How to Write Your Board Exam Paper (TIPS) | Helpline for ICSE Students (Class 10) @icsehelpline

How to Write Your Board Exam Papers (TIPS)


Hey everyone! You may recall me promising that I would be posting tips on how to write your answers well for your ICSE Class 10 Board Exams. Anyway, here they are:

Tips on How to Present Your Paper in the ICSE Class 10 Board Exams:

1. Keep your answers left justified. Don’t leave an inch of space next to the the left margin and then begin writing your answers. (*You are however, supposed to leave a margin, just not additional space even after the margin.)

2. Write in points as much as you can, except in English papers. Don’t write a whole paragraph explaining something that either does not need explaining or has not even been asked.

3. Read the question very carefully. Re-read the question. Ask yourself what the question is asking. If you know the answer, then write it. If you’re confused, try your best to make sense of what the question may be asking. If you can’t, then use your brains and make a smart guess.

4. Don’t leave any question. Don’t skip any question. Don’t leave the space blank. Answer each question. Examiners are always looking for technical terms or points where they may be able to give you marks. They aren’t always there to eat your heads off! Even if you don’t know the correct answer, make a guess. There is no negative marking, so you have nothing to lose.

5. Check your answer sheet. Check it twice. If you have the time, check it thrice. While checking, don’t look at your answers. Instead, try to answer the questions again in your mind. Tally your answer script answers with those you just thought of, and see whether they are the same or not. If not, make up your mind as to which one is the correct answer.

6. Don’t rush. You will have plenty of time to finish the paper. Don’t be in such a hurry that you overlook any sub-question or forget to write a step. You will lose marks, and we don’t want that! Be calm and focused.

7. Don’t panic. You can’t always know everything (though, that’s not at all impossible). You may find that there is a question whose answer you don’t know. At times like those, don’t panic or be afraid. Think wisely, and remain calm.

8. Use a black ball pen if you can. They are the best. They don’t leak, and they rarely leave an impression on the back of the paper. The black ink will be more pleasing to the examiner’s eye. We want the examiner to be in a good mood while checking our paper. 😉

Update as on Feb 13, 2019*: But ultimately, the Council gives you the choice to write your answers with either a fountain pen or a ballpoint pen. However, the information on the answer book has to be filled in with BLUE/BLACK ballpoint pen ONLY. See the notice where it specifies the same.

9. Make sure your words are properly spaced out. Don’t squeeze in ten words in the same line! Your paper should look neat and clean, and to ensure that, your sentences shouldn’t be all bunched together.

10. Leave space, e.g. at least 2 to 3 lines, before and after each question or sub-question. This is a precautionary measure so that if, later on, you feel you want to add something to your answer, you can easily do so without making a mess of your answer script.

11. Number your questions correctly! Number them only and exactly as per the numbering system given on the question paper. Don’t write Q1(a) instead of Q1(i). Also remember to write the question number in the left hand margin. 

12. Before you number your questions correctly, you must first remember to actually number them! The examiner won’t check your answer if the question number hasn’t been mentioned. Or, if the incorrect question number is written, you will most likely lose marks.

*13. Always draw a margin on the right and left side of the paper for each examination.

14. While drawing diagrams, you must always use a pencil! Label your diagrams even if you have not been asked to (but make sure that you are absolutely sure of the labels!). There’s no harm in staying on the safe side. Label the diagrams clearly and with legible handwriting. If your handwriting isn’t that good, you may want to label your diagrams in uppercase letters. (*P.S. The Council says that it will take handwriting and spelling into account, so be careful!)

15. Always write your full name, unique identification number, index number, and if possible, date, on any supplementary sheets and continuation booklets that you will have to attach to your answer script. For example, including maps, graph papers, etc. You may also want to write the question number of the map/graph, etc.

Update as on Feb 16, 2019: 16. Always show your rough work no matter how insignificant you may think it is. Also remember to show the rough work for a question on the same page as the rest of the answer for that question. (According to our interpretation of the CISCE’s notice to candidates for the ICSE 2019 board exams, the margins are supposed to be kept blank.)

 

Students always keep forgetting the above tips and this is just to remind you once again of what has to be done. There are many more tips to come, so keep visiting! 🙂

If you have any confusion regarding any of the above, do leave a comment below, and we will do our best to help.

 

Update 02/03/14: Please visit Tip of the Day #8 for more tips.

 

Note: You are forbidden to reproduce any part of this work without our prior permission. For more information, please contact us or go through our copyright policy. 

 

Also see other posts to help you prepare for the ICSE 2019 Board Exams:

Pre-examination Checklist!

Last One Month Revision Tips for the ICSE Board Exams

ICSE English I: Last-minute Tips before Board Exams

 

 

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272 thoughts on “How to Write Your Board Exam Papers (TIPS)

    • ICSE Helper says:

      Hi there,

      I’ve been occupied a bit for the past few days and may have taken a day or two to provide feedback to those who had sent their essay(s). However, I’ll do my best to reply by tomorrow to all emails if you have sent your essay for feedback.

      Hope that answers your question! Let me know if there’s anything else with which I can help. All the best, and keep visiting!

      Like

    • ICSE Helper says:

      Hi Vaishnavi,

      Thanks for stopping by!

      According to the instructions given by the CISCE in its official notice for the ICSE 2019 board exams, the link to which we have given in our post above, they have specified that answers should be written in either a fountain pen or a ball-point pen. I would, thus, recommend that you adhere to those instructions. However, you can always approach your teacher for further advice.

      All the best!

      Like

    • ICSE Helper says:

      Hi Srishti,

      Thanks for stopping by!

      I’m not sure about the rules regarding the same, so personally, I wouldn’t recommend it. It’s okay to use a normal pen and then cross out a word with a simple line across its middle if you feel that you made a mistake. As long as your presentation remains neat and clean without unnecessary scribbles, it shouldn’t be a problem. All the same, you may consult your teachers before making a decision.

      Hope this helps. If you have further questions, do let me know. Keep visiting, and all the best!

      Like

  1. srishti anand says:

    i have just enterd my class 10th …………………..i want a help for my composition and letter in hindi and english

    Like

    • ICSE Helper says:

      Hi Srishti,

      Thanks for stopping by the blog!

      We already have notes and/or tips available for Hindi and English. You may access those by clicking on the Subject Name under the Blog sub-menu under the main Menu Bar. Alternatively, you may search for them through the Search bar.

      Hope this helps! If you require further assistance, do specify so that we can help you. Thank you, and keep visiting!

      Like

  2. Koustav says:

    Sir , if I have not written any thing on my extra booklet and have not tied it with original .will my copy will be cancelled

    Like

    • ICSE Helper says:

      Hi Koustav,

      We really don’t know, but we have sent out a tweet regarding the same. For now, please don’t worry about it, and focus on the next exam. Further, do take away a lesson from this, and only take an extra booklet if you really require it and when you are on the last page of your original answer sheet.

      All the same, don’t worry, and all the best for the rest of your exams. 🙂

      Like

  3. echeck says:

    I had this doubt in english ,while studying a poem, for a particular line there may more than two or more different meanings, how do i know which is the right one and which of them should i present it in my exams??

    Like

    • ICSE Helper says:

      Hi there,

      If both interpretations are correct, then you may write both by saying that they have alternative meanings and can be understood in more than one way. A poem is open for interpretation by its reader. Therefore, no poem is read the same way. However, do take the advice of your teachers, and also use your own discretion before taking any decision.

      Hope this helps! Thank you, and all the best for the exam. 🙂

      Like

    • ICSE Helper says:

      Hi there,

      No, it shouldn’t. Please read the above comments regarding the choice of pens. We have discussed it with readers on multiple occasions, and it seems that some teachers recommend gel pens while other recommend ball pens. So, we guess that either should be fine.

      Hope this helps. Thank you, and all the best for your exams! 🙂

      Like

  4. Nikhil Biju says:

    Please let me know whether I could write additional answers for my ICSE X examination? Often I find time after completing the required number of questions. Is it likely to help me if I write one or two additional answers?

    Like

      • ICSE Helper says:

        Hi Koustav,

        Hope you are keeping yourself updated with the tips we are sending out on our Twitter handle @icsehelpline101.
        Here’s one in reply to your query: http://bit.ly/2sX1S4p

        Hope this helps! Forget the papers you have already written, don’t worry about having forgotten to write your unique id, but learn from this and make sure to remain vigilant in the upcoming exams! All the best, and do stay connected! 🙂

        Like

    • ICSE Helper says:

      Hi there,

      We usually wrote around 2.5 pages, but this is a subjective thing. Do consult your teachers. An essay should ideally have a beginning, middle, and end – approximately 5 paragraphs in total. Further, each paragraph should introduce a new point but should carry forward the link from the previous paragraph.

      Hope this helps! Search for more posts of English I under the Categories tab in our side menu for further help. All the best!

      Like

    • ICSE Helper says:

      Hi Chakri,

      Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to leave behind your positive feedback. We appreciate it, and hope to see you here often! Also let us know in case you have any suggestions for improvement. Thank you. 🙂

      Like

  5. Srushti says:

    Hi. I always lose marks in the poetry section so can you give me some pointers for that?
    Also,I find the literature paper really long so I struggle to finish on time without skipping out on like a million points in the last question…. So I need help for that too

    Like

    • ICSE Helper says:

      Hi Srushti,

      Thank you for stopping by, and apologies for the delayed response. We usually take at least one week to answer, given our own academic priorities.

      For the poetry section, we would suggest that you pick up on certain verses that are important, i.e. play a key part in relating the message/essence of the poem. Ask your teacher, or go through the poetry workbooks to get an idea regarding the same.

      Another thing you could do is to mention the various symbolisms used in the poem and how the same can be used to answer the question asked.

      Further, focus on the themes of the poem, as well. These are usually mentioned in the workbooks (if not, ask your teacher for help). Underline the key vocabulary words used in the workbooks, and try to incorporate these words in your answers to make them more precise and relevant.

      With respect to finishing the paper in time, make sure that you time yourself. Spread out the total time among the questions and dedicate an equal amount to each question. Keep a check on the length of the answers, too. Be concise but as exhaustive as possible. Stick to answering the question asked. Stay on topic. Don’t keep writing, and plan ahead regarding what points you will certainly incorporate. Leave some space so that you can come back and add more points in the end if required.

      Hope this helps. If you have further questions, don’t hesitate to ask. Do keep visiting, and all the very best for your pre-board exams. Remember, they aren’t the final, do don’t stress them. Focus on what is pending, and do your best with regard to what you have done. 🙂

      Like

  6. Shreyash says:

    Hey can you please tell me if it is necessary to write the section name (i.e Section 1,Section 2)in biology icse board examination and if yes how many marks shall be deducted for not writing the Section name

    Like

    • ICSE Helper says:

      Hi Shreyash,

      Yes, you do have to mention the section number or letter, as given in the question paper, in your answer sheet for all subjects’ exams. However, we are not aware about the number of marks that may be deducted if you fail to do so. We shall ask teachers of ICSE and update you if we receive an answer!

      Hope this helped! If you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. Keep visiting! 🙂

      Like

    • ICSE Helper says:

      Hi there,

      As far as we know, examiners want your handwriting to be legible, whether or not you write in cursive or in print. So, yes, cursive is absolutely fine as long as you are able to write neatly and legibly.

      Hope this helped! If you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. Thanks for stopping by, and keep visiting. 🙂

      Like

    • ICSE Helper says:

      Hi there!

      We made your question open to teachers of ICSE and here’s what they have to say:

      The bottom line from their responses and from what our teachers recommended during our tenth grade is that gel pens make handwriting more legible, whereas ballpoints are preferred as they are said to be waterproof. The color depends on you.

      Hope this helps! If you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. Thanks for visiting! Stay connected. 🙂

      Like

    • ICSE Helper says:

      Hi Smit,

      Do you mean to say if you can strike out an answer and then rewrite it, or do you mean striking out words while writing an essay, etc.? As far as I know, it’s ok to strike out words with a single line through the middle, but don’t try to scribble out or darken the entire word. If you have to strike out a word, keep it neat. Also, don’t use white-out.

      Hope this helps. If you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. Thanks for stopping by, and keep visiting!

      Like

    • ICSE Helper says:

      Hi Snehil,

      Thanks for visiting the blog. 🙂

      It is always advisable to mention the scale on any graph. However, we shall look into the present syllabus and let you know soon, as we are not currently aware of any such changes having been made.

      Like

    • ICSE Helper says:

      Hi Dhiren,

      Please specify what kind of problems you are facing. In which subjects are you scoring less? You may also talk to your teachers and ask them where you can improve.

      Like

    • ICSE Helper says:

      Hi Moulik,

      We would hope not. Hopefully, the topic is discernible from the letter that you have written and the examiners won’t be so cruel as to cut marks for the same. All the same, take care in future papers, and do not worry of what has already happened.

      Good luck for the rest of your exams! You’ll do great. 🙂

      Like

      • ICSE Helper says:

        Hi Suhaib,

        Use that type of pen with which you are comfortable writing. Gel/Ball is a debatable topic, as you might have noticed from the comments section. You should probably take your seniors’, teachers’, and/or peers’ advice.

        Hope this helps. All the best, and do keep visiting!

        Like

  7. Aditi says:

    Sir, I have drawn a margin on both left hand and right hand side of the answer script. I have written the correct question numbers in the left hand margin drawn by me adjacent to the given left hand margin in the answer script. I am a little worried whether this will be applicable or not. Kindly guide me.

    Like

    • ICSE Helper says:

      Hi there,

      In our opinion, this should not matter in the least. So, we’d suggest that you not worry about the same. 🙂

      Thanks for visiting, and good luck for the rest of your exams. 🙂

      Like

  8. Lola says:

    Hey Helpline,
    This certainly is a very helpful site for many ICSE students as you can see, since ICSE isn’t exactly the easiest of curriculums. I would really like thank you for such helpful content, has helped me improve greatly.

    One suggestion or request I’d like to make – can you please upload more notes for Geography, Biology etc. These subjects don’t have much notes, only four to five chapters are provided. If this is possible it will be of tremendous help!

    Thank you ICSE Helpline.

    Liked by 2 people

    • ICSE Helper says:

      Hi there,

      Thank you for the kind words and positive feedback. We truly appreciate it! We shall look into the same for the coming batch, as we are now, dependent on our readers for contribution of notes and it is difficult to get access to notes on short notice. Thank you for the suggestions. Keep visiting, and good luck for your exams! 🙂

      Like

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