The Telegraph
Thursday , February 21 , 2013
Since 1st March, 1999
Career Hotline
Exam fever

Most of you might be busy preparing for exams these days, spending endless hours pouring over books and learning the information by heart. The level of stress students face before any major exam is tremendous. It is because of this stress that our rational thinking gets affected, making us go blank in some cases. There are various ways of coping with examination anxiety.

Adequate preparation, belief in oneself and destressing are ways to get over anxiety. Sometimes it happens that you have prepared really well for an exam but you are overcome with so much anxiety on seeing the question paper that you cannot remember anything.

Read instructions

A teacher once gave his students a surprise test in class. The task was to answer 100 questions in 15 minutes. The whole class desperately started answering questions with the exception of a few students. When the time was up, the teacher announced that all students had failed except two students who did not answer the questions. After a hue and cry, the teacher pointed out that the first line of the question paper instructed students not to answer any question at all. Hence, the two students who read the instructions passed while the others failed.

Stress buster

The above example clearly demonstrates the importance of reading the instructions properly. So don’t let stress get the better of you. Even though something as dramatic as this may not happen in your exam, there are many of us who have answered all the questions when the instruction was to answer only a few. Probably, even more common is the situation when you forget to write some of the points that are part of the answer.

The reason is that examinations not only test your competence in a subject but also the speed with which you demonstrate your competence. But if we remember the rules of planning and goal setting, we can come out of the examination hall with a smile on our lips.

Five steps

Here are ways you should go about answering questions in an examination hall so that you do not miss anything.

Step I: When you receive the answer sheet, write your name and roll number correctly. Double check your roll number and ensure that it is correct.

Step 2: When you receive the question paper, first close your eyes, take a few deep breaths and remind yourself that you have worked hard for the examination and you can ace it.

Step 3: Read the full question paper as well as the directions and questions. If you know any question really well, put a dot on it. If there is any choice between questions make a tentative decision now.

Step 4: Depending on the marks allotted to a question, divide your time accordingly. Spend more time on answering a question which carries more marks. Also, leave some time in the end for revision.

Step 5: Begin answering the paper. Unless otherwise stated, first answer the questions you know well. Write the main aspects of your answer in point form at the beginning of the answer. And then begin expanding each point. This way you can be sure that you will have the full attention of the examiner at the beginning and you won’t miss any point.

Learn to relax

Answer your questions in neatly with clear margins on both sides of the answer sheet. Underline the main points or the key words. At any point if you feel that your concentration is wavering, close your eyes for a minute, remind yourself of the hours you spent preparing and tell yourself that you can do it. If you write the answers in a calm manner, you will be able to give your best.

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