Practice, they say, makes perfect. For students set to appear for the Class 10 and 12 CBSE examinations, nothing could be more apt.
A number of students, after finishing their revisions, are now looking at sample papers to understand what the pattern of the paper will be like and also to get into the examination mode.
“A number of students are calling our helplines with questions regarding sample papers and how to go about preparation in the last two weeks. Questions about the exam blueprint and marks distribution are also numerous,” said a CBSE official.
According to teachers and school principals, sample papers are crucial preparation as they help in two ways.
“Sample papers help students get rid of the fear of the unknown. Students appearing for the class 12 board exams are sitting for the centralised exams are stressed. Most don’t know what the pattern of the paper is.
"Sample papers help students a lot with this problem as they are essentially board certified question papers. Students can learn a lot about the type of questions asked and that helps beat stress,” said Manisha Rai, who teaches in a prominent central Delhi school.
The other thing that sample papers help students with, according to experts, is time management.
“By attempting sample papers like actual board exam papers and giving themselves three hours, students can manage their time much better. Sample papers are a very important tool to understand the division of marks, type of questions asked and develop a familiarity with the examination patterns.
"But most of all, the papers are important as they help students develop tools to divide their time between questions. These papers should be attempted under examination conditions to have the best results,” said Ashok Pandey, principal, Ahlcon International School, Mayur Vihar.
Students who did well in the board exams last year also underline its importance.
“I started attempting sample papers in January and they helped me with my preparations a great deal. I attempted the papers between 10am and 1pm, when the actual examination takes place. That helped me concentrate better,” said Swati Mahindroo, who scored 97.25% last year.