The Telegraph
Friday , February 22 , 2013
Since 1st March, 1999
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Wrack brains, not nerves

Bhubaneswar, Feb. 21: A large number of students are finding it hard to handle stress with board exams round the corner. The CBSE and ICSE Class X and XII boards are scheduled to commence from March 1 while the annual high school certificate examinations for Odia-medium schools will begin on February 25.

“These days, 90 per cent marks have become synonymous with good results. Anything less is seen as a disappointing score. Though CBSE has done away with absolute marks, all parents expect their children to secure A1 grade, which is above 90 per cent,” said Priyanka, a student of a premier school here.

Pre-exam jitters can be minimised to a substantial degree by balancing academics with hobbies, say experts.

“Exam stress can rankle even the best of students and it is more acute in case of those who have to appear for their boards. So, we are conducting yoga and meditation sessions for the students while encouraging them to indulge their hobbies in between preparatory and revision classes,” said Arundhati Sudhir, counsellor of Sai International School. She added that regular counselling and pep talks are equally important for students, especially those with low self-confidence.

While yoga and meditation soothe nerves and improve concentration of the students, supplementary classes on memory retention techniques are also being held at many schools.

“It is always dicey to start reading a new chapter just before the exams but when you attach visuals and memories to various terminologies or formulae, it helps in better retention,” said Sakti Mohanty, Sanskrit teacher of DAV Public School, Pokhariput.

“I suggest students to skip junk food and eat healthy, high-protein food and increase their water intake. Six to eight hours of sleep and light exercises are important. Regular, short breaks from studies will help,” said Pramod Mohanty, a doctor.

Psychologist Jahan Ara Begum said parents must create a friendly and tension-free ambience at home.

“They must not pester their children to study or burden them with expectations. Comparison with friends or siblings can also have a negative effect. They would do well to sit down with them, help set a target for completing chapters and also conduct mock tests without running them down,” she said.

CBSE has started its counselling help line, 1800118004, on all working days between 9:30am and 7pm to provide psychological support to students during the stressful exam period. Online counselling is also available on The Board of Secondary Education, Odisha, has launched a 24X7 helpline (0671-2412059 and 2412060) to answer queries of students relating to exams.