It’s that time of the year again where you can see children buried under a huge mound of books and cramming endlessly. What with the board exams around the corner and the pressure to perform. It’s easy to see why even uttering the word “exam” can send any student into a tizzy.
What is with examinations and fear? Why is it a nightmarish experience for most children? After all it’s just another ritual to test our knowledge.
Most often than not, stress levels are high during an exam because of an unnecessary hype and drama built around it. It’s made out to be a “now or never” thing. Hence the fear factor of not meeting parents’ expectations creates panic in the child. One other reason is being out of control. This is often a result of last-minute preparations and improper planning.
Draw out a Plan: Planning is key to stay top of things. Draw out a timetable so that you have enough time to prepare and revise. You may require more time to study for some subjects and less for those that you find easy. A proper timetable will allow you to balance out your time accordingly and achieve your targets smoothly.
Be mentally prepared: Since you know that exams are around the corner, it would help to remain focused and shut off things that distract you. But that does not mean you have to stay behind closed doors 24/7. Don’t do anything that would break your flow of concentration. For instance, avoid repeated calls from your friends.
Switch subjects : Sometimes you may find a subject very dry and boring. If it’s getting on you and you feel you’re not able to concentrate, switch to a lighter subject that doesn’t need extra effort or concentration. When you feel better you can go back to studying the subject you started with.
Drink plenty of water: Staying hydrated is important as it helps maintain your energy levels and keeps you alert. Try and avoid beverages like carbonated/sports drinks. These are high on sugar as they may shoot up your energy levels and make you hyper. Plain water, herbal teas and low-cal sodas are the best choices.
Take short breaks: Remember your brain can absorb limited information at a time. Psychologists say that we can concentrate properly only for about 45 minutes at a stretch. So continuous cramming may not be a good idea. The best way to relax is to take short breaks and come back when you feel refreshed. Do something completely different that you enjoy doing.
Get some exercise: It’s a great stress buster. Go outdoors and get some fresh air. Do some stretches. Run, cycle, swim or take a stroll in the neighbourhood. This is the best way to clear your mind, relax and rejuvenate. Exercising can also make a big difference in overcoming sleep problems.
Get a good night’s sleep: Compromising on sleep can wreak havoc on our systems and affect concentration in a big way. It may be tough to get a restful sleep – what with anxiety and tension in full swing. But getting 4-5 hours of sleep at a stretch is important to de-clutter.
Stay positive: It’s normal to feel depressed and self-deprecatory during exams. This can have a serious effect your confidence levels and preparations. The best way to come out of this is make a list of things that you’re proud of. It can instantly perk you up and elevate your mood.