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How to manage pre-exam jitters
Kanchan Maslekar
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February 19, 2007

For most, the eve of an examination, especially a board exam, can prove to be nerve-wrecking.

Doubts on one's level of preparedness, surfaces at this time and this could lead to anxiety attacks.

Well, there's some advice at hand. Follow these tips on how to manage your pre-examination jitters.

Be positive, be calm

Though this is easier said than done, try not to fret. You have NOTHIN to gain from uselessly worrying if you've covered all the topics. Or not.  

"Tell yourself that you going to give it your best shot," says Tripti Kavadikar, who conducts private coaching classes in Pune.

Still anxious? Then vow to make the most of available time still available to you.

Make a list of topics you need to cover and time available for each. Sumedha Deshpande, a Class X and Class XII merit holder prepared an hour-wise timetable for her topics.

"If I did not finish the topic in the allotted time, I moved on to the next topic and in the last hour revised the remaining portion," she adds.

Another HSC merit holder recalls how she got the more difficult tasks done first. "I began revising topics which I disliked the most and finish with those that I like best," Rucha Thosar says.

"Reading and writing down the important points also helps," adds Rucha. She avoided calling friends or surfing the Internet on the eve of her exams.

How to study

Tripti says the students must devise their own techniques for studying. This could include writing down points or reading aloud. She warns against reading too many reference books, which may lead to information overload.

Where you study is of utmost important. "I sit on a table and chair even for when reading, because it helps to keeps sleepiness at bay, besides improving your posture. If you lie down on a cosy bed with a book and some pillows, you are most likely to feel sleepy," says Rahul Bose, an SSC merit holder.

Quality not quantity

"It's the quality of study that counts. You may spend hours at your books, but if your mind is not in them, it's no point," says Tripti.

"One hour of good study is better than a whole night of mind-wandering," she adds, advising students not to burn the midnight oil, the night before an exam.

Reconfirm exam details

Make a quick call to a classmate to confirm the subject of the paper. However, make sure you don't turn the call into a chatting session.

Take a break

Regular breaks between study sessions is a must. Do relaxation exercises like deep breathing. 

Take a walk in the garden or watch some news on television -- but only for a while!

No exam talk at dinner-time!

As far as possible, eat with your family on the eve of the exam. Parents can indulge their children by cooking something special. Avoid all talks of exams at the dinner table.

What to eat

Do not stuff yourself with food or snack during studies. This will only make you sluggish. Avoid spicy and salty food. Have lots of green leafy vegetables, fruits, salads and pulses.

Small meals prior to the exam will make you more alert during the exam.

Get some shuteye

Don't stay up the whole night in the hopes that this would help you remember more. Those who sacrifice sleep end up feeling sluggish the next morning. Also, lapses in memory may occur due to an over tired mind.

Make a list

To avoid any last minute hassles. Pack your bag on the eve of your examination day. Make sure you have the following:

Note: Ensure there are no chits, old bills or receipts in your pen pack.

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