Exams look very horrifying and scary for the student, but they are actually preparing you and sharpening you. The more you learn to master tests and exams, the more you will enjoy the challenges of life.
Here are a few tips on how to prepare well for the exams, and not allow the tension to pull you down
- Keep giving yourself mock exams periodically so that it becomes a habit. Time management is a very integral and important part of preparing for exams.
- Check out where you have lost marks in the mock exams, and why.
- Keep marking off the portions you have already studied and are ready to answer in the exam. This will give you the confidence that you are covering more and more ground.
- A simple rule that you know very well, but often forget to practice, is to space out your studies through the year, instead of waiting to cram up on the last few days. This by itself is the greatest insulation against exam tension.
- As the exam date approaches, do not give up your extra-curricular activities completely – just keep reducing them. Taking breaks from studies and doing activities that you enjoy, reinforces your will to get back to the challenge.
- Make sure that your physical activity does not come to a stop. Brisk walk, jogging, quick exercises, yoga and pranayamas, choose whatever suits you most. Don’t think of this as time lost from studies, because they will improve your intake when you get back to study, and reduce your stress levels to help you face exams better.
- Reduce your sleep hours slightly, but never drastically. Also, do not change your sleep timing significantly, because your body clock has got used to a particular time of sleep. Reducing sleep time in a 24 hour cycle by about 20-25% should be the maximum. If you reduce your sleep further, it will have an adverse effect.
- Strictly maintain food habits. Never postpone breakfast, lunch or dinner just because you are deeply involved in studies. Take food breaks at the right time, have the right quantity of food, avoid snacking with junk food, and try to supplement with nutrients like milk, fruit juices etc.
- As far as possible avoid tea and coffee. If you are already used to it, make sure your intake does not increase as the exams draw closer, and particularly avoid them near your sleep time.
- Don’t neglect your personal hygiene. Bath on time, fresh set of clothes, periodically washing your face, help not just your body but also your mind.
- If you feel the tension of the exam creeping up on you as the dates approach, keep talking to one or two trusted persons (preferably elders) about how you feel, what your symptoms are, what you fear is the worst that can happen, and how you are coping with it. Writing a diary also helps some of us.
- As the exam date approaches, go into the mode of survey and revision rather than reading a few chapters in detail. If you find particular chapters or topics have just not got into your head, trying to mug them up at the last moment never helps. See if you can strengthen the other chapters sufficiently to compensate for the marks you will lose.
What do you do on the day of your exam?
- >Don’t stay awake the previous night. Give yourself sufficient sleep
- Go through the morning routine of bath, dressing up well, and having a reasonably leisurely breakfast. Don’t skip any of your usual activities.
- If prayer or meditation helps you, put aside some time and do so.
- Check all your belongings, pens, ID card etc., and put them away in a firmly closed bag. See that you have the Hall Ticket, instrument box, spare pen, and whatever else is required for the exam.
- Reach the venue of the exam well in advance. Don’t try to keep reading when you are traveling. Enjoy the fresh air or the passing view, and keep your mind away from the exam.
- Avoid speaking to friends about the exam.
- Do some deep breathing, sip water.
- When you get the question paper, read it carefully and slowly (if necessary, more than once), and make out a time schedule. Attempt easy questions first,
- Keep track of the time.