Friday, September 30, 2016

Back to Basics

The exams are over or nearly over. I can hear an audible sigh of relief –“finally!” Some of you have done well, some are not very happy with their performances and a few have made a mess of their papers. That’s fine! It happens with all of us, even with the best of us. Life has a habit of tripping us up at some point, no matter how hard we try to avoid it, irrespective of how careful or cautious we always try to be.

So what do you do now? Here I make a few suggestions. Hope they are of some help to you. For any clarifications, you just need to drop a line. 

1. Your answer sheet is a start
What do you see there? Focus on your mistakes. Take out your question paper if you cannot recall the question and analyze the question and your response. Maybe you haven’t answered to the point; worse, maybe you have read the question wrong. Maybe you have made a lot of grammatical and spelling mistakes. Maybe you ran out of time and couldn’t complete the paper. Whatever, this is must be your first step. This is the most important reason why answer sheets are shown to you. When you get them - if you get them - scrutinize carefully. It is a good practice and you must make full use of it. 

2. What are the lessons learned?
A scrutiny of your response sheet now reveals the chinks in your armour, your vulnerabilities, mistakes that you make repeatedly. These errors have cost you valuable marks. You must eliminate them through renewed efforts and sustained practice.

3. So what do we do now?
a.      Make a list of your mistakes in a book that you always carry with you. As you eliminate each mistake, tick them off in the list. The list will help you to keep your focus as well as ensure that by the time the next exam comes around you will have overcome your weaknesses and be in a far better position.
b.      Simulate the exam environment as much as possible. Time your sample papers. Ask yourself whether you are putting your best foot forward – whether you are starting with the best-prepared section.
c.       Many of you have extra notes and points. They should come towards the end of the answer. The main answer must always refer to the text. Be textual, it is seen as an indication of someone who has read the text well.
d.      Start your preparations early. A little everyday will achieve much more than cramming a lot in a few days just prior to the exam.

Remember, excellence is born out of a desire for perfection. Desire to be perfect. And  you will achieve excellence. It is a long and lonely journey down a path which you have to tread alone for most of the time while the world “seems to be enjoying and having a good time”.  But rest assured that your day too will come. You shall have the last laugh after all!                                   

Post credits: Samit Sengupta
Founder, English Academy

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