In about a week, class XII students will sit for their Board examinations, putting to test an entire year's preparation, memory training and endurance. While this period is marked by soaring stress levels and anxiety for some, approaching the examination with a relaxed mind is half the battle won, say experts.

Several parents gear up by suspending internet and cable television connections well ahead of the examinations to “help” their children study well.

Sreedevi (name changed) heads a government school in the city. “I tell my students to stay away from the television for this one month at least. I tell them to get up at 4 a.m. and study. Even at home, we have suspended connection as I have a child taking the board examination. When everything depends on the marks scored, we cannot take it too easy, can we?” she asks.

N. Ramasubramanian, chief principal and correspondent, Natesan Vidyasala Matriculation School, Mannivakkam, urges students not to get carried away by the World Cup. “Every four years, this becomes a challenge during examination time.”

While focussed effort and revisions are important, it is equally important not to get paranoid, notes V. Revathy, a retired mathematics teacher, who now takes tuitions. “I tell my students that after a few hours of intense practice of calculus, it is not a bad idea to go play a game of football or even watch a light, entertaining film,” she says.

Putting an unreasonable amount of pressure on students can impair their performance. “It is only because some parents have unrealistic expectations that students tend to get very disappointed after the results are out,” Ms. Revathy adds.

Systematic revision and adequate rest is most important, says V.M. Kalavalli, headmistress, Government Girls Higher Secondary School, Ashok Nagar. “This is not the time to learn new concepts or chapters. Students should invest time revising what they already know,” she says.

Sharing a few tips, Ms. Kalavalli says practising definitions, laws, theorems and formulae by writing them will ensure that students remember them in the examination hall. “Even for other questions, students could just remember key words that will prompt the answers. Also, studying one-word questions along with their answers will help.”

Going through the question paper patiently and in detail is very important, says Mr. Ramasubramanian. “Importantly, some encouraging words from teachers and parents before the examinations can be very reassuring,” he adds.

Keeping the hall ticket and necessary stationery ready the pervious day, leaving for the examination hall well in advance, a good sleep the previous night and a healthy breakfast on the day of the examination will keep the student's mind clear and relaxed, experts observe.

Br. Soosai Raj, principal, Santhome Higher Secondary School, says it is not just about strategy in preparation. The atmosphere in which students study is also an important factor, he says.

Students of the school have the option of staying back in school to study with their friends. The school provides snacks, dinner and breakfast and also has a few teachers coaching additionally. “Some children studying in our school come from broken families and very difficult backgrounds. We do our best to motivate them to do well,” he says.

The school also has a counsellor to speak to students on how to overcome stress and do well in the examinations.

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Meera SrinivasanJune 28, 2012