Work can do wonders

Work can do wonders


Dear Madam,

I am a second-year, B.Com student and I come from an agricultural family. I have studied in Kannada medium till Class 10. My ambition is to become a chartered accountant. But I also have familial responsibilities to handle before that. I have scored 76%, 81% and 72% respectively in three semesters, but 90% is my target. I am a hard worker and dedicated but still I cannot reach my target. Am I overconfident of my skills? I have the following questions:

*I studied in Kannada medium. Is that getting in the way?
*Why am I securing marks between the above percentages only? What steps can I take to reach my target?
*How can I avoid being overconfident?
*My father suggests I take up a job after completing B.Com and pursue an MBA through correspondence. Is that possible?
Swapna G

Dear Swapna
I feel that you may have clarity on this matter by meeting a career counsellor. However, here is what I feel about the questions you have raised. You say your ambition is to complete CA. Let me caution you — while you may like to complete your CA exam, your ambition should not be to complete the exam, but to become a successful chartered accountant. The exam is not a goal in itself and does not guarantee success. The exam is merely a necessary stepping stone to your becoming a professional in that area. I am sure if you put in your best effort, you will be able to achieve whatever it is you want. Remember that marks are only stepping stones, and not goals in themselves. They are also not guarantors of success in life, which depends on many other things, the least important of which are marks.

I am not sure how you have arrived at the conclusion that you are overconfident. Are you not putting in your best effort? If that is the case, then it is creditable that you have that self-realisation. The only way around that is to put in 100% of your effort. Focus on the effort, not the marks, because the only thing you can control is your effort, not the marks. Nothing is a problem, if you are aware of it and willing to work at overcoming it. English is the language of the business world in most of India, and a good working knowledge of English will definitely help you. But the problem can be easily overcome by focusing on it and taking English language classes.

I am not sure if M.Com really adds any value, unless you are going in for further higher education and academics. For a job in the corporate world an MBA would be more beneficial. However, I do feel that doing an MBA after working for a couple of years is more advantageous. So even if your family needs are pushing you towards a job now, you could always do an MBA a couple of years later when things have settled down.
All the best.

Dear Madam,
I am a Class 10 (ICSE) student with a Science, Math and Computer combination. I performed poorly in my first and second term exams. And I am afraid that if I continue to perform like this, I won’t be doing very well in the pre-boards and Boards. I constantly forget theories and keep mixing them up. I don’t know why I can’t focus on my studies. I am distracted by the computer, mobile, etc.

While studying, I keep confusing one theory for another, especially in subjects such as Physics and Chemistry. I am afraid to share these concerns with my teachers. My parents don’t understand the issues. I have tried following time tables but that has not helped either. I need some help in focusing. Please help.

Dear Student,
You seem to be really tense about your exams, and it seems that your anxiety about the future is not letting you focus on what you need to do in the present. I have talked about this often in this column before and I want to point you to a couple of my articles which address this issue. Please read them if you get a chance. It’s not the end of the road at
and Why exams are nothing to worry about” at

It is very important for you to feel relaxed in order to be able to concentrate. Try some yoga and deep breathing to help you calm down. Let technology be a tool that helps you, not one that makes you a slave to it. The reason you get easily distracted is because you are tense, and the distractions become an easy “escape mechanism”. You say that you are shy to discuss these concerns with your teachers. We are generally shy when we think we are not good enough and therefore, feel the need to hide. Remember that you are not alone in having these anxieties and fears about exams, and your teachers probably have many students come up to them with the same fears. To have fear is normal. It does not make you any less worthy or capable.

Don’t let the fear overpower you. Talking about it makes it somehow seem manageable. So talk about it, not only to your teachers, but also to your parents. I am not sure I understand why you feel your parents are unapproachable. Sometimes, we build barriers in communication in our mind and they are not based on any reality. Try talking to your parents. They may surprise you by understanding.
All the best.