How to eliminate exam stress? Here are a few tips for students and parents

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The exam season of the current academic year is almost here and it is a tense period for not only students but also parents. However, there is no need to panic as students have enough time to prepare for the exams and earn good scores. However, they need to prepare a plan and stick to it diligently in order to shine in the tests. Here are some tips in this regard:

• Fix a study schedule

• Prepare a time-table and decide when to study each subject. Follow this time-table strictly.

• Dedicate more hours for tough subjects and portions which are difficult for you.

• Learn difficult topics first.

• If you have doubts, clear them immediately.

• Follow the same system of study till all exams are over. Do not imitate the methods adopted by others to study.

• Choose a well-lit room to study. If you have the habit of reading aloud while studying, stick to it.

• Recognize the time when you can concentrate properly and study during those hours.

• Take care of your health

• Do not study non-stop. Instead, take some occasional breaks.

• Sleep and food are important while studying.

• Avoid overeating. Similarly, do not eat dishes which you haven’t tasted so far. Also avoid studying immediately after having a meal.

• Changing the type of water used for bathing and totally avoiding sleep are other situations to avoid.

• Drink plenty of water.

• Do not sit on the bed to study.

• If you experience anxieties regarding studies or exams, inform parents and seek the help of a counsellor.

Exam training

• Check previous question papers and get an idea of their pattern. Also learn how to approach the questions.

• While studying the textbooks itself, try to frame questions.

• A model exam will help you in tackling the public exam. However, you need not worry over the marks obtained in the model exam.

How to boost memory powers

• Quickly forgetting lessons is a problem many students face. This could be overcome by practice. You should try to recall lessons even while relaxing. Mentally prepare questions and find the answers.

• Change your lifestyle.

• Bring self-control on games and entertainment, watching TV, and using computer and mobile.

• At the same time, occasionally watching a movie or hearing music does no harm.

• Avoid unnecessary journeys and functions. You can engage in such activities during the holidays.

• Write exams within allotted time.

• Develop the habit of writing exams according to the time available. The duration of the exam is two-and-a-half hours or 150 minutes. In addition, there is a cool-off time of 15 minutes. As the exam is of 80 marks, you should ideally spend only 1.87 minutes for one mark. Mentally calculate how much time you will dedicate for each question depending on this figure.

• Don’t start answering as soon as you receive the question paper. Instead, read all questions carefully before starting to write the answers.

Advice for parents, guardians

• Ensure that your child experiences no exam fright. Don’t create panic by reminding youngsters that they are facing a crucial exam.

• Never compare your child with others as each person is a different individual.

• Ensure that your child receives balanced food and drinks plenty of water. Provide lots of fruits and vegetables, but avoid fried items and oily preparations.

• Your expectations from the child should not exceed his or her abilities.

• Take an interest in your child’s studies like a friend.

• Don’t have very high hopes about your child and put him or her under pressure. Avoid comments like, ‘we expect a rank from you!’

• Allow some privacy to the child in matters of studies. In other words, don’t keep a constant watch. Also avoid pestering the child with queries like, ‘do you want water or coffee?’

• Parents also have to desist from making comments such as, ‘if you score low marks, how will I face the others in my office?’

Support is only a call away
There are several ways to reduce the mental stress faced by children during exam time. Among them, the easiest method is to contact a helpline. Calls to helplines are attended by counsellors who are experts in dealing affectionately with children. These experts can also suggest some easy methods to overcome exam-related stress.

Major helpline numbers

• 1056: This toll-free number is also known as ‘Disha’ and is managed by the Arogyakeralam Project under its Arogyakiranam initiative. Guidance for students is provided by Disha. It is a 24 x 7 helpline which could be contacted from any place.

• 1098: The helpline of Childline, 1098 could be contacted for any issue related to children. 1098 also functions round-the-clock.

• 1800118002: A call to this number, which is the helpline of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) will clear all doubts regarding exams. E-mail:

(Information courtesy: K J Joseph Koyikkal, higher secondary teacher who was the Idukki district coordinator of the exam stress relief project implemented across the state by Directorate of Higher Secondary Education; and Sister Anjitha, clinical psychologist, Caritas Hospital and Institute of Health Sciences, Kottayam)

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