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Students, Covid and Exams-2021

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By Ravi Singh Negi
CBSE has declared its date sheet for X and XII examinations 2021 and all the other boards will follow suit. Exams are scheduled from 4 May. Due to Covid-19, it has been more than one year when students attended classes normally and there has been no experience of real classroom examinations. It is intrinsic to have exam fear and tension amongst students and parents. Due to closure of schools, students have gone out of schedule, most of the time glued to their phones with no physical activities, which has affected their concentration towards studies. Absence of student-teacher physical eye to eye interaction has also contributed to loss of concentration and problem solving aspect of studies. Another Covid factor is absence of group studies and psychological support from peer groups resulting in minimum exchange of knowledge. Due to lockdown, all members of the family remained at home causing lots of distractions and all time undue pressure for studies from elders. All these factors contributed to poor understanding of subject material and are likely to impact performance in exams.

There is still sufficient time for students to prepare for exams and secure best results. A few pointers for students and guardians regarding exam preparation in this situation.

1. Learn to live with Covid – Covid-19 has certainly been a dreaded part of our life for almost a year but, even till vaccinations are over, with sufficient precautions, we can lead a normal life. There is no need to panic. Like many other diseases we have to learn to survive with this pandemic. As a guardian, make children feel safe and secure and do not create any stress about Covid.

2. Setting up realistic goals – Every student and guardian knows and must know the student’s capability. Accordingly, a goal should be set. Remember, it is not everyone’s capability and capacity to achieve 100% marks in exam and securing 100% is no guarantee for a successful future.

3. Routine and Time Management – Routine is planned to manage time and proper time management is the key to success. Parents/Guardians should help the child plan the routine. Remember, such planning involves the entire family’s routine so do not plan for the child only. While planning time management, stress upon avoiding the activities that are not important and just a waste of time. Keep time for entertainment, socialising and physical activities. Initially, there is no need to stick to the planner – keep some scope for adjustments till it becomes a habit.

4. Health and Eating habits – A Healthy mind lives in a healthy body. The health of a student is of prime concern for a better performance. Exercise and healthy food should become an important part of the planner. Avoid junk and fried food. Take simple food and salads with sufficient water intake. Identify food items that create problem in one’s body, avoid them. Adopt meditation and deep breathing to avoid stress.

5. Revision most important – While planning for exams, keep time for at least three revisions. Do not waste time in revising the topic time again in which you are already confident. If there is shortage of time, you may leave some portion but not revision. However, if you have planned and stick to your routine properly, you will never run short of time.

6. Seek Support – When you are stressed, communicate with elders, teachers or your peer group about the problem including Covid stress, if any. Emotional support from parents and elders plays a very positive and effective role in improving the situation.

7. Expetation – Do not expect too much from yourself. Understand your limitation and capabilities. Parents should also not expect too much from a child. Unnecessary pressure of high goals will affect adversely on the performance of the child.

8. Last but not the least – Keep communicating with the child. Do not always talk and keep on about studies only. Discuss other social activities with the child. Distant supervision and observation is a must. If you find any change in behaviour of the child, talk and never hesitate to consult a counsellor.