Board examinations have evolved into a life-or-death situation for pupils, causing a great deal of worry and anxiety. If left unchecked, this can lead to serious mental health problems.
Strategies to help you cope with the stress and anxiety of a board test
1. Plan an early revision-
Students may have finished their coursework and begun intensive revisions by now. As a result, I highly urge students to practise answering questions and solving problems relating to their studies.
2. Plan a productive timetable
3. Draw plan for each day and each week
During their daily study, things like inclusion of the breaks and their durations, addressing their other important jobs etc, will need students regulate them on a daily basis. Hence, they must prepare themselves to deal with these each day.
4. Consider incorporation of more subjects into daily studies
Preparing for the single subject for hours and hours may get quite monotonous for students. Hence, they can consider extending their devotion to a few more subjects in a single day.
5. Prepare notes
Preparing notes while studying will help the students immensely. These would provide them the facility of taking their support as and when they desire.
6. Practice solutions to question papers of previous years
Following such an exercise will provide the students the opportunities for refining their concepts. It will indicate their standing for the upcoming board exams.
The questions and problems in these papers will provide them almost the same environment as the actual board exams will provide them. This is because they will reflect the same pattern as will be there in the exams.
Students can turn their study room into a real exam room if they stipulate their preparation with the general 3-hour limit.
7. Schedule regular breaks
The students must consider the size, numbers and the ways to spend their breaks when giving breaks to their preparation.
8. Acknowledge the Phobia
The first step in getting rid of maths phobia is to acknowledge that you have it. Once this realisation sets in, it is easier to take steps that will help alleviate any stress or panic caused by the subject.
Many individuals feel anxious or stressed before an exam. In fact, a little anxiety can help you perform at your best. Test anxiety, on the other hand, occurs when this anguish gets so severe that it interferes with exam performance.
Are you aware of the signs and symptoms of test anxiety?
1. Make sure you're prepared: This involves starting studying for the test as soon as possible until you're confident in your knowledge of the content. Do not put it off until the night before. If you're not sure how to study, get assistance from your instructor or parent. Being well-prepared will increase your self-assurance, lowering your exam anxiety.
2. Replace anxious or defeated ideas with positive ones. If you start to feel worried or discouraged thoughts like "I'm not good enough," "I didn't study hard enough," or "I can't do this," push such thoughts aside and replace them with positive ones. "I know the content," "I studied hard," and "I can do this." This can go a long way toward reducing your stress levels when taking an exam.
3. Get enough sleep: Getting adequate sleep can help you concentrate and remember things.
4. Take deep breaths: If you start to feel worried while taking your exam, take a few deep breaths in and out through your nose. Work your way through each issue or difficulty one at a time, pausing to take a deep breath as needed. Making sure you're getting enough oxygen into your lungs might help you focus and relax.
5. Don't fall into the perfectionist trap: No one expects you to be flawless. We're all going to make errors, and that's fine. It's more important to know that you tried your hardest and did your best than it is to be flawless.
6. Surround yourself with positive people; who you spend your time with is really important, therefore avoid opinionated and negative people; their remarks should not worry you. Forget about others; you are who you are, and that is all that matters.
7. Practice according to the clock: During tests, keep a close eye on your time and prioritise what is most essential to you. In this manner, you may save a lot of time while also improving productivity by investing it strategically on critical subjects.
8. Avoid being sidetracked by social media (Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat etc).
They will eat up a lot of your time and productivity, even if you aren't aware of it.
9. Multitasking is detrimental to your health since it raises your heart rate, blood pressure, and produces stress. While multitasking may appear to be efficient, it really lowers the quality of your work. Concentrate on just one item at a time.
10. Try Breathing exercises to help improve focus
11. Study smaller quantities of syllabus every day instead of taking on huge portions. If you hurry with all the chapters you haven't yet covered, you will be able to memorise very little of it for exam day.
11. Prepare notes -There are two scientifically proven methods of note-taking that work the best-SQ5R and Cornell Notes.
a) SQ5R is short for Survey, Questions, Read, Record, Recite, Review and Reflect.
Survey: Skim through the textbook and mark important areas. Don't take more than 7-10minutes
Question: In your textbook, turn the headings and subheadings into questions that could be asked in the exam. Jot down possible questions at the side of important portions of the text.
Read, Record, Recite: Go through the text again and record important points in your own words separately. Put them in bullets or in boxes for better visual representation. Recite the points you noted to yourself
Review: Ask yourself the questions you noted and see if you can answer them properly
Reflect: Repeat the above steps and reflect on the topic you learned till it's completely memorised
b) Cornell Notes is an effective three-column configuration of taking notes which makes memorising and recalling information much easier. When revising, one can easily cover the right column and try to answer the questions on the left.
How to overcome board anxiety
Befriend stress: Stress when perceived as an enemy can lead to anxiety. But when perceived as a friend, it can act as a motivator to perform better.
Time management: Plan and map out your preparation. Make physical timetables and checklists. When you start checking things off of lists, you feel better.
Sleep: Lack of sleep can increase the chances of feeling anxious. So, remember to unwind and get a good night’s sleep the day before your exam.
Practice breathing exercises: Breathing exercises have been proven to help reduce anxiety in many situations. Practising the 4-7-8 breathing technique before an exam can help calm your mind.
Remember your past success: If you have been through this before and perhaps done well then have faith. Believe in yourself.
How to improve study skills
Self-explanation. Explain to yourself the meaning of what you have learnt like how you would teach the same to others.
Distributed practice. Studying over a period of time across different study sessions instead of sitting for long hours.
Switching between subjects. This can help make things less monotonous. Try to alternate between heavy and light subjects.
Do not leave learning for the end. Prepare in advance and try to leave a few days for revision.
Write notes. Research has found that writing by hand promotes better and faster learning.