Academic stress is commonly experienced by most of the students. However, there is no shortcut to hard work. So, it is important for the students to effectively organise or manage their time and adopt systematic study strategies/ planning from the beginning of the academic year.
Find your best time, preferably when you feel more energetic, focused and relaxed, to deal with difficult topics.
Choose a quiet, uncluttered place to study. Keep all the required materials close at hand.
Start each study session with 10 minutes of review of the most recent material you have read. This reinforces previous learning and boosts your confidence.
Remember the SQ3R rule for studying— Survey, Question, Read, Recite, and Review (regular revision).
Make notes to organise your answers better.
Actively participate in class by asking questions in your mind or to the teacher
At home, always reserve a block of time to study. Also, vary the subjects you study in each session.
Eat, exercise, and rest adequately. Try to practice some relaxation exercises.
Avoid studying when you are tired, bored, or upset.
Major reasons for forgetting are stress, anxiety, lack of revision and memorising without understanding the subject.
Summarising what you have learnt in your own words is an effective way to retain the information.
Explaining a topic to a friend, having a Q & A session among friends and focused group study helps.
Reading the same topic/ information by different authors in different ways enables better understanding and thus better
retention of the material.
Connect the material to earlier known information or to a mental image i.e. pictures or numbers.
Use mnemonics- techniques such as Acronyms (using first letter of each word to form a word), Acrostics (using first letter of each word to make a sentence). Chunking (dividing items into small chunks or groups) and Rhyming (singing formulas or equations to the tune of your favourite song) are also helpful.
DEALING WITH EXAMS
Start preparation with familiarising yourself with the syllabus and the previous years’ question papers. Make a realistic study time
table based on your level of preparation and stick to it.
Identify your negative thoughts and try to replace them with positive, more realistic and helpful thoughts.
Maintain a healthy lifestyle, i.e., healthy food, adequate sleep, and regular exercise.
Do relaxation exercises to keep the tension level low.
Focus on the exam rather than the results and engage in positive self talk. Also, take up practice tests by timing yourself for
previous year’s question papers. This helps to allocate time wisely to different types of questions.
While writing the exam, take some deep breaths and give some positive suggestions to yourself. If you don’t know the answer to a question, don’t panic and don’t think you will fail. Go to the next question and come back to the unanswered question later.
Avoid discussing the paper with your friends after the exam if it increases your anxiety or makes you nervous. Try to focus on the next paper, even if you have not written the previous exam well.
Remember… Exams and results are important but your result is not your identity.
ENHANCING YOUR MOTIVATION
Set a specific long-range goal, break it into smaller steps and praise yourself for having achieved each step. Make yourself accountable by having a friend/parent to monitor your progress.
Bring your ‘motivated’ image to mind as you take up challenging activities. Believe in yourself. Think positive. This will help you feel great when the task is done.
Learn how to develop positive attitude towards frustration and failure. Remember that satisfaction comes as much from pursuing goals as from achieving them.
DEAL WITH PROCRASTINATION
Taking action generates the drive for further action; once you start the work you will probably realise that it is not as hard as you had imagined. The work does not have to be perfect every time. When you really hate it, try to make it as enjoyable as possible!