Here’s my long due post on how I CBSE’ed my way through 12th grade. Since I got an aggregate of 94 percentage, I think I’m pretty well qualified to write this blog post. I’ll be taking up each of the subjects I studied and the best books and methods to study those.
You’ll either really like this subject or you’ll absolutely hate it. Let’s talk about the organic part of chemistry first, and then the inorganic part.
Organic Chemistry: When I first started learning Organic chemistry, I was baffled at the number of sites and blog posts writing about how Organic chemistry is the easiest and how it is the most scoring. For the first month of learning it, I could barely attempt the NCERT questions because it felt impossible to remember all those reaction names and structures and whatnot. Nevertheless, in two months time, it really did end up being easy. Don’t fear Organic, just give it some time, (And, yes, continuous revision of the same chapters multiple times in a week) Here are a few pointers on organic chemistry:
- For both, entrance exams as well as for the boards, all you need to attempt are the questions at the back of the NCERT chapters. Do those questions again and again till you know each answer.
- ‘Pradeep’s Chemistry’ books are the only reference books I used other than NCERT. Use this book to really understand the concept behind every question and make Organic a lot more interesting and intuitive.
- I made notes of the first four chapters Organic Chemistry that cover all the important concepts needed for conversion questions and name reactions. However, I’d suggest you make your own. Here are the notes chapter-wise:
- 1) Haloalkanes and Haloarenes
- 2) Alcohol, Phenols and Ethers
- 3) Aldehydes, Ketones and Carboxylic Acids
- 4) Amines
- Make sure you know all the important mechanisms. (Check them here)
- SOLVE previous year question papers. I found a lot of questions in chemistry being repeated.
Inorganic Chemistry: You’ll have to memorise this one, there are no two ways about it. However, here’s a few things that helped me out.
- Go through the main chapters (p-block, d- block etc) just once. NCERT isn’t the best book, in my opinion, to use for Inorganic chemistry.
- I’d highly recommend buying the Pradeep’s Chemistry book to read through their inorganic chapters. Go through the charts and the explanations of Pradeep’s Chemistry book. It really nails the explanation part.
- Teachers probably won’t tell you this, but every important concept that requires memorising is asked in the NCERT questions at the back of the chapters. Although there are a lot of questions, going through each one of them multiple times until you know every answer is really the only way to do this. (And yes, use Pradeep’s for NCERT question solutions)
- Again, a lot of board questions are from NCERT questions so keep that in mind while you study them.
Okay, so here’s the thing. Physics can seem like a nightmare to some, as it did to me. Because no matter what I tried, I just wasn’t scoring good enough in the school exams. But if you write your final board paper VERY clearly, draw all the graphs well and really study every concept down till you have it understood, you’ll get great marks in the final paper. I got a 95/100 even though I’m aware I’d made some mistakes. So here are the pointers I’ve got for you:
- You really shouldn’t try studying it all from NCERT. I know this is contradictory to what you’ve probably heard everyone says, but NCERT Physics will confuse you to no limits. It does not have proper explanations.
- For physics, I’d highly recommend you study from (you’ve probably already guessed it!) Pradeep’s – the lifesaver book. Make a list of all the subtopics under the main chapters and read through each of them from Pradeep’s.
- Solve every question from NCERT as well as the numerical and conceptual questions from Pradeep’s for practice. Don’t stress about not getting all of them right the first few times. But you NEED to know how to solve them eventually.(I never solved any question from the NCERT Physics book.. shh)
- I had excellent notes on every chapter which included all definitions, derivations and all related graphs. I’d recommend you make them too.
- As for specific chapters, for the ‘Communications’ chapter at the end, just make sure you complete all Pradeep’s questions and keep in mind that the Value-Based Question is often asked from this chapter.
- Solve board papers and make sure you time yourself to three hours when you do them.
I wouldn’t say Maths was my absolute favourite subject but I still enjoyed most of the chapters. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll be fine with the subject. With talks going on about the toughness of the Maths Paper and a change in the pattern of the paper from 2017 ( the year I was to write the paper), I was left with barely any sample papers to gauge the difficulty of the new paper. Nevertheless, here are my pointers for Mathematics.
- You’ll end up with a lot of textbooks for Maths. And quite honestly, there are plenty of good ones out there – I used the NCERT book, the RD Sharma books and also RS Agrawal.
- I made notes on every type of problem possible from each chapter and this organisation of thoughts really helped me throughout the year. (Check my notes out here)
- Let’s get straight to specific chapters here. The first few chapters i.e Sets, Matrices and Determinants are very easy. All the problems are of specific types and knowing how to do each type is the key. Although I did face some difficulty in solving ‘Evaluation of determinants’ using properties, practising examples from RD Sharma and the NCERT should help you.
- In calculus, I can’t stress enough on the fact that you NEED to make notes that classify problems into types. Your notes should contain the types and the methods to solve those types. Flip through the RD Sharma book to get all the types and methods to solve them and then make your own concise notes.
- Three-dimensional Geometry (vectors, Straight Lines and Planes) are the easiest, most scoring chapters you’ll come across. Click here for a list of all the important formulae you’ll need.
- Solve Solve Solve. It’s the only thing I can recommend for Maths.
- Lastly, time yourself when solving papers.
You are probably not even reading what’s under the English header because a lot of people discount English as a scoring subject. That’s entirely true. It IS a scoring subject. But there are tricks that you must know to make English your best subject.
- Short stories are interesting. Read through them and write down answers to all the questions at the back.
- The MOST helpful book I found was the ‘Arihant: All in one Resource book’. You don’t need any other book if you’ve got this for English.
- Use multiple resources on the internet and from Arihant and make sure you pick up a “good vocabulary” for summaries, characterizations and questions and answers.
- As for the writing part, again, Arihant is your bible. Check out all the examples. Practise some on your own and memorise every format there is.
- I know it’s tempting but please don’t read a summary of all the chapters in the novel. For later revisions, once you have read the entire novel, chapters summaries should suffice.
- Go through all the previous year questions.
My fifth subject was computer science. Tell me in the comments below if you think you need notes on the subject.