Exam days and preparation days are stressful.
Exam days are those actual 15 days of performance. On the other hand, preparation days lasts for months. One requires at least 6 months of consistent preparations to perform well at a professional exam sitting.
What do we mean by preparation days? It means - to learn new topics, understand them, put them to practice, store new information and also practice retrieving all of them. This includes attending classes, putting newly learnt information to practice, revision days and mock exams. Infact some may even have to balance both work and studies at the same time.
And exam days means to be in the best physical and mental state to retrieve all the information, have the presence of mind and be able to manage time as well.
Apart from all this, the stress of having to perform well during the exam days and to score good marks, is always there.
Now to be able to work your brain to the best, showcase all your intelligence and simply perform at your best during both preparation days and exam days with the volume of information to learn and the level of stress, is easier said than done.
But if we allow the stress and anxiety to affect ourselves, are we allowing a fair measurement of our performance?
Would the result actually reflect our true capabilities and intelligence?
Certainly not. We would simply be allowing ourselves to succumb to the negative vibes.
So, what are the ways to ensure that we are at our best during essential times like these?
This is to ensure good mental and physical agility. Apart from keeping you fit, Exercise is proven to release endorphins which increases the feeling of happiness, reduces perception of pain, helps reduce stress, anxiety and feelings of depression. It keeps you on a positive high and gives you the necessary kick-start.
Meditation is magical if learnt from the right source and in the right way. It is very important to maintain mental clarity at all times. One great source I found to learn meditation is ‘Mindfulness’ series on Netflix.
Positive affirmations are key during preparation days and performance days. It helps you remind yourself of you goals and your capabilities. It is easier to pull yourself down with one bad day or a bad mock exam. Positive affirmations bring back your confidence and keeps you going. Have a set of them to start your day with.
Simply listening to music can increase the amount of dopamine in your brain - helps control brain’s pleasure centre.It reduces stress and improves the mood instantly. Choosing motivating songsdo double the benefit!
Keep away from negative people
You will find many negative people in your life either discouraging you from taking the choice you have taken or demotivating you. Such people are only pushing you farther away from your goals. And your goals are very important to you.
I know it is easier said than done, and more so if they are among your close family members.
But it is very important to understand that keeping away here does not mean physically keeping them away, sometimes that simply may not be possible. It means - keeping their words and actions away from your mind and heart, not paying heed to what they have to say about you and your goals, ignore their words.
Trust me, I have had and still have many such people in my life. Currently as a married woman, it is more than ever.
Plan your preparation days well
Yes, you would have heard this several times but it is very important to your anxiety at bay. Know yourself well - your strengths and weaknesses and plan your journey accordingly. This volume of information can be dealt with ease only with good planning.
Do not get obsessed with your preparations and results
Ensure to bring balance to your life. Meet your friends, spend time with your family, plan some outings, watch movies and all of that. Professional exam preparation is all about continuous preparation for months. Being locked in a room filled with books for 6 months (physically and/or mentally) is certainly not the best way to prepare well and maintain good mental health.
Give your best and leave the rest
Do not get overwhelmed with a particular result you are expected to achieve. I love this phrase - Never be attached to the fruits of your action.
Prepare and perform as if it is your duty - duty to learn, duty to equip yourself with knowledge, duty to make yourself a well groomed professional.
Yes, have a goal but do not become obsessed with it. Results are only a small part of the journey, so free yourself from that. Be dedicated to performing your duty righteously. The goal here is to gain all the precious knowledge which will make you a professional. Enjoy that process.
Once you start practising all the above mentioned, it will become a part of your life because positivity is so addictive. You will notice the great affects it has on your life.
Last but definitely not the least -
Always remember, A negative result does not always mean one to be poor student or to have given a poor performance – it could be due to various factors say pass percentage, one weak subject, the health of the student, toughness of the paper.
So do not allow one result, one paper, one number to affect your dream goals, ever.
You are in a journey, pass/fail are small parts of it. Take it in your stride, be true to your journey and keep moving towards your goal.