Monday, January 30th, 2012

Tips To Handle Exam Stress

exam stressEXAMS CAUSE A LOT OF STRESS to students and their parents. Not a single year goes by without the media reporting a number of suicides and suicidal attempts by children as young as 14 to 17 due to the fear of the board exams, or their poor performance in the same. First and foremost rule to remember is that there is more to life other than exams. Now, you read the other techniques to handle stress, as suggested by experts.

Know the signs of stress: Children who experience stress may be irritable, wouldn’t be able to sleep well, lose interest in food, worry a lot and appear depressed, nervous or negative. Headaches and stomach pains can also be stress-related.

What causes stress Anxiety over one’s performance in the exams, the results and reaction of parents and friends, comparisons, parental expectations, peer pressure, and our system’s classic obsession towards grades and percentages, all weigh upon students to create exam stress. These concerns bog students down as they feel they have to ‘prove themselves’ and display their year’s work in the pressured situation of a one or two hour exam, tells Dr Arti Anand Clinical Psychologist at Ganga Ram Hospital.

How to handle stress

1. Look out for signs of exam stress and discuss exam worries with the child by putting things in perspective If you feel your child isn’t coping with stress, talk to teachers at your child’s school.

2. Ensure your child eats well. A balanced diet is vital for your child’s health. Some parents find that too many high-fat, high-sugar and high-caffeine foods and drinks (such as cola, sweets, chocolate, burgers and chips) make their children hyperactive; this is a myth. Cut short on these, as they make children irritated and drowsy.

3. Encourage sleep. Good sleep will improve thinking and concentration. Most teenagers need between eight and ten hours’ of sleep in a night. Allow half an hour or so for kids to wind down before they hit the sack. Watching TV usually helps children de-stress. Cramming all night before an exam is a bad idea. Sleep will benefit your child far more than hours of panicky last-minute study.

4. Be flexible with rules. When your child is revising all day, don’t worry about household jobs that are left undone or untidy bedrooms. Try to be flexible with their other chores.

5. Help children with their studies. Draw up a revision schedule or ask the school for one to help the kids study well.

6. Discuss their nerves - Remind your child that feeling nervous is normal. Nervousness is a natural reaction to exams.

7. Encourage exercise/activity-Make sure your child remains active. Walking, cycling, swimming, football and dancing are all effective, as these boost energy levels, clear the mind and help to relieve stress.

8. Don’t add to the pressure. “Keep things in perspective,” says Dr Anand. “Listen to them, give support and avoid criticism. Make sure they know that failing isn’t the end of the world, and that if things don’t go well they may be able to take the exam again. After each exam, encourage your child to talk it through with you and move on to focus on the next test.

9. Make time for treats - When the exams are over, help celebrate with a treat. These can be a real encouragement for the next time they have a test. But don’t use rewards as bribes.

What Students Should Do

1. Have a dedicated place to study that is well lit and relatively free from distractions.

2. Make a time table for studying, dividing the subjects and time allotted for each subject judiciously. Chalk out a plan of both daily targets and weekly targets in terms of number of concepts in the syllabus and number of chapters to be completed. Also conduct a personal time survey on yourself to discover how you are allocating your time to various activities and the need to prioritize.

3. Study smart. Make summary notes of your books, notes and essays to make them more user-friendly. Re-learn difficult chapters/portions and explain them to your friends and family, as it strengthens the memory processes. Use charts, tables, diagrams, maps, etc to organize information for easy recall.

4. Take short breaks of 5-10 minutes after 40-45 minute of continuous study, to optimize concentration levels.
5. Try answering model question papers of past exams or explaining tricky answers to someone else to make sure you have made sense of it. This will help in developing self-confidence and assess preparedness.
6. Monitor your progress at the end of each day and reward yourself with a snack or ice cream.
7. Always ask for help if there are things you don’t understand, and especially if you’re feeling stressed out.
8. If stress overwhelms you, talk to your parents or your teachers.

Finally, never forget that there is life after revision and exams.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInFlattr the authorShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someoneShare on RedditShare on TumblrBuffer this pageDigg thisShare on Google+Pin on Pinterest

Category: Exam Stress
You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
© 2014 Guardian Lifecare Private Limited.
Our Other Websites : – Corporate  |  Healthcare Products  |  Blog

Featuring Recent Posts WordPress Widget development by YD