So the examinations are approaching. The students and their parents are on the edge. Of course, you must have prepared well for the exams, so don’t worry! (You can read Exams: How to prepare well?)
Here are a few essential tips to manage these exam times well.
Managing Exam Stress
Many students get stressed when the exams are approaching. A few things can prove helpful for them.
- Overall positive attitude
- Taking regular short breaks during studies
- Switching off – time: During the breaks, try to switch off the mind totally from thoughts of examination and studies. Taking a short walk in fresh air, listening to soothing music, watching a favourite TV show or simply having a fun-chat (No exam or study talk!) with a friend are some ways of recharging the tired mind. Just be sure that this break-time is not encroaching on the study-time!
- Relaxation techniques – Yoga, meditation, deep breathing exercises
- Power-naps: Taking a short nap of 20-30 minutes following a particularly heavy study-session can be useful.
- Avoid the company of pessimists and nay-sayers!
Staying healthy for the exams
- Consult your doctor and make sure that the vaccinations are up to date. Flu and Chickenpox vaccines are particularly important in this regard.
- Reducing general risk of infections: Avoid visits to crowded places; limit eating out in restaurants and avoid eating cold refrigerated items during the run-up to examinations. This will help in reducing risk of colds, flus and gastrointestinal infections.
- Maintaining a good sleep routine. Having at least 7-8 hour sleep at a stretch is ideal. Some students study better late in the nights and some in the early morning. The sleep timings should be adjusted accordingly.
- Balanced diet:
- Rather than having heavy lunches or dinners, which tend to make the individual sleepy in their aftermath, it is better to divide the daily food intake into around 5-6 smaller meals (Breakfast, Mid-day snack, Lunch, Mid-afternoon snack, Dinner, Post-dinner snack). This ensures more even energy distribution throughout the day.
- No food fads or fancy diets.
- Avoid or limit the so-called ‘Fast foods’ or ‘Fun foods’ such as biscuits, cakes, desserts, pastries, soft drinks; high fat snack items such as crisps, pies, pasties, sausage rolls and other takeaways; lollypops and chocolates.
- Simple home-cooked food with recommended portions of fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean white meats, low fat dairy products and plant oils is the best choice.
- Consume at least 6-8 glasses of water per day to keep the body well-hydrated.
- Regular physical activity will improve physical fitness as well as ensure mental freshness. Walking, jogging or any exercise routine will be good choices. Minimum 30 minutes a day is the recommendation for such activity.
On the examination day
- Get good sleep and wake up refreshed.
- Get ready at least 2 hours ahead of the examination time.
- Reach the examination hall at least 45 minutes before the paper begins.
- When the question papers are distributed, first check the total number of questions and pages.
- Assess the difficulty level and the expected writing time for each question.
- Try and finish each answer within that expected time-frame.
- Write the easier and shorter questions first and keep the more complex and longer questions for later.
- Try and keep at least 15 minutes for final review of your answers.
- Check whether you have numbered the answers and the sections correctly.
- Tie-up the answer-sheets and check if the examination number (or other identification details) are correctly mentioned as per the rules.