The stressful examinations

Rubon Saproo

The current academic session is over and now it is the time to be prepared for examinations to perform well. The exams which are a crucial part of education system play a very significant role in our lives because such tests are aimed to examine knowledge and ability of students. However, it is seen that exams do not bring any kind of pleasure on faces of students instead put them under plethora of thoughts triggered by tension and anxiety. Things which can lead students to such a situation are issues of concentration, lack of preparation, vast syllabus, expectations from parents, peer pressures and challenges.
The examinations become more crucial and stressful for students when their choice of courses and admission for further education, be it academic or professional, are totally based on merit. As the month of March is approaching, high and higher secondary students begin to feel pressure of studies and worry about upcoming exams.
Examinations have become an inseparable part of our lives because they compel us to learn and achieve targets in life. So far as students are concerned the announcement of final examination schedule puts them under tremendous pressure since it limits their freedom to rooms for studies.
Majority of students complain a lot about physical and mental issues while preparing for exams. Although, stress on students before or during exams is seen as normal but a feeling to perform much better way leaves them in a helpless situation. They feel unhappy, anxious and paranoid besides losing sleep, become irritable, exhausted and pressured. This is what every student whether being super, average or below average faces throughout the academic life.
Before one can understand the genuine causes of pressures among students, firstly, it seems more important to know about categories of pupil and their methods of study. Like, there is one category of students who take studies very seriously all over the year. Such students maintain consistency in learning and complete syllabus well before exams. These students learn extra study material to command each topic and subject. Yes, these students are remain keen to register their names in the merit list. Another class of students are known as hard workers. They fall in the class of average students. Their main aim is to qualify exams with good scores and then decide about the future plans of study. There is one more student category who does not study well in advance for the exams. They start preparations after announcement of exams. These students mostly follow ‘pick and choose’ policy in studies. Now, there is an extra ordinary section of students whose IQ level is very high. Such class of students sometimes create wonders in exams.
In fact, exam stress is a very common issue for the students but there are some other factors responsible for increase in stress levels .First of all, an internal pressure to perform well especially at intermediate level since students know that scoring well in class 12 board exams will decide their future career. Second, parental expectations when most of parents pressurise children to obtain highest marks in case they want to achieve something in life. Third, peer pressure when children of same age group particularly classmates are influenced by activities of one another without realising the negative impacts.
For example, you are compelled by your peers to do what you wouldn’t and you did it with the reason to be valued by your friends.This pressure is more horrible and it can lead to students in depression and high levels of stress. Fourth, lack of preparation and planning before exams when students feel that they have not covered the syllabus properly and with the result are unable to perform well. Besides late night studies, personal relationships and fear of failure are few other factors responsible for causing worry among students.
Even though, exams are unavoidable part of student life but it does not mean that they can not face them without any stress.
Preparing for exams

The best way to cope with exam stress is to prepare your self well before commencement of exams. The students must keep consistent approach towards their studies. They should make own timetables so that they are able to allot adequate time to each subject. He or she should keep in mind that every subject is important from examination point of view and paying no attention to any subject may result in disappointment. As it is said that self study is the best study and similarly making self notes on various topics would be more beneficial rather than notes prepared by someone else. For preparing own notes, students must consult books of different authors and tutors. Such notes are easy to revise and bear in mind.
Also, it is important to write down every question after revision. The constructive role of elders, parents and teachers can also help children to combat stress levels. In addition, students must not feel examinations as punishment and continue their routine activities apart from studies. Meditation, exercise and good health will also help to reduce the levels of anxiety.
For such students who neglect studies through the year should also not worry as some measures can help them to achieve success despite exams around the corner. Here are some tips that can prove beneficial. First, students should make a study plan by preparing the best chart and then follow it strictly. Second, obtain a syllabus copy and select the chapters with more weightage. Third, select important topics, read and highlight important portions and prepare own notes. It is better to prepare notes in points instead of paras as it can help to retain information even more. Fourth, focus on some units of each subject and cover them properly. Fifth, acquire previous years papers which can give you hint about selection of questions from different units. Sixth, adopt a positive mental approach for passing exams and lastly meditation, exercise, tips from teachers and friends, nutritious diet and good sleep may help to fly high in exams.
However, above all the role of parents is very important. They should neither pressurise children for scoring high nor begin to compare them with other students. This can really affect children from deep within and also influence on their studies and personalities. The parents must play a key role and act as a facilitator for the child during exams. Remember, all children are not equally talented and therefore it becomes moral responsibility for parents to encourage children that will help them to perform better and improve capabilities.