Ace Your Class 10 Maths Board Exam: 10 Tips to Finish the Paper on Time

Physics Wallah Academic Expert
August 30, 2023

Mathematics is one of the highest-scoring subjects in class X. Yet, some students fear this subject the most. Even after practising problems several times, some students are unable to complete the maths board exam in the allotted time.

The key to overcoming math anxiety and scoring full marks in Maths class 10 is through practice and effective time management during the exam. CBSE has also introduced changes in the Maths paper to reduce pressure on students. There are now two separate papers for Mathematics in class 10 - the Standard Maths Exam and Basic Math Exam. Students who don't wish to study Maths after class 10 can opt for Basic Maths. The syllabus is the same for both. Mathematics is a scoring subject in class 10, but only if students know the effective strategies for how to attempt the maths paper correctly.

Table Of Content:

  • Understanding the Exam Structure
  • Strategizing with the Question Paper
  • Being Mindful of Marks Distribution
  • Tackling Questions Smartly
  • How to attempt the Maths paper to score full marks in class 10
  • Conclusion
  • FAQ

The exam has two components - an 80-mark theory paper and a 20-mark internal assessment. 25% of the questions are objective type. The total number of questions has increased from 30 to 40. There is more internal choice between questions now.

With pre-boards around the corner, a thorough practice focusing on tricky topics is key. The tips in this article will help you utilize your time effectively and attempt the maths board exam perfectly.

Understanding the Exam Structure

You must familiarize yourself with the exam pattern, structure of questions and marking scheme. You have to solve 40 questions in 3 hours. Here is the paper structure:

Section A - 20 questions including MCQs, fill-in-the-blanks, VSA of 1 mark each. Total 20 marks. As the questions are short answer type, this section can be quickly solved in 40-45 minutes if you know the NCERT well.

Section B - 6 questions of 2 marks each. Some questions have an internal choice. Application-based questions require applying formulas and concepts. Be thorough with formulas and practice application questions to score well. Spend 30-35 minutes in this section.

Section C - 8 questions of 3 marks each with internal choices and application questions. Constructions may be asked here and should be explained with proper steps. Practice is key to answering quickly and effectively. Allocate 40-45 minutes for this section.

Section D - 6 questions of 4 marks each with internal choices. Questions are lengthy so ample time should be left for this section. Questions on statistics, graphs, and trigonometry applications can be asked. For statistics questions involving mean, median, and mode calculations, making tables is crucial. Double-check calculations to avoid errors. On average, 40-45 minutes are needed for this section.

Strategizing with the Question Paper

You get an additional 15 minutes before the exam to go through the question paper. This time should be utilized wisely to analyze the paper and devise an effective attempt strategy.

  • Read the instructions carefully and ensure you understand all the details like total marks, number of sections, marks per question, choices available, etc.
  • Skim through the entire paper quickly to get a sense of the types and difficulty level of the questions.
  • Identify the easier questions that you are confident of answering correctly. Mark these questions so you can solve them first.
  • Also mark the questions you find difficult or lengthy on initial reading. Decide if you want to solve them in the end or skip them in the first attempt.
  • See which sections have more weightage of marks and focus on attempting those sections well. For instance, if more marks are from Sections B and C, ensure you have sufficient time to maximize scores there.
  • Analyze the time required for solving different sections based on marks per question and your comfort with those topics. Allocate time accordingly so no section is left incomplete.
  • Plan how much time you want to devote to the first attempt, and how much time you want to reserve at the end for revision, double-checking, solving unattempted questions etc.
  • Prioritize sections and questions in the order you want to attempt - easier first and then gradually move to tougher ones based on your preparation.
  • Ensure your plan is balanced between achieving accuracy in solved questions and attempting maximum questions within the time limit.
  • Stick to your planned strategy while attempting the paper for effective time management. But be flexible to tweak it if needed based on the actual paper and your comfort with it.

CBSE Class 10th Mathematics Question & Concept Bank

Being Mindful of Marks Distribution

While attempting the maths board exam, it is crucial to be aware of the marks allotted for each question. This will help you in two ways:

1. Manage time efficiently based on weight

Before solving a question, glance at the total marks it carries. This indicates the time and effort required. For a 1-mark question, spending 5 minutes is unnecessary, while a 4-mark question deserves more time and focus. Similarly, revise your time allocation if a section has more higher marks questions. Being mindful of the mark distribution will allow you to pace your paper attempt accordingly.

2. Ensure solving questions as per importance

Higher marks questions require greater attention and hold more weightage for your total score. For example, in Maths class 10, a 4-mark question adds greater value than four 1-mark questions. So it would be strategic to put more effort into correctly solving a 4 marker than spending that time getting 1 mark from four simpler questions. Don't neglect high-weighted questions or get stuck too long on low-weighted ones. Focus effort based on mark distribution.

3. Cover all types of questions

Scan through the entire paper first to assess the marks split across easy, moderate and difficult questions. Solve the easy and moderately difficult questions first for accuracy. In the end, attempt the higher-mark questions fully before returning to unsolved ones. This balanced approach across difficulty levels and weightage is important to attempt the maths paper effectively.

Tackling Questions Smartly

When attempting the maths board exam paper, there can be some questions that seem time-consuming or difficult at first glance. Here are some tips to tackle questions smartly:

1. Begin with simpler questions

Use the initial reading time to identify the easier questions you are confident about. Start your paper attempt by solving these questions first. 

2. Don't dwell too long on complex questions

If you find a question very lengthy or difficult, don't spend too much time fretting over it. Move to the next question and come back to it later. Getting anxious over a complex question can often make it seem harder than it is.

3. Leave time for revision

Solve the simple and moderate questions first. In the end, return to the more challenging ones when your mind is less fatigued. You may find new approaches for the difficult questions during revision time.

4. Write legibly and present methodically

Ensure your workings are clear and your final answers are underlined. Represent information like graphs, and tables, accurately. This fetches you full marks for the steps followed.

5. Remain positive

If you find the paper lengthy or difficult, don't lose confidence. Take a deep breath and give it your best shot by following your prepared strategy. This will help you maximize your score and achieve full marks in the maths board exam.

The Crucial Role of Time Management

Time management is essential to attempt the maths board exam paper completely within the given 3 hours. Here are some tips for effective time management:

1. Have a time plan

In the 15-minute reading time, allocate time to each section based on marks weightage and question difficulty. This plan will help pace your paper attempt.

2. Wear a wristwatch

Keep glancing at your wristwatch to monitor time progress. Ensure you are spending the allotted time in each section before moving to the next one.

3. Be prompt

Solve questions at a good pace without lingering too long on any question. This prevents time shortage and attempt pressure at the end.

4. Revision is key

Complete the paper on time for 5-10 minutes of revision at the end. Quickly go through solved questions to catch any calculation errors. Attempting revision is only possible with good time management.

5. Learn to prioritize

In case of time constraints, solve questions as per importance. Focus efforts on solving high-mark questions fully first.

6. Don't panic

If you exceed the estimated time in a section, don't panic. Adjust your pace and plan accordingly in the remaining time. Stay focused.

7. Balance speed and accuracy

Work at a brisk but steady pace for accuracy. Rushing can lead to silly mistakes which can cost you marks. Effective time management will ensure you get sufficient time to attempt the full paper and achieve full marks in the maths board exam. Regular timed practice is the key to time management on the final exam day.

How to attempt the Maths paper to score full marks in class 10

Here are some tips to attempt the maths paper efficiently and score full marks:

1. Thoroughly revise the syllabus

  • Go through the entire syllabus, focusing more on chapters you find difficult or have weighting more marks.
  • Revise formulas, theorems, equations, and their derivations.

2. Understand the exam pattern and marking scheme

  • Know the structure of the paper, sections, marks per question, and time allocation.
  • Analyze the marking scheme - marks allotted for steps, final answer, diagrams, graphs, etc.

3. Practice sample papers and previous year's questions

  • Attempt mock tests and as many sample papers as possible for time management.
  • Solve previous years' question papers to know important topics and frequently asked questions.

4. Have a strategic plan ready

  • In the 15-minute reading time, skim through the entire paper and plan your attempt strategy.
  • Prioritize sections as per your strengths.

5. Write legibly and present solutions methodically

  • Your writing should be readable with steps and work clearly shown.
  • Represent information like graphs, tables, diagrams, etc neatly and accurately.

6. Manage time efficiently

  • Divide time as per marks for each section.
  • Keep a check on time with a wristwatch.
  • Move to the next question if stuck for too long on any question.

Solving papers in a timed manner and following these tips will help you attempt the maths paper perfectly. You will be able to score full marks in the maths class 10 board exam.


By following these crucial tips on how to attempt the maths paper efficiently, students can aim to score full marks in the class 10 maths board exam. Following these tips will surely help you attempt the maths board exam perfectly within the time limit. Focus on giving your best with confidence in your preparation, and you will succeed with flying colours!

Maths Board Exam - FAQ

How many sections are there in the Class 10 Maths board exam paper?

The Class 10 Maths paper consists of 4 sections - A, B, C and D with a total of 40 questions to be solved in 3 hours.

What are some high-scoring topics in Maths for Class 10?

Some high-scoring topics in Maths for Class 10 are Geometry, Trigonometry, Mensuration, Statistics and Probability, Linear Equations, and Coordinate Geometry.

Is the Maths syllabus the same for both Basic and Standard papers in Class 10?

Yes, the syllabus prescribed by CBSE is the same for both Basic and Standard Mathematics papers for Class 10.

How can I avoid silly mistakes in Maths board exam?

To avoid silly mistakes, be thorough with concepts, formulas and their application. Practice systematically and devote time to revising your paper. Stay focused and double-check your solutions.

How should I manage time during the Maths exam to complete the paper?

Effectively allocate time to sections based on marks weightage. Keep checking the time while solving and maintain a brisk pace. Finish revisions in the end promptly. Avoid wasting time on any question.

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