Friday, June 27, 2008


On a hot humid night, the last Field Marshal of India, Sam Hormusji Framji Jamshedji Manekshaw, left quietly for his interview with his Maker, leaving behind a legacy of a true soldier and an honest human being.

The hero of the 1971 war, the Field Marshal was always a shining example of what a true soldier should be. Following is an article published in about the life and times of this great soldier. With reversed arms, and heads bowed in respect, we pray for the departed soul! Amen!!
Manekshaw was born on April 3, 1914 in Amritsar. He had his schooling at Nainital's Sherwood College. After completing his schooling, he should have gone to England to pursue higher studies; this was the promise made to him by his father but, fortunately for the Indian Army, Dr Manekshaw felt that this particular son was far too young to be on his own in a foreign country, even with his two elder brothers already studying there. So he was admitted to the Hindu Sabha College, Amritsar.

After a stint in Hindu College, he applied for and was accepted for entry into the first batch of the newly opened Indian Military Academy at Dehradun for training Indians for commissioned rank in the British Indian Army. He received his commission on 4th February 1934 and, after an attachment as was the practice then with a British Infantry Battalion, the 2nd Battalion the Royal Scots, he joined the 4th Battalion, 12 Frontier Force Regiment, commonly called the 54th Sikhs.

In 1937, at a social gathering in Lahore he met his future wife, Silloo Bode; they fell in love and were married on 22nd April 1939. Silloo is a graduate of Bombay's renowned Elphinstone College and also studied at the JJ School of Arts there. A voracious reader, a gifted painter and an extremely intelligent and interesting conversationalist, she has made an admirable wife and a wonderful mother. The outbreak of the Second World War saw the 4/12 Frontier Force Regiment in action in Burma with the famed 17 Infantry Division. Sam was separated from his family for over three years and this separation was the cause of a celebrated example he was later to give while answering questions put to him in his capacity as Chief of the Army Staff by the Pay Commission.

On 22nd February 1942, occurred the much-publicised event when Sam was wounded. The retreat through the Burma jungle ended abruptly for him on 22nd February 1942, when seven bullets from a Japanese machine gun whipped through his body. The young captain who had just led two companies in the courageous capture of a vital hill was awarded the Military Cross.

"We made an immediate recommendation," a senior officer explained, "because you can't award a dead man the Military Cross." His orderly Sher Singh evacuated him to the Regimental Aid Post where the regimental medical officer, Captain G M Diwan, treated him overruling his protestations that the doctor treat other patients first. Sam was evacuated to the hospital at Pegu where he was operated upon, and then evacuated further to Rangoon, from where he sailed for India in one of the last ships to leave that port before it fell to the Japanese. He still carries the scars of this wound and I am not quite sure whether it is that or regular exercise that keeps his stomach in -- to the envy of people much younger than he.

Promotions followed in rapid succession and 1959 saw Manekshaw as commandant of the Defence Services Staff College. There his frankness got him into trouble with the defence minister, V K Krishna Menon, and his protege of the time, the late Lieutenant General B M Kaul; a court of inquiry was ordered against him.

The court of inquiry that was convened with the late Lieutenant General Daulet Singh, then Western Army commander, as presiding officer, exonerated Sam, but before a no case could be announced, fate intervened in the shape of the Chinese hordes that swept over what was always considered the impregnable Himalayas.

On 4th December 1963, Manekshaw took over as Army commander in the west, the second rung from the top. One of his brigade commanders was H S Yadav, the man who had been the principal prosecution witness in the case cooked up against him in 1961. At a party in an officers mess in Kashmir one evening, talk veered round to Yadav, and the senior brass, knowing the background and not averse to making a few points with the army commander, started on what each planned to do to catch or embarrass Yadav.

The army commander heard this for some moments and then butted in ('before I got sick' as he told me later) with 'Look chaps, professionally, Kim Yadav is head and shoulders above most of you, so forget about trying to catch him out. He just lacks character and there is nothing anyone of you can do about that.'

The Indian Army, that proud, disciplined and distinguished force that had fought and triumphed in practically every battlefield of the world, was outmatched, outmaneuvered and outfought; its remnants streamed back dazed and humiliated leaving among the lush green mountains of the North Eastern Frontier Agency and the stark white to Ladakh its dead, its wounded and its pride.

The North Eastern Frontier Agency, now called Arunachal Pradesh, was where we suffered our worst defeat, and it was to 4 Corps that providence ironically decreed and Army Headquarters ordered Sam Manekshaw to succeed Lieutenant General B M Kaul, the man who had almost ruined his professional career. He took over 4 Corps on 28th November 1962 on promotion to lieutenant general, and the same day addressed a conference of what must surely have been a very shaken group of staff officers. He entered the room with his usual jaunty step, looked as if he were meeting each eye trained on him and said, ‘Gentleman, I have arrived! There will be no more withdrawals in 4 Corps, thank you;' and walked out. But the charisma that surrounds the man had preceded him and soldier and officer alike knew the 'chosen one' had arrived and henceforth all would be well. It was as if the dark and oppressive atmosphere had suddenly been lightened and Sam was the bearer of the light.

On 4th December 1963, Sam took over as army commander in the west, the second rung from the top. One of his brigade commanders was H S Yadav, the man who had been the principal prosecution witness in the case cooked up against him in 1961. At a party in an officers mess in Kashmir one evening, talk veered round to Yadav, and the senior brass, knowing the background and not averse to making a few points with the army commander, started on what each planned to do to catch or embarrass Yadav. The army commander heard this for some moments and then butted in ('before I got sick' as he told me later) with 'Look chaps, professionally, Kim Yadav is head and shoulders above most of you, so forget about trying to catch him out. He just lacks character and there is nothing anyone of you can do about that.'

At a meeting in Delhi a few months later, Chavan, then the defence minister, asked him his views on which army command Sam considered most important, challenging and threatened. Eastern, said Sam, as it had the Chinese in the North, East Pakistan in the South and on its flank insurgency rampant in Nagaland and the Mizo Hills and, if all that was not enough to fill the hands of the incumbent, the troubled state of West Bengal certainly would. Chavan thought over the answer for a few moments and then asked if Sam would like to accept the challenge of taking over that command. He accepted immediately.

Eastern Army had to keep one wary eye directed north on the Chinese; another eye had to be kept on erstwhile east Pakistan which lay in its gut, it had to fight insurgency in Nagaland which later spread to the Mizo Hills, and finally it had to watch over the politically volatile states of Assam and West Bengal. It was, therefore, no bed of roses, and the job of lower formations was not facilitated by the army commander's personally coming on the telephone every now and then and ‘grilling' staff officers and commanders with endless questions about detail.

I remember an occasion in Shillong where I once asked the senior staff officer why he was looking a bit off-colour. He told me he had just finished a telephone conversation with the army commander who had wanted answers to so many questions that, 'I am now in orbit.'

His mastery of detail was fantastic and, as I was to learn later, he could quote an answer given verbally or in writing months previously to correct someone who was saying something else. A battalion employed in the Mizo Hills, paying perhaps a little more attention to the welfare of its troops and, in the process, a little less than desirable to the operational side received a rude reminder that 'someone up there' was watching, very keenly, every move that was made. A parcel of bangles was delivered to the commanding officer with the compliments of the army commander with a cryptic note: 'If you are avoiding contact with the hostile give these to your men to wear.” Needless to say, the next few weeks saw a flurry of activity by this battalion resulting in another, more soothing message: 'send the bangles back.'

He was officiating as army chief in 1967 when the Chinese had their first clash with the Indian Army since 1962. This occurred at the 14000 foot high pass, Natu La, in Sikkim where the Chinese learnt to their cost that the Indian Army of 1967 was a different kettle of fish from that of 1962. He was summoned to a meeting of the Cabinet where, as he recalled later, everyone present at the meeting was vying with the others to present to the prime minister his grasp of the situation and offering one suggestion after another as to what should be done. After hearing most of the speakers, the prime minister enquired whether the officiating army chief, until then a silent spectator, had something to say. "I am afraid they are enacting Hamlet without the Prince," he said. "I will now tell you exactly what has happened, and how I intend to deal with the situation." He then proceeded to do so.

Bengal in those days was a very troubled state where anarchy was prevalent, and law and order was almost on the way out. Sam was traveling to Dum Dum airport, Calcutta, once when he found the road blocked for traffic by a huge crowd being harangued by one person. The outrider and the staff officer accompanying him both advised a detour, but this would have meant running away and would have been noticed by the locals. So he got out of his staff car instead, and started walking up to the speaker who, he discovered to his disquiet as he approached, was a 'huge fellow, well over six feet tall.' Anyway, hiding his mounting uneasiness, he put his hand out and announced, 'I am Sam Manekshaw.' This unsettled the other person somewhat as he had probably anticipated an argument. He too, put his hand out and mumbled his name. He was then asked to clear the road, as otherwise 'I shall miss my plane.' The speaker, by now completely confused, hastened to obey, and the last glimpse the army commander had of his latest acquaintance was of that worthy helping to clear the road.

By then Sam Manekshaw had become one of the most popular and well-known officers in the Indian Army. Stories of the many admirable qualities he possessed and did not hesitate to display were legion. Always an unconventional dresser, he once met Lieutenant General Kulwant Singh, at that time commanding Western Army and an awe-inspiring man, in a jacket that could best he described as a cross between a regulation shirt and bush shirt. When the army commander pointed this out he was asked: "Have you come to see my formation or my dress?" While he could stand up to his superiors, he always stood by his subordinates. Service with him, it was rumoured, was certain to bring rewards in its wake. But, helpful as he was, he never consciously helped a subordinate at the cost of someone else. In other words, 'No throat was cut.'

I once asked him if he was aware of the jealousy his so-called favourites aroused among others. He replied he was aware of this but as his 'favourites' were all competent officers he defied anyone to point a finger at them as far as their professional competence was concerned. On another occasion I asked him why he could not 'see through' the slick types who fawned and flattered him, and why he acceded to their requests. 'Oh, I see through them all right,' he replied. 'I detest them, but I make use of them.'

He was human and approachable to a fault. Once, so a story goes, while he was a corps commander, a junior officer on his staff asked for some leave, and the request was turned down by the officer's immediate superior. The officer then tried the indirect approach and made his problem known to the corps commander who called the man's immediate superior the next day and said, 'Look, I have had a letter from this youngster's father asking that the boy be sent on a spot of leave as there is some family problem to sort out. I am sure we can spare the bugger for a few days, let him go, we won't miss him.' The officer got his leave; no feathers were ruffled and everyone was happy, which brings us to his next great quality, the ability to run a very happy and contented team. His professional qualities ensured that the team was also a competent one. He was believed to finish his own work in an hour and spend the remainder of the time walking from one office to another, sitting down with the harried junior staff and helping them sort out the problems they were working on.

They said he never raised his voice, but even a mild reproving look from him with a 'Sweetheart, this won't do,' was enough to shake the stoutest heart. Sharply critical, but always constructively so, there was nothing his eye ever missed or his fantastically retentive memory ever forgot. He forgave easily, being basically a kind man While he was Chief of the Army Staff, at an 'at Home' he attended in Rashtrapati Bhavan, as the guests came out into the Mughal Gardens he found himself walking beside Mr V K Krishna Menon, of whom mention has been made earlier. Polite to a fault, he wished Mr Menon the time of day and also enquired how the latter was progressing health-wise. He then turned to Mrs Manekshaw, who was also walking in line, and asked her: "Darling, you remember, Mr Menon?"

Mrs Manekshaw, not quite as forgiving as her spouse, at least on this occasion, replied brusquely: 'No, I don't.'

Excerpted from Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw, Soldiering with Dignity, by Lieutenant General Depinder Singh, Natraj Publishers, Rs 450, with the publisher's permission

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Sunday, June 22, 2008


How to Care for Your Eyes

Learn some simple but enormously beneficial hints to help relax your eyes when studying or concentrating.


Sunlight is the best for your eyes. When there is not enough sunlight, use comfortably bright electric light.


When we concentrate, we tend to hold our breath or we stop breathing for a short period. This creates tensions in our eyes and our bodies. When you study or concentrate, make sure that your breathing is relaxed, deep, and rhythmic.


We naturally close and open our eyes and it is called "blinking". We tend to stop blinking when we concentrate. So make sure that you blink when you concentrate. Also occasionally, look away and blink a few times to relax your eyes.

Study Skills: How to improve your concentration

Causes of lack of concentration

  • Don't daydream! Keep your mind on what you are doing.
  • Remember to have a 10-minute hourly break, this will help you concentrate. The best way to do it is to stand up and face away from your books, don't sit at your desk staring at your book- the physical act of standing up will help your thinking back to the job.

One of the main causes of missing of what you are reading is a lack of concentration. When your attention wanders words slip by and leave you with little memory of what you have read. You may go through the motions of reading and studying, sometimes for hours at a time but end up with poor results.

  • Not being prepared to read and study
  • A lack of interest in the material
  • The material is too difficult
  • A lack of motivation
  • A lack of suitable goal
  • Too much noise or activity around you
  • Emotional problems
  • Being tired
  • Having to much to do

A major cause of not concentrating is not being interested in the work.

If you are studying something you really want to, your attention generally will remain keen.

However, when you are reading something that you consider dull or boring, you will usually find it difficult.

This is probably because you didn't prepare yourself properly to work on the task.

If your lack of concentration is due to being tired or not being motivated, you may have to postpone the work until a more suitable time.

Certainly a wise use of available time to read and study is one of the best remedies.

Fear of failure is another reason for poor concentration.

Often the thought of failing an exam or assignment starts to take more time than the actual study and this in turn adds to your worry.

Improve your power of concentration

1. Select a place you like to study and where there are few distractions

2. Plan your study time so that you will have enough time to finish your work.

3. Make sure that you have all the materials and resources you need to finish the assignment.

4. Develop a positive mental attitude to the task ahead. Think about finishing your work and try to do well.

5. Remember your purpose for studying and make this your goal. Question yourself about what you are studying and then read actively for the answers.

6. Work in short sessions of forty to fifty minutes and take regular breaks to avoid getting tired.

7. Make notes and summaries of the main points you are studying and refer to them to check your progress

8. Break your work into smaller units of study and mark each unit off as you complete it.

Sunday, June 8, 2008


Time Management

Successful time management does not mean doing all the things you would like to do. It means that you decide which tasks you will do and which you will postpone for the next day. It means that you will not forget any important work.

Here is a technique for time management that . It is simple and it works.

One American businessman once paid $ 25,000 for this same technique.

Make a list of all the things you want to do in the next few days. The tasks you must do today, mark them "A". Those tasks you do not have to finish today, but you would like to, mark them "B". Mark the remaining tasks as "C". Then consider all the tasks marked "A", and mark them as "A1", "A2", etc. "A1" means that you will do it first. "A2" means that you will do it after doing the "A1" task.

Everyday start doing "A" tasks starting with A1. If all "A" tasks are done, or if you are waiting for some "A" task to complete and you do not have any more "A" tasks, then start doing "B" tasks.

At the end of the day, copy the incomplete tasks to a new paper. You can add any new tasks. Then you again begin marking them as "A1", "A2", ..., "B1",..., "C1", etc.

Use this technique for two weeks. If you can use it patiently for two weeks, I believe you will use this for rest of your life.

How To Study

These Study Tips are for any student who would like to stick to a good study regime. You don't have to be the TOP Brain to do that---anybody can do it by following these simple rules and tips. Its your call !!!


  • Make a homework/study timetable. Work on the important or urgent task first. Give equal time to your least liked subject. Leave until last the things you enjoy most and things that are least urgent. Highlight all the important task to be done.
  • Vary your study. Spending too much time on one task will give you less time for something else which might be just as important.
  • Use your study diary. Keep it handy all the time. It's a valuable tool to keep you organise yourself.

Organise your study timetables so that the most important stuff is given TOP attention time!! (e.g. PRIORITY - Top >>>Medium >>>Low)


Create an individual subject files at home. This could be a 2 ring binder. Preferably use one at each subject.

Place the subject name clearly on the outside. When you get home from school each day transfer all the notes and handouts you recieved that day into each of your subject folder.

Before filing, read through, make notes and organise what it is you need to study from them.

  • Your subject file can be further divided into topics. This will make it easier to locate a particular topic when you need to study it later on.


  • Carefuly check your timetable, make sure you have allowed a reasonable time for what you want to achieve. e.g. "Complete Math exercises 3 and 4 or start writing a draft for English essay." You need to clearly identify exactly what you have to do.
  • Set yourself realistic targets. When you get them done, you will feel good about yourself. Each small achievement helps to build up your confidence.

Congratulate yourself each time you reach your target.


Identify exactly what it is you need to learn in some subjects. You might have to memorise a poem or a speech. In other subject you might have to write an extended response. So in order not to waste time, IDENTIFY the kind of learning or task that you need to do and work accordingly.


  • By using the notes from your subject or topic files, read and make notes - write comments, make brief summaries.
  • Practice the writing of key ideas and facts from memory, you will learn better by doing this.
  • Highlight important information, it makes it easy to relocate. It also allows you to create an outline of the material as you are reading. (Use highlighter that are not too bright, they have a tendency to be distracting)
  • Write notes as neatly and as legibly as possible. If you compose neat notes, or at least legible ones, you can save valuable time by not having to rewrite them.

Note taking is probably one of the foremost components to being successful in acquiring productive study skills.


Understanding in the classroom involves listening to instructions, being attentive, involving yourself in discussions and asking questions.

Take an active role in your learning. This will improve your understanding of the subject and will help you recall too.

  • Summarise things in your own words. When you are summarising, it should be short and to the point, capture key elements. Use diagrams, drawings, and flowcharts.
  • When you don't understand something, don't be shy or afraid to ask your teacher for help.


It is normal for your brain to forget things, but this doesn't mean your not smart.

You should revise work very soon after you have learned it, once or every two or three study sessions, simply review older materials that you still need to remember.

Doing this regularly will save you having to re-study a topic in detail. Make sure your homework/study timetable includes plenty of revision time. The summaries and class notes you have made can be a great help in revision.

One simple trick to remember older information is to SIMPLY REVIEW
(DISCLAIMER : The components of this article are NOT my original workmanship. I have simply assimilated and edited them for the benefit of the student community. I do not have any claim on its authorship. But these tips DO WORK!)

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Study Smart

Study Smart


Getting up from the study table again and again when you are studying not only wastes time, it also ruins your concentration. So when you sit down to study, make sure you have all the notes, books and study material for that subject on your desk. Also make sure you have pencils, pens, markers and any other thing that you may require, so you don't have to get up in the middle of your study.

Try and avoid facing a window when you study. You'll get easily distracted by all the activity outside. If you must face a door, keep it shut, so you won't be disturbed by all the goings and comings.

Make sure you have enough light when you study. Not only is poor light bad for the eyes, it also messes up your concentration by making it difficult to read clearly.

If you have a phone in your room or where you study, keep it off the hook or turn the ringer down when you are studying. Don't take any calls at all, without exception. The conversation may be short, but the time it takes to get back into what you were studying is much more.

If you have queries that you need to clarify with friends, don't call them each time you have a problem. Keep noting them down as you go along, and then, when you stop for a break or for a change of subject, call and clarify all the doubts together.

When you're taking a break, take it. Don't think about exams or studies-give your mind a complete break. You'll come back to your books far more refreshed. The mind works with maximum concentration for an hour or so at a time, so you need to give yourself a break after each hour or hour-and-a-half. Don't sit through 4-5 hours at a stretch because you will retain only half of what you study.


You've probably heard this more often than you care to, but make a study chart where you plan what subjects you're going to study when. Stick to it like glue. That way, you won't be able to avoid subjects you find boring.

Carry notes that you need to mug or go through with you while you travel somewhere or wait, maybe at the doctor's. You can maximise the time available to study this way.

Don't fight your natural body rhythm to study when your pals are studying or when you think you should be studying. So, if you're a morning person, don't torture yourself or waste time trying to stay up late. Sleep as early as possible and wake up early. If you're a night bird, do the opposite - freak on food

Eat light when you're studying, but make sure you eat. Heavy food will make you feel drowsy or lazy, and no food will reduce your energy levels so much that you'll get easily exhausted. Eat small, light meals of high-protein food.

Staying up late? That means an overdose of coffee, coke or tea. Give the caffeine a break and keep a flaskful of nimbu paani or tetrapacks of your favourite juice at hand. Won't mess up your sleep either!

Stock up on roasted munchies and snacks instead of deep fried foods like chips. Also, make chaat out of boiled chana or potatoes instead of eating high-cal food that will expand your backside.

revision tips

If you have 5-6 chapters to study but not enough time to study all of them, relax. Don't spend all your time doing detailed study of one chapter. First read through all of them like you read a story. Then go through each chapter at least 3-4 times, without attempting to cram anything. That way, even if you don't get time for detailed study, you'll retain at least some information, rather than be stuck with 5 chapters you know nothing about.

You remember the colours of the rainbow because of words like VIBGYOR. Use the same principle to remind yourself of other words. Like FREECC to remember the fundamental rights - Freedom, Religion, Expression, Exploitation, Cultural and Constitutional. The options are endless and the method - simple!

If you have a cassette recorder a home, record the points you need to remember subject wise on a tape. That way, you can listen to them while doing other stuff like cleaning your cupboard, brushing your teeth, or even simply when your eyes are tired of reading stuff.

There's nothing like people who have better memory than others, there are simply people who've trained their memory better. The trick lies in observation. Make a conscious effort to notice things about you. Glance at what a stranger on the road is wearing, and then try to remember every detail. Or, look at the items displayed in a shop window and later try to recall them. The more you try these elementary observation methods, the sharper your memory will become.

Keep subjects where you need to do more problem-solving for times when you know you are likely to be disturbed or when you're going to have guests. It's much easier to do Physics equations or Math problems in the midst of noise than trying to mug up formulae.

revision tips

Take short breaks. After every hour or hour-and-a-half of study, get up, walk around, drink something-point is, break the monotony. You will feel fresher.

If you start to feel sleepy in the middle of your study time, don't even try to fight it-it won't work. Catnap for 15-20 minutes.

Mental exhaustion is as overwhelming as physical exhaustion. So, whether or not you think you're tired, make sure you get at least eight hours of sleep a night.

Make it a point to get fresh air. When you take a break, don't sit in front of the idiot box or read a mag-it will stress your already tired eyes even more. Instead, go out for a bit-to a terrace, balcony or for a walk. The fresh air will do your eyes and mind a lot of good.

Vary your study pattern so that your mind doesn't get bored. After one text subject, spend some time on a practical one. Alternate reading with practice (Math or numericals) and a language with a science subject.

Mock test-papers can teach you the correct style of answering. Time yourself and take the paper as you would a real one. Check against solved papers to see if your style of answering matches the solutions given. Alter your style where you find it doesn't work.

note making tips

Develop a shorthand language, and use it when you take notes. Also, skip words like 'and', 'the', 'of' and so on.

Take down notes in point form, and elaborate on them later. This will also help you figure out how well you've understood the topic.

Write notes on loose-leaf sheets and punch them into a file. You can add details and diagrams in between if you need to.

If you lend notes to friends, always photocopy them for yourself, in case they lose them.

Don't use other people's notes for study. Always make your own. They may have their own short-forms and language that could confuse you. Also, they could have missed something important while making notes.

Use your friends' notes to compare whether you've left anything out!

Make sure you have membership of libraries where good books in your subjects are available. This is especially useful for competitive exams where extra reading is important.

Check with at least five people about how readable your writing is. You'll be surprised at how unreadable it may be, and you could end up saving the examiner a huge headache and yourself some marks!

tips for the examination hall

If you're not sure about dates and specific facts, don't write them. Better vague than wrong.

Don't spend ages fretting over questions you don't know. Instead, concentrate on the ones you do know and make sure you do them well. Avoid changing the order in which you answer the questions-examiners expect answers in that order.

If you don't have enough time to give a detailed answer to a question, write down at least the main points of the answer. Similarly, do a math question to the stage you know how. Even if you don't get the correct answer, you'll get some marks for the methodology used.

stress busters in the hall

As soon as you get the paper, concentrate on what you do know instead of what you don't. Leave the stuff you don't know for later. That will make you feel more confident about the tough stuff when you finally do come to it.

You've probably heard all these panic-popping techniques before-they work! So when panic attacks, do any or all of these. Drink some water, stare out of a window if there is one. Shut your eyes and clear your mind of all thoughts for a few minutes, then think of your whole life and how this exam will be just one of the many you've taken-and done well in!

If you come across a couple of questions you don't know, don't start doing a post-mortem of your whole career. Treat the question or exam as just one small thing you don't know. Don't let your mind wander to what will happen later and so on.

If you are habitually, panic-stricken, learn some deep breathing techniques. When you start to panic, stop writing and practice the techniques. For those few minutes, empty your mind of every other thought.

If you have a serious problem with panic attacks, you might want to tell your invigilator about it before you start taking the exam. You'll save valuable time during the paper if you do need help.

tips while you write the paper

Check with the invigilator or on the question paper whether you can answer the paper in any order or whether you need to follow the order of the questions. Follow these instructions blindly. If necessary, leave space for answers and go ahead to the next question. Also, check the numbering of the question with the answer.

Check and cross-check as many times as necessary whether there is any word limit for the question. If there isn't, check how many marks are allocated for the question and write accordingly.

Always, always, always number the extra supplements you take. Papers have been known to tear/get separated from your main answer booklet. Also, write your roll number on every supplement.

Read the paper thoroughly to see whether there are any objective type questions that you need to answer on the paper itself.

Check with your teachers about the ideal answering pattern-whether you should leave a margin on the paper, use highlighters and markers, where diagrams would be useful and so on. These improve the readability of your answer paper and make the difference between average and great marks.

Don't know an answer? Leave it for later. You don't want a situation where you know an answer well, but don't have the time to complete it.

And finally be a good girl/boy……listen with utmost rapt attention to what Robbin Mitrra says…..coz he has been there many more times than he cares to remember …..Take care…..God Bless you all

Thursday, May 29, 2008



Getting along with your instructor is an effective study skill that is certain to help you get the best possible grade.

You're paying for the coaching and putting in the time. You have the right to get as much from the instructor as you can. Here is how to get the most from your instructor:

1. Important information and hints are usually given out on the first and last class, and during the first and last 10 minutes of each class. So be punctual, stay to the end, show up for every class.

2. Ask questions during class. There are no bad questions.

3. Pay attention, look and act like a professional. Nobody respects a clown or a pest.

Learning quickly is possible if you know the secrets.

What you achieve depends on your answer to 2 questions.

Have you asked yourself these two vital questions?

  1. Why am I taking this coaching?
  2. What is the greatest benefit I will get from this coaching?
    (other than marks)

Doing what you want, to get what you want, should be your main concern when choosing coaching or attending classes. Even compulsory subjects are easier to endure if you decide ahead of time to get something of use from them, and then go for it.

The answers to the two vital questions are your motivators. Strong motives make studying and achieving what you want easier. Hopefully you answered the two questions before starting for the coaching - but better late than never. Answering these two questions before each class will help you get the most out of your class sessions.

To get the most from each class, approach the class with a winning mindset. Know what you want to get from the class and make sure you get it - after all, you are the one who is putting in the time.

Prior to each class,

  • Take 10 minutes to check the course outline and briefly preview the pertinent sections of the textbook.
    This will make you more aware of terminology and concepts that are being introduced in class. Do not study at this point. Skim the introduction and summary, look at the section headings and subheadings, examine the drawings and pictures. Make notes of new words, new units of measure, statements of general laws, and other new concepts.
  • Decide what you want to get from the class you are about to attend. Writing this down in the form of questions to be answered is effective.

After the class

  • Review your notes to make sure you understand the main ideas and
    the solutions to the sample problems.
  • Read your text for clarification and understanding.
  • To check your understanding of the class, try practice problems

Here are powerful methods for improving your marks. Are you using all of them?


* Try to work through problems. Keep a list of the problems you had difficulty completing, and any questions that may have arisen when you were doing the assignment. Make a list of questions that may have arisen while you were in class or while doing your homework for school. By doing this you will know exactly what to ask your instructor.

* Try to sit with students who understand the class.

* Get to know your instructors. They will always be your best source of information for your classes.

* Be an active student in class. Ask questions; participate in class, etc. Many questions can be asked right there and then to the instructor.

* Read your syllabus. Understand what's expected of you in each class, make sure you write down and remember deadlines and other special dates.

* Form and maintain a study group.

Do Seek a tutor

* Before you run into difficulties.
* When you need help understanding the homework.
* When you need help understanding ideas.
* When you are falling behind.
* When you are feeling frustrated.
* When you feel like giving up.


* Don't wait until the day before or day of exam to get help. Help may not be available. Learning takes time, effort and planning. A tutor's help isn't enough to learn in one evening what should have taken a month of methodic work. Tutors will complement your work, provide you hints, suggestions etc. but will not replace good, honest, hard work.

Study skills that change note-taking into effective learning.

During class:
1. Divide your page into two columns.Use one for class notes; use the other for comments and questions.

After class:
1. As soon as possible, review your notes. Do not rewrite your notes.
Rather, summarize important ideas and relationships in the comments column. Also, add notes from your readings.
2. Write questions that come to mind and discuss these with your instructor or study group. Write the answer.

Here are some problems solving tips that will help you develop study skills and get higher marks.

1. Identify what principle the problem involves. Is the problem about projectile motion? Circular motion? Conserving energy? This will help you analyze the problem and make sense of the givens.

2. Get help immediately from your instructor with those problems where you do not understand what you did wrong.

3. Showing your work makes it easier to find mistakes and to prepare for exams.

4. Work on understanding concepts, rather than trying to memorize a recipe. Learn to apply principles to solve problems; there are too many kinds of problems to be able to memorize all the recipes. Trying to memorize
recipes makes it less likely you will be able to solve new problems.

5. Keep up with the tests, as they are due.

6. Staring at a blank page is a waste of time. If you get stuck, talk to your instructor or someone from your class.

7. Almost any problem you encounter in a physics course can be described with a drawing. Such a drawing often contains or suggests the solution to the problem. Put as much information as you can in the drawing.

8. Draw a second picture such as a free body diagram, a graph, a vector diagram. Include the coordinate system for the situation. This is particularly important for problems involving forces.( This one is for classes XI +)

9. Before doing any calculations, guesstimate what a reasonable final answer might be if you can. Check your solution against your guesstimate. This will
develop your intuitive understanding of the problems.

10. Calculate the solution by doing as much as possible without using specific numbers. Often quantities will cancel out. Do as much of the algebra as you can before substituting values from the question.

11. Ask yourself how you could do the question more quickly on an exam.

12. Practice makes perfect. Do as many problems as you can and monitor your progress with practice problems.

Here are some tips for preparing for tests and exams.

Start early - at least a week before the exam or test. Check with your instructor to make sure he or she is available during this critical time. Allocate time for the following tasks.

1. Complete questions of previous years exams that have not yet been completed.

2. Before attempting problem solving, firm up any conceptual areas in which you feel weak. Review your readings in those areas and answer the following about your reading:
a. What is the main idea in your own words.
b. List and define important terms.
c. Explain clearly the concept in your own words.
d. Draw a figurative representation of the main idea.
e. If you still don't understand something, list questions that you need answered and discuss them with your instructor.

3. For each unit, summarize your notes into a well organized annotated outline. (Simply reading notes is ineffective.) Write main ideas, definitions, and equations. For the equations define the units, meaning of each variable, and describe the conditions under which the equation applies and conditions under which the equation does not apply. Do not take the time to write all the possible rearrangements of the equation -you'll burn out. Using your scope of syllabus as a guideline is a good idea. Talking through the main ideas and comparing notes within your study group (or some weak student whom you can teach) is a good way to ensure you have captured all the main concepts and summarized them correctly.

4. For each unit redo example problems. Actually put pen to paper to write out the complete solution – just reading is ineffective. Start with problems that gave you difficulty on assignments or tests, then sample problems given to you by the instructor or in previous year papers. If you have more time, do as many problems as you can.

5. Write answers to previous years question papers (reading alone is ineffective). Writing old exams enables you to get accustomed to the board’s style, and tests your preparation. Be aware that one exam rarely covers the
entire course. The exam you will write is not likely to be the same as the previous exams. List the questions you don't know how to do and discuss them with your instructor.

Simple tips for writing tests or exams:

1. Know how the Board marks questions. Ask ahead of time whether part marks are given for work shown. If the Board expects you to explain how you got your answer, show all relevant diagrams and derivations. If you are running out of time, show the steps first then go back and fill in the numbers and do calculations later if there is time.

2. During a test, scan the questions then answer the ones you know best first.

3. Always do your rough work by drawing a line in the lower part or the right portion of your answer sheet. If the rough work spills on the main body of the paper, it gives a negative impression.

4. Read the question paper thoroughly at least twice before commencing writing. Most of the students guess what is asked in the question and end up writing wrong answers.

5. If you have enough time after you have solved all the questions, go in for the optional questions, which you have left out. The evaluators are obliged to check the whole paper and then add up the marks, which are the highest.

6. Do not cheat. It is better to fail with pride than pass with looking up another person’s sheet. The regret will come later, I assure you.

Iron Rusts From Disuse,

Stagnant Water Loses its Purity and

In Cold Weather Becomes Frozen;

Even So Does Inaction Sap the Vigors of the Mind.
George Allen