Parents are stressed out, teachers are tense to complete the portions on time, and students are under a huge amount of pressure. All this is because the 2019 Board Examination is just around the corner.

Exams are a part of every student’s life. Children are accustomed to hearing the words “test” and “exam” repeatedly. There are tests monthly, weekly, and daily. Then come the major Quarterly, Half-Yearly, and Annual Exams. Don’t forget about the surprise tests, slip tests, and periodic assessments, and so on.  

However, whatever name these evaluation procedures go by, the king of them all is the BOARD EXAM!

India is famous (or infamous) for its legendary Board Exam. There are encountered at 2 stages, Class X and Class XII. Whichever curriculum you follow, be it the State Board, ICSE, or CBSE, there’s no getting around it. All students absolutely have to face these two Himalayan challenges in their academic life.

Why are students so distraught about the Board Exam?

Students usually panic about the Board Exam mainly because of two reasons:

a) It involves a vast amount of study material (normally the entire year’s syllabus)

b) The marks scored usually decides the future of their academic and professional career

For these two reasons, it is imperative that the student performs well in the Board Exam.  

Precious Pointers to Help Students Prepare for the Board Exam

How should a student prepare for the Board Exam? Let’s take a look.

1. Outline a Study Timetable

Before you begin, take stock of the situation. Take each subject and note down the number of lessons, the difficult areas in each lesson, the lessons you know thoroughly, ones you have understood partially, and those which you have not touched throughout the year. You can also try ranking the lessons in order of difficulty.

Once you’ve assessed the situation, prepare a study schedule or timetable allocating one subject per day. Divide the day into pre-lunch and post-lunch sessions with portions clearly allocated for each. Evening sessions can be set aside for revision of the day’s study. While assigning the lessons, dedicate more time for difficult chapters and less time for the known or easy ones.

Always try to complete the portions a month ahead of the Board Exam so you can utilise the final month for revision and practise. Also, chalk out time for at least 2 sets of revisions compulsorily for each subject.

A correct schedule and clear plan of study will definitely get you well-prepared for the Board Exam.

2. Take Notes for Quick Study & Revision

Make ‘revision notes’ for each chapter. Revision notes should have a list of the topics covered in each chapter, important headings, and main points. These notes should have bullet points which succinctly recap the topic. Be sure to keep them short and to the point.

For subjects like History, you can mark important dates and names, whereas Maths and Science notes will have formulae. The idea here is to remember important keywords and talking points which can be expanded upon come Board Exam time.

It’s easier than memorizing huge paragraphs and also makes sure you don’t miss anything vital in your answer. These notes help to summarize the entire lesson in one go and also works great for last minute exam prep.

Note-taking not only helps in the recap but also retention of the lesson for a long time.

3. Use a Mind-Map or Flowchart

A mind map is a structured note-taking technique that simplifies the method of study for the student. It has a central node which is the main subject. From the subject, the student draws branches and marks related topics. While designing a mind map, you can use different colors for the subnodes and branches. It is an interesting and easy way of summing up a lesson and outlines the entire course of the lesson like a map. One look at it and you know all about the lesson.

A flowchart outlines the flow of topics in a lesson from start to finish.  It offers a quick summary of the lesson with a smooth flow of information from one topic in the lesson to the next. Through linking one concept to another, you can trick your mind into learning a vast amount of information with just one picture.

Teachers or parents can help students prepare such mind maps and flowcharts for difficult or exhaustive subjects like Chemistry or History.

Using infographic tools helps in summarizing the lesson and revising it visually.

4. Exercise Self-Control

The Board Exam is a one-in-a-lifetime experience, and it will either make or break you. You have to be prepared to make sacrifices in order to to achieve success.

First off, stay away from your television, computer, PlayStation, XBox, video games, mobiles, etc. They are all time-sinks. Shut them down and put them away, or give them to your parents. Even if you have to download questions online, do it from your parent’s mobile or laptop under their observation. Remain vigilant of electronics and don’t fall prey to temptation. Closing the door and putting a do not disturb sign outside is a good way to denote that you are busy.

You should still relax and enjoy yourself for half-an-hour in the evening every day during the study period, but not more than that. Also, let it be physical activity, and not online gaming. If you actually exercise by lifting weights, jogging, or going for a swim, even better. A healthy body leads to a healthy mind.

Avoid eating outside food from restaurants or roadside stalls as this may affect your health. You absolutely cannot afford to fall sick during the Board Exam and need to be in peak condition. For this reason, stay away from ice cream and cold juices.

If you feel upset that you are unable to enjoy these luxuries, remind yourself that it’s only temporary, and you are free to have fun after the exams are done and dusted.

A little self-control can reap in big rewards during the Board Exam.

5. Group Study With Caution

If you choose to group study, avoid idle chatter with your friends. Be sure to only focus on the task at hand. Your discussion should not deviate to other topics. Otherwise, you will notice that time has flown by without you learning anything. If you find yourself drifting into talks about cricket or movies, get back on track. The same applies to long discussions on the phone.

Group studying is a powerful strategy that will help uncover and fix your weaknesses quickly. However, it all depends on the type of people you decide to group study with. Some choose to avoid studying with their closest friends in order to stay focused.

For this reason, choose the studious people and class-toppers. It’s better to study alone and learn a little than study as a group and end up learning nothing. Group study should not end up harming you more than it helps you.

Beware of group studying. It can seem great at first, but it can easily turn into a time waster.

6. Don’t Stop Practising

It might sound repetitive but practise is the only way to get thoroughly prepared for the Board Exam.

Covering vast portions, memorizing formulae, cracking tough word problems, and clarifying doubts can only be done by through repeated practice. With practice, you can master even tough concepts with ease. Trying out different types of problems gives you clarity in the concepts and enables you to find the technique of solving tough problems easily.

Just make sure that you try different types of questions an do not stick to the same questions only. Spend at least one week on practising tough portions, old question papers, and solving complex problems.

Practice is the only way to perfect your Board Exam preparation.

Prepare for the Board Exam With LetsPractise

You have to gear up for the Board Exam. Prepare with precision for the Board Exam using the above pointers and make use of online practices sites such as LetsPractise to turn your exhaustive preparation effortless.

Online practice sites have a commendable collection of such varied question papers which you can make use of. Take model papers from our online practise site and time yourself to see how quickly and accurately you can solve them. View our learning plans right now.

You have to complete loads of papers and test sheets related to the Board Exam, and we can help. You can find the solutions to complex problems easily on expert online practice learning sites such as LetsPractise. Contact us now for more.

Ultimately, it all comes down to you and your willpower. You are your own worst enemy and your own best friend. If you are determined and resolute, there is no reason why you can’t crack the exam. Good luck!

Think of the Board Exam as an opportunity to advance Instead of a horrifying experience. It is a test that can lead you to success if you do well. Now, go forth and triumph!

A New Year ushers in hope for a new beginning and a fresh start. Most people make New Year resolutions to mend their ways, learn new things and improve themselves.

Both parents and children need to look back at the past year’s experiences and decide what changes have to be made to work towards a better future. This involves cooperation and participation from both parents and children to transform the resolutions to reality.

Top 10 Resolutions for 2019

Here are a total of 10 resolutions for both parents and children to accomplish in 2019.

Top Five 2019 Resolutions for Parents

The adults are up first. Here are 5 goals for parents to strive for this New Year.

1. Eating Together

This is a big one. Nowadays, the dining table is just an idle piece of furniture. Parents must make it the family hangout spot by eating together with their children at least once a day. Both parents and children must have at least breakfast or dinner together in order to bond within the family. Mobiles, laptops, TV, and other electronics should be avoided.

These family moments must be spent in happiness with healthy conversation and food as supplements. Don’t start any arguments, quarrels and controversies, so avoid talking about religion or politics. Even busy working parents or top executives must realize the importance of the saying “a family which eats together, stays together”. Put eating together on top of the agenda for 2019.

2. Reduce Gadget Time

Parents often chide their children for always using their mobiles or playing online games, but they themselves keep chatting on Whatsapp or Facebook! This is rather ironic and hypocritical. Using electronics gadgets non-stop is a bad example for your children.

Parents must lead by example and spend time at home doing quality work without electronics, like reading the newspaper, cleaning, gardening etc. Gadget time must be restricted in the morning and late evenings for all at home in this New Year 2019.

3. Family Meetings

Parents often treat children as babies and do not involve them even in any family -related matters. In fact, most of the decisions about the children like the coaching classes they attend, the hobbies they want to pursue, subjects to take, etc are often taken by parents themselves.

This New Year, in 2019, parents must have family meetings to discuss key issues. Take time to talk to the child and involve children in these meetings. Take their opinions into account before finalizing the decision. This gives the children a feeling of responsibility as well as an opportunity to express their views.

4. Reduce and Recycle

In this New Year, parents and children can take this productive decision of reducing and recycling waste. The government has already banned plastic bags in some Indian states. Saying ” no” to plastic bags and organic recycling should be made part of the family agenda for 2019.

5. Spend Quality Time With Children

These days, parents are spending a lesser amount of time with their children. The time they do spend with their children is often used for reviewing their performance, giving long lectures on the importance of discipline or good marks, or finding fault with their behavior.

This New Year 2019, parents must make a change to stop this blame game and start spending more quality time with children. Play games or sports with children, help them with their homework, talk about their day, and discuss their problems. All these can yield fruitful results for both sides without toxicity.

Speaking of children…

Top Five 2019 Resolutions for Children

Now, on to the top 5 goals for children to achieve for this New Year.

1. Learn Something New

Children can take the initiative in 2019, of learning something new, such as a new hobby, art, craft, language etc. This will help them to refresh their mind and alleviate academic stress.

Children don’t have to learn something new every day, but expanding knowledge beyond just what school teaches is important. Parents must cooperate and allow children to pursue their interests in 2019.

2. Avoid Junk Food

Staying healthy must be the top priority for children in 2019. Students tend to become overweight when they live a sedentary lifestyle. This means just sitting around at home watching TV or their mobile while stuffing themselves with chips, sweets, snacks, soda, etc.

Fat and oil should be kept to a minimum this year. Children must take an oath to avoid junk food and eat only homemade healthy food. Exercising daily must also become the prime focus for children in 2019.

3. Finish Tasks on Time

It’s time to say “no” to procrastination as tomorrow never comes. Stop putting of tasks and delaying them. No more excuses. Children must make a commitment in 2019 to finish tasks on time, whether it is for the home, the school, tuition, whatever.

It’s easy to postpone tasks but it has to be done eventually, so why not now? Get it over with. Get motivated, get up off the sofa, and just do it! Besides, punctuality and discipline will help in the long run to achieve better goals.

4. Help Parents

Just as parents should take time to help their children, the inverse also applies. Children must understand that their parents care for them most. They must learn to obey them and also help them in their daily chores. Stop with the petty arguments, bickering, and infighting in 2019.

Helping parents makes children understand their responsibilities and burdens. Above all, children learn to respect parents more when they help them. A good parent-child relationship is critical, so make it a top priority this New Year.

5. Study Harder and Smarter

Children must resolve focus on their academics. They must identify their weaknesses and work harder to correct them. It’s not just about working hard, but smart as well. The best students are those who imbibe the most amount of knowledge and information in the least amount of time. Rather than just memorizing and regurgitating facts, students should study to learn new things for this New Year.

They can make use of online practice learning forums to clarify their doubts, write sample tests and work out problems.

Sites such as LetsPractise can also come in handy.

We have a lot of practise papers and test sheets to help facilitate learning. LetsPractise serves students from multiple Boards for first standard all the way through the tenth standard. Just take a look at our plans and see for yourself. You can always contact us with any questions, doubts, or clarifications.

New Year Resolutions are made easily and forgotten quickly too. Make this time different. In 2019, both parents and children must set their own goals and resolve to adhere to them strictly. Mutual monitoring can instill a better sense of commitment among parents and children to follow their New Year resolutions meticulously.

“Mom, I have a stomach ache and a fever.”, you hear your child say.

You place your hand on their forehead and find beads of sweat. Your child’s face is red, palms are sweaty, and pulse racing.

They look at you nervously and you realize that they are scared. Why could that be?

“Of course! Today is the Maths exam!”

No wonder your child is agitated and feeling feverish. After all, they have always been scared of failing in Maths. Somehow, you pacify your child and send them off to school.

This episode is sadly not over. How can you ensure that such an incident doesn’t happen again?

Let’s find out.

Why do Children Fear Failure?

There was a time when monsters and ghosts were all you had to worry about. Those fears were dismissed easily as fiction. However, studies are very real. Before we can tackle the problem, we have to analyze why children are afraid to fail. It all comes down to pressure from different sources.

1. Parents

Almost every parent has high expectations for their children. However, they don’t realize the problems their child faces. As parents, we want our kids to do better than us and succeed in life. There is nothing wrong in this thinking, but we must remember that our children are not us. If you are a parent reading this, think back to when you were a kid. Children have their own difficulties and problems to deal with. The main reason most children are afraid to fail is that it will make their parents feel enraged, disappointed, or hurt.

2. Peers

Next comes peer-pressure. Children are afraid to fail as this might lead to teasing from their classmates and friends. They do not want to cut a sorry figure in front of their peers and face embarrassment.

3. Teachers

Some teachers look at children disapprovingly when they fail or scold them in front of the whole class, especially as this is how most answer papers are handed out. Children feel afraid to fail as they do not wish to be humiliated in front of the class by the teachers or face punishment.

4. Self-Pressure

Repeated failure in class tests makes some children feel that they are worthless and have no competence. Combined with the previous three pressure sources, this instills a lack of confidence and fear of failure in the students.

So, now that we know the main reasons for fear of failure, here are some tips to help children overcome it.

Tips for Students  to Overcome Their Fear of Failure

1. Identify and Understand the Fear

The first step in teaching children to overcome their failure is to first help them recognize and identify it. What are they afraid of and why? Is Maths scary for them because they do not get the right answers even if they try? Or is it History because they have a tough time remembering dates?

This is known as root cause analysis, where you keep asking questions and peeling back layers to identify the source of the problem.

They might be scared of multiple subjects for different reasons. Ask the child to write down their fears in a piece of paper. This brings clarity in addressing their fears.

2. Communicating their fear

Being afraid is perfectly normal. The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. Now, the child must communicate it. By informing their fear to peers, parents, and teachers, the child can seek support and suggestions to overcome it.

For instance, if a child conveys a fear of Hindi to his parent or teacher, they can help by engaging extra coaching or tuitions, registering the child on online practice sites or even guide the child personally to help them overcome this fear. Teachers too can pay extra attention to children if they express their fear of the subject.

3. Map Fear to a Course of Action

It’s okay to be afraid as long as you convert it into positive energy. For instance, if the child fears Maths because of wrong answers, he/she must be made to understand that it is only because of careless mistakes that they probably go wrong. Rechecking the problem and redoing the steps may help them prevent errors and instill confidence and courage to do Maths.

Children who fear Science because they do not have a clue what the answer is must be made to understand that they should first make an attempt to solve the problem. Take clues from the question itself, write definitions, expand upon previous related answers, etc. This is called bluffing. Even if the answer is wrong, never mind. They should at least try writing something down.

Children fear of failure in class subjects can also be removed by motivating them to practice. Practice makes every child gain a grasp of the subject and overcomes their fear of failure. With the help of online practice sites, children can work out sample problems to overcome their fear of failure in subjects. Work hard to stamp the fear out.

4. Look at Fear as an Opportunity

Children should be taught to take fear as a challenge to beat. Motivate children through real-life examples of great men who failed in school yet succeeded in life. For example, Michael Dell, Steve Jobs, and Bill Gates all dropped out of college. Teach children that failure is temporary and can be overcome with persistence and dedication.

5. Planning and Preparation

A clear plan and sound preparation are enough to sow the seeds of success. Fear often comes to children because they have not prepared well enough. Teach them to spend ample time on preparation to avoid the fear of failure.

Failure is a stepping stone to success, and no one has ever succeeded without failing. Make children overcome these hurdles and handicaps of failure by guiding, motivating and supporting them rightly. Teach them that it is alright to fail but it is never right if they do not try.

Face your fears. If you fail, so be it. You must understand this and then you must make your child understand it. Failures will happen, but it is important to learn from them.

When Thomas Alva Edison was asked about his repeated failures before creating the light bulb, he had this to say:

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

Fear just means “Face Everything And Rise”. Enlighten children to make them realize that Fear can be overcome by practice.

The best way is to practice, and that’s what LetsPractise helps you do. We have loads of question papers and practice sheets on a variety of subjects. Maths, Hindi, Science, Social Studies, whatever your child’s fear is, we can help him or her overcome it. Please view our plans and find the one most suitable for your child.

Remember not to put undue pressure on them as threats and yelling will only make them more afraid. Contact us for more. It’s time to decimate your fears.

In India, parents start planning for school admissions even before they beget babies! Yes. some schools ask parents to register for admission while the mom is pregnant. With such a rush for a place in the right school, infants are bundled off to play school even at the age of 2. But is this right- sending children to school even before they outgrow their infancy?

What is the right age for your child to start school, then? Let us discuss.

The right age to start school

A Stanford University study reveals that kids performed better when they were enrolled in Kindergarten at 6 years. Its results showed that kids had better self-control and test scores by the age of 7-11.

Our ancestors were probably right. Yes, ancient wisdom dictated school enrollment to be at 6 years. Until then, the home was the right environ for learning basic life skills. This approach is correct indeed for the brain development begins at birth, peaks at 3 and prunes itself to become adult-like at 6 years. By the age of 6, the child’s brain has developed definite cognitive abilities to understand the language of instruction and imbibe what is taught.

By the 1990s, pre-schooling ad steeped into India with several private pre-schools cropping up and enrolling kids at the age of 3. Today every child in an Indian home begins pre-school at 3 years. India also has the largest early childhood programmes in the world with 1.3 million government-funded anganwadis. All these facts point out to the kid starting his school/playschool experience at the age of 3.

Teaching methodologies for pre-school education

Kindergarten

Kindergarten involves guided learning through a play-way method of singing, dancing and games for the preschooler. This term was coined by Friedrich Froebel and has become immensely popular in India s the standard system of pre-schooling with Lower and Upper Kindergarten classes.

Montessori

Maria Montessori evolved this approach which is based on the natural eagerness of the child to learn. This methodology encourages children to learn by themselves while the teacher facilitates this process. This approach allows the child to learn at his/her own pace understanding his/her physical and emotional levels.

Waldorf

The Waldorf methodology introduced by Rudolf Steiner focuses on the imagination of the child which is encouraged with hands-on activities.

Whatever be the methodology of early education, it forms the basis for actual schooling at 6 years. PPlayschools focus on the process of getting the child ready to adapt to the system of formal education. They act as a stepping stone to actual schooling. Playschools go even the extra mile in teaching children personal hygiene like toilet training and social skills like interacting with other children to get them ready for school.

Schooling

Actual schooling from class 1 begins at 6 years and from then on, the child follows a curriculum of study like State Board, CBSE, ICSE etc. The child is tested for his basic cognitive abilities and then enrolled into the curriculum. It is not mandatory that the child should have followed a Kindergarten, Montessori or Waldorf system. Even homeschoolers can enroll directly in class 1 provided the child qualifies in the entrance tests for class 1. This is possible with the help of practice question papers available from Letspractise.

Children can practise basic Maths numbers and English words etc. using these practise tests and gear up for school in no time.

Getting children ready for proper schooling is a challenging task. Give your children a good start by enrolling them at age 6. Get them ready for school by enrolling them in pre-school or letting them enjoy homeschooling. Build a strong base with practise tests from Letspractise for a bright future for your child at school.

India has done it. Yes, Hima Das has won India the first Gold Medal in track events at the World’s Junior Athletics championship in 2018.  the reason for this- focus and hard work! Yes, Hima Das, the daughter of an agricultural labourer could scale such great heights because she had a strong focus and toiled relentlessly to achieve this great feat. She has become a model of inspiration to students and has proved that focus and hard work can make the impossible possible.

Another classic example of focus and hard work achieving success is the instance of Croatia in the FIFA WorldCup. Croatia as a country achieved independence from Yugoslavia in 1991. Since then,  they have made several appearances at the World Cup race but their best bit was in 1998 when they lost to France in the semi-finals. After this, Croatia has rallied around and with focus and hard work, made it to the World cup Finals. Although they lost to France, their focus and hard work did not go unnoticed as the crowds cheered them on.

These are real-life instances where focus and hard work have really reaped rewards. Students must be motivated and should feel inspired to emulate these examples by consistent practice. Let us see how this can be done.

How can students use focus and hard work to make the impossible possible?

1. Aim high

Students must be always advised to aim high. Setting lofty goals for students is good as this charts the course of their life. If students aim high and have a high ambition, they will also have the vision to achieve it. This will keep them motivated to perform.

2. Plan their course of action

Every missile must have a trajectory. Similarly, every student must have a  clear-cut path defined to reach his goal. For this, the student must analyze the goal, the foundation courses and the framework required to reach the goal. This involves detailed planning and extensive research with a timeline set to the target.

3. Collect course materials

After the target has been fixed and the course of action has been outlined, the student must collect all the course materials and information required to assimilate knowledge to attain the goal.

For instance, if the student wants to become a doctor, he has to prepare for the NEET exam. He/she has to start preparing well in advance honing up his knowledge of life sciences, especially human anatomy and physiology.  This requires exhaustive preparation using worksheets right from class VIII onwards. All these worksheets are easily obtained from the Letspractise site and they offer a complete knowledge base for study.

4. Commence preparation and practice

Practice is the key ingredient of hard work and the sure ticket to success. Students must start preparing for the competitive exams by first building a strong foundation of the basics. This is possible only by continuous practice using different worksheets on the same chapter. The more questions students solve, the stronger their foundation becomes. Letspractise helps students to strengthen their base by offering them question banks pertaining to their syllabus- be it CBSE, ICSE or state board. Armed with this copious reservoir of worksheets and practice questions, students can meet any challenge head-on without hesitation.

Children need the right impetus to motivate them towards their goals. Inspire children by citing real-life examples, equip them with the right study materials from Letspractise and watch them make the impossible possible with focus and hard work.