Published On:19 March 2011
Posted by Indian Muslim Observer

Beating Examination Blues

By Dr. Vivek Sharma

"Beware the ideas of March" said Shakespeare and "April is the cruelest month" wrote T.S. Eliot. For students preparing for exams, this has never been more true.

With March already here and April around the corner, students are all probably being urged by their parents and teachers to pull up their sock and get ready to study hard for their coming final exams.

There is nothing worse than, after all your hard study, you walk in the exam and your mind goes blank, your nerves and anxiety get the better of you and your brain simply stops working properly. If you are very anxious, your brain is simply in the wrong state of thinking. A little fear is healthy but overwhelming fear can be bad.

Some Symptoms of Examination Stress

  • Stomach disorders
  • Headaches
  • Mild Fever
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Physical sensation, such as sweating, breathing difficulty, panic attacks, memory losses etc.
How to overcome examination stress

  • Hypersensitivity to anything is not desirable, and that includes exams. Being too anxious, concerned or worried is not a state of mind suitable for exams, undue anxiety is counter productive.
  • A well planned schedule and a steady routine aided by a calm mind, provide the best back drop for effective preparation for exams.
  • During study holidays or preparatory leave popularly known, a time table has to be drawn up by every student. This self drawn time table should be religiously observed. A student who his truthful to his/her own time table will successful.
  • In most cases, combined studies end up as combined chat sessions. How ever there is no harm in seeking clarifications from friends or teachers when a real need arises.
  • Take a 10 minutes break about every couple of hours and go for a walk to clear your mind for the next session.
  • A very important part of examination preparation are your diet. Food high in fiber content, plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, and lot of milk keep you alert and energized, chocolates and chips and other high sugar, high fat food tend do make you feel sluggish.
  • Indulge in hobbies or a certain amount of television or games. When you do something that makes you happy, you will do that thing well.
Do's and Don'ts just before exams to reduce stress


  • Study according to syllabus.
  • Confirm date, time & venue of exams.
  • Arrange a watch, pens, pencil, eraser instruments, calculator etc. on the previous day.
  • Revise the lessons using summaries, points and mnemonics.
  • Reach the examination hall half an hour before the schedule commencement.
  • Enter the examination hall confidently.

  • Avoid using knives or other sharp instruments and participation in games possibly cause physical injury someday prior to exams.
  • Avoid quarrels, fights and arguments that may create stress.
  • Avoid too much discussions with fellow candidate.
  • Do not sacrifice your time to sleep. If you stay up all night you will not perform well in the examinations.
  • Before entering the examination hall, make sure you do not have a paper with you that may contain lesson notes.
"Nothing succeeds like success." For this, the very first condition is the will to succeed. We need to have the determination to succeed against all odds. A desire to perform the best in exams. There is no shortcut to success except hard work.

[Dr. Vivek Sharma is consultant Paediatrician at Rungta Hospital, Jaipur. He can be contacted at drvivek_sharma@rediffmail.com]

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Posted by Indian Muslim Observer on March 19, 2011. Filed under , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Feel free to leave a response

By Indian Muslim Observer on March 19, 2011. Filed under , , . Follow any responses to the RSS 2.0. Leave a response

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