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Preparing for boards and competitive exams together: 5 ways parents can help | Competitive Exams


Balancing preparations for board exams and competitive tests like the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE), Common Law Admission Test (CLAT), and Common Universities Entrance Test (CUET) can be challenging for students, as they are scheduled in close succession. This limited timeframe leaves little room for thorough preparations. Consequently, students and parents need to devise effective strategies for excellence in both exam categories. Beyond dedicated effort, success also hinges on stress management, proper guidance, and the formulation of a study plan incorporating revision, and practice tests.

Preparing for boards and competitive exams together: 5 ways parents can help(Handout)
Preparing for boards and competitive exams together: 5 ways parents can help(Handout)

Here are five ways by which parents and teachers can help children to crack these exams.

1. Focus on time management

Managing time effectively is crucial for successful studying. Whether it’s writing exams, dedicating yourself to daily study hours, or preparing ahead, time plays a vital role. When students move past the 10th grade, starting preparations a bit early for competitive exams can be helpful. Introducing them to the topics sooner and using resources like books and online materials can make a difference. When students attend coaching or preparatory classes, having a solid understanding of the basics is advantageous. Time is also an important element during the exams. For instance, in competitive exams, there’s a need to pen down answers quicker and practising with the help of mock tests can help students to answer swiftly

2. Inculcate creative thinking

Numerous reports, including those published by Swiss-based Fosters Media, underline the major role that problem-solving skills and independent thinking play in the everyday lives of students. These reports also emphasise the importance of equipping students with the ability to think critically and creatively, a responsibility that both educators and parents share. When it comes to succeeding in competitive exams, a solid foundation in fundamental subjects like Mathematics, Science, and languages is essential. By building this foundation, students are better prepared to tackle the challenges posed by such exams. Moreover, acquiring critical thinking skills not only aids in grasping these subjects more profoundly but also cultivates a mindset that is capable of approaching complex problems with confidence and an analytical mindset.

3. Create a proper study plan

Maintaining a proper study plan holds the utmost importance for effective preparation. A study plan transcends the concept of a mere timetable. It is a methodological approach designed to facilitate comprehensive planning by establishing specific targets. This approach adopts an analytical way, enabling parents and teachers to assist students in systematically scheduling their available free hours and wise allocation of time to each subject. The parents must ensure an optimal study environment within the designated time slots, ensuring a conducive atmosphere for focused learning. The plan must remain both realistic and manageable and should consider the child’s additional commitments, such as school and extracurricular activities.

4. Self-Study

Encouraging students to self-study and giving them control over their learning is important. Apart from teacher-led lessons and textbook knowledge, students ought to be permitted to explore subjects they are keen on learning. This approach enables them to pursue their interests, thereby igniting their enthusiasm for learning and leading to a more profound engagement with education. Parents and educators should encourage children to take responsibility for their learning by setting aside time for self-study.

5. Offer emotional support

Students should not be pressured to meet unrealistic targets. Everyone has different skill sets. It’s important to understand each child’s abilities and acumen and not pile them with exam anxiety.

Parents should talk to them, offer compliments on their achievements, and avoid blaming them if the results are not favourable. Motivate and support them in overcoming stress. Provide ample leisure time and encourage them to engage in physical activities or games they enjoy. Also, allow them to pursue their hobbies as this can encourage creative thinking.

(Author Rajesh Bhatia is the founder of Tree House chain of schools. Views expressed here are personal.)


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