Now that the examinations are here many students must be under tremendous stress. But it is not just the students who are stressed as teachers and parents too face the same situation. Why do people get stressed? Adolescents are faced with the demands of their developmenta tasks and that of a complex society. They need to acquire skills of adjustment to emerge into adulthood unaffected by these demands. If they lack these skills or if too many demands are made on them, they fail.
Students are anxious as they are worried about whether they would be able to live up to the expectations of their peers, parents and teachers. Optimal anxiety motivates and keeps them ahead but over-anxiety disables. Anxiety is contagious and passes to other students, teachers and parents. Adolescents, when stressed out, tend to perceive everything as an emergency. Some of the reasons for increase in stress level are identity crisis, the need to make career oriented decisions, teachers/parents attitude and peer pressure. The inability to communicate with parents also plays a major role.
Good memory depends upon a good brain. The brain needs a good supply of oxygen, glucose, calcium, phosphorus and iron. So make sure you sit in a well- ventilated place when studying. Your diet should include milk, cheese, walnuts, wheat germs, green leafy vegetables, ragi and dates. Do not forget that “breakfast is the brain food”. Fatty meals, sugar and acids take away calcium from the system. Diets rich in fibre like fruits and vegetables help to reduce stress.
Good concentration is important to improve the memory. Learning and memorising by understanding and recalling what one has learnt is helpful. Organising and framing a logical relationship is important. Master not just the content of the subject, but also the process of answering.
Anxiety and fear hamper recall and result in a mental block during examination.
Watching television for a long time could lower academic performance. It `steals’ away the reading time. Time management is about self-discipline. Time must be managed between filled and unfilled time. Filled time is the time spent sleeping, bathing, eating, dressing and attending school. A student has 10 hours of unfilled time. How best is the student going to utilise this? Make a timetable for the 10 hours.
Seven to eight hours of sleep is necessary for optimal physical rest and brain functioning. A positive thought is the seed of a positive result. Always feel positive. This will help to lessen stress.
If a student has symptoms of anxiety or depression, seek medical help immediately.
When stressed out:
- Go for a walk or do some stretching exercises.
- Talk to your friends for a while.
- Do some deep breathing/breathing exercises.
- Listen to music.
- Practise Transcendental Meditation, yoga, relaxation exercises, aroma therapy.
Academic performance during exams is affected by:
- Study Habits
- Family environment
- Watching television
- Attitude towards study
- Medical problems
- Anxiety, depression
Recommended study habits:
- Study regularly
- Set a time table for all subjects
- Sit in a place with no distraction
- Use a dictionary
- Read and think
If you do not understand, ask teachers/parents/friends.
Read subjects you like in between subjects you do not like.