Every child has his/her unique style of learning and preparing for exams. With its two decades of experience as academic parents to thousands of students, MT Educare shares its experience of how toppers prepare.
Some succeed because they are destined to; but most succeed because they are determined to. Ultimately, all depends on how determined we are to be successful.
Grace Lichtenstein has rightly said, “Your opponent, in the end, is never really the player on the other side of the net, or the swimmer in the next lane, or the team on the other side of the field, or even the bar you must high-jump; YOUR OPPONENT IS YOURSELF, your negative internal voices VS your level of determination.” How true this is for each of you students who are on the verge of taking yet another; but a very important examination of your academic career.
Nerves are frazzled, anxiety at an all time high and you are biting your nails as you head into the exam room. Ensure that you have put in all the required stationery in order, the previous night rather than going through a last minute rush. Also, do not forget to place your hall ticket in your bag. Consume light food during your exams so that it does not overload the system. Do not waste your time by answering unnecessary phone calls. Set your priorities for studies.
If you are worried that you have forgotten everything or that you do not remember an important chapter, then don’t worry, because all the hard work that you have put in earlier will see you through the exam time. Put yourself in a positive frame of mind by having conversations with friends and loved ones. Make sure you reach your centre well before time. Do take your parents or a loved one with you to the exam center as this will diffuse the tension. You can also listen to inspiring or soothing music when you are on your way to the exam. Before you step into the exam hall, make sure you are calm and hydrate yourself with a glass of water.
A week before your exam is the most stressful period. This is the time to identify your Exam Challenge. The most important aspect of an Exam is to set a Goal for oneself. Write down a percentage that you want, in bold on a chart paper and place it in front of your Study desk. This will remind you of your challenge daily.
Compare the exam situation to a real life challenging situation in your life. To tackle this challenging situation, one has to indulge in micro-planning. Identify your Strengths (subjects that you are good at) and your weaknesses (subjects that are difficult to handle). Accordingly plan and schedule your last week as per your needs. Map your current position and plan to achieve your target. One more element of planning involves the management of the physical changes that occur in a challenging situation. Deep breathing will definitely help you to handle the stress during an exam.
Sleep gives our bodies the physical and the mental rest it needs. When you don’t get enough sleep, your concentration and effectiveness suffer and your energy levels decline. To have a relaxed mind, make sure you get at least 8 hours of sleep before the day of the exam.
Rapid Eye Movement or REM sleep is the period when people achieve their most restful sleep. It occurs 90 minutes after you fall asleep and is crucial to be able to absorb new ideas and concepts. To reach REM sleep quicker and to stay there longer, set up a routine where you go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day.Cut down on your caffeine intake and avoid drinking or eating anything at least two hours before going to bed. Also, take some time out to unwind before going to bed. Read a book, do some meditation or listen to relaxing music.
Exercising helps to release endorphins which give you a natural high, helping to relieve the stress you're feeling and allowing your body to relax and break the fight or flight cycle it’s been stuck in, if you’ve had an overly stressful day.
The hormone adrenaline, also called epinephrine, is a stress hormone, released at times of acute stress. It is released from the adrenal glands and increase heart rate, among other things. Therefore the amount of blood reaching the brain increases. The more blood reaches the brain, the more oxygen reaches the brain, creating the adrenaline rush. You can use this adrenaline rush to add a boost to your exercise and release your stress.
Did you know you can reduce your exam stress simply by listening to music? There are tests which correlate that music stimulates the brain. Surgeons are often known to listen to music when they are in the Operation Theatre. Listening to music is known to lower your blood pressure, lower muscle tension, slow down the heart rate and increase your attention span.
Reduce stress by listening to soft, soothing music. It calms your mind and makes it more receptive to information. Classical or instrumental music is known improve spatial reasoning and helps you concentrate. Try and listen to some sounds of nature like birds chirping or dolphin sounds. It will instantly uplift your mood and put you in a positive frame of mind. Try listening to non-lyrical music, as you won’t be tempted to sing along out loud with it.
Remember the saying ‘manage your time, or it will manage you’? It is never more true than during exam time. How well you manage your time during exams can reduce your stress greatly. To manage your time effectively, work out your weekly schedule, and then plan your each day out in small blocks.
When you are working out your timetable make sure you are specific. Don’t put down your timings as Maths: 2 hours, instead for maximum effectiveness, slot it as Maths: 5 pm-7 pm. Make sure you commit to the exact timings or you will end up being behind schedule. It is also important to draw up your schedule as per your strengths. If you are a morning person, slot your toughest subjects for morning. Make sure you take a short break after 45 minutes of intense concentration. Give yourself a small 15 minute break to refresh yourself. Take your time off but don’t go overboard, don’t waste time on unnecessary internet surfing or TV watching because it can interrupt your concentration flow. Stick to your schedule and you will have an easy exam time without having to hit the panic button!
A student processes information and learns in different ways. There are three major styles of learning: Auditory, Visual & Tactile. Usually people have a mix of various learning styles but one is more dominant than the others. Some students process information by seeing and visualising, some by hearing and repeating and some by doing.