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The Never-Ending Examination Stress [Do’s and Dont’s]

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We come across a number of seasons in a year: Spring, summer, autumn, winter, festive. Each one of them comes just once in 365 days. So, we enjoy them to the utmost extent & wait for their arrival one after the other. My write-up is neither on the four seasons that we studied in Geography & neither on the fifth season which wakes up the ghost of shopping in the people. It is actually on the “EXAM SEASON”. A season which students, nevertheless of which class or age they are, would never want to come across in their lives. Literally writing, students feel it to be the most “unpleasant season” of the year & is the only season which luckily (for toppers) or unluckily (for all others) repeats itself more than once a year.

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Wikipedia defines exam as “a test to show the ability of a student.” But, actually this test turns out to be a “disability” for the students when, their brain goes blank in exams or they suffer from a nervous breakdown at or immediately before the exams. Further, every student (including me) brings a change in the daily lifestyle during exams. As an example, being kids, friends usually tell each other that “my mother has kept my video game console in her cupboard till my exams end.” Another friend replies that “my mother has banned my T.V. or movie viewing & playing too till exams.”Being teenagers or adults we say, “I won’t login to facebook or send any SMSes in the exam season.”Adding to the list are a bunch of people who ask psychologists, counselors and teachers to give them some calmness & relaxation tips and even list of questions appearing in the exam so that, somehow they can jump to the next class, even if they didn’t study for the entire semester.

Taking you to the examination hall, I came across two girls at the examination center recently during my Chartered Accountancy exams, who used to sit next to each other and prepared 50% syllabus each, in order to reduce the syllabus burden, and pass the exam by this unconventional cheating style. Now please don’t try this style in your exams because although you might pass the exam today, you might suffer in your professional life at a later stage.

The very purpose of exams is just testing the “KNOWLEDGE” which somehow is not actually & completely obtained by the students, either because of the education system which aims at giving knowledge to the students mostly by textual means & in a theoretical manner or, the examination system which aims at testing the knowledge obtained in a year in a Three-hour examination & declares your competency merely by way of marks & grades, no matter how much creative or intelligent you might be practically.

Well, I am not the Education Minister (neither I want to be) who can bring a reform in the education & examination system, nor I am Baba Ranchordas Chanchad who can take a Panga with Mr. VIRUS & teach him how to teach. What we can actually do is change the attitude towards exams as follows:-

1.Fear the fear

Haan Haan, I know that I have copied the heading of this point but what can I do? Lakh Samjhao sabko phir bhi nahi samajh aati. You drink cans of Mountain Dew but still forget that “Darr Ke Aage Jeet Hai.” We give a number of exams in our life but whenever the next exam comes we ask the same questions to ourselves or to others, i.e., “Do we know the exam?”, “How will the exam go?”,”Will I be able to complete it in time?” etc. etc. My dear! I can give you a list of a number of such questions which you can use to kill your confidence, but, if you really want to succeed in exams, focus on the subject questions, not on stupid ones. Dimaag ko Dahi(curd) nahi, Sahi karo.

2.“Is this important?” gang

When I gave my Class 12 Board Examinations, the school authorities used to send a teacher from the school. The students used to gather around the teacher and ask him/her “Is this important? Is that important?” The teacher always had the same answer, “Ya! There is a possibility that it might appear in the paper” & the gang used to turn the pages of their notes in a hurry as if the teacher had fixed the exam and was 100% sure as to the appearance of that particular question in the exam. Result: The question never used to appear in the exam but the “possibility of its appearance” words of the teacher used to upset the students at the last moment.
Remember that when the aim of life is gaining knowledge, everything that we learnt was important & what we missed was also important, but, exam can contain only a part of the total content. What percentage of your knowledge appears in the exam is entirely a matter of luck.

[stextbox id=”info”]Also Read, What advice Sonal Kalra has to give for all the students suffering from Examination & results phobia.[/stextbox]

3.The Owl Gang

Are you among the people who study the entire night before exam and give the exam next day? Just tell me how much time did you take to grasp a concept one night before the exam and what portion of it were you actually able to reproduce in the exam? You didn’t have an answer in the exam and you don’t have an answer now just because what you were trying to do by being an owl is reduce the exam stress by making an effort to grasp more concepts, but, not being able to do the same due to the brain unrest, you get stressed the night before exam and ultimately in the exam too.

Trying to grasp concepts a night before the exam, we just have an illusion of gaining knowledge, but in reality, the airplanes of knowledge are flying in the dark sky of our brain which becomes dark due to breaking of the law of nature and that is the law of “Rest is the best, near the test.”

4.The Discussion Gang

Step out of your examination hall after the exam and you will find a number of groups discussing the question paper, trying to make an estimate of their score, the computation of which is never made like the way students make it. If your exam has went well as per your thinking, but, still you don’t want to keep that smile on your face, please do join one of these groups as even if you are going to top in the exam, they will not let you do that.

The evaluation of answer sheets or any exam is based on a number of factors unknown to the students. You never know if an evaluator might give you an extra mark for handwriting when you have already scored 99 in the paper.

5.The Interviewing Family

The child reaches home after a three hour examination from his institution and the interviewers waiting for him/her at the home start the rapid fire round i.e. How was your paper? How much did you attempt? What do you expect the score to be? What was the view of your classmates and your competitor in particular about the exam?

Dear Madame and/or Sir, the viewing of exams as something stressful by your child has a lot to do with these questions. These questions are much more difficult to answer than the exam ones as the answer to these questions depends solely on the will of the examiner, but, still your child is forced to give a ‘positive answer’ by your repeated questioning. A positive answer because he knows that giving a negative one might add petrol to your already aggressive behavior, which turned aggressive because he couldn’t answer a one mark question due to a lengthy exam and short time. So, why ask when he doesn’t know?

6.The writer’s role

Don’t know an answer or have a little knowledge about it? This is the situation when you can play the role of a writer. Sometimes beautiful writings of authors do emerge from a single word or a simple phrase or a one-time observation. If you have a meager knowledge about a concept, but, you do have it, write what you can by giving it a serious thought rather than wasting time in copying from others or writing irrelevant content in the exam. For an instance, when I sat to write this write-up, I didn’t search any books or encyclopedia but, tried to convert my observations into a sequence of words. To what extent I was successful in my attempt and to what extent my point is valid can be ascertained only from your feedback.

All the Best for every exam of your life!

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There is no end to education. It is not that you read a book, pass an examination, and finish with education. The whole of life, from the moment you are born to the moment you die, is a process of learning.

– Jiddu Krishnamurti. 

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2 thoughts on “The Never-Ending Examination Stress [Do’s and Dont’s]”

  1. Wonderful write-up! Such a well-structured piece of information plus advice. I love how you’ve included your personal examples. Totally agree on every point. There’s just one sure shot way to not feel stressed about exams: to just study from the point of view of learning, to keep your attitude that way, and be confident and focused while writing the answers. 🙂

    1. yes, Ashna – Mohit ke write up ne 3 Idiots ki yaad karwa di..It was indeed a very good write-up. Just happened to see your blog now. Its a nice one. So, when can we expect a submission from your side as well.

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