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CBSE 10th girl toppers share strategies that went in preparing for the new exam pattern

A regular study schedule, thorough practice, consistency, and support from family and teachers led Apeejay School Nerul students accomplish exceptional results



It came as a surprise to students when the academic board council decided to alter the exam paper pattern for the CBSE Class 10 Board exams by including 30 percent objective and 70 percent subjective questions. The aim behind taking such a  move was to reduce the burden of writing lengthy papers. And a sudden change like this could throw many students off balance, but not Nandikaa Singh. This 16-year-old from Apeejay School, Nerul, cleared her 10th CBSE Board examination with 99.6% marks thereby topping her school. 

Change in the exam pattern

Upon being asked if the change in the exam paper pattern affected her performance, Nandikaa said, “There was slight ease in the syllabus distribution, so that helped. But this pattern increased the number of exams and hence, it made it a little difficult. In the MCQ format, Science and Mathematics were easy to crack but the Language subjects were easier in subjective format.” Nandikaa scored a perfect 100 in French, Mathematics as well as Social Studies, and 99 in both Science and English.   

Sharing her method of preparation that helped her ace the exam, she added, “Towards the end, I mostly focused on revising the topics, multiple times. Also, on the day of the exam, I revised the important points in the morning.”

Braving all odds

For Girisha S Gavand, one of the second-rank holders in the school, it wasn’t just the change in the exam pattern that she wonderfully handled. Displaying courage, she stood brave as her mother was going through treatment for cancer during the same time when Girisha was preparing for her board exams. “Even though my mother was undergoing cancer treatment, my parents didn’t let me realise the time wasn’t good for us. They were constantly encouraging me to give my best,” she shared.

Girisha secured a 99.2% while scoring 99 out of 100 in all subjects and a perfect 100 in Sanskrit in her CBSE exam. Sharing what kept her motivated throughout this phase, she said, “It was the zeal to perform and score extraordinary marks.”

On the D-Day

Another second-rank holder, Disha A Sakaria, who scored a perfect 100 in Mathematics, Science and Sanskrit narrated things she followed on a daily basis to beat the stress effectively on the final day of the exam. “I practiced yoga on a daily basis. Listening to music before exams helped me a lot to manage my anxiety. Following a regular study schedule for the year, revising concepts multiple times, and solving the previous years’ papers built confidence in me. Also,  preparing a daily goal and working towards completing it is the most fruitful way to study. These helped me to have a calm state of mind during exams.”

Disha, who aspires to pursue computer engineering from a reputed college and is already preparing for the same, also emphasised how taking small breaks in between prevents saturation of mind and helps in learning better.

Study Tips

Avani Pandit, another second-rank holder who scored 99.2% marks, stressed that it’s important to get into the habit of studying regularly. “It may take some time but having a flexible schedule helps. Don’t make unrealistic commitments. Once you get into the habit of studying you will automatically study whatever is required,” she added. 

She further said, “Start studying with a positive attitude. Build subject-wise strategies. For example, Math requires a lot of practice so do at least one hour of Math everyday at a fixed hour. Social Studies and Sanskrit might require you to read the chapters multiple times. Science calls for concept clarity. For English, you need to develop a better understanding of the text and improve your vocabulary. Identify your weak areas and work on them. You might also need to learn some things by-heart.” 

At the same time, Rashi R Singh, who scored 99.2%, said, “I prepared diagrams, flowcharts and pointers to learn difficult concepts.” 

“Our students have worked tirelessly to achieve this success and I am so proud of them. I congratulate all the students and their parents for such a remarkable achievement, despite the difficulties brought by the pandemic. I also credit all the teaching and non-teaching staff for putting in the hard work.”

Mr. Rakesh Joshi, Regional Director – Academics at Apeejay Education

Harshita is Assistant Editor at Apeejay newsroom. With experience in both the Media and Public Relations (PR) world, she has worked with Careers360, India Today and Value360 Communications. A learner by nature, she is a foodie, traveller and believes in having a healthy work-life balance.