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Monday, February 14, 2011

How to cope with Exam stress, Midday, 14 feb 2011

How to cope with exam stress
By: Poornima Swaminathan Date: 2011-02-14 Place: Mumbai

With final examinations looming large, anxiety about being unprepared is beginning to creep into students once again. MiD DAY offers a few tips to keep yourself from panicking

THE time of the year that students dread the most is upon us once again. If you are suddenly feeling the heat, are restless and can't sleep at night, you are not alone.

You, like your batchmates and most people your age, are feeling the exam pressure.

"Most of our callers call us in a state of panic. They either fear failure or have not finished studying all that is in their syllabus," said a volunteer from the helpline Aasra.

According to experts, the anxiety of having to give an exam gets to most students particularly those who are unprepared. The best way to deal with it is to not panic and take stock of the situation.

They also have a word of caution for parents, who they advise to refrain from pressurising their children too much.

For those getting ready to give an exam and who feel unprepared, know that you can get back on track through a little bit of planning and revising what you already know.

The moment you panic, you are likely to forget even the things you know.

Here's what you can do to keep your cool and do well in your exams:

1. Plan: Prepare a study chart, keeping in mind the things you have left out but are important in the syllabus. Once you have chalked out the plan, follow it strictly.

2. Be realistic: While preparing the study chart, make sure you set achievable targets for yourself. Excessive optimism or enthusiasm may eventually lead to frustration.

3. Make notes: The benefits of making notes while studying are twofold: you will retain more knowledge when you write and the notes will help in last-minute revision.

4. CLEAR your doubts: Ask your teachers or friends to clear doubts you have in subjects. Not doing so may lead to a loss of confidence.

5. Revise: There are many ways you can revise subjects you have already studied. If you are bored of reading the textbooks, take to revising by writing the stuff you know. You can also revise by discussing the subject in a group.

6. Stay positive: Avoid everything which makes you think negatively about your preparation for the exams. Negative thinking will dent all the confidence you've gained and result in exam stress.

7. Eat right: Eat food which is rich in vitamins and protein like green vegetables, fruits, cereals, eggs and chapatis. Avoid oily and junk food during exams. Proper nutrition is essential for the brain to perform optimally. Avoid bingeing on coffee or tea to keep you awake.

8. Sleep well: Sleeping for a minimum of seven hours helps retain what you've studied during the day and keeps you fresh.

Important helplines
Vandrewala foundation: 2570 6000
Aasra helpline: 2754 6667/9
Maitra Helpline: 2538 5447

Miscellaneous tips:

Whenever you stick to your plan for the day, do something you like. Treat yourself to a little bit of fun. It'll help you stay focused on your timetable.

For those of you who like silence when you're studying, find a secluded room in your house

For those who like music, you can listen to it when you're solving mathematical or accounting problems

Keep a bottle of water on your desk and drink regularly to hydrate the brain. Try to keep fizzy drinks to a minimum.

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