Balanced diet, positive environment and adequate sleep are mantra to embark on ‘mission examination’

Ashis Sinha I Bokaro: Examinations are almost always stressful; exam blue claims several hundreds of lives across the country every year.

Starting with the examination of 10th the 12th, tension arises among students along with their parents, especially with mothers each and every year. Students who suffer from exam fear or exam anxiety or exam phobia can see their marks suffer as a result of this stress. Balanced diet with adequate sleep is the successful mantra to overcome the exam blue, said Punam Sinha Goddard Public School, Bokaro Steel City.

“To avoid such stress students should develop good study habits”, she added.

‘Proper study habits and preparation are the keys to cutting out exam fear. Avoid last-minute ‘cramming’ for exams and actively listen while in class’, said Saroj Priya, Principal Ankur Public School, Bokaro.

During the period of examination everybody gets worked up, especially parents, teachers, and students. Who amongst them are most affected is hard to say, because it differs, based on the mental make-up of each of them, she said.

Preparing for exams is basically an exercise in repetition. The more we read, the more we absorb. The more we write, the stronger our memory. Reading, writing, and memorising over and over again are the only means to perform better in exams, said Fr Saju Bastian SJ Principal of St. Xavier School Bokrao.

Whether we like it or not, exams are here to stay and memory has tremendous value in exams. The only sensible option is to face them head-on, by studying well, and repeatedly, with a self-imposed punishing schedule, till every part of the syllabus is at our fingertips, he advised.

“When we reach that stage, or near about it, we will become confident. Let us not forget that exams are a test of our confidence, as much as it is that of our knowledge”, he added.

Reading and writing should go hand-in-hand while preparing for exams. A subject like maths particularly is not to be read like other subjects. Problems in maths will have to be worked out, again and again to learn them thoroughly. Note making for other subjects has several advantages. The notes will be of great help on the eve of the exam, when one will not have time to read the entire portion, he said.

Note making also helps keep one’s mind on tract. Writing practice helps acquire speed when appearing for the exams. The human mind is very capricious. It can just refuse to toe the line, and has the tendency to wander off. One of the methods to hold the mind’s attention on a given task is to read aloud.

It is the best mnemonic (memory skill) device. Loud reading, however, should not become a habit, to the total exclusion of silent reading, Mamta Singh a teacher of Class 12.

“When there are other children also studying at home, reading aloud can pose problems, and in that case reading may have to be regulated by restricting the time or changing the location of reading. Repetition can obviously be wearisome, but necessary”, said Singh.

A Physiatrist at Bokaro General Hospital said, ‘Examination period is the season of advice, which students get unsolicited from all corners. Caught in the vortex of the collective frenzy, any student will be at the end of his tether’.

A well-planned schedule and a steady routine, aided by a calm mind, provide the best backdrop for effective preparation for exams. Start studying as no work will be done unless it is started. Extending the same logic, we can say that any work will be done if it is started. So the important first step is to start studying. ‘Once you start, you get interested, and you become more confident and more interested. Do not ever look back’, he said.

Stress, up to a certain level acts as a motivation to study but undue stress can bog you down. There are cases of students who become too nervous during exams, said Dr Lalan Thakur a Bokaro based child specialist and Physician.

“They cut down on their sleep and food, and get into a desperate mode of study. These are likely to be dangerous. The human brain functions best when the mind is calm and the body is healthy. Giving up sleep and food in the run up to the exam is a recipe for disaster”, he added.

“Suicide is on the rise amongst adolescents. This madness over marks and cut off percentages can drive anybody to end their lives and these are just kids we are talking about. On one hand there is this tough competition scoring high marks to get admission in a good college, and then crack entrance tests to get into a professional institute, then getting placed in a good job. I think there is high time for us to realise that there is more into life than scoring good marks,” told Prof. Dr Mala Verma HOD Psychology of Bokaro Women’s College.

“How can a student overcome this exam-phobia and face it calmly, and confidently, and come out not just unscathed, but really victorious”, added Dr Mala Verma.

We tend to overdo our concern for our kids right before an exam, causing more harm than good. “A balanced diet, a positive environment and adequate sleep are the best mantra which can embark on ‘mission examination’.

Along with all these parents should play a positive and supportive role with their kids which can be helpful in boosting up their moral too, she added.


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