Saturday, March 15, 2008

It's All About Planning Ahead

I'm sneaking out some time between the rocking back and forth and memorising and the anxiety driven eating binges to bring you this post on the Board Exams. Straight from the horse's mouth, as it were. While the horse (metaphor for the Boards) is slowly chewing me up like unpalatable dried up oats.
So between mouthfuls, I am going to dish out some Board advice.
There are really only two ways to ace the Boards for sure. You can go for either Plan A or Plan B.

PLAN A. The Cut Me And I’ll Bleed Plan

Before the Boards:
As soon as possible: Practice writing in beautiful cursive, with (i) flourishes (ii) curly underlines and (iii) bold, italic, underline, shadow and other effects in Microsoft Word. Time yourself to do it very fast. Everyone knows the prettiness of the paper is the most important thing.

A year ago: Start calling up the Board hotlines. And the newspaper and radio people. Also Star Ananda, who will broadcast anything. Tell them and anyone else who will listen that Board stress is killing you. Be very graphic. Get a blog, and write lots of ddmp, or deep dark morbid poetry, sending everyone the link. (If you can’t get morbid enough, get it off the Sunday Statesman). Make sure you’re well known as the nutcase who’ll jump off a building if the exams go badly.

A month ago: Study only seemingly irrelevant things like chapter headings and the exact phrasing of formulae and theorems. Practice writing only and precisely 60 word and 100 word answers; don’t bother about content. The Board allots the most marks for things like that.

During the Exam:
Wherever you find a suitable question, insert a line about how exam stress is killing today’s children, and how a recent study has proved that they’re losing hair at an alarming rate. Then tear out a clump of yours and strew it about on the page. Fold it in carefully.

Don’t forget to get your name in somewhere. It’s illegal, but by that time every examiner will know your name, if you’ve gone public properly, and no one will want to risk the aforementioned jumping-off-a-building stunt. (Look at how the gaaonwalo meekly relented to Dharmendra in Sholay.)

Try not to think of the shambles you’ve made of your life in the past year. Oh, and buy huge dark shades and a cap with a low brim for when you go out.

OR, you could try plan B.

PLAN B: The KickAss–est Plan Ever

As soon as possible: Go to the gym. Learn karate or tae-kwon-do, if you’re frail. Or learn to handle a knife like the Italians. Watch mafia and kidnapping movies and learn up the threats. You’ll need these skills more than brains or (yawn) perseverance.

A year ago: Start research about the Board paper distributing system. Find out the pattern of the fictitious roll numbers, and where your set will go. If possible, infiltrate a family member, not too close to be traced back to you, into the CBSE hierarchy.

A month ago: Pester your teacher until she tells you your exam center. Threaten her if necessary. Every night, bribe the guards and sneak in there. Calculate your seat very precisely (or some more bribing, later, might work to get the seat you want). Buy one of those newfangled Ultraviolet pens from Fancy Market or wherever, and write down all the formulae and facts and dates and other slippery things on the desk. It’ll be quite invisible.

Two weeks ago: Grab hold of the nearest engineering student, and make them give up all their cheat codes and tricks. (I’m telling you, these guys are the goods.) Also threaten the best student in class until she agrees to be your cheat partner.

Use the UV light provided on the back of the pen to look up anything you’re stuck on from your desk. Be generous-share with the person sitting beside you. (Or she might sneak to the invigilator.)
Keep your little knife handy. Whatever she might have promised, the class topper might not want to help at the last minute.
Fill your paper with religious symbols. It can’t hurt, and a superstitious examiner might totally fall for it. Alternatively, draw omens next to each page mark.

This is the most important part-since you’ve found out where your paper’s going, and have hopefully got an inside contact, and can handle knives like Ramon Zarate and threaten like Batman, I don’t think I need to tell you what to do. Anyway, it would probably make me an accessory after the fact. Whatever that's supposed to mean.

(Oh, and there is another way, which is to study hard throughout the year, but success is as yet unproven, usually very rare, and it’s all very unpredictable. I don’t really know how it’s done so I shouldn't comment, but even if I did, I wouldn’t recommend it at all.)


Doubletake, Doublethink. said...

OR you could get through the boards somehow (i mean, how hard is it to get a 33 out of 100?) and go to art school. we don't need no education.

ze post is too much the brilliant.

another brick in the wall said...

i second the suggestion by doubletake.. art school's a good option... ppl like me should've known better than taking up stupid degrees which are of no use whatsoever now! :S.. but someone really has to do away with this over-rated grading and "marking" system.. man.. it really lowers confidence of ppl like me who then, yes yes, resort to buying shades, growing beards and wearing caps so no one recognizes when we are forced to get outta our houses!

i shall try to get this post of urs published in all the newspapers of the country.. i think it does carry an important message.. anasua for president then? what say ppl?

heh? ok said...

my route used to be study for two hours before the exam and then who cares. and it worked spectacularly well. so much so that the one year i actually studied, my marks hit bedrock level.

don't let anyone tell you that hard work pays.

new age scheherazade said...

@pinka: as if a good art school isn't hard to get into. besides, you could never be a 'starving' artist, now could you?

@ abw: I think it funny and strange that you chose me for the de jure post, the one without any real powers.

@heh: mine too. the night before the exams works just fine. and if it doesn't once, there's no dearth of exams, is there?

another brick in the wall said...

ok ok.. anasua for PM then? :s

Charlemagne said...

that sounds quite stressful. I'm glad I don't have to take them, they make the AP's look like a joke!

speedpost said...

hehe. i see where this going. you, you MIT stalker. chhi chhi. ei shob hochhe na?

Aditi said...

You crack me up :)

So which one are you doing? ISC or CBSE?

Plan B is the bestest ever.

@Chris: the APs are very relaxing comapred to these. I've done them =P

new age scheherazade said...

@abw: PM is fine. and you can be cultural minister if you like.

@ king o' the franks: they are very stressful. they make a trip to the dentist's look like a joke.

@speedpost: i don't know what you're talking about :) aar thanks for the hair idea.

@aditi: I do? I'm cracking at the seams though(CBSE). And i agree, Plan Bs are usually better. they just are.

Anonymous said...

you dont happen to be ameya shroff do you?

Fishy! said...

Nice to see you're blogging again!
Great post- made me laugh for quite a while.. :)

ad libber said...

60 words and 100 words? Definitely CBSE. All this board talk just serves to make me extremely nostalgic.
And is it just me or does Plan A sounds really amazing somehow. More "in-character" with CBSE examinees.

the soliloquist said...

Both the plans are brilliant. Just reminds me to be thankful all over again that I've finished with ze stupid board exams.

And to quote doubletake,doublethink
'Ze post is too much the brilliant.'

Absolutely wonderful.

new age scheherazade said...

@anonymous: while that could conceivably be one of my many aliases, I don't think so. sounds too much like jackie shroff.

@fishy: It did? I'm glad someone's happy while i'm being chewed alive. :)

@adlibber: I is the most fitting plan for us self-pity afflicted examinees. sigh.

@soliloquist: thankee kindly, I'm sure. and i'm blogrolling you, so don't say i didn't give you fair warning. :)

Rajarshi said...

Now that the boards are over you'll be able to just look back on this post and laugh! Not yet though, results aren't out yet...

Blogbharti said...

Pingback from Blogbharti:[...]The New Age Scheharazade has a whole set of sizzling ideas (and a very well-thought Plan B as well) for board exams[...]

Sudipta Chatterjee said...

Came here from Tessanoth's blog, and found a real treasure! Also, I liked your style of linking to other blogs: thats innovative! :)

Am linking to this post from Blogbharti

new age scheherazade said...

@rajarshi: I'm already laughing. Boards are over today. who cares about results? you can always blame the unknown examiners who probably didn't follow the marking scheme :)

@ sudipta: thanks! But if i'm treasure, i'm the Hope Diamond. Unlucky. and you can tell from the blogroll that I get excited even about basic HTML.

lavanya said...

congrats on getting into princeton
from a fellow tenth-august-born-princeton-admitted girl from gurgaon

lavanya said...

Oh yeah, and I deify Feynman too! Too much of a coincidence isn't it? :D

new age scheherazade said...

@ lavanya: thanks! congrats to you too, though I was born on the eleventh (who cares anyway, time is relative and all that).
and yes, Feynman I drool over. though deify is more respectful :)
and i am so glad he went to princeton too. nice connection it gives us, no?

ad libber said...

ok, unrealted to this post and thanks for blogrolling me and everything, but does the picture beside my name have anything to do with Economics (the horror, the horror)

adam brown said...

Hello I just entered before I have to leave to the airport, it's been very nice to meet you, if you want here is the site I told you about where I type some stuff and make good money (I work from home): here it is

Shruthi said...

Haha... I wish they published this in a newspaper. I should like to think that the examiners would have a field day.

*just ignore me. I am high on sugar*

The Z-Particle said...

Cool blog, Anasua. Am going to check it out in more detail soon! But I LOVE the layout.

And there's also a Plan C, which I plan to write about some day. Keep watching my blog...

And oh! I will tag you before tonight!

new age scheherazade said...

@adlibber: (shamefacedly) I'm sorry, I should have known you'd hate it, being an economist. :) But tell me what to change it to and I'll do it!

@ shruthi: oh god. you reminded me that MY board papers are still with the examiners. but there is a very, very tiny chance than one of those will read this, so I won't worry.

@sneaky spam bot: I HOPE YOUR PLANE CRASHES.

@z-particle: I wait in fear, quaking. And there are so many plans. I'd love to hear yours. But it would be for the HS, right? you'd need a REALLY good plan.

Shruthi said...

Haha :D I dont fear anything :D :D But after a particularly nasty experience with the tenth standard board exams, I tend to get a little, hmm, say nervous :)

But nevertheless :D I linked your blog btw :)

Aditi said...

I'm adding your blog to my blogroll
and congrats on Princeton!

Sahana said...

I love this post.. and I'm guessing I'll be referring to this in about a year when I give my boards.

Pongy Papaya said...

and hope it all went off well!

the hoverer said...

Congratulations and sorry for raining, but till the boards life rocks after that it only gets worse, best of luck, btw damn cool post and blog

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Arnasa said...

you really should start blogging again!