Pressure mounts on students ahead of exams

PEER GROUP: Group study is one way of easing exam pressure.

PEER GROUP: Group study is one way of easing exam pressure.   | Photo Credit: — Photo: K.V.Srinivasan

City Bureau

CHENNAI: Tuition class… breakfast... revision examination… lunch… study time… tuition…

It’s no easy task being a class XII student today. With a typical day of most students packed this way, the pre-board examination phase for most students could be draining – physically, mentally and emotionally.

With the higher secondary and CBSE board examinations set to begin in about a month’s time, many families are literally going crazy. While most adults manage to laugh at their Plus-Two scores in retrospect, why is it made out to be the ultimate test of an individual’s potential? The pressure of college admissions, parents would say.

“The pressure in my son’s school is tremendous. Teachers tell students that if they do not score well in the revision examination, they will not be allowed to sit for the boards,” said a doctor-parent, explaining how parents also invariably succumb to the pressure.

Moreover, middle-class parents fear having to pay huge sums if their child does not score high enough for admission on merit.

Consequently, the entire family seems to be caught under a mountain of stress, denying themselves all simple sources of leisure and entertainment, believing that such abstinence is the only way to success.

“I remember watching a world cup match the day before my Class X mathematics examination. I scored a centum. Each one has his own way of relaxing and that is as crucial as preparing well,” says S. Gopal, now an IT professional.

Chitra Prasad, correspondent and principal, NSN Matriculation School, also feels that a game of shuttle or a quick dance will not come in the way of preparation.

Instead of fixing targets, parents must encourage students to give their best and make them believe they are capable of doing well.

If you thought the high level of pressure was exclusive to class XII students, you are mistaken. Kasim’s parents recently withdrew cable TV connection and don’t permit internet usage, either. “My teachers told them to do so in the last open day. It is not like I’d study 24 hours because of that. I am confident of my preparation,” said the class X student.

Problems like headache and stomach ache are psychologically induced. Particularly when the child senses lack of parental sympathy, says P. S. Muralidharan, professor of Paediatrics, Institute of Child Health. (With inputs from Meera Srinivasan, Ajai Sreevatsan and R.Sujatha)

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