When Aakash Moncy wants a break from studying chemistry or physics, he reaches for his cell phone. The 17-year-old is not calling a friend, but solving multiple-choice math problems.
With his Class 12 board exam just a month away, Moncy has no time to indulge in empty palaver on his cell phone. If he picks it up, it is to solve problem sets that Mahesh Tutorials has been sending him three times a week since December.
“The problems are actually for the common entrance test,” explained the engineering aspirant. “But that test is based on the class 12 syllabus. So it helps me to prepare for both exams.”
While the board exams are important, it’s the common test that’s topmost on the minds of most science students: about 70 percent of them appear for it each year.
So coaching classes are using technology — the mobile phone and Internet — to make it easier for students to prepare for it in between studying for the board exams.
“In the run-up to the boards, every minute counts,” said Chandresh Fooria, Mahesh Tutorial’s science director. “Students can download questions through their mobile phones using Bluetooth.”
So students can put every minute they want to use, whether they are waiting for a bus or are stuck in a traffic jam.
Coaching classes have put a lot of resources online as well. Jigar Salecha, for example, has appeared for 96 online tests on SinhalOnline.com since last November to prepare for the common test. For him, this test is more important than the Class 12 board exam.
“I can take the tests when I have time and feel comfortable,” he said. “There are so many books for CET in the market that one can’t buy all of them. The online tests combine the tests in various books.”
“Our test papers are generated fresh tests each time in three seconds,” said Sudhanshu Sinhal, chief executive officer of the portal.
There are not many portals that offer practice tests for Class 10 students, partly because a big component of their exams have subjective questions.
But at myssc.in, students have a choice to appear for the online mock tests or download a full-fledged question paper in science and math, write it out and send it to the Pune-based portal, which will correct answer sheets and send it back to the student.
“Online tests help a student to assess if he is weak in a particular topics. Writing out a test paper is like a dress rehearsal before the exams,” said Prakash Kanade, director of the portal, which has 1,000 students registered with it. Next year, the portal will extend the service to other subjects as well.
Later this month, Sinhal Classes will launch online mock tests for Class 10 students. Based on multiple-choice questions in math and science, the idea is to test concepts said Sinhal. “We don’t want to test how presentable the answers are or how they are framed. The concepts are important,” he said.
Students from other boards — ICSE, ISC and CBSE — also have online portals that help them with practice tests — emathtutors.com. Students can work out solutions on paper and then tick the correct answer online.