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Rediff News  All News  » Getahead » Board exams: 8 tips to beat the stress

Board exams: 8 tips to beat the stress

Last updated on: February 22, 2011 14:34 IST

Photographs: Rediff Archives Suresh Kumar

You may have thought that with the Government's decision to make board examinations optional for Class 10 students, examination stress would soon be a thing of the past. But despite all the hype, the hard reality is that Class 10 students are still required to take a final examination either held by the board or by their own schools.

No matter what kind of exam they take -- board or inter-school, the stress is bound to continue. So we still need to overcome it -- and it is possible to transform the tension into zeal and fervour instead. The students and their parents can also work together to create a new atmosphere of self belief, courage and confidence. The objective is to take the fear out from the minds of children and substitute it with excitement and enthusiasm. Parents have to help their children see examinations as an opportunity to prove their worth.

Here are a few tips for parents to help their children cope.

1. Get closer to your child -- team up! Children generally experience stress because there is nobody around to empathise with them. It is the moral responsibility of parents to talk to them and discuss exam preparations. Help them chalk out an effective action plan to prepare for the exam. Help them develop specific strategies for easy, not-so-easy, and difficult chapters or concepts. This will help your child organise his/her time, and make the preparations more effective. Once children feel part of a team, once they know they are not alone, they will be much more enthusiastic and positive.

The writer is an examination expert with

Board exams: 8 tips to beat the stress

Photographs: Dominic Xavier

2. List out what to do and when to do. It is all about making a clear time table that the child can stick to. Take care in making realistic time frames for various topics, in line with the capabilities of the child. For example, start with moderately difficult topics first, to make the child comfortable, and then move on to the difficult ones later. Allot sufficient time to attempt sample papers once the preparations are over.

3. Support your child's preferred way of learning. Every child has a learning style that he or she is comfortable with. These different styles include learning by reading aloud, learning by writing, and sometimes learning by drawing mind maps. Give your child the freedom to adopt the style he/she likes the most. Revision notes developed by our experts can offer great help here.

4. Attempt previous exam papers and new sample papers. Once the preparations are over, children should take some mock exams to get a feel of the real exam. Initially, the time cap can be ignored, but later on, students need to stick to time constraints. This will give them valuable practice to finish everything well in time.

Board exams: 8 tips to beat the stress

Photographs: Rediff Archives

5. Give regular breaks to recharge. Adequate breaks should be given to the child during preparations. Nobody can maintain a constant attention span. Hence, give sufficient breaks to the children to re-energise themselves and sit and concentrate again. Doing some recreational activity during such breaks is a good idea.

6. Motivate your child by recognising his good work. A day's good work should not go unnoticed. Give the child his due: a good treat or a chance to watch a movie or to dine out with family. The purpose is to give a moment of pride to your child. Don't be stingy in this aspect.

7. Give optimism a push. Always talk positively about your child's capabilities and efforts. Give him a feeling that you are there with him in any situation. Every time he feels low, remind him of his capabilities and tell him how much you love him. Just instill confidence in him. Then he will take care of things on his own.

Board exams: 8 tips to beat the stress

Photographs: Rediff Archives

8. Feed your child well. Ensure that your child does not skip his meals. Give him a balanced diet with a lot of carbohydrates, proteins, minerals and vitamins. Stimulants like caffeine should be avoided as far as possible. Junk food and fizzy drinks are a strict no-no.

Finally, parenting is not a small responsibility. But nothing can be as rewarding as good parenting. After all, what can be more rewarding than taking your child from a world of stress to a world of joy and enthusiasm?