EXAM STRESS- PREPARING FOR THE ‘D-DAY’


Dos and Don’ts few weeks before examination –

  • Prepare a study plan by combining favourite and not so favourite subjects to be studied during the day.
  • Allocate time per subject accordingly Try and meet your set clear and specific goals in time.
  • Try and complete two model question examinations (each subject) in this time.
  • Also try and have a fixed time of sleep and relaxation (including T.V. time).
  • Don’t try to keep postponing things thinking that there is still time and you can study later.

Dos and Don’ts few days before the examinations

  • Make your books, notes and essay more user friendly with summary notes, headings, subheadings, highlighting and revision cards ready for use.
  • Find out what way of revising suits you-alone or with a friend, morning or late at night, short, sharp bursts or longer revision sessions.
  • Take notes of important points when revising as an aid for future revision.
  • Look at past examination paper and try answering some of the questions.
  • If you feel stressed out, talk to someone you feel comfortable to.
  • Avoid collecting new notes and materials from friends, read and learn them till the last minute without time for revision.
  • Avoid sitting for long hours continuously to read by not taking breaks for bath, food, relaxation and sleep.
  • It does help in any manner. It rather makes one feel more tired, reduces concentration and makes studying boring and anxiety producing.
  • Avoid studying the whole night by keeping oneself awake. Much contrary to the common belief that many students carry, you actually learn and retain much less than when you study taking proper breaks and adequate sleep and rest.
  • Avoiding taking too much of coffee or tea or cigarettes to keep awake the whole night, it actually hampers one’s retention.
  • Avoid panicking and thinking of coming up with new ways of cheating in exams. It doesn’t help at all.

Dos and Don’ts one day before the examination

  • Avoid looking for new notes and trying to learn anything new.
  • Focus more on revising what you have already learnt.
  • Do relax, watch television, go for a walk or talk with your family members or friends to deal with your stress.
  • Try to have light dinner.
  • Don’t cram all night before an examination.
  • Remember to sleep for at least 7 to 8 hours in the night before your exams.

Dos and Don’ts on the day of the examination

  • Always read the instructions carefully.
  • One must have a light but an adequate breakfast.
  • Going empty stomach to the examination hall reduces the glucose level in your blood which effects your concentration and ability to recall information during exam.
  • Ensure that you have taken all the necessary things like pens, pencils, geometry box, and the hall-ticket.
  • Try and reach the examination hall well in advance to avoid panic.
  • Avoid being with people who panic and instead chose to be at a place where you can stay calm.
  • It is advisable to use the washroom before entering the examination hall.
  • Take few deep breaths, make a positive suggestion or a prayer to do well, stay relaxed and have faith in oneself.
  • Avoid talking negative to self. It only breaks ones confidence and adds to ones anxiety.
  • Avoid revising things just before entering the examination hall.

Do and Don’ts in the examination hall

  • If there are any doubts, then clarify them with the teacher or the invigilator.
  • Budget the time and plan the answers.
  • Allocate time for each question.
  • Choose the best known questions if choices are available.
  • If not sure of an answer, do not spend long time thinking and recalling answers.
  • Go to the next question.
  • Handle the less known questions later.
  • Write legibly if a mistake is made do not overwrite but cross it out.
  • Answer to the point and avoid writing unnecessary information to make the answer appear long .
  • Try to finish a little earlier.
  • Then go through the paper to correct mistakes and underline or highlight important points.
  • If you begin to feel stressed during the exam, try taking few deep breaths, say some positive and self-reassuring statements and have a glass of water to calm yourself down.
  • Remember there is always a solution to everything in life.

Dos and Don’ts near the end of the examination-

  • If there is no negative marking, then one should not leave any question un-attempted, even if one is making a wild guess.
  • Before handing over your answer sheet, ensure that you have not missed out answering any question and that you have numbered all the questions correctly.
  • Always revise your paper.
  • Avoid detailed post-mortem (discussing) of the paper with your friends after the exam as it only adds to anxiety and may interfere in one’s preparation for the next paper.
  • Also, if seen practically, discussing the paper will in no manner change what you wrote in the paper.
  • Even if you wish to discuss your paper, try and do it, after you are done with your last exam.

POINTS TO PONDER AS A PARENT

As parents what can you do to help your child deal effectively with exam stress

Dos & Don’ts for parents

  • Stay calm and avoid getting too angry or anxious quite often.
  • Try not to shower your kid with over-attention.
  • Don’t compare your child with other students and their achievements.
  • Keep home atmosphere light and humored.
  • Avoid nagging.
  • It is better to give gentle reminders to your child if needed from time to time.
  • Focus on child’s nutrition. Feel him/her lots of salads, juices, vitamin and protein rich food. Do not allow others like friends and relatives to nag your child.
  • Encourage your child to study while taking lot of breaks Don’t forget to tell him/her examination is not the end of the world.
  • Provide guidance when it comes to child’s social interactions. Don’t set very high achievement goals for your children.
  • Always speak positive and try and boast his or her confidence.
  • Try not to over-pressurize your child to excel in academics.
  • Help the child in maintaining his confidence especially when he seems discouraged by his dropping marks or grades.
  • Don’t harp on previous failures or results.
  • Help the child to develop self-discipline self-direction, self-confidence and a sense of achievement. Don’t mix academic issues with family conflicts.
  • Be a good listener. If the child is too nervous, do meet a counselor or a psychologist.
  • Don’t black-list activities that your child enjoys, like watching TV, playing games and sketching etc.
  • Help your child to look at exam in the right perspective and as something that can be managed effectively.
  • Parents should avoid passing their anxieties onto their kids.
  • Have realistic expectations from your child as per his or her capabilities and interests.
  • Especially during exams, ensure that your child is taking out time for doing something relaxing or enjoyable
  • Help them with time management, goal setting and planning
  • When your child is anxious, try and highlight your child’s strengths and encourage a dialogue to motivate them to move ahead from past failures.
  • Encourage your child to maintain a regular sleep patterns and to engage in some form of regular exercises.
  • Encourage help from teachers or the school counselor in case of any difficulty with subjects, or anxiety about examinations.
  • During stress, it is normal for children to be over-sensitive and impulsive from time to time. Hence parents need to acknowledge this and should try not to overreact to such outbursts.
  • It really helps to spend at least 15-30 minutes daily with your child indulge in some pleasant talk. Occasional hugs or endearments like JADU KI JHAPPI act as major stress busters.

The above mentioned steps can be followed to be able to effectively plan and deal with exams, so that exams no more become a source of distress.

You can also read our Blogs on:

  1. What is Exam Stress-” Don’t limit your challenges ,challenge your limits.”
  2. Exam Stress: Facts and Myths
  3. Managing Exam Stress – “Manage Stress, before it manages you”.
  4. Preparing for the D-DAY- Exam Stress
  5. Suicide Prevention- Exam Stress

If you have any more questions on this area or would like to speak to somebody about this topic, you can contact our counselors at our Helpline Number:

9250290502

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