Testing Times Are Not Over Yet

Testing Times Are Not Over Yet

PU students now have to handle professional entrance exams, and staying calm and positive will help them a lot

For the scores of II Pre-University Course (PUC) students who have just heaved a sigh of relief that the final examinations are over, it does not take much time for the realisation to dawn that the testing times are far from over. The conclusion of the II PUC exam only beckons a series of entrances exams — some national, some private, some State-level — that hold the key to the students' professional future, especially for the thousands of professional course aspirants. Yes, it is the entrance season.

While there is no specific data about how many such exams a student takes on an average, experts will tell you that most students who are engineering aspirants attempt the Common Entrance Test (CET), the All India Engineering Entrance Examination (AIEEE) and the IIT-JEE (which was held on April 8), while most of those wanting to pursue medical courses write the CET, the COMED-K, the CMC Vellore and the Kasturba Medical College-Manipal exams.

Add to this the NEST for the Indian Institute of Science, Education and Research, those of the Indian Institutes of Information Technology and various other State entrances and deemed university exams, the list is endless.

Needless to say, the preparation for all these exams would require a lot of planning. Many will say that for the State entrances, to know the 12th Standard syllabus well is more than enough, and that the remaining preparation would be in gaining speed, being familiar with short questions, learning how to identify the less time-consuming ones and learning the short-cuts to solving the mathematical problems. The major portion of the preparation is to recap what was learnt for the board exams, after which one can start identifying patterns in how to answer the test.

No blanket formula

H.S. Nagaraj, Director of the Bangalore-based educational training organisation BASE, said that a confident student need not write too many examinations. However, for those who do, he said there is no blanket formula that works for the whole umbrella of exams, and that students have to manage circumstantially. But he did give some very basic suggestions for anyone writing any of these exams.

“Exams come and go, but learning should be the primary objective. The stress is mainly because of the system of society. But remember that efforts can never go a waste,” he pointed out. To begin with, students should be disconnected from all other thoughts and have a positive attitude, according to him. “Don't go with any expectations about the examination. Be calm and ensure that you have all the materials required,” he added.

The next round of the battle is inside the examination hall. Read the instructions carefully, is the first piece of advice, as many entrance exams are undergoing a change in format this year. “Many students make an incorrect reading of the instructions, or go through them hurriedly, which is never advisable as it will only cause harm,” Mr. Nagaraj said.

One need not answer the questions in order, he said, as in competitive exams one loses marks for answering wrongly than not answering at all. So, attempt the questions to which you have answers first, is the tip. Finally, don't keep writing till the last minute. Keep some time for revising the answers.