Tips for Stress Free Exams
You ask a student what’s that he dreads the most and the answer in 90% cases would be ‘exams’.
But what is it that makes it frightful? The fear of studying hard? Or uncertainty of the question paper? Maybe the fear of pulling an all nighter? No, not any of these. It’s the ‘fear of failure’ that plays a crucial role in building a strenuous atmosphere, right before the exams. And since the strain is real, it affects the student mentally, as well as physically. This fear degrades the quality of preparation to a great extent, which is undesired of course.
So, here are some useful tips that you should follow before the exams to ride out unnecessary anxiety:
Slow and Steady wins the Race
That story of a race between turtle and a rabbit does apply in reality. Starting your preparation 10 days before exams has always been a bad idea. Instead, study a little everyday, well in advance. It prevents the onset of anxiety. This is because, in those normal days, your mind is relaxed; and hence, more grasping. Therefore, everything you study in those days stays is retained. Also because, you already have an idea about the syllabus. So you don’t waste time in wondering how and where to start. Remember: only revise for exams.
Schedule your Day
Divide your study time into fixed intervals for different topics. This will keep the confusion at bay and increase your efficiency. Prepare list of topics that you need to cover in that certain time period and assign more time to important subjects.
As a matter of fact, failure is part of life. And besides, failing in school examination doesn’t even count as a major failure. Exams are just there to measure your periodic progress; not to decide your future.
Avoid 11th hour study
You may think that anything studied in the last few minutes might show up in the question paper. But what’s the probability ruling this occurrence? Very low. But the probability of a negative consequence is much higher. The turbulence will mess up everything in your head. So, close your books in the last minute and give room to all that you have studied, some time to settle. You might miss a question, but the confidence with which you will answer the rest would fetch you better grades.
Exams are frightening, and friends are not. Study with friends to avoid the stress build up. Share your solutions with each other as everyone has a different way of seeing a problem. One of you might find a solution to a problem, before others do. This improves the efficiency of the hour. A research published in Lingusitics and Education, a research journal found that students studying together in groups learned much better than those alone on their desks. They seemed to have developed a coordination, which helped them grasp the material at a deeper level.
Schedule Small Breaks
Always take small breaks, rather than studying it all in one go. Give your brain some time to come in terms with the new knowledge you have just acquired. And as your brain functions just like a machine, it needs to be in a relaxed state to function optimally. Take a quick walk/listen to your favorite music/play a video game in the small breaks. But then, get back to books in awhile.
If you think sacrificing your sleep is going to fetch you good marks, you couldn’t be more wrong.
A survey in Ghent and KU Leuven universities found that students who got at least 7 hours of sleep before exams were nearly 10% more than those who got lesser sleep.
Avoid too much Caffeine or junk
Coffee does increase your efficiency while you study, but then it disturbs your sleep pattern; eventually affecting your performance in exam. Don’t eat too much junk before exams as your body may take more time and energy to digest it. Consequently, you will feel lethargic in the exams. Instead, drink a lot of water as it keeps your body hydrated and thus, fully awake.
Meditating for 15 minutes greatly levels up your concentration. Taking out 15 minutes is no big deal for your schedule but a really big deal for effective study sessions. Santa Barbara, University of California research found that students who meditated for 2 weeks had lesser mind wandering and better memory capacity. They also scored better in their GRE tests.
Imagine the Sunshine after the Rain
The biggest source of positivity during the stressful phase of exams is anticipating the good times after the exam. Everyday before stepping into your study schedule, imagine how you are going to take the world by storm after these exams.
Understand: This is not the end
The biggest lie that your mind tells you before exams is “This is it. It’s the ultimate deal. You fail, you fall.” Life is much more than just grades. What’s the worst that can happen? You will fail. But let’s see what great people have to say about that:
“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.”
– Robert F. Kennedy
Initially the exams were meant only to provide the picture of a student’s progress to himself, so that they can know their weaknesses and improve them. But today, exams have become a symbol of nervousness and anxiety. And the reason behind it is false linked to one’s success. It is also parent’s responsibility to make sure their child sees the education system as a support to help them grow as a civilized human being, and not as a burden.