CBSE exams 2021: Best time management tips for students

By, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Mar 04, 2021 11:45 AM IST

With CBSE exams knocking at the door, students need to learn smart time management tricks to complete their syllabus and finish their papers with a few minutes at hand for revision.

This year, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) will conduct class 10 and 12 exams between May 4 and June 10. The results will be announced by July 15th. With board exams getting pushed from February to May, 2021 is witnessing a delayed start of the academic year, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. While the delayed schedule is a cause of concern for students, the extra time they are getting for preparation can prove to be beneficial if they are able to utilise it in the right manner.

Managing time efficiently during preparation and in the examination hall are as important as the last minute suggestions. Arun Mondhe/HT File Photo
Managing time efficiently during preparation and in the examination hall are as important as the last minute suggestions. Arun Mondhe/HT File Photo

Time management is the cornerstone of any exam preparation journey and CBSE exams are no exception. Managing time efficiently during preparation and in the examination hall are as important as the last minute suggestions. Effective time management skills are instrumental in helping students complete their syllabus and finish their paper comfortably within the three hours allotted for each theory exam. However, managing time is one of the key issues that students grapple with and this has proven to be a major trigger behind their exam stress. As you gear up for your board exams, here are some time management tips, that will help you ace them, minus the stress.

Create a daily routine

Most students end up burning the midnight oil while preparing for their board exams. But you don’t actually need to if you schedule your day and stick to it. Religiously. You can start by creating a 7-day schedule. Your daily routine should include the subjects and chapters of each subject that you want to cover on a particular day, time slots, and breaks as well. While allotting time for a particular subject or topic, factor in your efficiency level at it. Topics or subjects you find difficult will take more time than the ones you excel in. So, you need to allot a longer time slot for them.

Also, identify your most productive time of the day. While some students function best during the day, others find night to be more productive. Depending on your ability, slot the difficult, heavy duty topics or subjects for your most productive hours. Lastly and most importantly, do not compromise on your food, sleep cycle and relaxation time while prepping for your CBSE exams. It will not only affect your health, but also impact your memory and data processing skills negatively, increasing the length of your preparation time. So, make sure that you accommodate all these adequately in your schedule.

Resort to time saving study techniques

There are various techniques that will help you memorise better and faster. One of them is known as ‘pomodoro’, a method scientifically proven to be effective in boosting cognitive agility. This technique involves studying for 25 minutes at a stretch, followed by a short break and resuming back to another 25-minute session. The other technique that can help you remember things easily is mind mapping. It is a visual thinking tool that involves graphic representation of concepts and ideas. Applying this method for topics you find difficult to remember can work wonders as our visual memory happens to be very strong.

Work on your writing speed

Many students find it extremely difficult to finish their paper on time despite being well-prepared. So, taking mock exams at home is essential to speed up. During your run-up to the board exam, take three-hour home tests at least once a week. This will not only improve your speed but also help you adapt better to a high-pressure, time-bound situation. Your handwriting will improve too, which is essential for keeping your copy neat. Remember, your handwriting is the first impression that your examiner has about you.

Use the 15-minute question reading slot effectively

Now, students are allotted an additional 15-minute slot for reading questions in the examination hall. Utilise this time well, not only to skim through and understand the questions properly, but also to decide which ones to attempt. Additionally, figure out the order in which you want to answer each question. It is advisable to start with the easy and short ones. You will feel confident as you wrap them up fast.

Keep an eye on the clock in the exam hall

While reading the questions, allocate the time you want to devote to each of them. The time allocation should ideally depend on the marks allotted to a particular question. The higher the marks, the longer the time. Having 180 minutes for 100 mark means, you can spend about one a half minutes for every mark. However, one mark will take shorter time while it comes to MCQs. Allocate time for each question keeping all these factors in mind and make sure you stick to your deadline. Check the time after finishing each question if possible. This will help you change the time slots if needed.

Keep your answers short and crisp

Students often get carried away while answering their favourite questions. This is the major culprit behind them being unable to finish the paper on time. So, make sure that your answers are short and precise. Touch upon all the necessary pointers without getting into elaboration. If you spend a lot of time in details and elaboration of one answer, you may have to cut the others short of the essential elements.

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