Exam—just the word makes students shiver and parents jitter. But handling this pressure is of utmost importance. And Geetika Kapoor, a Nationally Certified School Psychologist USA and Founder Director, EdEssential shares some tips that will help students during this testing time.
1. Take it as a usual day:
The body and mind cannot be suddenly set to different time cycles. Therefore, it is important to keep study routines similar near exams and otherwise. Last minute, sudden change would likely prove more tiring than a gradual study routine.
2. Know own capacity and need to study:
Everybody has different needs and capacity for studying. Some people need more time internalising concepts while others are able to do it quickly. It is important to know what one’s own needs are. Comparing own study schedules with friends and siblings may put you under more stress.
3. Target difficult topics right away:
Difficult topics are those that prove challenging and require either prolonged engagement or assistance from an experienced teacher. People who can assist us in learning may not be available closer to exams. Also, difficult topics may need more than two revisions.
4. Develop memorising strategies for topics that need specific answering:
Even for those who focus on understanding, there are topics that need specific answering and thus memorisation. In fact, study mnemonics do often aid in retaining complex formulae.
5. Keep testing yourself:
When we test ourselves, we get to know our real learning. Tests should be as close in format to the exams as possible. Performance on tests will also provide feedback about which topics are ready vs. those needing more work.
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6. Ensure enough sleep:
Our brain tends to consolidate a lot of information that we have absorbed during our days. Further, adequate sleep ensures our brain stays alert to focus. Therefore, it is very important to get adequate sleep and be rested.
7. Focus on preparations:
One often needs planning and strategising to crack exams. Smart studying may or may not mean hard studying. It is important to keep track of topics that are ready and those that need work, in addition to one’s own tricks to internalise.
8. Keep idea of marks at bay:
Brooding over how many marks one is going to get often induces unnecessary anxiety. It is important to know that many factors influence the final marks that we get. Therefore, it is more important to problem solve during preparations and keep focus on one’s own efforts.
9. Keep talking with friends and family:
All study and no fun will surely make one’s mind too preoccupied. It is important to take breaks, go for walks, exercise and keep talking to friends, family. In fact, it’s also advisable to team up with friends for study preparation.
10. Seek help if needed:
If you’re feeling too worried to be able to focus, can’t figure out where to begin with the material at hand, or need people around to reassure, it is important to voice that need and seek help. It also helps in pointing out where is the particular area concerning you – be it study material, tutorial help, expert opinion or even if you just need someone to talk to.
Ambica Gulati likes to write on education. To read more of her work, click here