Board exams 2015: Here’s how to write your success story in English

  • HT Education Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Feb 28, 2015 16:44 IST

Your life as a student comes a full circle when you make the entry to high school. The fear factor reaches new peaks and worry sets in regarding the results, its outcome, admissions and the opportunities that may or may not be offered. Suddenly the future looks bleak. This predicament is justified but unnecessary.

It would surely become easy if planning takes place and a regular timetable is formulated so that systematic practice begins at the earliest. English language preparation requires the basic requisite of comprehending the importance of the language in our life today. Unlike other subjects, English requires certain amount of creativity in framing and formulating words, sentences and stories. “I knew from the very beginning that good marks in English would help me get into a college of my choice. English is easy to understand but difficult to score. I made sure that I was well acquainted with the following tips and tricks to score well,” says Richa Sharma, CBSE national topper.

1) Read between the lines: The English papers are invariably divided into three major sections. Reading, writing and the literature. Reading magazines on current affairs and interesting articles would not only enhance better vocabulary but also give a better perspective to the world order. Focused reading and analysis of the core meaning of the passage is the easy mantra to crack the code.

2) Clear and concise: “A good presentation is much better than shabby content. The language requires clarity and legibility more than confused content. So write neatly and clearly. Nothing touches a teacher’s heart more than a clear, cogent and concise picture from a student’s pen. If cutting scratching and overwriting can be avoided the paper not only appeals to the eyes but also makes better impact on the evaluator,” says Subhashini Ramakrishnan, HOD, English, Studymate.

3) Learn to listen: Listening is a great skill and this is best exemplified by children who listen to words good or bad and learn to enunciate the same. When a speech is made the best and ideal option would be to pay attention to the diction and pronunciation and try to recall and write the same. This would surely get the spellings right and ideas would start flowing giving rise to debate and speech topics for the future.

4) Empathy and sympathy: Every character in literature is immortal primarily because they have shades of our life in theirs. So empathize with the story and the protagonist would seem alive and realistic. It is then easy to write about them since we would understand their dilemma and confusion. When emotions are comprehended then it is easy to write.

5) Keep it simple: No need for bombastic language whatsoever. So keep it simple and comprehensive. Clean presentation, legible handwriting in box format with clear cut paragraph not exceeding thirty to forty words would make the presentation appealing, readable and easy to assess.

6) Read it all and well: Reading time given before the paper needs to be used to the optimum. Mind map the topics and decide what could be the appropriate content for the ten mark questions in the writing section. The comprehension passage would summarily indicate the core issue that is being discussed and elicit the answers on a second read and complete the answers.

7) Speed is the need of the hour: “It takes time to warm up while writing exams, so start at the beginning with the reading skills and slowly work your way to finishing the writing skills and wind it up with literature and specifically the long reading text question. This would get the mind and hands working in tandem,” says Ramakrishnan.

8) Time it all: It would be ideal to time it all up from the very beginning. There are three sections and three hours as given time, so begin slowly, warm up and pick up speed. Ensure that the paper is completed in two hours and forty five minutes. Then carefully underline the key words in pencil. Highlighting the main points would show that you are totally prepared for the paper.

9) Be well prepared: Let’s face the fact that about seventy percent of the paper is unseen; so go with the confidence that you would crack it no matter and if it is clear and simple your answers would reflect your confidence more than you knowledge.

There is and never was any magic mantra to complete any paper. So remember to avoid cutting, scratching and overwriting. Diligently follow the box format and consistently approach the question and answers in a stipulated order and underline the important key points. This systematic approach would ensure that you scores soar!

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