Is your child going to appear for her ISC examination next year? Share this article with her for exclusive tips and insights from an ISC rank holder on how to get good marks in the finals.
By Leena Ghosh and Monali Bordoloi
Simran Avinash Somalinga, a national rank holder from Chennai, believes in taking life in her stride and giving it her best shot. The head girl of her school and a successful jazz dancer, Simran wants to excel in her academic and non-academic pursuits.
Interested in a pursuing a career in biotechnology, Simran’s mantra in life is to stay focussed and work hard.
In an exclusive interview with ParentCircle, Simran talks about how she prepared for her ISC exam and why she didn’t let the fear of examination take over her mind.
1. Having faced class 10 (ICSE) exams, how did you plan on preparing (ISC) for class 12 exams?
I didn’t plan. I just wanted to make sure that I stayed focussed till the end. It’s important not to study too much in the beginning as you may tire yourself out in the end. I maintained a steady routine throughout the year.
2. Were you stressed about the exam?
I did not face too much pressure. I knew that I had to give it my best and be satisfied with my efforts. I studied for longer hours as the examination date drew closer. Apart from that, I was prepared. So, I wasn’t particularly worried about the examinations.
3. What was the advice your parents and teachers gave you, that helped with your exam preparation?
My parents are very supportive, but they didn’t interfere with how much I studied or when I studied. Their advice to me was do my best. So, there was no pressure from their side. My teachers were also supportive and advised me to keep working hard and to maintain a regular study routine.
4. How many hours of study do you recommend while preparing for the ISC examinations?
I don’t think there should be any fixed hours. How much one needs to study differs from student to student. Every student would take a different amount of time as per his needs and convenience.
5. Social media is often a distraction for students. How did you regulate your social media use while preparing for the exams?
It's true that social media is a distraction for children when they study. But, if you're able to use it judiciously, you won’t face a problem. There's no need to completely stop using social media apps. I used to be on the social media while I was preparing for the exam, but I learnt to limit the time I spent on it. That helped.
6. What was your mantra to overcome exam-related stress?
My mantra was to stay calm and study hard. It’s something I have always done. I just aimed at giving it my best shot.
7. What did you do to wind down?
In between studies, I used to watch a bit of TV or pick up a book to read. Throughout the year, I used to go for my dance classes. So, that served as a break from studies as well.
8. You were the school head girl and an accomplished student. Were there high expectations from you?
Yes, there were expectations, as my grades were pretty good. Also, my sister performed well academically. So, I was expected to follow suit. My teachers expected good results from me. However, I didn’t think too much about it. So, I did not feel burdened with expectations.
9. What was your strategy while approaching the question paper?
There was no strategy as such. I prepared for each subject well in advance, so there was no fear involved. We were given 10 minutes to go through the question paper. I went through all the questions and then started with the answers I was sure of. I attempted tricky questions later as I had to think harder.
10. What were you doing when the results were declared?
I was at home with my family. My sister, who is studying abroad currently, was also at home and we were all talking. She was the first one to see the results. We were all very happy.
11. What are your plans for the future?
I am planning to opt for Bioengineering as I want to get into the field of Biotechnology.
12. Any reason for choosing this stream?
I believe the future of science belongs to Biotechnology. It is a fusion between medicine and technology. I always wanted to do something associated with healthcare, but I didn’t want to become a doctor. I want to help people and this field will give me the opportunity to do that.
13. Are you interested in pursuing dance as a profession?
Not as profession, but I am going to pursue it as a hobby. It is always good to have an interest you can turn to, outside work. I have been dancing since childhood, and I want to continue that. I would like to learn and perform more in the future as well.
14. When you look back at the year gone by, how would describe it?
I had a good year at school. I had good friends and got good marks. I was the head girl of my school. The fact that I concluded my school life in a good way, with all these great memories and the good times I spent, makes it a rewarding experience.
15. Tips for students appearing for the ISC exam next year?
It’s very important to not get bogged down by expectations. Focus on your studies and you can get better results. If you allow worries to take over your thoughts , it will affect your studies. Just stay focussed and give it your best shot.
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