Archana Vishwanath, director, Jain Heritage School
More than 18 lakh students across India are getting ready to write their class X and XII board exams. The very mention of board exam stirs up memories of last-minute mugging, endless revision, practice, etc. Board examination seems to the focal point of a student’s life. However, before students get immersed underneath a plethora of textbooks and exam-related anxieties, there are some important things that they should know.
- Scoring marks is not the biggest worry: Scoring marks is probably one of the biggest stress inducers during any exam. The anxiety related to scoring perfect marks can cause students to set an unrealistic target for themselves. However, one should remember that exams are a way to assess what you have studied and not just a medium to score marks.
- Quality of answers matters: A common fear and now almost a certain tradition is to compare one’s answer sheets with one’s peers. During the exams, stress is also caused by seeing your peers taking more answer sheets than you. However, it should be noted that the number of sheets does not matter. All that matters is what you write and how precisely, how accurately you answer the question.
- Finish at your own pace: While you are writing the exam, it is indeed panic-inducing to see your peers finish their paper and hand it over before you do. On the other hand, it can also be stressful to realise that you have finished your exam first before anyone else. Both these scenarios lead to anxiety and stress. But it is important to remember to finish your paper in your own time. Every student has a different mind and a different pace. So it is best to concentrate on one’s paper only.
- Failure is not a bad thing: Although most would probably disagree, excelling in exams is not the only goal in life. Fear of failure in exams often leads to dangerous consequences like stress and anxiety. A student should be confident of whatever he/she has learned and the focus should be to put in their best efforts without worrying about the results. This is the only true path to success.
- Be positive about exams: We all know that the exam season is extremely challenging for a student. The pressure and the remarks from your peers and superiors, parents, and teachers adds to a student’s worry. However, it is also a fact that exams can be a great learning experience if dealt with positively.
- Exam strategies always help: Be it underlining important passages in the textbook, question paper, or skimming through the contents of the paper during reading time, or answering the questions which you know best first, these are all strategies and tactics to make exams less stressful. If a particular tactic works for him/her, the student should pursue it and put it to best use.