trivial to many of you but these are also aspects of preparation.
The next most important part is the diet. One must be very particular about the diet until the board exams are over. Due to rising pollution levels, one simply cannot be sure of what the body may go through due to outside food and water. So it is critical to stick to home cooked food as far as possible and always keep a bottle of filtered water from home [or buy mineral water from outside] I have personally had a bad experience in this that I would like to share with you; in 1997 when I was due to appear from my 12th standard exams, I ended up with typhoid 3 weeks before the exam and was hospitalized for 10 days. My physical and mental stamina dropped significantly. The doctor traced the cause to my cravings for the famous Mumbai Wada Pav and Samosa Pav!
Now some tips for mothers who dote so much for their children and of course we know that mothers are the ones who take care of the diet requirements of the students
The child’s day must begin with 3 to 4 almonds and 4 to 6 raisins soaked in water overnight. Almonds help in improving memory sharpness. When the child wakes up in the morning, sugar levels are low; with the raisins and the sweet water drops, the sugar level shoots up quickly and energizes both the body and mind for optimal performance. A glass of fresh fruit juice [not Tropicana or Real etc] goes a long way in energizing the child in the morning. It is recommended to have 1 glass of fresh fruit juice and 1 glass of milk in the morning always. Whether one takes milk first or juice first is immaterial – let the child decide on the same.
During summers, it is ideal to have a glass of lemon juice with Rooh Afza in the afternoon whilst during winter, citric juices are better. Breakfast should be simple items like upma, poha, khara pongal, idli, dosa, chapatti etc. To make it more nutritious, add some green peas, carrot, corn, tomato etc. Rice component should be higher in the lunch and minimal in dinner. Rather than 3 heavy meals a day, it is advisable to have 5 mini-meals a day depending on the child’s preferences. Junk food like pizza, burgers, potato fries should be avoided as much as possible.

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