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Coping with Examination Stress

It's that time of the year when parents start to look haggard. Tempers fly high, sleep cycles change and candles are burnt at both ends to achieve that golden 90+'s exam time. However exams are not supposed to be such a dreaded thing if you are well-prepared and stay calm, right? 

11-year-old Tanmay Shah laments,"I have exams in a week and I haven't been able to go out and play for the whole of last month." Such is the life of many a child in school. However 14-year-old Lavanya Verghese feels that there is more to life than textbooks, even during exams. "I study throughout the year, so there is no special preparation to be done before the exams. I continue all my extra-curricular activities and stop them only during the days of my exams." 25% of the parents we spoke to second Lavanya's thoughts. Says Shibani Dutta, "I do not encourage my daughter to study throughout the day, she does much better when she studies throughout the year. And it's less stressful for us as well!"

Another 15% let their kids decide their own timetable and study schedule and are quite happy with their children's results. One such child who studies on her own is 10-year-old Pinky Shrivastava who says, "I am certainly very worried about my exams. If I ever finish studying early, I feel like I haven't done enough. So I sit down and go through everything all over again." No wonder her parents don't need to push her to study! The golden rule is to study hard for your exams but take time off to relax too. Play a game, watch movies, listen to soothing music or do whatever pleases you most. At the end of the day what matters the most is to do your best and keep your cool.

Unfortunately, 60% of the parents we spoke too completely tied their kids down to their books and prevented them from taking a break from studies or enjoying any form of light entertainment. Says 9-year-old Lara Velho,"My father got so worried about my exam preparations that he sold our colour TV even though I was completely prepared!"

  • Begin by telling yourself loudly, "EXAMS ARE NO BIG DEAL. I AM GOING TO DO WELL!"
  • Start your preparation well in advance
  • Chalk out a timetable rotate the subjects to avoid monotony
  • Divide the study material (syllabus) into smaller "units"
  • Finish a unit in one seating
  • Always keep a note-book and a pencil handy to jot down vital points and important subtitles while studying
  • Never panic or lose your cool as this is likely to hamper your preparation
  • Periodically review your preparation visa-vis your timetable and try to stick to your schedule
  • Closer to the exam dates try to solve old question papers within a set time frame
  • Believe in yourself and remember that only you can study for yourself
  • Be on time for the examination to avoid any form of anxiety
  • Carry all stationery as required do not borrow
  • Read all the instructions given on the question paper before you begin to answer
  • Neatness in presentation is very important
  • Always answer what you know first, this creates a feeling of confidence and comfort
  • As far as possible do not begin with a calculation
  • Do not waste time thinking about the answer to a question for a very prolonged period of time - just move ahead to the next one
  • If you are unable to complete a certain answer, you may leave some space and get back to it later
  • Cross-check to see that you have answered all questions and their options and numbered them correctly
  • The last 10 minutes are meant for rechecking your answers
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