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Managing Examination Fever

Manishankar

 

 
It’s examination time
It’s the end of the spring semester in most of the colleges and universities of the Sultanate. Students are running from pillar to post with a one point agenda of making it big in their exams. In the process they are not only tiring themselves, but are also stressing their near and dear ones, including family and friends. In a competitive scenario it is understandable to fight hard for every marks, however, the student community has to manage the same with minimal adverse impact on their health. The article lists few of the tips which can facilitate to reduce the tension and the after-effects therein.
 
 
 
(1) Preparation through-out – Most of the examination related tensions initiates right at the onset of the semester. The student community globally tries to put-off their preparations till the last few weeks, if not the last week itself. Many of those burn the midnight oil, just before the D-day, which culminates in complicating matters on the day of the exam. Few exceptions, especially those are the toppers and all-round performers in a class of students would point to the fact, it is their regular and daily preparations which ensures they are right their at the top, sans tensions and exam related stress. The key to implement this habit lies in self motivation and commitment of the student concerned, which in turn calls for a daily itinerary, prioritising their work etc.
 
 
(2) Seeking guidance- The students are often confused as to how to go about their preparations with so many subjects and the accompanied assessments, projects, classroom activities, not to forget their personal life which also entails family responsibilities. Such confusions can very well be removed by interacting with a professional counselor or a mentor. These guidance can be provided by the teachers, senior students, peers or at times even the parents. The student should therefore be open eough to discuss all issues with the senior pros and professionals so as to get answer to many of their unsolved puzzles.
 
 
(3)Approach for the preparation- A lot of the stress a student depends can be attributed to the strategy adopted by the concerned student. Student preparing for qualitative subjects at times tries to adopt commit and vomit methodology, thereby memorising everything, which not only takes a heavy toll on the mind of the student, but also results in poor retention rate, post examination. It is therefore important for the student to understand the tricks of learning a subject even if it consists of pure theory, sans any practical or numerical portion. It would have a double edged benefit for the student as they would understand the subject, and at the same time reduce the stress associated with mugging up the portions.
 
 
(4) Confidence holds the key- Confidence especially one which is generated from within play a vital role in reducing and eliminating stress of a student, before, during and after the examination. A student who has under-prepared but has confidence in his/her ability to overcome the preparation related hurdle would have very less of the tension prior to the examination. On the other hand s student lacking self-confidence and poor preparation would only aggravate matters culminating in an increased stress level.
 
 
(5) Benchmark according to ones abilities- Benchmarking so as to improve the performance is a good practice. But the benchmarking should be realistic commensurate with ones abilities and present performance. A poor performer cannot suddenly set standards meant for the topper in the class/section. It calls for changing the process which in turn needs time as one has to change the approach towards the goals.
 
 
(6) Parents shouldn’t impose their aspirations on their wards- Parents often try to impose their unfulfilled dreams and aspirations on their wards without realizing the repurcussion it may have on the student. These creates lot of stress and tension as the student’s own pressure multiples exponentially in such a scenario. It is therefore for a modern day aspirant to go after his/her own dream, in line with his interests and abilities, rather than run after the aspiration of the parents or of other siblings and relatives.
 
 
(7) Teachers shouldn’t complicate matters either- An important responsibility of a teacher is to ease the stress of his/her student. This can be done by adopting innovative teaching and evaluation tools which are effective and less stressful. Emphasizing too much on the examination related marks based evaluation is not only unidirectional for an aspirant to be evaluated holistically, but can also create undue stress on the part of the students. Counseling, mentoring and advicing along wth other confidence building measures can go a long way in reducing examination related stress.
 
 
(8)Preparations according to importance- Students should conduct extensive surveys so as to understand the importance of topics from examination and career point of view. A thorough study by interacting with senior pass-outs and subject tutors would enable the student to understand the topics which have high relevance from the examination and career point of view. That, however, doesnt mean to leave aside all the other portions of the syllabus. This ground work can only help in channelising the efforts and energy and also ensure effective time-management, key to reducing examination related stress.
 
 
(9) No substitute to smart work- Students of today should do away with hard work and substitute the same with smart work, which effectively means less input and more output. Practicing by completing all past model papers, assignments etc. and interacting with seniors can provide important insights to the aspiring student. It would help in understanding the pattern of preparation, which in turn would reduce the exams related stress.
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