Monday, February 23, 2015

Its exam time! Should I take stress?

It is exam time, and the students along with parents and teachers are busy preparing for the exams. 

But, the question is, should you take stress?

Yesterday, I was listening to the “Mann ki baat” from the honorable Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi on FM where he shared some tips with the students for their upcoming board and competitive exams. Our prime minister have shared some valuable insights on how to prepare for the exams. Here are some of my observation based on those insights:

“Now” is what is more important

Often, students get stressed as they worry too much on what is in the future or what happened in the past. I have observed often that many students would say that, “Will I be able to get good grades?” or “Last time, I didn’t do this properly so I shall study this now.” All these seems irrelevant as neither the past nor the future have any effect on preparation of exams. Shri Narendra Modi gave a very nice example of cricket where a batsman have a clear focus on the ball that is being bowled to him. If the batsman focuses on the past and the future, then he would lose focus and get himself out.

Have a clear focus

“Focus” is really important when preparing the exams, and you must focus on your goals and it is crucial that you do not divert your attention. The PM rightfully pointed out that often students worry too much about the other aspects, such as whether a relative have wished them, and so on and the result is that they lose their focus. So, you must avoid losing your focus instead be very clear about your goals, and leave the rest for later.

Treat exams as your friend

It is often found that sometimes students treat exams as their enemies. More than the students, parents too sometimes ask their kids to take exams seriously. However, it is necessary that you as a student or as a parent / teacher treat exam as a friend and take it as an opportunity for you to fulfill your aspirations. Exams are not the endpoint of your life but you must consider it as a part of life. As our PM have rightfully pointed out that sometimes people take exams as a most important incident of their life, and they feel that if they fail then whole world is over. So, as a student, you should not get too much stressed while preparing for exams and do not consider exams as a burden. In addition, exams shouldn’t be treated as the only criteria for their aspirations but you must consider as an option to fulfill your goals.

Too much pressure is hot to handle

It is usually a common scenario where students start comparing themselves with their friends or peers. Often, parents too have aspirations from their kids, and want them to do well just because others have done well. In addition, some even might even have greater expectations from their kids. So, it is advisable for parents to not put too much pressure on the kids. The students are also advised to not take undue pressure upon them as it might have an adverse effect on their preparations, and hence may prove costly in their exams as well. I remember a dialogue from a famous Aamir Khan’s movie, 3idiots where a father told his son, “wo guptaji kahte the ki khushkismat ho ki tumhara beta ICE me padta hai. Wo kya sochenge?” That is utterly an incorrect approach by the father and he is trying to create pressure upon his son to do well.

Compete with yourself and not with others

Sometimes a student often spends a lot of its energies in order to compete with their friends or peers. Competition is important but it is essential we should compete with ourselves rather than looking at others for competition. The PM gave a very good example of the athlete, Sergey Bubka who competed with himself in order to break his own record 35 times. It is important that we have confidence within ourselves and it will be only then that we will be able to succeed.


To conclude, I would like to mention a famous quote: 
“Don’t stress, Do your Best, and Forget the Rest”. 
As a student, you must trust yourself more than you think you do and as a parent or a teacher, you must trust your child instincts. You must stay happy rather than lead a stressful life while preparing for your exams.
Remember what Bill Gates said, “I failed in my exam in some subjects but my friend passed. Now, he’s an engineer in Microsoft and I am the owner.”
So, do not consider exams as the ultimate goal but consider just as a means to achieving your goals in life. Then, exams will be like a cakewalk and you would wonders in your life.