The CBSE exams have started! And while the pattern may have changed and many years have gone by, anyone who has suffered through the Indian schooling system, will always remember the hype, the harried late night revisions and the general feeling of dread which accompanies the board exams.

Before we go any further, here are the numbers the students are being measured up against.


Almost 14 lakh students are writing the Class 10 exams and more than 10 lakh are giving the class 12 exams. Wow.

With numbers like that and the general importance attached to this exam, it is no surprise that frustrated students and parents go overboard with the prep, often reaching a tipping point.

Here are some practices you may need to start adopting, to make sure you get out of these exams with your sanity intact:

1. Watching porn may not be okay. Don’t overdo it.

While teenage might be the ‘raging hormone’ years, it is especially during studying that we seem to have our deepest sexual fantasies, so to speak.

Try not to get too distracted. “Stress release” is one thing, but try not to jerk away the syllabus.


2. Don’t start watching a new TV show.

They are designed to be addictive. And let’s face it, they are really frigging awesome. But try postponing them for a bit, then go binge watch them the weekend after the boards.

It’s gonna feel really good watching Game Of Thrones knowing you have at least managed to pass.

If you absolutely have to, watch the old shows. Season 1 of The Big Bang Theory or How I Met Your Mother was pretty awesome, but won’t keep you up late.

3. WhatsApp, Facebook are not meant for studying.

Have a group titled “Exam Study” on WhatsApp or a running message thread on Facebook? Did your friends in school promise to share question papers and latest exam scoop on it?

Know this, it is NEVER going to happen. It will be cool but all you will probably be doing is worry about the baseless rumours and speculate about what to do AFTER the exams.

Call up your friends, talk all you want, get back to work. WhatsApp messages are way more distracting.


4. Movies, comics, fiction and games: hit pause

Are there brilliant movies coming out or thinking of perusing some favourite fiction like Harry Potter maybe? Do you have Asterix or the latest issue of DC tucked neatly inside your textbook? Do you feel like running that latest Skyrim mod, thinking it will be a good way to relax?

You are not wrong. Problem is, it’s not gonna stop. It never does.

Try hitting pause for a while. You are going to torrent stuff later anyway.


5. Stop making lists of things-to-do.

We all make lists, of things that had to be, need to be or have to be done in the future. Sometimes things get messed up though. Don’t fret over past lists and definitely don’t be overexcited by future party plans. Try focusing on the task at hand.


6. Adequate sleep is absolutely essential.

We know you were born with last minute reading skills. It’s that amazing jugaad which has let many of us old-timers cross the finish line. But the 2-3 days between the exams can get kinda rough with no sleep.

For a mark or two extra in one exam, don’t mess up the next paper due to insomnia.


7. Don’t accumulate notes, you are not aiming for a career in the kabaadi business.

Tuition notes, senior’s notes, class notes photocopied, JPH guidebook, ‘official’ CBSE guides… oh wait! Your textbooks! Almost forgot the last one.

You need to understand that the CBSE is super-conventional, it will ALWAYS set the question paper based on standard textbooks and while you may think you are reading a lot, you may just be missing out on the bits which are actually important.

Also, they do give marks for handwriting. So try writing neatly.


8. Don’t forget the stationery but don’t buy the store.

The boards always begin with a light shopping spree for multi-coloured pens, shiny new exam boards, a box full of sharpened pencils, erasers and sharpeners. One plastic ruler and one steel ruler too, just in case. Having back-up pens and pencils is important but spending more than 5 minutes on packing them for the exam is quite pointless.

They are not getting any less colourful or any less smooth even if you keep wondering which one to buy. Pick one, start writing.


9. On exam day.

Don’t encourage conversations with people who ‘haven’t read anything’ but know all the answers anyway and don’t dwell on last minute tips from ANYONE. Tab batane pe yaad kaun rakhega?

Relax, revise what you can, walk in for battle.

And don’t even bother thinking about that guy who takes an extra sheet 30 minutes after the exam starts. As far as you are concerned, he is probably just wasting paper.


10. Good Luck.

Seriously, you need it. Focus on what you can do in the paper, attempt the whole frigging thing.

Because you are gonna give these unnecessarily over-hyped exams ONCE in your whole life.

You will be nervous, will get really tense now and then. Breathe.

And come back to the real world in a month. All the cat memes of the internet will be waiting.


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