Dealing with great expectations


Dealing with great expectations

Phyllis Farias

Dear Madam,
I study in the State syllabus. I am an average student who scores 94 per cent. I want to top the Class 10 board exam in 2011. After that I want to top the 2nd PUC board exam. Then I want to do IIT and IIM. I want to increase my IQ level and memory power. Please tell me how to divide my time between all subjects. How should I prepare myself for exams? And give me some easy ways to remember answers. I get up at 4 am every day. How many hours should I study every day? Suggest some ways to improve my handwriting. I do a page of writing and two chapters of Wren & Martin grammar every day. My parents are supportive and want to help me.

Dear R M,
I was disturbed with your question. Not with the content but with the way you have expressed yourself. You move from one want to another, one query to another so fast, giving the impression that you are a vehicle without brakes. First you need to slow down and calm down.
Here is a question for you to think about. Why do you want to top the board exams? Is it for name and fame or as a challenge or for personal satisfaction? Your answer is crucial for your wellbeing. A few suggestions:
I believe you need to focus on the learning process and gain knowledge and develop skills through the curriculum. It is possible to be a topper without good comprehension of the content just by rote learning.
One unit of study should be for about 45/60 minutes, followed by a short break of 5 to 10minutes and then another unit of study. Do not study two subjects which are similar to each other, one after the other, as there can be interference leading to confusion.
Please write down important points preferably in the form of flow charts as you are studying.
Give importance to the quality of your study and not the number of hours. You need time to sleep, exercise and relax too.
Good hand writing in the present day world of computers is not very important. However writing should legible and readable.
Finally how does 94 per cent make you an average student? You are a good student. Please believe in yourself and aim to do your best in every subject. Do not focus on ranks.

Dear Madam,
I  am 15 years old and in Class 10. I have been ranked number one in my class with an average percentage of 96 every year except in Class 9. My problem is that I always worry too much about my marks and percentage. My teachers, parents and friends expect a lot from me. How can I avoid the feeling of pressure so that I can concentrate on my studies completely?

Dear Tenzing,
The answer to your problem is within your question. The reason for your worry is the expectation of others from you. It appears that you are studying to fulfil their expectations. Your self-esteem comes from what they will think of you. At the back of your mind there is the constant anxiety of failing those who believe in you. You must study for yourself. Write down your goals and your expectations of yourself and work towards them. Focus on the process of learning and not the outcome. The outcome will happen when you enjoy the process. Set realistic targets for each day. Over planning can cause stress. Have faith in yourself to do well. 

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