Cramming for the exams

A last-minute glance

A last-minute glance  

ONE OF the oft-repeated pieces of advice that grownups give youngsters, who are still in school, has changed little despite the passage of years. "Study hard, only then will you be able to get through the exams and go to the next class."

However, a good many "bright" students seem to have an entirely different view. Either instinctively or through trial and error, they realise that the best way to study well is to enjoy the experience right through the academic year.

Would it be possible to actually enjoy studying? Most students find their lessons so uninspiring that they think up every possible excuse to put off opening their books and getting down to serious study.

There are always friends who are ready for a chat in the coffee shop, ice cream parlour or fast food joint around the corner.

If forced to stay indoors, there is recreation at hand, in the form of the stereo system, the video player or just the television. Some youngsters surreptitiously read books and magazines at the study table and manage to hoodwink their parents into thinking that their child is a very studious one.

Testing time

Testing time  

It is only when the timetable for the examinations is out, that most youngsters begin frantic efforts to get through their textbooks.

With mounting panic, they look at the amount of material to be mastered and fall into despair. They stay up late, lose their appetite, and suffer from stress and lack of sleep.

Some children are generally more nervous about their examinations, when compared to others who seem to take the entire thing in their stride. There are students who are never satisfied however much they have studied, and others who are content with just cramming the important portions a few days before the test.

What does a youngster do after frittering away several months, and finding that the examinations are just a few days away?

First of all, there should be no need for panicking. A student should think about the worst thing that could happen to him or her, as a result of the examination.

Certainly, a failure is not the end of the world, and there are many who have prospered in their lives despite a string of failures, not only in examinations but also during other critical moments in their lives.

Once the fear of failure has been conquered, it is time to build up confidence in one's own abilities. It is always possible to achieve the impossible, for the bounds of possibility are limited only by the mind.

Drawing up a definite plan for last minute study, usually helps to take the mind away from the enormity of the task. A quick glance through the textbooks and some recollection of what the teacher said in class, should be enough to shortlist the broad areas of study.

Becoming familiar with the pattern of the question paper helps overcome the numbing fear of examinations.

Writing down what one is learning, helps to fix the information in one's mind, and a quick glance at the notes should be enough to provide a burst of confidence, before walking into the examination hall.

A night of restful sleep before the test is the best way to ensure that the brain is ready with facts and figures, when the time comes to put pen to paper. Time management is essential too, so that each question gets its due share of attention.

By Michael Raj A.A.

Photos: K.Ananthan

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