#StressFreeExam: 9 important tips for students 

Exams are a testing time for many students. As the exam date approaches closer fear and anxiety begin to increase. One exam does not determine your outcome in life. Dr Harish Shetty lists useful tips for students to put themselves at ease and continue studying without worrying unnecessarily

#StressFreeExam: 9 important tips for students

10th standard exams are hyped beyond a reason. The performance actually does not make much difference to the lives of students but there is a general air of tension around them. As the exams get closer there may be some confusion related to many aspects. Following are some possible scenarios that may unfold:

I am cruising fine but get stuck on a page for long at times

This is perfectly fine occasionally. Take a break for a short time and you will be ok. Skip the page and go ahead. Come back to the difficult page a little later. If you are stuck for a longer time change the subject and read something you know and you love. That may break the monotony.

If you are perpetually stuck than it is the brain’s way of telling you that you need to take a half or a full day break from studies. Have a blast so that your brain cools down and you are energized again.

I am good but my concentration is less these days

Check your sleep and correct it to at least 7 to 8 hours a night. Remember the quality of sleep is more important than its quantity. Afternoon naps should not be more than an hour.

Lack of play can affect your concentration. Half an hour of play is necessary. Bad marks in recent tests may affect your confidence. Remember it makes no difference. One bad innings cannot destroy a batsman. Concentration may also drop because of poor diet, low haemoglobin, low vitamins and minerals. Correct any deficiencies if present with your family physician.

Lack of concentration that does not respond to routine solutions may be caused by depression. Then it may be associated with sadness of mood ideas of hopelessness or worthlessness. Immediate consultation with mental health professionals is a must.

Dr Harish Shetty
Dr Harish Shetty

I have wasted my time across the year and now am just paralysed. I want to take a break from my exams

There is enough time. Divide your days with various subjects and begin seriously now. Do not focus on the quantum of the syllabus but just do as much as you can. Study strategically with the help of your teachers. Focus on the page and a lot of stuff gets done.

Recall is the key and practice it often. Sudden bouts of panic can happen. This can be dealt with slow deep breathing exercises and talking with teachers, friends, family and/or counsellors. If you do not finish the portion completely do not worry. There are a lot of options in the question papers.

I want to study all night and my parents object:

Choose what is good for you but do not copy your friends and their studying styles. Remember waking up late is bad as you may not be fresh during the actual exams that begin in the morning. Note that healthy sleep helps consolidate memory and recall during the exams.

I am average and score around 70 % but my parents expect in the 90% range:

If one scores a 90 one is not a hero and if one scores 60 s/he is not a zero. None of your boards can assess your talents effectively. 10th is a practice match and can never decide your future except your admissions. Try your best and leave the rest to God. See to it that the atmosphere in the house is cheerful and relaxed.

My friends tell me that I need to do at least 5 revisions, I get tense

Friends who call you and share that they have revised their entire portion many times are lying or trying to scare you. Others who share that they are cool and will study in the last month are also probably lying. In these instances ditch your friends and hug your books.

Talk to friends who are honest and share their joys and sorrows sincerely. One good revision is enough. Scan what you know well and study as much as you can

My relatives are very nosey and I get tense

Many relatives/neighbours and others suddenly may show a lot of interest in your life and studies. This can cause irritation and anxiety. There is no need to please everyone around you. Ask your parents to deal with them and curb their unnecessary interest. Remember 10th exams are not a milestone but a stone with many miles to go.

I am addicted to my cell phone

Many students cannot leave their cell phone away. Well without beating around the bush let me advice you to hand it over to your parents. See that it is invisible to your eyes. Take it for an hour from them daily to be in touch with your friends.

I am a student with learning disability and my marks have been low always

This can be frustrating. This is also because schools flout the recent Bombay High Court orders. They test children late for the same and give provisions at 10th standard only.

The confidence is shattered across the 10 years in many cases when the legitimate provisions for L.D are withheld. Appear for the exams. A bright career is awaiting provided you believe that these marks are not a proof of your talents. Work as hard as you can and put your best foot forward. Those on medications for any reason and counselling need to be in touch with their doctors and/or counsellors intensively without fail

The author is a Consulting Psychiatrist at LH Hiranandani Hospital, Powai