Tip of the Day #10

Happy Gandhi Jayanti, everyone! We are back with our “Tip of the Day” post.


Tip of the Day: Use the fifteen minutes that you get at the beginning before you start to attempt the paper to go through the paper, analyze it, and choose which questions you will attempt.

We have all heard our teachers say this numerous times. But, how exactly do you decide which questions to attempt and which ones to leave?

Here’s a little something to guide you.

DO attempt:

1. Those questions to which you know the answer; you are 101% sure of the answer. (Don’t even spend that much time reading or answering these questions in your mind during those fifteen minutes. Once you are sure you know the answer, start reading  the next question.)

2.Those questions which carry less marks but regarding whose answers you are a bit doubtful vis-a-vis those questions which carry more marks but regarding whose answers you are a bit doubtful.

3. Those questions that can be written in points and for which each point will carry one mark. (Hence, even if you only recall 3 out of 4 points, you will be able to score more than attempting a 4 mark question wherein you are supposed to describe something or write in paragraphs and wherein if you misinterpret the question or start off wrong, then the entire answer may become incorrect. We want to avoid such situations.)


DO NOT attempt:

1. Those questions whose answers you do not know. (This one is a no-brainer.)

2. Those questions which confuse you, i.e. you cannot make out what the question is asking. 

3. Those questions which you feel can be interpreted in more than one way or which you think has more than one answer. (You can try writing both answers and see how well that goes down with the examiner, but then, the risk is all yours.)


Hope this quick post helps you make better decisions during those crucial fifteen minutes at the beginning of the paper.

Do you already use these tips? Or, do you have better ones? Let us know in the Comments section below. 🙂


Notice: Share your experiences with us!

Hi there, everyone!
Hope you all are doing good and are geared up for the new academic year! 😃

Remember me saying something about your experiences in tenth grade in a previous post?
Well, I think the time has come to actually come out and ask YOU to share YOUR STORIES with us.
I’m sure all our readers, especially current and future tenth grade students of ICSE, would love to hear more about how you endured tenth grade, what made it interesting, what lessons you learned, any tips you want to share, and of course, how your experiences were regarding not only the actual exam, but also the result and what happened when and if you sent it for revaluation.

And if you have more to share, we’d love to hear about it! 😃

Do take some time to send us brief recounts of your experiences living life as a tenth grade student of ICSE through our Share Your Story!” form.


Thank you and stay connected! Looking forward to hearing from you. 😊💛

English I: Last-minute Tips

On a reader’s request, here are some last minute (updated) tips to prepare for the grammar (and comprehension) portion of English I:

  • Go through a list of prepositions and prepositional phrases (you can find plenty of such lists on the internet, or in the textbooks prescribed here: https://icsehelpline101.wordpress.com/2013/03/22/textbook-textbook-which-to-choose/) and keep practicing these every night. They’ll help a lot while doing the “Fill in the blank” questions.
  • Practice grammar from previous years’ question papers (which you will find through this page: https://icsehelpline101.wordpress.com/2013/04/30/previous-years-icse-board-question-papers/) as this is your best source to brush up your grammar in the little time left before exams. Some questions related to changing the tense or speech are often repeated.
  • Practice vocabulary (go through the words whose meanings have been asked in the comprehension part of previous years’ papers) as these carry one-mark weightage and such a question is often asked
  • Practice précis writing (if you have enough time left) and make sure you read the question correctly. Is it asking for a summary of the entire passage? Or is it asking you to write what you think of a certain paragraph? Are you supposed to write in general or related to a specific aspect of the passage? Keep these things in mind.
  • Also, if you wish, you may make a rough table for précis writing on the following page and a fair one on the page you intend to write your final answer. This will make your table look neater.
  • Further, do make sure to number the rows and columns of the table for précis writing. I would suggest making a “20 rows x 5 columns” table so that your words are  evenly spaced out.
  • Go through a list of commonly misspelled English words (you can find plenty of such lists on the internet) to improve your writing
  • Go through a list of homophones, synonyms of commonly used words, etc. to help spice up your essays and enhance your vocabulary


Hope this helps! If you have suggestions, do let us know in the comments below. 🙂
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English I: Last-minute Tips by Helpline for ICSE Students (Class 10) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

CISCE Publications

Hello people!

You may have heard your friends or teachers talking about going through the Pupils’ Analysis or Specimen Question Papers issued by the CISCE. Well, in our opinion, it’s imperative that you go through both of these.

The Analysis of Pupil Performance published by the Council every year for ICSE as well as ISC gives the suggested/sample/model answers that examiners are looking for in a student’s answer sheet, regarding the past year’s exam paper. Here, teachers who have corrected last year’s answer sheets of students provide their inputs to help fellow teachers and students improve their performance. It shows how one should write his/her answers during the exam, the format, the relevant points to include, the diagrams which one should include, etc. Please do go through the analysis! It will give you a clear insight regarding where students make mistakes and how you can avoid them.

Further, the Specimen Question Papers are also helpful as they give an idea regarding the question paper pattern/format, style of questions asked, etc.

You will find both of these at the following link:


I was unaware of the Pupils’ Analysis during my tenth grade (ICSE), but it helped me much during my twelfth grade (ISC) and I highly recommend you check it out at least once. As I had scanned through the Specimen Papers before my exams when I was in tenth grade, I had felt that a couple questions were asked from the Specimen Paper during my Board exam, but I hadn’t tallied both papers (the actual and the specimen) to check for sure. So, don’t take these lightly! You’ll learn much by going through these two publications by the Council.


Also, spread the word about them to fellow classmates and friends who may not be aware of them! 🙂

Last One Month Preparation (TIPS)

Hi everybody!

Recently, a reader, Utkarsh, left a comment saying that he has completed his syllabus but still feels that he is “underprepared.” Keeping in mind the fact that there is still one month left before the exams begin, he was at a loss regarding what to do till then.


Here are some of the tips that we offered him, which we feel may be of help to all of you, as well:

  • Now that you have completed the entire syllabus, start going through past years’ question papers. We would recommend that you solve only papers of subjects such as Mathematics and for the rest, especially theory papers, merely going through the questions and then answering them in your mind will be enough.
  • If you feel that you require writing practice and if you need to improve your time management while writing exams, then we would recommend that you set a time limit and write past years’ question papers as if you were writing your actual final exam.


Here are some of the important topics we suggested that he (and you!) keep revising:

* grammar (especially in Hindi or other vernacular languages, if you have opted for the same)

* Math formulae

(if you haven’t made a list of your own, you may refer to them as given here: https://icsehelpline101.wordpress.com/2013/05/13/mathematics-important-formulae-and-points-to-note/)

* important equations in Chemistry
* important formulae in Physics
* names of authors/poets in English
* important diagrams in Biology
(you may refer to them here: https://icsehelpline101.wordpress.com/2014/04/28/biology-important-diagrams-from-all-chapters/)
* important dates in History and Civics
(you can find a list for the same here: https://icsehelpline101.wordpress.com/2014/03/05/history-important-dates-notes/)
* maps of India
(as given here: https://icsehelpline101.wordpress.com/2013/06/16/geography-solved-maps-of-india-diagrams/comment-page-1/#comment-2030)
* important questions in topography
(you will find various posts on the same if you search for “topography” in the Search bar on the right and bottom right of the blog page)
* important “Name the Following” questions in Geography
(for example, places where certain mineral ores are found: https://icsehelpline101.wordpress.com/2014/03/08/geography-minerals-of-india-notes/)

By going through the above intricacies in every subject, you will be able to brush up your preparation and make sure you haven’t left out anything. This is of course, keeping in mind that you have already prepared the overall concepts of each chapter.

Also, besides going through question papers, you can check out the Pupils’ Analysis PDFs given on the CISCE website, which offer suggested answers for the previous year’s exam papers.


Keep revising and don’t lose the momentum! Good luck to everyone who is going to give their exam this year. 🙂

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Last One Month Preparation (TIPS) by Helpline for ICSE Students (Class 10) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.