Ten on ten

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Ten has always stood as the perfect figure in all aspects of positive reception and is the one figure which is always almost revered in every instance perhaps except for one which infuses a strong concoction of fear among students of fifteen years. Being used to the freedom of doing what pleases them till Grade Nine, they may know not of what lies ahead in store for them; they might have been used to all the joyous galore of schooling till then.

But come April or May for the outgoing Grade Nine students, tutorial classes start to prepare them even before school starts in the next month or two and that is where the thin layer of very faint fear starts to creep in over them. There is expectancy from every side possible: the family, relatives—whether near or very far, it just so seems that all of them claim interest only that year—neighbors and well, even people whatnot: those strangers with whom the students might have never gotten to spend more than five minutes’ worth of acquaintance in everyday life. The crux is that whether all of them try to provide a sense of encouragement or not, they sure do increase the students’ fear in large fractions.

Yes, I’m talking about none other than the much acclaimed Secondary School Leaving Certificate, heard more often as: S.S.L.C. The first few months roll out in a pleasing manner, with the teachers being patient and encouraging. Until the Board approved Mid Term Examinations, that is. When the teacher says, ‘Don’t postpone today’s work for tomorrow,’ I have seen many students who make fun of the statement saying, ‘Okay then, teacher. We’ll just postpone it to the day after tomorrow’ and laugh it off; it’s a supposedly cool thing to ridicule the teacher among students. All the students commit one highly dangerous error: they take the Grade Ten studies to be granted. Well, that notion is entirely wrong and has been proved to be the downfall of many bright students. Revising every particular day’s study is very crucial in pooling up one’s level of knowledge.

True: when in Grade Ten, the concerned textbooks are the students’ Biblical texts and depending only on notes or study guides might leave the student completely broke. Many have the habit of mugging up whatever there is in the text book and yet again, this is wrong. What is the use of studying when you know that your heart is not set in it? Imagination is not that which is limited within the four walls of a classroom: it is the freedom to explore. Try inventing fun and innovative methods for study while sticking to a modest timetable and that should do you enough good.

Paying attention in both the tutorial institution and the school is very important. Failing to do so in either of the places will only result in an unhealthy report card. And while choosing a coaching institute, the students must please try to go to those places which are considerably nearby to their residences. This is because long hours of travel result in nothing but exhaustion and the student on reaching the residence will only feel like hitting the bed right away. Just because the student knows a renowned coaching center does NOT mean that the student has to head over there no matter what.

People think that when they step in Grade Ten, the other immediate step is to join a coaching institute—whether reputed or not. But that is not the case. One can do extremely well without those extra classes, provided they work equally hard at home. However, education should not be compromised in any direction in most of the cases.

While all the preparation is going on for the constant stream of tests and exams, the one main point all students should NOT forget is to have fun. Time and time again, it must be remembered that this is their last school year! This is what they call ‘the last dance’ wherein every performer is an equally entertaining soloist. A combination of healthy adequate fun with some serious studying is all what it takes to be a true winner for the year.

Now that I am past facing the true battle of Grade Ten and have been a part of this larger-than-life instance of my last school year, after being subjected to and while getting used to all the gripping fear, tension, probable negative vibes, I thought it fitting to write something for all those students who will take their places in the ‘Tenth Grade Thrones’ the coming academic year.

Dear friends and parents: please, do not fret. After all, at the end of another year, the S.S.L.C examination is just another test which you’re going to face at the end of the block. Have you all not had the past fourteen years to hone the sense of an examination? Our alumni of last year <BATCH: 2009-2010> said: “Don’t study hard. Instead, study smart.”

To cut a long story short, it is just another ‘ekjaam’ you’re going to face at the end of your school year. I wish you all the very best.

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