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Make the best of your opportunities

Q&A for You
More than the board, focus on institutions that offer good teaching and laboratory facilities. Acing the entrance exams is a result of extensive preparation, problem-solving and a calm mind.
More than the board, focus on institutions that offer good teaching and laboratory facilities. Acing the entrance exams is a result of extensive preparation, problem-solving and a calm mind.
(Telegraph file picture)

Shivani Manchanda   |   Published 02.09.19, 07:38 PM

Q Our school lays a lot of stress on attendance. We have to attend school every day though it often turns out that half the teachers are absent and non-subject teachers have to fill in for them. Therefore, attending school most days is a waste of time; I could have used the time better for self studies. However, several appeals by parents and students to the administration to be more lenient about attendance have been futile. What should I do in such a situation?

Eshana Dey,
Calcutta

I am really glad to hear that you want to maximise your opportunities and make the most of the time that is available to you for studying. Perhaps you can think of different ways of exploiting your opportunities rather than spend time worrying over what you don’t have control over. For example, when we were children we read comics by hiding them within textbooks and, no matter what the chaos around, we were immersed in following the adventures of our superhero.

You feel frustrated because all of us want life to go smoothly and suit all our requirements. But the truth is that life is not a straight line and everything does not go according to our expectations. Life, very often, expects us to work around our circumstances. When I see students who have reached the IITs or Aiims without having gone to an English medium school or tuitions or had a full stomach or having had stones thrown at their houses, I realise just how lucky I have been in having had a home, food, security and people who cared. So look at your life closely and think creatively in terms of how you could make the most of the time and resources available to you. Since you are an intelligent person, I am confident you will come up with great hacks to beat the system. Some ideas that have worked for me in the past are:

  • Making notes on small cards which I would carry in my bag and read whenever I was standing in a queue or had short bursts of time
  • Keeping doubts ready in a notebook so that no matter which subject teacher came in to substitute, I could make the most of it
  • Practising things in my mind such that I could revise
  • Sometimes letting my mind be clear of all the previously read material. A clean slate allows the mind to rest a little and make it fresh for the next chunk of information that you learn.

CBSE vs ISC

Q I am a Class X student of an ICSE school. Everyone is advising me that after my board exams, I should opt to study in a CBSE school as I plan to take up science. Why is CBSE considered a better option for science students? Is ISC not good enough?

Name withheld

One of the main reasons science students prefer CBSE schools for classes XI and XII is that several of the competitive exams are based on the CBSE syllabus. Additionally, CBSE actually conducts these entrance examinations, giving rise to the myth that CBSE has a better science curriculum. The curriculum of the ISC board is in-depth and can be a good training ground for the entrance exams. Ideally, a student interested in cracking the entrance exams for engineering or medicine would need to train and excel beyond the syllabi of both CBSE and ISC. More than the board, focus on institutions that offer good teaching and laboratory facilities. Acing the entrance exams is a result of extensive preparation, problem-solving and a calm mind.



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