In the present competitive world, to secure admission to any renowned course and in a prestigious school or college, or university, you need to confront distinctive placement tests. In India, every year lakhs and lakhs of students appear for various competitive examinations. For example, today, as many as 2.5 Lakh applicants would be appearing for JEE Advanced entrance test which allows students admissions in 23 IITs, IISC, and few other universities. Selection rates are extremely low and the people who don't qualify aren’t by any standards academically average or just not the right fit. Such is the case with medical entrance examinations like NEET or civil services entrance or Armed Forces and many such entrance examinations that happen every year in the country.
Students generally face a lot of stress and pressure while preparing for competitive exams. Exam pressure can affect students in many ways and may hinder their studies. As the exam date gets nearer, the heartbeats of students begin to rise and their palms get sweat-soaked, which is not at all a good sign when you are about to face the respective exam. The pressure to do well from teachers and family members can be exhausting which can further lead to anxiety or depression as a result. Handling exam pressure and managing mental health is as essential as studying for the exam. So, here are a few tips that can help you to relieve stress and stay motivated during this daunting time:
Have a realistic view: Like many exams, you would have taken in your life since childhood, competitive exams are no different. Only the size and scale of the examination changes and make it more difficult. For example, in your school, you probably were amongst the few hundred students in the class. However, in the competitive exams, all these hundred students from each school add up and therefore total candidates appearing in competitive examination become lakhs. Isn’t it plain mathematics? Even before you appear for the examination, based on your preparation and performance level you already know, what is your likelihood of clearing the exam. So, don’t fret and fume about it. Be realistic.
It’s only an exam: Yes, clearing the examination and getting admissions to a renowned college is a great achievement. But at the end of the day, we need to remember that it’s just an exam, not the end of the world. The success of an individual should not solely depend on the parameter of securing a seat in top-tier institutions. Albert Einstein, Bill Gates, and Thomas Edison are some of the many examples who followed unconventional paths and followed their passion instead of following the herd which is the reason why they are considered geniuses and masters in their field.
Recalibrate: Most of us when we are in schools or college are not sure of our long-term career aspirations. We decided based on the information and options available, to look at what our friends are doing and start moving in that direction. If you are not getting success in a chosen field, it’s OK to recalibrate your career direction then waste years and years on it. Recalibration is not a sign of weakness, it’s a symbol of maturity and understanding.
Don’t punish yourself: There will always be people around you who will put pressure on you and try to put you down, but nothing can be worse than the pressure that we put on ourselves. Discipline and hard work are good, however, excessive self-criticism and considering yourself worthless should be avoided. We all have our own strengths and weaknesses and failure in one competitive examination is not a statement of failure in life. Instead, try encouraging yourself and celebrate small victories in life.
Pamper yourself: Putting yourself under a lot of stress can have a negative effect on you as well as on your respective exam. Being kind to yourself during periods of high pressure is likely to give you a bit more motivation to work harder. so, take a little time out from revision to pamper yourself and meet your nearest and dearest. Do the things you love to do, for example, playing your favorite sport or watching T.V.
Get help: If you are unable to manage your stress and nothing is working, reach out for help. Talk to someone you trust about how you are feeling. Look out for motivational speaker videos. Most of the great motivational speakers will have a story to share which can be quite motivating for the students. Vineet Tandon is one of the famous public speakers in India. Remember, seeking help is a sign of courage!