The dreaded Board Exam season is here. And if you're picturing yourself walking into the exam hall, sitting down, your palms going sweaty and your mind going blank as soon as the question paper arrives at your table. If you're having nightmares about this, it's possible that you are going through exam anxiety. And we’re here to tell you that there’s absolutely no need to stress out, we've got you some help from the experts. Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has already commenced its pre-examination helpline that offers counselling support to students. The counselling that began on February 1, 2020, is an annual process is going beyond the usual this year be a little different.
Apart from offering counselling services via phone, this year the board is also facilitating help through social media platforms like Facebook and YouTube.
Here's where you can reach out:
The CBSE toll-free number is 1800 11 8004. Students or parents can call on the number. From important contact details of CBSE offices to tips on time and stress management, the helpline offers it all. The service is available from 8 am to 10 pm on all days. And the good news is that the number of trained counsellors has also increased from 87 to 95 this year.
Besides the call-in facility, the CBSE also has a Question & Answer Column, which would be published in all the major newspapers throughout the month of February.
Here's how you can get help on social media
The official website of CBSE - cbse.nic.in - has a 'Knowing the Child Better’ category, which handles issues like aggression, depression and exam anxiety to name some. Here are some other channels you can follow to stay updated on important communication and also to get exam stress-related tips:
We spoke to two experts to help you deal with exam anxiety, Swapna Nair, Psychological Counsellor, Psychotherapist & Educationist and Soumya Tandon, Associate Consultant, Institute of Psychiatry & Behavioural Sciences, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital highlighted the dos and don’ts for parents as well as students.
Experts say that there are two kinds of stress - eustress & distress.
Soumya Tandon, Associate Consultant, Institute of Psychiatry & Behavioural Sciences, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital says, "Some amount of stress is good. The positive stress called eustress will help you thrive and motivate you but it will hamper your performance when it increases to and becomes distress (negative stress)."
Swapna Nair, Psychological Counsellor, Psychotherapist & Educationist says while there is no shortcut to success, better planning and proper utilisation of time is very important.
1. Stop Being A Night Owl
It is very important for the students to maintain a routine throughout their preparation time before and after exams and during holidays. "Exam takes place in the morning, and if students won’t follow a certain routine that matches the one they have to maintain during exams, they would keep on feeling sleepy as they are not used to it," said Swapna Nair.
2. Ditch The Burger & Pick Up An Apple
While fatty and deep-fried foods, aerated beverages should be avoided, eat homemade food. Choose smart snacks like dry fruits, fresh fruits, sprouts, salads with calorie-rich dressing to keep up your energy. "Students should not eat less but switch to smart eating. Therefore, any salad with a ranch dressing will also suffice," says Swapna.
3. Take A Break, Go For A Walk
Swapna says, "Students should keep a packet of balloons with them and keep blowing them up. Believe it or not but your mind would be distracted from the immediate thought you’re having."
4. Stay Hydrated
"Staying hydrated is one of the most important things as dehydration will make you lethargic and you definitely don’t want that," says Swapna Nair.
5. Take Your Revisions Seriously
The best way of retaining what you studied is revision. Soumya points out the importance of revision and says students underestimate it and end up feeling anxious.
"Students will not be able to retain anything if they don’t do frequent revisions, and therefore it actually has to start much before the exam schedule. They should revise whatever they’ve studied once after 24 hours, then do it again after a week and the third revision should be done after a month," says Soumya.
6. Time Is Precious
Swapna says, "Students must make a timetable and make sure that they stick to it. They should spend more time on making their strong subjects stronger so they don’t just end up wasting time on something that they are not confident about."
7. Group Studies Are Better Than Studying Alone
According to Soumya, group studies have proven to be beneficial for students that studying alone because studying in a group brings down your stress.
Here’s a list of things that you can do to keep yourself calm just before the exam:
This is clearly the most stressful period for students and parents have to play a very important role. Here are some dos and don'ts.
'There is no use of getting angry now, as you are the ones who should have been there for them since Day 1. Don't get furious if you're feeling guilty', said Swapna Nair.
Always remember that exams are never going to be an easy deal but they need not be painful either. Try these simple ways and you can beat the exam stress, for sure.
All the best guys, do well!
(With inputs from Swapna Nair and Soumya Tandon)
Featured Image: Twitter