Pune: Right ahead of the board examination for Std XII, conducted by the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (MSBSHSE), city-based counsellors spoke about how to deal with the last moment fear that students face before their board exams. The counsellors unanimously feel that to deal with exam fear, the most useful is the visual technique to remember what they have learnt, on the day before the examination. While HSC exams will be starting on Feb 21, the SSC exam is scheduled to begin on March 1.
“It’s necessary that on the day before the examination, the students accept that this is all that they have learnt, and instead of fretting over what they don’t know, they should focus on facing the exam with what they know. Positive self-talk too is very important here. I would advise the students not to study until the very last moment, and not to carry their books in the examination halls. This will help you calm down and answer the exam with a positive approach,” Deepali Diwekar, former counsellor and now an administrative officer in the Education Department, said.
Speaking about this, Counsellor Asavari Deshpande also said, “The students should find and face their fear on the day before the examination so that they can find a strategy to overcome it beforehand.”
Visual memory & time management
Diwekar explained, “I always told students that when you revise a day or two before the examination, highlight the main points in the text with a highlighter or by underlining. This will help your brain remember the information visually, which is one of the most effective memory techniques.”
Stating that many students complain that they seem to forget all that they have learnt a few days before the examination, Counsellor Surekha Nande said, “This very common problem can be easily dealt with practice alone. It’s the fear of examination that makes students feel that they have forgotten what they have studied. However, if they continue to read with the help of techniques like visualisation of information, and solving numerous question papers, they can certainly overcome this problem. Solving papers too is essential, as it will help the students understand the amount of time they need and plan their paper accordingly.”
Nande further added that students usually complain of issues like dry throat and loss of sleep as the exam nears and this is where short meditation sessions come handy. Students can also carry glucose water to the exam to avoid dehydration occurring due to stress.
Adding to this, Deshpande said, “It’s necessary for students to have a healthy diet and drink sufficient amount of water before and during the examination. And though it may seem tempting to spend sleepless nights before exams to study, it’s not
Students with disability
“Along with the tips that you would give to any other student, students with disability need more counselling, as they have to write the exam with the help of scribes. We always tell them to attempt maximum of the theory-based questions. The questions where graphs or diagrams are involved, we suggest them to memorise the description, so that if the scribe can’t draw, they can at least write the description. For the commerce students, however, who have to write balance sheets in their exams, we make them practice with the writers,” Meera Badve of Niwant Andha Mukta Vikasalay said.
Phone counselling helpline by board
MSBSHSE has set up phone counselling helplines for the students of Std X and XII, which will function from 8 am to 8 pm, till the end of both HSC and SSC examinations. The counsellors appointed for these helplines stated that the students have been calling extensively to get tips to deal with stress and express themselves. The helpline has been getting a huge response, with some students requesting to call every day till the end of their examination, said the associated counsellors.