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Get set for the exams


With proper planning, the forthcoming Board exams can be faced more confidently.

Ranjani, a student of Std XII, has been visiting the paediatrician almost every week this month with complaints of headache, nausea, sleeplessness and body ache. She is a good student. Her mother says that Ranjani has been screaming for everything. Ranjani said, "I am not able to think clearly. I feel bogged down at the amount I have to study for the exams. Even after the board exams, I have to face many entrance exams."

Ranjani is stressed because of her forthcoming exams. She has another three months to prepare for this and there is sufficient time to study all the subjects but it needs to be planned properly. Optimal stress motivates and helps in performance. Undue stress overrides preparation.

Many schools complete the syllabus by December. This takes away the stress of doing daily lessons.

The study material should be identified to begin with. There should be no confusion about the syllabus. The duration of study a day should be planned next. Here, students ought to take care of their sleep needs and sleep rhythm. Each adolescent needs eight hours of sleep a day, which can be distributed through the day. Tuitions and coaching classes must suit the sleep needs of the adolescent and not the other way round.

Define learning pattern

By now, an adolescent's learning pattern is defined. They may learn by listening, reasoning, rote memory, writing and rewriting, by taking notes in points, teaching others, or by referring to higher books. Hence, one child's way of learning can be different from his or her classmate's way of learning.

Any doubt about the subject must be clarified with the teachers. If a concept is not understood, it would prevent further progress in study. Here, teachers should be willing to help students with a smile whenever they need their help.

Students should give adequate time for leisure too. The leisure activity can be playing, listening to music, walking, jogging, chatting with a friend or parent or reading something other than the prescribed syllabus.

Personal hygiene like bathing, grooming, eating nutritious food at regular intervals, eating sufficient quantity of fruits and vegetables (as they contain antioxidants), drinking adequate water (up to eight glasses a day) ought to be maintained.

Anxiety is infectious. The anxiety parents feel can pass on to the youngsters. A relaxed family environment, love, appreciation and encouragement help students to put in their best and achieve greater heights. Examination is an opportunity to display one's knowledge. Hence it should be faced with a smile.

Dr. Yamuna is a Chennai based consultant paediatrician and Adolescent Physician.


Parents can contribute to the adolescents' preparation in a major way. They can —

  • Appreciate the effort put in by their youngsters.

  • Always encourage and talk about the assets their adolescents possess.

  • Be active listeners when their adolescents talk to them. This gives an immense sense of security to the youngsters.

  • Be willing to help adolescents in their work.

  • Provide the right kind of environment to study at home.

  • Provide appropriate nutrition based on the needs of the adolescents because the brain needs energy and makes a person hungry.

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