Board VS Competitive Exams: How to strike the right Balance

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Board VS Competitive Exams: How to strike the right Balance

  1. Is it possible to prepare for Board and competitive Exam together or do I need to drop?
  2. How to strike right balance between board and competitive Exams?
  3. Should I join coaching or not?
  4. What is the difference/similarities between Board and CE preparation

The above are some of the questions which start ringing in the minds of students the moment they enter class IX but Before I answer above questions let me bust the biggest myth “Most of the parents and students think that CE are difficult, contrary to that we believe that Most of the questions in competitive examinations are not difficult but are different from that of the board. All they need is a different approach and a strategic mindset. Before we talk more about how to adopt a strategic approach and succeed in different competitive exams, it is very important to understand the similarities and differences between Board and Competitive Exams

Board Exams vs Competitive Exams

  1.  In board exams the focus is on understanding the concepts whereas in competitive exams the focus is on application of the concepts. The board exams test whether you know the fundamentals or not but competitive exams are designed to test whether you can apply these fundamentals to real life situations or not. In some cases you can get good marks by cramming in Board Exams but competitive exams require deep understanding of the concepts.
  2.  The question pattern in board exams is subjective whereas most of the competitive exams follow an objective type question pattern. Therefore, in board exams handwriting and presentation skills are given importance but in competitive exams the emphasis is not on your writing skills but understanding of the fundamentals and their application. (Subjective question are broad and easy to answer- objective questions are sharp and require to the point knowledge)
  3.  In board exams absolute marks are given importance (% scored) whereas in competitive exams relative marks are important (% doesn’t matter what matters is how many students have scored more than you). So in board exams your target is let us say to score 95% marks whereas in competitive exam your target is to get Rank in top 100 or 99.5 percentile score. In boards both 95% and 98% are good but in competitive exams just one mark can make a huge difference and can result in selection or rejection.
  4.  Board exams are designed to filter below average students from good whereas competitive exams are designed to filter excellent students from not only the average but also the good students. Only top 5-10 % students are selected in competitive exams.
  5. Board trains the raw mind whereas competition trains the ripe mind. So the former is easier than the latter.
  6.  Competitive Exams have an element of surprise whereas Board exams can be predicted to a large extent.
  • Competitive exams is a game of speed , you have to solve 180 questions in less than 180 minutes, most of the times students are not able to attempt the complete paper whereas many time in Boards many students complete the paper with 30 minutes to go.
  • Last but not the least school exams the competition is marginal and you just fight to outshine among the bunch of students of your class of 50–60 students whereas in any competitive exam you will have to compete with the entire nation or at least state. Word of caution: many school toppers approach competitive exams with the mindset that they are toppers and it is going to be cakewalk for them. Remember there are 20L Schools in India and so there are 20 L School toppers but there are only 10000 seats in Top Engineering and Medical colleges. So what makes competitive exams different is the cut-throat competition for the limited seats. So while preparing for competitive exams never overestimate your capability and underestimate others capability

To summarize however competitive exams require higher level of application but both board and competitive exam require strong foundation and knowledge of fundamentals. School helps in laying a strong foundation. Many times coaching institutes focus on problem solving and ignore the basic concepts, contrary to that the focus of schools in on basic concepts. Apart from that schools help in building your personality, team work and others skills like social, emotional and leadership which are equally important to succeed in 21st century. Joining coaching institutes or not in a personal decision- many times I have seen student’s performance going down after joining coaching institutes. (Distance, quality, synchro, past results, old friends similar to you)

So don’t ignore your school/Board exams, keep them as a base and take the help of additional books/coaching institutes depending upon your requirement.

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