Allaying the fear factor

The way ahead

Allaying the fear factor

It’s that time of the year when students have their heads buried in text books, preparing for their 10th and 12th standard Board examinations.

While some seem pretty confident, there are others who are a little nervous as these exams are considered the ‘most important exam’ of a student’s life. During such stressful times, it is always helpful to take advice from someone more experienced and ‘talk it out’, be it with parents, teachers or someone one trusts.

Airesh Bhat, a second Pre-University student of AECS Magnolia Maaruti PU College, says, “My aim is not to score 100 percent. I am aware of my capabilities and I don’t want to stress or pressure myself. I have set a time table and there are targets that I have to achieve. In case I cannot complete my target, I make sure to complete that the next day, before I start on the other subjects.”

A Science student, he finds Chemistry a little challenging as he is not very fond of theory. However, Mathematics  and Physics are subjects he loves.

Understanding the importance of sleep, he adds, “I make sure I sleep for six hours a day and take ample breaks in between. When I take breaks I listen to music and relax my mind. I have been preparing for the IIT entrance exams as well so in between my Board Exam preparations, I dedicate three hours to study for JEE.”

Mathematics teacher Prakasha UR of Cambridge Public School adds, “I have prepared my students in the best possible way — making them revise last year’s question papers and looking into sample question banks. Apart from this, I have given three preparatory tests for my students.”

While teachers are doing their bit to prepare their students, counsellors are helping the students cope with various situations that accompany exam preparations.

Kala Balasubramanian, a counselling psychologist, says, “It’s important for students to mentally prepare themselves. I have come across many youngsters who imagine the worst possible scenarios and stress themselves out further. It is basically peer pressure and pressure from parents that makes them anxious.”

To help students prepare for their exams, she says, “There are plenty of ways students can prepare for the exams. Managing time is the key to everything. They should keep some time for every subject; this will help them complete on time and also give them time to relax. There is nothing called as ‘last minute preparation’, this is time for revisions.” She also suggests some learning methods like making notes, mind maps, diagrams and creating mnemonics that can be used while studying. These methods are colourful and attract attention.

Sleep plays an important role. Apart from this, deep breathing techniques and intake of lots of water (not aerated drinks) can help a student calm down.

Dr Chittaranjan Andrade, professor and head of Department of Psychopharmacology at National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, says, “We get a lot of cases where parents come to us about their child, who aren’t able to concentrate or learn the study material. This is not as simple as it actually is. Many a time, it is a case of learning disability or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. They visit us right before the examination, which is the wrong time as ideally, they should see us months before the exams. This happens because teachers and parents are unaware of the issue.”

Suggesting coping mechanisms to deal with the stress, he adds, “The most important thing is to get good sleep and take breaks in between study sessions.”

The most effective way to learn is to break up a chapter and study in chunks rather than memorising the entire chapter at one go. Rotation in subjects, he says, also keeps the mind fresh.

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