Lessons, exams, long hours of studying and marks… the list that can bog you down might seem endless, but make sure you know how to face the challenge.
If you’re a student preparing for the boards, the worst time of the year is upon you. Why does every day have to involve waking up early and going to sleep late? Why are you unable to memorise all the chemical equations despite having studied them for an entire year? Why are people constantly asking about exam preparation? Can’t they talk about the weather instead? And who on earth has been eating your emergency stash of chocolate?
These are all pressing questions that you could definitely spend some time thinking about during your next day-dreaming break. For now, let’s look at some of the ways to beat pre-exam anxiety:
Don’t look at new portions you haven’t studied before and freak out. This is the time to just go through what you already know to make sure you know it well.
Don’t create unrealistic timetables to follow. There’s nothing worse than that feeling of frustration when you discover you’re lagging three hours behind schedule (doing 50 sums took a lot longer than the 45 minutes you had originally scheduled for it!).
Avoid talking to friends and relatives who tend to make you feel tense with their questions. If you can’t avoid them, tell them you don’t feel like talking about studies and would much rather discuss all the movies you’re going to watch back-to-back once the boards are over.
Don’t get distracted with relationship drama. It’s a waste of time and energy, neither of which you can afford to lose right now. If you’re dating somebody, then make a pact with them that you’ll only talk about non-controversial topics and not disturb each other while studying. Also, both of you will need your sleep, so avoid chatting into the wee hours of the morning!
Take care of your health. During your breaks, instead of sitting in the same position watching cat videos on the internet, grab a snack or go for a short walk.
Remember, this set of exams is just another in a long line of tests and personal interviews that you will be facing for the next few years, so there is no need to get additionally anxious about it. Parents should avoid talking about marks and what you expect from your child; students are under enough pressure as it is. Instead, reassure your child that he/she has your love and support, regardless of their exam performance. It’s important that you make this explicit. You may think you’re easy-going, but chances are your child is secretly quite afraid of letting you down.
- Understand that you are not the only student feeling this way.
- Focus on what you know rather than what you don’t.
- Set realistic expectations and frame short-term goals that would help you reach your long-term goal.
- Do not compare your performance and skills with others as their interests and goals might differ from yours.
- Stay positive; compensate your negative/fearful thoughts with positive affirmations.
- Prioritising and planning for your exams can really reduce your distress.
- Stick to your routine, this includes your study time, learning style and environment.
- Take quick breaks at regular intervals.
- Appreciate yourself for the efforts made.
- Stress can be good when it acts as a motivator, helps you accomplish your goals.
For more individual support to combat pre-exam anxiety for parents and students, write to Let’s Talk, a Chennai-based provider of counselling services: firstname.lastname@example.org.