Exam stress in students:Every student writes examinations which is a part of student's life. Most of the students find it difficult to cope up with studies and stress during the exam time. Most of the students work hard in view of getting good marks and some might not be working hard but still manage to get high marks in exams. On the contrary some other students who work hard could not succeed in getting good marks.
An exam time could often be stressful and wracking and the very thought of exams causes unpleasant physical conditions which result in loosing self confidence and this badly affects the performance of the student. By following certain simple and easy ways, students performance can be improved to a great extent. The first and foremost thing a student should keep in mind is to start preparing early for the exams. Here is a mention of a list of some important yet simple tips which would be helpful to the student community to prepare for the exams be it a terminal exam or an annual exam or a board exam or even a competitive exam for a better result.
General tips to be followed by the students
- Change in attitude: Bring about a change in the attitude is one of the best ways to prepare for any exam. Students should develop a positive thinking on exams instead of feeling it as a punishment. Students should understand the fact that an exam is a measure of their understanding capacity of on the knowledge obtained. Developing such a positive attitude helps in enjoying studies and it would become easier to prepare for any exam. Delete all ill thoughts on exams from the mind and do not allow the fear of exams to occupy the mind. Remember this will further worsen the situation. For changing the attitude:
Set a time-table for studying: Immediately after the announcement of the exam date, prepare a time-table and allot study hours for different subjects. While preparing a time-table allot more time for tougher subjects and little less time for easier subjects with sufficient intervals of time in between the subjects. And the most important part in preparing time-table is to allot considerable time for relaxing and enjoying. While preparing a self set time table:
- keep on reminding that it is just a test and even many others are involved in this process.
- Keep recollecting successes and think that success can be achieved by hard work.
- Develop self-confidence and avoid over confidence.
While starting afresh, mind would be fresh and the power of concentration on the subject at the start would be much better. So, always start with a challenging subject.Select / create a study atmosphere: Selecting a comfortable place or a room for studying is extremely important for preparing for an exam. A place which is calm with clean surroundings helps in enjoying studies and improves the power of concentration. Keep the books of the subject to be studied on the table and let the books of other subjects be out sight as these might distract attention and create unnecessary fear. Avoid mirrors in the study room as this will distract the attention of the mind from studies. While studying it is better to always face either East or North as these two directions help in the flow of positive energy which helps in getting a good result.Organize the study materials: Keep all the study materials such as pencils, pens, papers, erasers, files/folders and the like in an organized way. Such a organized way of keeping study materials not only keeps create interest in studies but also avoid messing up of things. Keep pens and pencils in the holders and keep the papers if any in folders. If possible keep a trash bin beside the study table. Keep the study table / place / room and the environment tidy as a clean environment helps in developing positive feeling which is extremely important and effective to prepare for any exams. Sitting posture: Sitting posture plays a very important role while studying. Sitting straight in the chair instead of leaning or bending up and down is a must as such a posture of sitting helps in keeping the spine straight and this is quite helpful in improving the concentration power. Also avoid lying on the bed while studying.
- Keep the challenging / tougher subjects first and allot much time to these subject.
- Allot sufficient breaks after each tough subject.
- Keep the comparatively easier subjects at the end.
Prepare well in advance: Start preparing for the exams well in advance instead of hurrying with the syllabus just before of the exams. Avoid cramming for the exams as this is likely to increase stress levels. Preparing for the exam well in advice would help in avoiding unnecessary tensions and enables the students to complete the entire syllabus in time.Make notes while studying:
- Keep small writing slips in hand and keep writing brief notes while studying which contains all the important points. And try to write these short notes in simple language as it would be easy to understand at the time of revising. And also try to highlight some of the important points with a highlight marker. And such brief / short notes would be very useful at the time of revising the lessons instead of going through the entire text as a last minute reading which might be much more confusing.
- While make brief notes, try to write include acronyms for remembering long sentences in an easier way. For example, for easily remembering the color of litmus paper when dipped in acids and bases, make a short note as ABR for easily remembering that acid turns blue litmus red. Always try to write these brief notes in a good handwriting instead of just scribbling on the pads. A note written in good handwriting creates interest in reading and it would even be easier to understand the written material.
- Make flash cards to note down some of the important points would be very helpful for a quick revision. Particularly, mathematical formulas, theories and the like can be written in flash cards.
- Try to remember and memorize the lessons by drawing graphs, charts or diagrams. For example, to learn about the functioning of heart in biology it would be easier to learn by drawing a neat and labelled diagram of human heart and it would be much more easier if the diagram is colored.
- Such shorter ways of learning would create interest in learning and the same time make it much easier to prepare for the exams.
- While studying a lesson try to make a note of some important / possible questions on a slip;
Keep reference books in hand: Keep some reference books, other than the class texts, in hand for a better understanding of the subject. Even a dictionary can be a reference book. Such reference books help in breaking the monotony in studies and help in creating interest in the subject. Study regularly: Studying regularly at least for one or two hours a day is highly effective for high scoring in the exams.
Understand the concept of the subject: Avoid learning the lessons by heart instead try to understand the concept of the subject well. This would be very helpful in memorizing and recollecting the learnt lessons at the time of exams and would be helpful in writing answers of the own instead of just reproducing the class notes.Study with concentration: Studying with concentration is the most important thing to be kept in mind. Working hard for hours together in a closed room without concentration is of no use. On the other hand studying for a comparatively lesser time with full concentration and focus on the subject would be very effective for achieving good score in the exam. Remember that when the mind is restless, tensed or bored, such conditions will lead to lack of focus on the subject resulting in the lack of concentration. To improve concentration:
- Studying on a regular basis is the key to success.
- Studying for a couple of days and then skip studying for few days will disturb the continuity in studies as well as disturb the routine.
- It would be difficult to track the subject in case of a break in the continuity of studies.
- Regular studies help the students to be in touch with studies.
- Completing the class assignments on a regular basis would be very helpful in retaining the subject matter. And this would make learning easier at the time of exam.
The benefits of concentration power are innumerable. The power of concentration helps in improving memory power as well as will power. And it helps in improving the levels of confidence in a person.Revise the lessons: Try to recapitulate the lessons studied the previous day as doing revision work is one of the effective ways of achieving success in exams. And by revising the lessons it becomes easier to remember what is learnt as the subject matter gets imprinted in the minds.Study for small duration of time: Take a short break after studying for 40-45 minutes continuously as the brain becomes dull on continuous studying for hours together which leads to decrease in the concentration power and thereby the brain loses its grasping power. Hence always take short break after continuous studying for 45 minutes to recharge the mind and relaxing the body by engaging it on some interesting activities. Relax and recharge the mind and body: When the body and mind is tired of studying, give sufficient relaxation to the mind and body. For doing so:
- Take a balanced diet
- Practice meditation at least for 15 minutes a day without fail
- Have a sound sleep for at least 6-8 hours a day.
- Lead a disciplined life
- Develop positive thinking / attitude
Group study / discussion: Many a times group study and group discussions have proven to be very fruitful. Group discussion is the best way of knowledge sharing where there is mutual gain of knowledge. And such group study at times makes the process of learning much more interesting as a group of 4-5 member friends are involved in studying. At the same time it should be born in mind that the group of friends should strictly involve in academic discussions without any sort of diversions in the subject or topic.Self motivation: Try to develop the habit of self motivation. Motivation helps in dedication and commitment to work. Having a role model according to one's own choice and getting motivated from his / her hard work which made him / her successful in life and to achieve great heights in life.Develop self-confidence: Remember that building self-confidence is very important to achieve success in exams. But don't be over-confident as this will have an adverse affect. For developing self-confidence:
- Give small warm up exercises to the body parts
- Go for small distance cycling for giving exercise to the body.
- Go out for a stroll to nearby parks and breathe the fresh air.
- Have small talks with family and friends.
- Engage in some interesting activities for a while.
- Listen to music for relaxing the mind.
- Sit in a calm and serene place and enjoy the nature for a while.
- Tone up the body with a refreshing warm water bath.
Manage time well: Time management is one of the important factors for achieving success in exams. Learn the techniques of managing time well as this would be very useful in the exam hall.Self-assessment: Assessing the level of knowledge in each subject helps a lot in preparing for the exams in a better way. By self-assessment it becomes easier to allot time to be spent on various subjects. Proper nutrition and exercise: Always take nutritious diet. Intake of healthy and balanced food helps in keeping the mind and body healthy and is very effective in coping up with stressful situation during exam time. Avoid too much consumption of fast foods, soft drinks and avoid too much intake of tea or coffee as well. Remember that fast foods and soft drinks are stress enhancers and hence increase the stress at the time of exams. Keep the body hydrated by taking fresh fruit / vegetable juices. It is even highly important to consume enough of water regularly to keep the body hydrated. Remember that a healthy body will have a healthy mind as per the saying "healthy mind in a healthy body".Have enough sleep: Having enough of sleep helps in charging the brain cells which in turn improves the concentration as well as memory power. It is not at all advisable to spend sleepless nights during exam time. Sleeplessness makes the brain tired and dull and this will have an adverse effect on the exam result. Have faith in God: Finally have faith in the Almighty who is the Ultimate disposer. Leave everything at His dispose and He is sure to take care of His creatures and is sure to bless them. Faith in God will help in getting rid of exam fear as well as helps in freeing from stress.
- Have a positive thinking / attitude
- Try to speak out openly
- Know your talent and skills
- Never under estimate yourself
- Be assertive
General tips for parentsParents participation in the preparation of exams is equally important. However their participation is an indirect one and it involves the support specially emotional support to their children. And hence for becoming successful in an exam, even parents need to follow some ways and help in making their children to score high in the exams. Parents need to help their children in all possible ways in their studies. Here are few things that a parent has to follow:
- Maintain friendly behavior: The most important thing a parent should keep in mind is to develop and maintain a friendly behavior with the children. A friendly behavior with the children really works wonders. And children will have and develop affection for their parents which is very important in maintaining a healthy parent-child relationship.
- Speak openly with children: Parents should try to speak to their children openly as this would develop the confidence in children and makes them to freely share their problems with parents. This develops a better understanding between the parent and child.
- Give them emotional support: Avoid insisting children on scoring high in the exams and at the same time avoid blaming them for their poor performance in the exam. Instead give them emotional support as they too will be in much dejection. Try to support them in all possible ways and give them the feeling that parents will ever support their children. Such a support will help in increasing their confidence levels.
- Proper guidance: Many a times parents need to guide their children in the right direction.
Motivate and encourage the children: Motivation and good encouragement is one of the key factors of success. Motivating the children by sharing own experiences and success stories. Keep praising and encouraging them for their success even for small successes of their. An encouragement itself would be very effective in motivating the children in doing even better in their next next attempts. Encouragements even help in developing self-confidence. Even use the words like 'you have the potential to do it', 'you are talented', 'you can do it' and these would help in developing the self confidence.Provide nutritious food: Parents should take care of providing a balanced diet to their children for a perfect health so that it will help in the personal development of the child.Always try to send the child to the exam in a happy mood and wish him / success without fail as this will give a moral boosting to the child.
- Make the children aware of the importance of studies and exams.
- Involve them in extra curricular activities of their choice as this would be very helpful in over all development of the child.
- Tell them about the importance of time management.
- Develop a positive thinking in the child.
- Try to create a healthy competitive spirit among the children instead of initiating them to develop ill-feelings / envious feelings.
- Make them aware of a well disciplined life.
Specific tips to be followed at the exam time:Apart from the above mentioned general exam tips to be followed by the students and parents, there are certain specific tips to be followed at the time of exams. Here are some of these:
- Try to stay calm during the exam time. Avoid getting panicky by thinking of the forthcoming exams.
- Get help from teachers / lecturers for clarifying doubts if any.
- Have a sound sleep the night before the exam day.
- Be in time at the exam hall and stay calm in the exam hall.
- Avoid rushing through the question paper, instead go through the paper slowly / properly and read the instructions carefully. Then go for answering the paper and always start with the easier ones. Try to think actively while answering.
- While answering try to give a well presentation of answers in the answer sheet as this plays a major part in scoring high. Try to highlight the important points in the answers to give your clear understanding on the subject to the evaluator.
- Always try to be sincere and honest while answering the paper for a successful result. And also completely involve yourself in the exam. Remember that a dedicated work is always duly rewarded.
- Remain calm after the completion of an exam. Avoid post exam worrying as this will affect the mindset for the next exams. And there is no point in worrying for the already finished exams as worrying will in no way help in getting good score.
To concludeWriting an exam and achieving success is not an easy task but at the same time it is not that difficult too. A proper dedication and commitment for work is the key to success in life. By following these simple steps one can score well in the exams and succeed in life. Also remember that practice makes a man perfect, hence keep practicing till perfection.