Students in Indian curriculum schools are at a crucial phase, as they have less than a week to go before the CBSE board exams begin.

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) board examinations are scheduled to start on February 15 for both Grades 10 and 12. The examinations will end on April 2, 2024. Principals say that Grade 10 and 12 students need essential parental and teaching guidance during this period.

Optimise exam preparation

Deepika Thapar Singh, CEO-Principal, Credence High School, said, “Now is a crucial period for students in Grades 10 and 12, requiring both moral and educational support from their parents and teachers. This support is vital for boosting their confidence as they prepare for their exams.”

Head teachers explained that in order to optimise their preparations, students are encouraged to engage with CBSE sample papers, review questions from previous years, and consult the model answer sheets provided on the CBSE website.

“Understanding the structure of the question paper and prioritising the examples and exercises in the NCERT (National Council of Educational Research and Training) textbooks is essential for success. Creating a study schedule and establishing personal goals are also important steps in the preparation process. Employing visual aids such as flow charts, pictorial representations, and abbreviations can simplify complex information and enhance learning efficiency,” Singh said.

Muhammad Ali Kottakkulam, Principal, Gulf Indian High School, Dubai, said, “[Students] are advised to stay healthy, organise study materials, stay away from distractions, have a healthy diet, avoid new topics in the last minute, take breaks during preparations, get sufficient sleep (especially the night before the exam), and visualise their own success to boost their motivation and confidence.”

Support from parents

Educators stressed that parents can offer essential assistance by creating a dedicated study area and a calm environment. It’s important not to pressure students for perfection in their studies or to introduce conflicting ideas that may go against the guidance provided by teachers.

Rashmi Nandkeolyar, Principal and Director of DPS Dubai, shared her advice for parents. "Ensure a good night’s sleep and good nutrition, especially breakfast. Remain encouraging and positive. Family anxiety rubs off on children. We have to remember that though this is a high-stakes exam, it’s not a life and death situation.”

Mentor support

Some schools even have a mentor allocated to every student, who sorts out individual concerns.

Nandkeolyar said, “[The mentor] quells anxiety and gives exam tips. In addition, subject teachers are available for one-to-one tutoring."

Effective time management

Headteachers pointed out that for months, students have diligently prepared for their upcoming exams, with pre-board examinations serving as a valuable assessment.

This has allowed students to gauge their readiness, pinpoint areas of strength and weakness, and refine their exam strategies.

Archana Sagar, Principal, Amity Private School Sharjah, said, “Effective time management, a critical factor in CBSE board exam success, is a skill honed through such simulated testing environments.”

In parallel, teachers have been conducting counseling sessions to offer study tips, time management techniques, and advice on tackling exam questions. “These sessions not only enhance students' preparedness but also provide a platform for addressing personal and academic concerns promptly. We are committed to fostering a supportive environment where students receive constructive feedback, additional resources, and encouragement to overcome challenges and build confidence in their exam endeavours," said Sagar.

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