|Burning the Mid night oil won't help|
Dear Parents, Teachers and Students:
Come March and the parents are grappling and running helter-skelter. Every year I get lot of requests especially during this period an anxious parents call, how to focus for the study and write an exam. The fear of non performance compared to the other candidate is real and residing in the subconscious of the parents. The parents are more ambitious and this leaves the student in disarray. In my follow up to Holistic approach it is important for a parent to give that kind of conducive environment and not to think obnoxiously and be over driven.
There are subtle things that as a parent we all need to understand. I ask a simple question to the parents as to what they wanted to be in their life and what they have become. The second simple question I ask them is what their parents wanted them to become and what they have achieved till now. Not often everyone gets that environment to chase their ambitions. The environments are to be made. It cannot lead to the easiest choice and mark your responses and submit to the external reasons. Creating an environment is more intrinsic and we as a change agent, the driver to bringing that change are very important. It is very often observed that parents have this habit of mentioning often “In our days” that gives birth to a rebel in today’s generation. Everyone who has been making a living in this world has undergone the rigours of pain, anxiety, courage and perseverance. The testimonials are on the wall but do not make it a point to blow the trumpet and make planned decision for your child.
Everyone has a freedom to dream and shape the career. As a parent we cannot shy away from this responsibility to be a facilitator at home. However, it is observed that the unaccomplished dreams are often seen laden on the child. There are times where the parents drive the decision making of their child. Today’s generation is the world of collaborators, innovative and technology enablers. Let them think and you be the guide. You need to keep yourself updated with the current trends and be talking in their terms, paraphrase and understand the problem situation more closely. While understanding the correct symptoms of the problems, develop a frank channel of communication between you and your child. The wonders of the world are in developing that sense of achievement when you can be a mentor and understand the physical and emotional needs of your child. You need to make them understand that exams are just a precursor and kind of parameters to keep you focus on your goals and it is in no way detrimental and stopping from achieving the set goals.
The continual approach to exams is important. It is not a onetime activity. Exams are not meant to start and end as the time table specifies. Exams start much before the actual dates of exams. There are ways in which you have to open your mind to think about it. There are big days which are often put up as a special event in life especially by the society and the academia. These are just one of the indicators of your personality and not a true showcase of the personality. As a student treat exams as you have seen that and done this before. Have your basics in place and ensure that you have covered and understood the philosophy behind the topics that you are made to learn. Treat the subject as a story and see the fun in learning.
Set your goals and breakdown in terms of smaller targets like we all do in the corporate world. At each accomplishment there is a reward. Treat yourself for a dish you like to make or eat, or a movie you like to watch, or go for a sport or shopping that you wanted to do. The topics that interest you should be touched last and topics or subject that you struggle should be marked as the priority. Give at least 1.5 times more time allocation to these weaker sections while making your weekly time table. First 3 months focus on the basics and the philosophy. The next phase is to start the time bound study to ensure that you are moulding yourself to be a timekeeper. Ensure that you complete the tasks within the stipulated time. The revision of the topics along with solving test papers makes a huge difference. After every set of topics you cover you should test your limits. Follow the simple technique of Basic philosophy-Time bound study –Practice-Revise –Test-Back to Basic philosophy.
Your approach towards the day to day matters of your life will also govern the way the exam period gets along. Time never stops for anyone and this too shall pass. Having followed the back to basics methodology there is enough self confidence that is built during this process. As I mentioned in my earlier blog physical endurance is more important coupled with peace time, time for self. Having a balanced diet and sound sleep is very important to make a fresh and energetic start every day. Fortnights from exams ensure that you keep stacked all the class notes, syllabus and solved papers arranged in chronological order of time table, the first subject test on top or front.
As the penultimate day of exams approach ensure that you have all the requisite stationery properly arranged. Have couple of sets for writing material properly kept in an accessible position in the bag. The uniform or dress should be properly ironed, shoe polished and all accessories that makes you comfortable will boost your confidence. Do not wear anything flashy or something that makes you uncomfortable and please realise that there is nothing called lucky shirt or a trouser or any lucky under garment. In the evening on previous day of exam have a stroll in the garden, feel the nature and take self time. Refer the stacked notes and have a light dinner and sleep early.
On the exam day get up early and have your daily chores. Have a good breakfast balanced with carbohydrates and protein. Check all your writing material once again. To the exam hall Carry a bottle of home made fresh lime juice with salt and sugar – popularly known as Shikanji in India. This will keep you hydrated and whenever there are any tense moments have a sip to make you feel cool and calm. Reach the exam hall at least before 15 minutes. Check your hall ticket, seat and make yourself comfortable to the rooms surrounding. Once the exam paper is handed over ensure that you read all the instructions and if not understood do not hesitate to ask the question to the invigilator. Prioritise your thoughts and give yourself a Déjà Vu feeling. You have done and passed through numerous such occasions during your back to basics methodology and this is no new situation. If you are stuck in case with any question, revisit it later and do not stop there.
When entire scheduled exams are over rather than sitting idle in your time do a course, join a club that will take you one step near to your goal in life. Whether the results are favourable or not is the secondary thing but following a process that leads to better self realisation and accelerating towards the life’s goal while trying with best of the ability is important.
So, unwind, relearn and strive ahead with much more vigour, rather than being anxious and marred with negative thoughts. Let it not be a nail biting finish.
All the Best!!!