How to manage Exams Date Clash issue

Last year Suneha Mishra, a Class XII commerce student and a law aspirant, went through a harrowing time managing to keep track of law entrance exams.  To her dismay she realized rather late that three entrance exams that she had applied for were being held on the same Sunday in May.  Call it poor planning or due to lack of proper tools, she ended up applying for three entrance exams while she could only attempt one because of clashing dates.  What really happened with Suneha is not uncommon.  Talk to parents and students who have been in the situation before  and you will find more such stories coming out in the open.

So, why did this happen to Suneha and to many others like her?  Importantly, what can one do to avoid such lapses?  What are the best practices to follow when planning for the exam season?  Let me try to address some of these issues through some simple techniques and suggestions.

But before that let us get some facts right:

- Entrance exams in India are usually held in the months of April through June and in rare cases in July.  
- Most of these are held on weekends, i.e. Saturdays and Sundays
- Average number of Saturdays & Sundays between April & June: 27
- Number of exams that are usually held during this period: 350+.  That's almost 10-12 exams on Saturdays and Sundays in this period!!

The Core Issue:

On an average 10-12 exams are conducted on weekend's falling between April & June. Therefore, unless one has a clear view of exams conducted on each day during this period, decision making regarding opportunities becomes unmanageable and difficult.  Students and parents do not factor this in while applying for entrance exams.  Consequently, they end-up with anxiety and confusion, and of course money!.

Some tips on how to manage clashing exams:

1. Start with basics.  We recommend that you keep a separate notepad in which you religiously note the following for entrance exams as and when they get announced:
a) Last date to apply
b) Admit card download date
c) Date of exam
I personally find maintaining this data in an excel table very useful. But if you do not know how to use an excel table, go ahead and keep simple written notes.
E.g.:  CLAT: Last date to apply: 20th March, Admit Card download starts: 21st April, Date of Exam: 15th May  
AILET: Last date to apply: 16th March, Admit Card download starts: 10st April, Date of Exam: 22nd May etc.

2. Each time an exam registration starts, note these dates in the notepad or excel file without fail.  Compare dates each time an announcement is made.  Some exams are conducted within a date range.  This allows flexibility to students if they plan well.

3. Starting February, keep checking this notepad or excel sheet every day without fail.  Else, you may risk missing last date to apply for an exam, or date for downloading admit card.  Worse, you may apply for entrance exams having same date of exam, as in Suneha's case.

4.  Use your smartphone smartly.  Learn how to set calendar alerts 2-3 days before a key date. 
These tasks are a must if one needs to go through the exam season with minimal stress.  Of course, the stress of cracking the exam remains! 

So, good luck and all the best in planning for your exams.
Always rememeber the adage 'Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail'.

Full disclosure: 

Tarun is the Co-Founder of MyExamPlan.  MyExamPlan helps students and parents by exposing them to 300+ entrance exams. Using its paid plans, students and parents can get access to features such as Exams Clash, Key Date Alerts via sms & email 3 days before the due date, Sample question papers etc.  For details please visit our PRICING PLANS page.

Author: Tarun Ravindran, Co-Founder @ MyExamPlan

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