How to tackle english board examinations

In this article, I am going to tell you about how to plan your moves to tackle the English examination.

By now, I am sure many of you might’ve already devised a game plan of yours where you know which section to target first and the correct order to proceed. But just in case, you couldn’t allocate much time to the subject and are nervous on how to go about it in the examination, this article will bail you out.

As soon as you get the question paper, DON’T jump over it but calmly skim through the paper. Skimming means see what all is present. First, check the LITERATURE section and see what all questions you know and mark them up.

Then check the WRITING section, mark questions which you feel can be managed easily and proceed to the READING section. Now, skim through the articles given just like a newspaper. Don’t start writing answers but just read it.

Now you’ve an overview of the paper settled in your mind. Weigh between Reading section or Literature. If you fear, you’ll forget some points you mugged for literature, do it first otherwise if you ask me, I would prefer READING section as it’s the easiest of the lot and marks here are sure shot unless you go totally wrong with the article plus you do save alot of time here.

If you’ve started with READING section, read the questions related to the paragraph first. This will make your mind alert when a related sentence strikes up in the paragraph. Now go back to the paragraph and mark your answers.

Here’s a word of caution for you. Always write GRAMMATICALLY CORRECT SENTENCES as your answers. Never write one word or incomplete sentences lifted off from the paragraph given.

After this, you’ll probably need to write notes for another paragraph. For this, you may refer to our previously published posts like Note making – The CBSE Way, Quick help on Note making and speeches and Learn Note-making.

Using the same notes, make an 80-word summary. All you need to do here is to complete the sentences from the Notes you made taking care of grammar.

With this reading section is done. And if all goes well, this is usually over in 45 minutes time at the maximum.

Start with the WRITING section now. Never leave WRITING part for last as sometimes due to less time in hand, you may get tensed and start scribbling fast, this leads to a lot of errors and presentation becomes a problem leading to shabby looking answer scripts.

Carefully, go slow at a snail pace here making sure your presentation is top-notch. Don’t forget boxes wherever necessary with a pencil.

Even if you go slowly, this being less on content but more on formats, presentation, etc can easily be tackled in 40-45mins.

Lastly, attack the marked questions in literature. By now, if everything were well on track as above, you would be left with around 90 minutes of time for literature and revision. For revision 10 minutes is more than sufficient, so a total of 80 minutes for literature.

Make sure you highlight the keywords in each answer by underlining neatly with a pencil. Also, try not to strike shabbily, if there is a correction, simply put a single strike on the incorrect word.

The order I stated above might be unappealing to some students since Literature carries the highest marks and doing it in the last means leaving a lot to be missed for no reason. But, if you carefully see, In reading section, content that needs to be written isn’t much except for note making. This means you can be sure of completing it quickly.

Then, Writing section needs presentation and this also has very little content to be put on paper. So marks + time saved here again. Now when you have so much time left for literature, you can easily write answers without worrying about left-over bits here and there.

  • Medhavi NK


  • Megha

    hey..thanks a ton…!
    never saw it that way..i always did it the other way round…! thank you sooooo much….! 🙂 😀 now i feel that u r correct..!

    • Megha Gupta

      thnx a looooooot…! due to your technique..i’ve been able to complete my english exam on time…that too..for the first time…! so thanx a ton..once again…!
      hearty thnx..!

      • CBSE Guy

        Glad that you found the article to be of use to you. 🙂

  • Zahra

    Thanks for the insight 🙂
    Can anyone list out things that need to be enclosed in a box? 🙂

    • vrishti

      things that need to be enclosed in a box: notice,display ad, classifieds,poster,formal invitation.

  • CBSE Guy

    We appreciate your concern about the accuracy of that line and you’ll be amazed to know, we had the same notion while we appeared for our board examinations. 🙂

    During the brainstorming session for this article, we did all that mathematical jargon to approximate the average number of words one needs to write in each section and indeed to our surprise, in writing section we write almost half the number of words to that of the literature section!

    The reading section came close to the writing section and was the least when it came to the actual content to be written on the paper.

    • Praveen Kumar

      i never used to write the reading section first , i always go with the literature. but when i read the above article i thought of going with it…. will it create any trouble for me in the board exam?………

      • CBSE Guy

        This article is merely a suggestion or to say, a starting point to encourage having a strategy beforehand.

        If you are comfortable with starting your paper with literature section first, you should go with it. At the end of the day, no one knows your strengths and weaknesses more than you yourself. 🙂 So go ahead and do what your heart says and you’ll surely succeed in your endeavour 🙂

        • VISHNU ANAND

          sir, is there any common way to start an article? i mean how to write the starting line of an article. i can easily grasp the ideas but i get confused how to start. by thinking how to start itself makes me lose my time in the examination..

          • AISHWARYA


  • Vasant Navnit

    Yes. I do have my own game plan. And I’m making minor changes to it after reading this article. Informative and well crafted. Thanks. Hard to find an education portal with a neat interface and cleanly presented relevant information. Great site! Bookmarking it. 🙂


    hey???…..where is the grammar section??…..

    • CBSE Guy

      This post was made for core english and our apologies for not incorporating the grammar part. We’ll sure try to get that part included in our site as well 🙂

      Thanks 🙂


    dude chillax……show some respect to the people who are giving you advices…..

  • Abhishek

    Hey,dude I saw the format of Notice in Golden refresher.They didn’t put any box for a notice.Today was my English’s Exam.I too wrote it without putting up the boxes.Although the content was productive and catchy.Is it fine to write a Notice without the boxes..

  • Dont dare send me spam : )

    Does this apply for 10th grade boards?

    im writin them tomorrow…….

  • vaishali

    You haven’t stated about the grammar section. I have that too and the writing section has 6 questions which means a lottttttt to be put on paper.

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