Hello to all high-schoolers reading this! Because I am fond of irony, I will be writing a short guide on how to stay physically and mentally fit during the high pressure of examinations. I will be giving you simple and realistic tips which work for me, that will not encroach on study time and are genuinely easy to do.

1. Make a To-Do list 

 

Setting up short-term goals helps us break the vast syllabus into doable portions, as well as give us a sense of accomplishment when we complete all the points on the list. A mistake I made, in the beginning, was to cram too much on the list, which naturally meant that I wasn’t able to check everything off. The key is to know your own capacity. Even if you have 2 things on the list and you do them to the best of your capability, you’re definitely on the right track.

If traditional lists aren’t for you, check this out: https://blog.doist.com/unconventional-goal-setting/

2. Clean up the Clutter

 

Make sure to clear away any messes in your study zone. By clutter, I mean books you don’t need, random stationery, flung-off clothes and even your phone! Make your study space as distraction-free as possible.

And for those of you who thrive in clutter, don’t worry. It’s not like you have to make your desk absolutely pristine, you just have to remove articles that can distract you during studying. And if you’re not convinced, here is a compelling case for why you should clear your desk: https://hbr.org/2019/03/the-case-for-finally-cleaning-your-desk

3. Personalise your space

 

You know yourself best. Make your study environment comforting and conducive to focus. Stick motivations to your desk, doodle manifestations in your notebooks, write down your goals somewhere you can see them. It’s always better to study somewhere you feel confident. Here are some ideas on how to carve out a perfect study space: https://pearsonaccelerated.com/blog/4-steps-to-the-perfect-study-environment

4. Take mandatory breaks

 

Breaks, how we crave for those! According to your syllabus, decide the duration of your breaks, but definitely have them. Personally, I like the 52-17 rule, which means 52 minutes of work followed by 17 minutes of rest. It’s the biggest thing that keeps me sane. Fill your break time with relaxing, recreational activities. Finish that painting, listen to your playlist, watch that youtube video, dance your heart out and most of all, go outside and keep yourself moving. Break time is your time.

Here are some techniques you can use to manage your time: https://www.usa.edu/blog/time-management-techniques/

5. Ask someone to check in on you

 

If you feel like you are not able to understand when to stop and breathe, ask someone you trust to check in on you. It can be a parent, sibling, friend or teacher. Ask them to regularly ask you, text you or call you. This way, you’ll always have a sounding board for your anxiety and it can also be a great way to take a breather and socialise with someone. For that matter, zoom study sessions can also work wonders if you are sick of being stuck at home all the time.

This is a link to a study stream website if you are interested: https://www.studystream.live/focus-room

6. Don’t push yourself to breakdowns

 

Don’t push your mind and body to do things they don’t want to do. Drink lots of water, eat properly and reign in that coffee. It would be horrible if you work so hard only to fall ill on exam day. Common complaints of students are burning eyes, aching shoulders and headaches. These are some 5-minute exercises to keep yourself away from aches and pains:

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Exam anxiety is perfectly normal. In the end, we have to remember that marks are a means to an end, and hence they are not something over which we lose our physical and mental wellbeing. Do the best that you can, and be proud of your hard work and effort. All the best!

 

– Tanvi Jain, Delhi Public School, Noida

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