Schools

Do away with exam fear

A student preparing for the exam with a hand fan suffer a lot due to frequent power shutdown in Srirangam in Tiruchi. PHOTO: M_SRINATH   | Photo Credit: M_SRINATH

With the onset of March and April comes the examination fever. This engulfs not only students but parents and teachers as well. The level of stress that people undergo because of this was totally unheard of 25 to 30 years back. Perhaps people lived in a simpler and less-competitive world where each child was expected to perform according to his capabilities alone.

Handling stress

How do students handle the examination stress? Preeti, counsellor, A.M.M.Matriculation and Higher Secondary School, says, “If students plan well for the examination and are confident about their preparation, they will definitely be able to tackle exam stress. For this, the students should avoid last-minute studying.” With years of experience in the field behind her, she observes, “Apart from sound preparation, students should face an exam with a positive thought. That I can and will do my best should be the mantra.” On the topic of how interested adults can help, she says, “School counsellors can also adopt preventive counselling methods wherein they can talk to students about some effective study and relaxation techniques.”

Today's students are a highly confused and stressed-out lot. There is a general feeling that parents and teachers are responsible for this to a very large extent. Parents, in their anxiety to see their wards outshine the other children, and teachers, in their anxiety to bring laurels to the school in the academic field, pressure the students to score higher grades. Hounding students to perform beyond their capacity can demotivate them. Suicidal tendencies prior to exams, though rare, are not only an outcome of depression but also due to a fear factor that they may not be able to perform up to the expectations of their parents and teachers.

To curb such tendencies, a strong support system made up of family and friends is essential.

The support factor

Can students actually do away with exam fear? The answer is a definite yes. But a little support is needed from parents and teachers. By adopting a few simple measures we can definitely bring some relief to a child during this time of the year. Study holidays of about twenty days prior to the commencement of the exams give ample scope for the child to relax his mind. Parents, at this juncture, can help the child chalk out an attractive timetable which should include not only studies but other recreational activities like listening to soft soothing music, reading pleasant material, going for brief walks in the open air. Short outings, once in a while, to places of his or her choice, would definitely rejuvenate them and enable them to get back to studies with an energetic vigour.

At this point of time, parents should abstain from leaving their children alone at home. Just being around and motivating them from time to time is enough to boost up their confidence levels. Instead of constantly monitoring their studies, attention should be paid to their food intake as well.

Diet matters

Junk food and restaurant food should be avoided at all costs. Instead, a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, greens and yoghurt will provide them with the energy and stamina that their bodies require at this point. Intake of fluids in the form of fresh fruit juices and buttermilk and plain water will keep their bodies hydrated. Aerated water should be avoided at all costs. Apart from this, a good undisturbed sleep of eight hours is a must. Home should have a pleasant atmosphere.

Tensions, arguments and fights among family members should be avoided. Students should have the liberty to study at their own convenient time instead of being forced to follow a schedule that suits parents. These little liberties will bring a lot of peace to the child’s weary mind.

Identifying a child as a low achiever in school and giving the child the needed attention and help consistently, will help the child to cope with his/her difficulties, no doubt. At the same time sending such students to school during their study holidays will only demotivate them. They tend to feel terribly low and miserable when they realise that they are among a chosen few who attend remedial classes thus highlighting the fact that they are below average. These kind of practices should be done away with, at least before their exams.

Keeping in mind these minute details will go a long way in helping children cope with those difficult days prior to their examinations.


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Printable version | Jun 15, 2021 6:24:48 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/education/school/do-away-with-exam-fear/article6919875.ece

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