Published Date: 30 Oct 17
We are living in a fiercely competitive world and to be successful is not a child’s play. The worst affected are children, as their worth is measured by false and inaccurate yardsticks, namely marks, grades and percentage. A child especially a teenager is ill-equipped to deal with his physical & emotional changes and on top of it expectations and pressure from parents & school add to his woes. If he has to appear for Board exams then his life is nothing more than competition, goals & deadlines & he has to constantly work under pressure. In such a scenario studies become irksome.
We should not forget that exams are nothing more than part of academic assessment. Success in board exams depends primary upon perseverance, planned work and the effectiveness of study methods. I am sanguine, the following tips can help children prepare better for board exams & reduce stress and anxiety:
1.Familiarize Yourself With the Syllabus: The first step towards exam is to familiarize yourself with the syllabus & the pattern of the exam. Search for past years papers, so you can check the format of the paper and type of the questions.
2.Preparation to be Continuous Process: As a student you need to avoid last-minute study, it is better to prepare in advance to avoid confusion & stress. From the beginning of the academic session, devote time to study, so that at the end, when you have to appear for Board exams, there is no undue panic.
3.Step-by-Step Approach: Learn to study efficiently & effectively. Review your class notes & study material frequently to maintain a good grasp of the notes. Through step-by-step approach you can avoid any last minute glitches. Believe small day-to-day decisions & steps can make tremendous difference in the long run. Robert Collier has said, “Success is the sum of small efforts repeated day in & day out”.
4.Take Notes Conscientiously: Studying can be a relatively stress free & enjoyable process, if you take notes conscientiously; make concept maps & succinct outlines. As you read over your textbooks & notes, write a brief summary for each topic. It is good to spend more time on difficult & important topics.
5.Preparing a Time-Table: Make a time-table, as those who maintain a fixed time-table on daily basis are ultimate winners. It is imperative to form a “basic sketch” of how you spend your day. You should roughly mark out school & tuition timings, personal study time, hobby time & relaxation time. Keep in mind, regularity & punctuality make things easy.
6.Limited Relevant Resources: The Yash Pal report had noted, “The important thing in children’s education ought to be concept formation & growth of capacity for theory- building, rather than possession of vast amounts of information.” One common mistake that most students make while preparing is that in search of relevant books and study material, they end up with a multitude of resources. Having too many books and study resources can do more harm than good. It only confuses student and leads to chaos as everything gets mingled up.
7.NCERTs Books: Remember there are no better books than NCERTs that would build your fundamental understanding of the subject. Base your study on these valuable books.
8.Internet: Technology is certainly a boon as students grasp concepts better in less time with its use. If required, you can browse the internet.
9.Big No to Rote Learning: It is scientifically proved that cramming causes anxiety and lowers ability to retain. It is important to have a clear understanding of the topic as mere cramming would be of no use for long term retention.
10.Be Focused: Do not multi-task while studying. Focusing is imperative. Make sure you are relaxed and focused. Minimize distractions. Undoubtedly electronic gadgets are necessary in the age of IT revolution but should be used in moderation.
11.Group Study: Group study and discussions can be of a great help for preparation. Friends can motivate you and help in solving your problems.
12.Discipline: Always practice discipline. For learning any skill, art or acquiring knowledge, discipline is inevitable. Discipline means living and working within a framework of rules.
13.Adequate Sleep: Don’t be sleep deprived, as it impairs reasoning and memory. After returning to bed create a visual description of whatever you have studied during the day. You will never forget it. Mark my words, it will get embedded in your mind. Switch off lights and revise for the best results.
14.Healthy Lifestyle: It is equally important to take care of your physical health. Exercise regularly at least for 20-25 minutes a day. 20 minutes cardio can improve your memory. Eat balanced diet. Meditation is equally beneficial. Those who meditate regularly are mentally and spiritually fit, alert and equipped to overcome stress and are able to banish negative thoughts.
15.Positive Thinking and Repeated Affirmations: Positive thinking and repeated affirmations not only provide one with new aspirations and hopes but also give courage. Don’t let the odds and anyone’s negative comments get to you. Remember, inner strength comes from repeated affirmations. It improves concentration and controls harmful emotions and sharpens memory.
16.Role of Parents: Parents need to ensure that their children are not overburdened with their expectations. They ought to give moral support to their children.
17.Role of school: Schools can also play their part to ensure that children are not unfairly pressurized, but are still competent to meet demands placed on them.
18.Believe in Yourself: If you believe you can, you certainly can! And you will! You can become whatever you want to be.
Anxiety should be avoided as it can lead to depression, poor memory and lack of attention. When you are stressed, then even good preparation will not help. You need to stay calm to be able to perform well. Remember panicking won’t help. It will only make things worse. Also while preparing and following your dreams remember to enjoy your life. Celebrate small moments, for these moments will help you walk the long path of your dreams.
Ms Asha Chauhan