Tips and Tricks for better grades in Class 12 English

Working for a education company, Zigya, I am often asked on advice for students who are in that final stage of school, where they are planning to launch themselves into the big bad world. The advice is most certainly on getting better grades since everyone knows that English is a deterministic subject for getting better grades in the boards, which could act as the differentiator between getting admission into a good college and a not-so-good one. Whenever I am faced with a question like this, I step back and think. I think since I’m aware that each person’s score is dependent on a lot of factors – starting from the amount s/he studies to their surroundings and their family background. However, over the period of years, I have arrived at the following 10 tips that may help students in ameliorating their scores. So whether you are a student in the middle school or in the senior school, these tips would be applicable to you. These tips are universal.

1. Be particular on attendance – This might be an obvious one, but with increasing competitiveness and co-curricular activities, sometimes students are required to miss out on the academics. Now, since people attach more importance to a science class or a economics class and would obviously not be willing to forego their PE class, guess which subject faces the axe? Yes, you’re right. It is English. But if you desire good grades, there are reasons why you should make it a point to attend all your English classes:
Assimilate more – Even if your teacher reads from the textbooks, sitting in the classroom and listening to the lectures/discussions will help you assimilate the various nuances within a story.

Participation – When you’re in a class, you automatically are a part of any discussion that may originate in the classroom. Each discussion in the class is important since it would, under all practical circumstances be related to the field of study. These class discussions not only broaden your outlook but also polish your public speaking skills.

Sit in the front — Since the teacher is mostly positioned at the head end of the class, a closer proximity by sitting in the front is always beneficial.

2. Align with style of teaching – Every teacher has a different personality and system for teaching his/her subjects, so it would be a good idea to learn as early as possible the teaching style of your English teacher and align with that. Some of the ways to identify the areas where alignment may be required,

Understand the syllabus – Go through the syllabus of the English for Class 12. You may like to grab hold of CBSE class 12 English study material during the first few weeks of beginning your class. This will explain to you the horizontal spread of the syllabus so that you don’t ‘take it as it comes’.

Understand teacher’s mannerisms – Rather than viewing your English teacher as some figurehead at the forefront of the class, who decides your fate during the examinations in some abstract way, get to know your teacher as a person.

Communicate with your teacher – Visit him or her during office hours, or stay after class. Read ahead so you can collate your doubts and get them clarified. Remember, a teacher is a human being and will be happy if s/he sees you taking interest in the subject that s/he teaches.

3. Get Organized – Class 12 is a high-pressure zone. Not only are you (or should be) conscious about your scores, you will never cease to be reminded of the ‘crucial’ stage of life that you’re in in any of your family gatherings or people who may be visiting you. With your regular subjects, a series of class tests, mock tests and pre-boards, not to mention projects and extra curricular activities that you need to do, it is quite easy to get overwhelmed with due dates, team meetings, and other demands on your time. Here are some tips for getting organized:

Use a planner – Electronic or traditional is a personal choice. But having this is mandatory in today’s world. Use it to jot down the dates, set reminders etc and never slip on a due date.

Filing your work – Keep all your work in a organized fashion that facilitates retrieval when you need it. Although teenagers are not best known for this, but this practice saves a lot of man-hours and frustration at losing work. You’ll need these for studying for your test and the board exams. It is important therefore that you file loose papers in neatly labeled files, keep box files, cupboards, drawers with your stuff neatly labeled.

4. Optimal time utilization – It is imperative to manage your time well. In this era of technology proliferation, students have a harrowing time in switching between different platforms and applications. Sometimes, they are so deeply ensconced in the virtual world that managing time becomes a challenge. As a result, the academics suffer. Some tips for using time wisely:
Deal with the toughest – When you attempt the toughest task first, you are sure to have enough time to complete it, so it will not be stressful.

Take regular breaks – After you complete a major task, incentivize yourself by taking a break. Use your free time for chatting, watching TV or playing a game. After your break, you’d be mentally more refreshed to tackle the next bit of work.

Break it Down – Always break down a hard task into easy-to-accomplish smaller parts. If you are supposed to work on a project that is very tasking, deal with smaller portions at a time. If you’re doing it jointly with others, assign deadlines to each part.

Know when to say No – Avenues to expend energy in the school are numerous and before you know it, you’d be asked to participate in all sorts of activities. If you start accepting all the offers, very soon oyull realize that you’re getting overwhelmed. So, learn when to decline. Saying no sometimes is a very difficult thing to do, but necessary.

5. Take Notes – Class notes is a precious commodity at the time of the examinations, when time is at a premium. The notes that you take in class during the year are very helpful when you are browsing through the content before the exams. Learn to highlight the important tips as the teacher keeps mentioning them in the class.
Listen – When the class is in session, do not do activity that may potentially distract you. Listen attentively and actively, and ask for clarification when you need it.

Quality of notes – Write in such a way that you’re able to decipher it at a later date. A structured manner of writing is very helpful when you’re reading it before the exams.
Following the above guidelines would help you study in a manner that your grades improve significantly. Every student should learn and master English in Class 12. And if you master the subject, good grades are inevitable.