The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) 10th board exam has undergone a pattern change owing to the disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. While still following the study material published by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), the board changed the way the students are tested.

The exam will be held twice a year, consisting of half the syllabus in each installment. The first Term of the NCERT exam will be held in November and will be objective type, with multiple-choice questions. The second Term exam will be subjective and will be held in March/April. 

How can you best adapt and prepare for the new pattern?

The best way is to understand the subject matter well. If you are comfortable with a topic, you can tackle both objective and subjective type questions with ease. Further, you can perform better than others on questions that test how well you can apply your knowledge to new scenarios.

Be familiar with the syllabus and exam format:

Firstly, visit the CBSE website to find out your syllabus, curriculum, and test pattern; print it out (or write it down) and look at it often. Understand how the marks are allotted to various questions, such as the objective type, MCQs, and essay type.

It helps you allocate your efforts accordingly. Gather sample question papers and try to solve them initially without any preparation. Your gaps in learning will become apparent. 

For instance, while studying History, you may have spent time memorizing the particulars of an event – such as dates and the people involved. But in the test, the questions may concentrate on the implications of that event on the future. Thus, by familiarizing yourself with the syllabus and test format, you can judiciously allot your time and efforts.   

Plan your studies:

Secondly, break down the syllabus into manageable parts, so you cover the entire curriculum well within time. Make a backward map going from the date of the exam to today, so you can decide how many hours to dedicate to each sub-topic. Leave sufficient room for revision and solving sample papers.

You can use online study apps to help you identify the “high frequency” topics. Spend more time revising them.

Study like a pro:

Students who consistently take the NCERT exam, swear by active studying, which goes beyond reading the material and absently noting down points. They actively test their understanding after every couple of pages.

They make up their own questions from the topics and answer all the relevant questions at the end of the chapter. They rephrase what they have read and explained it to someone else (or their pets). 

Additionally, during class hours, they are active learners. They prepare for the class by brushing over the topics to be covered. They jot down points to commit the topic to their memory, and they ask pertinent doubts.

Although doing so has been a challenge in virtual classrooms, you can use technology to your advantage. If the class videos are available, replay them if you want to revise or when you have doubts. 


Do you know why advertisements are repeated so often on communication media? Humans start forgetting a piece of information within 72 hours of learning it. Thus, if consumers are not exposed to the same brand repeatedly, they may forget it altogether – which defeats the purpose of advertisement.

Similarly, if you don’t revisit a topic in 4 to 6 days, you won’t recall more than 30% of it. Make use of study tools like flashcards, mind-maps, and flowcharts to help you revise and save time. 

Time management:

If you know all the answers but cannot attempt all the questions due to a lack of time, it is your loss. Try to take timed tests to help you gauge how slow or fast you are. Practice repeatedly so you can minimize the time you take to attempt familiar questions. Use the time saved on the unfamiliar ones. 

In Summary

Spend at least 20 minutes a day to deliberately practice studying in the manner described above. Once it becomes a habit, you can ace any test.