Apart from knowledge and understanding of the subject, the way you present your answers in the answer sheet to the examiner also plays a vital role in scoring good marks in board exams. You may have definitely heard toppers talking about the role of paper presentation and how it helps to score well in boards. Presenting your answers in an appealing manner helps you score candy points in any examination. Although it won’t fetch you much extra marks, it helps prevent the extra loss of marks.

Paper presentation techniques and tips are very less often discussed and explained by the teachers, despite of it being a major part of every topper’s success. This blog will fully emphasize upon paper presentation techniques and how you can use them with your knowledge and understanding of the subject to score full marks.

The role of paper presentation

  • It makes your answers more appealing to the examiner, who consequently reads your answers with more interest.
  • It makes your answer sheet stand out from the crowd. Even if you write the same answer as others, the examiner will find your answer different in terms of presentation which will earn you candy points.
  • It makes the examiner’s task easier. Your answers become much obvious, to the point and comprehensive at the same time.
  • It depicts and conveys your level of understanding of the subject to the examiner. Your answers become much more organised than before.

Paper Presentation tips for board exams

  1. Legible Handwriting

Don’t run after ‘good’ handwriting. Handwriting does not play any role in your exams. Instead, make sure that your handwriting is legible, i.e., the examiner can read your answer sheet clearly without making much assumptions about what you have written. You are supposed to make your answer sheet neat and not beautiful. Do not try to show off your calligraphy skills on paper. Write in a clear, neat handwriting with sufficient gaps between the words and minimum cuts.

2. Use of bullet points

Unless it is a language paper, always use bullets points to write long answers in theory exams. The examiner neither has the time nor will to read long paragraphs to assess your answers. Make his task easier by writing in bullet points.

You may use bullets to write answers for the following type of questions:

  1. Give reasons.
  2. Describe the types/components/parts.
  3. Characteristics/features of something.
  4. Importance of the topic.

3. Highlight important keywords

Much often, certain keywords are powerful enough to answer the whole question. However, while writing they get mixed up with other words and the examiner may not pay much attention to them. Highlighting key words of the answer by underlining them grabs the attention of the examiner, who can now at a glance judge the quality of the answer and understanding of the candidate.

  • Avoid highlighting the whole sentence unless it is a really important and famous quote. Highlight certain words and phrases only.
  • Always highlight the facts, formulas and key-terms.

4. Draw columns for difference type questions

Always draw two columns using a pencil to differentiate between concepts or theories. Do not write two paragraphs on each. Drawing columns makes it easier to read and comprehend for the examiner. Refer to the following snap from the answer sheet of 2019 CBSE economics topper.

5. Use diagrams/flowcharts/graphs wherever possible

Make your sheet appealing and attractive. Use pictorial presentation wherever required. This helps the examiner to predict the content of your answer before even reading it. Thus, if you have drawn a good flowchart representing the components of Budget, you will get full marks even if you have not written the answer very well. This will provide you an edge over other students who use only words to explain. Don’t restrict yourself to that.

Use of a creative pictorial method by business studies topper 2019:

6. Leave enough space

Between words, answers, and on margins. Usually, the answer sheet provided by any board is already margined. If not, take 2-3 mins initially to draw straight margins on the both sides of every sheet. You can use the space beyond the margin on left hand side of the paper to write the question number.

Similarly, leave 2-3 lines after finishing every answer and before starting a new answer. You can also draw a horizontal line after finishing an answer to make it more visible. In case of long answers, start every answer on a fresh page. This makes your answer sheet clearer and organised.

7. Make a separate space for rough work

In subjects that require calculation, it is advisable that you mark the last sheet of the answer booklet as rough and use it for your calculations. Many students use the space beyond the right margin of the sheet to do rough calculations. This disturbs the neatness of the paper a little bit. However, no one is going to cut your marks for that purpose. You can go as per your comfort.

8. Refer to topper’s answer sheets

You can refer to and analyse the answer sheets of toppers to get more idea on paper presentation. CBSE releases the scanned answer sheet of toppers for all subjects every year which can be accessed on their website. We have provided you the tips, you can check the implementation by analysing answer sheets. No one is born a master. You cannot expect yourself to implement these techniques directly on the day of your board exam. Follow and practice these tips in your regular class tests, half yearly exams, pre-boards and while solving sample papers and notice the change for yourself.

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