4Ss: Sincere, Studious, Systematic and Smart – key to good performance in examination

This segment covers a few dos and don’ts for students to help them smooth-sail through the crucial climax scene during examination time. In a way, tips for good examination performance can be summarized into 4Ss: Sincere, Studious, Systematic and Smart. These are the four pillars over which one can build up his saga of success as a student. Any search for short cuts to success will be as futile as a wild-goose chase. Here are certain guidelines to help you get through the examinations:

Read Study Material Thoroughly
The study material would help you to develop a strong conceptual base. They give you the parameters within which you have to study. Make it a habit of going through them thoroughly as these will enable to understand the basic concepts of the subjects and develop your ability in understanding different concepts and applications. Besides, do refer to at least one standard textbook and solve all the illustrations and problems therein. This will further build your conceptual clarity of a particular subject and strengthen your problem solving skills.

Practice, Practice and Practice
Practice makes a man perfect. Students must practice as much as possible. Many students start practicing from various books without first understanding the subject and the concepts involved. This approach is absolutely wrong. You need to make your base first and then start practicing.

The more you practice, the better engraved will be concepts in your mind. Do not indulge in selective reading; no part of the syllabus is less important and leaving any portion could be fatal.

Develop Your Learning Style
Be familiar with your learning style. Everyone learns in different ways. If you know your own learning style, then you have the capability to observe others. Discuss alternatives with friends or with fellow students you might be surprised at what you find out. Armed with these insights, challenge yourself to try some new tricks. Once you understand the style in which you most effectively learn, you will experience the most enjoyable and welcome feeling that of being in control.

Stay Focussed
After committing oneself to an early start, students should take a good look at the syllabus for each subject and understand the major aim, theme, level of knowledge expected and the contents. They may jot down what they understand of the syllabus in the relevant file. A careful survey of the syllabus and study material contents will enable the student to size up, on a rough basis, the total magnitude of study task to be completed within the allocated time for each subject with a compulsory provision for adequate revision, two or three times, before the examination.

Students would be well advised to examine the suggestions with a critical, open-minded perspective and follow those that they judge to be nearer to their head and heart.
  • Make goals: long/medium and short-term and stick to them.
  • Make a timetable depending upon your aptitude and the time available.
  • Maintain a strict regimen of study.
  • Understanding the fundamental concepts is more important than making notes.
  • Cutout disturbing factors like TV, Internet, mobile phones etc.
  • Take short break after each hour of study.
Revise and Review
It is very important to study the reading materials at least 3 to 4 times. This would include:

First Reading
This will be more like a novel reading to gain overview;

Second Reading
This will be in-depth study where concepts emerge; and

Third Reading
This will be very intensive reading to fully understand the concept and to underline important points to be revised on examination day.

Attempt past Examination Papers/Mock Test Papers
Past papers are an essential tool as they help you understand the pattern of questions. Even though, it is not always feasible to go through every answer in every paper you are about to take, at least take time to grasp the format - for instance, the number of questions, what is compulsory and optional, and the likely structure and marks given.

There is no reason not to repeat past papers much can be learned this way. It is easy to think that once you have worked your way through the paper and marked it from the back; this will fetch much higher marks at another attempt. You would be amazed. Practice with as many different papers as are available. Try to arrange mock examination test on your own. Give yourself time to read the questions before you start working out how much time you can allocate to each one. And set the same strict time limit for the whole paper, from start to finish, as the original examination allowed. It is hoped that this practice will do wonders in the preparation for your actual examination.

Time Management
A judicious management of time is necessary, as preparation needs to be sustained for long. This becomes even more important during examination hours as you have to put the best answer in a given time framework. This is quite challenging and calls for a very intelligent strategy to handle. Reach examination hall well in time. Plan your time so that equal time is awarded for each mark. Keep sometime for revision as well. Always attempt to do all questions. Remember that six average answers fetch more marks than five best answers. Therefore, it is important that you must finish each question within allocated time.

Moment of Reckoning: Presentation of Answers
It is not enough that you prepare well, it is equally essential that you present your answers well. Following points deserve a special mention:
  • Avoid coming late for the examination.
  • Relax before the examination; mind works well when it is in a relaxed state.
  • Attempt those questions first which you are confident about.
  • Budget your time wisely; Utilize the 15 minutes reading time to the fullest advantage to prepare mentally as to the strategy to be followed in attempting the paper; reserve at least last 15 minutes for revision purposes.
  • Give working notes to each practical question properly.
  • Give your assumptions wherever necessary.
  • Be precise and to the point and do not indulge in unnecessary details.
  • While answering questions involving application of law/standards etc, briefly state the facts, the legal position, your analysis backed up with case laws, if any and your conclusion.
  • Write legibly; avoid spelling mistakes and grammatical errors.
  • The tendency of giving long answers to short answered questions and vice-versa should be avoided.
  • Make sure, as far as possible, that your answers are reasonably complete and comprehensive, that you have met all the requirements and tied up all loose ends and there are no irrelevant discussions and details.
  • Adopt a blend of conceptual, professional and practical approach to attempt the questions and problems. Examiners should get the impression that you have prepared well for the examination and tried to reach the standard of knowledge expected of you.
  • Be brisk in writing the running matter portions of the answers, in making the computations, in doing the figure work and in presenting the Accounts in prescribed formats.
  • Leave margin for the examiner to enter the marks.
  • In case of essay type answers, it is desirable to give a brief introduction and quickly proceed to discuss the main theme and at the end, present a short summary or conclusion.
  • Wherever a question gives scope for alternate answers and you are aware of the possibility, you must do and justify that.
  • Don't ever resort to unfair and objectionable means during the examination time like consulting reading material or other students, trying to peep into other's answer books etc., which may land you into trouble. 
  • Do not panic. Coolly attempt all questions and under no circumstance leave the hall in between.
Reference: ICAI
Published on 10/29/2014 3:46:00 PM


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