With board examinations just around the corner, students and their parents are going overboard with preparations. Long study hours, short breaks and even shorter time to relax is a norm during the exam season. Last minute jitters are normal, but it is crucial to make sure that students keep the cool to prepare judiciously.
DRAW A TIMETABLE
First thing first – make a realistic timetable, this will ensure that you are giving enough time to each subject. Allot more time to practice concepts and chapters that you find difficult. Make sure you allot at least an hour every day for revision. Close to the exams, students start studying till late night or wake up early in the morning – this should be avoided. If one is accustomed to a certain pattern and they should stick to it, they can make minor alterations – like waking up an hour early than usual or studying for a little beyond the regular bedtime. Making drastic changes in the schedule may disturb their body clock, reduce attention span and hamper their grasping powers.
Parents should avoid burdening their children with extra notes, reference books and study materials at the last minute. This does more harm by confusing the students.
Students focus on how long did they study rather than what they studied. They should develop an interest in the topic by relating it to their surroundings and understanding the purpose behind studying it.
PREVIOUS YEAR QUESTION PAPERS
This is a million dollar gift to any student preparing for the exams. Try to solve as many previous year’s question papers as possible. This will give the student an idea of the kind of questions to be asked and help in time management.
There are a few favorite questions that are repeated in some way or the other, each year. Students should ideally use these papers as a mock test to gauge their speed, accuracy, and knowledge.
TAKE A BREAK
There is no harm in relaxing and taking a break from studies. Try to study for two hours with half an hour break to refresh. Salunkhe adds, Banning mobiles phones, internet or TV time doesn’t really help. Parents should definitely restrict the time spent on these, but a complete ban should be avoided. Students require a break too, so let them pursue things that they like.” “Parents make a huge mistake by preventing their kids to do any outdoor activity. Never forget the old adage ‘all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy’. Physical activity keeps the mind healthy and active, which ultimately improves concentration and memorising power.
Instead of pressuring the kids, parents should be a strong pillar of support.
Stress will push children away from working hard. Even if they fail to do well – do not shout at them, instead counsel them and encourage them to do better next time. Explain your child the value of discipline and focused studies, rather than pushing them at the last minute. This will inculcate the habit of working hard and make them better prepared.
Use of memory pills, caffeinated or energy drinks should be limited, if not avoided completely. Eating healthy and keeping the student hydrated is crucial. The pressure, stress and long study hours can take a toll on one’s body, thus, staying healthy is important during exam time.
Board examinations have been scary ever since we remember. It’s time that we stop judging a child’s abilities based on the board results, especially now when there are a number of career paths available. Just because a student is not good at maths or science does not mean he or she can’t make for a great author or an entrepreneur.
Stress affects the student’s behavior and the ability to focus. Students tend to get angry and frustrated in this period due to stress, their appetite goes for a toss and some remain sleepless for days to go, and this is when parents should remain supportive.