With exams season coming our way and in barely two months, the students of 10th & 12th standards will be giving their board exams. In India, board exams have always been considered one of the deciding factors of a child’s future and at times it becomes scary and nerve-racking for students and their parents.
Mr. Raghav Podar, who is shouldering a legacy of a 93-year-old name in education conducted a workshop session for students of 10th & 12th standard to train them on the correct mindsets to approach exams with, and how to ace their exams by doing their best.
We asked him questions on how one should go about exam preparation, and he was happy to answer the same. He said, that “this year has been a year of adversity and challenges, but those who knew how to convert challenges into opportunities were the ones who performed better. Resilience is the key character building trait here and each child should know that even if the path is hard, they have to give their best shots in every walk of life.” The questions continued and we asked.
- How does Podar have such excellent board results year after year achieving National / state / city ranks? What is the mantra behind it?
- The race is long, but in the end, it’s only with yourself. The mantra is not to chase topping! If a child gets 98.6 or 98.8 – these things are anyways out of the child’s hands. You can’t study better or more for that 0.2% of marks. What is more important is to develop the right mindset towards exams and their preparation. Our focus is in ensuring we can get children to maximize their inherent talents, and excel at what they are best in. Yes, we are confident to see our students in the list of top 5% or 10% in the country, but what we are more interested in is seeing the growth of each and every child. Even a child who was scoring 50%, and we can bring him up to get 70% in his exam, he is a winner to us. Excellence is the constant endeavour of improvement.
- What are your suggestions for students to deal with examination pressure?
- Pressure is a normal part of life and it’s absolutely fine, a certain amount of anxiety keeps us energized, motivated, alert & focused. The learning center of the brain, the hippocampus is located right next to the emotional center of the brain, the amygdala. Science has repeatedly proven that the mental and emotional state of a person is the key factor to their learning processes.
When students get over stressed, either due to parental, peer or society pressure, the body releases the stress hormone called cortisol. Excessive cortisol reduces the ability of the brain to perform at its optimal capacity and reduces the learning capability of a student. The most important frame of mind a child should be in before entering an exam is they should feel confident, self secure and self assured, and fill themselves with the D.O.S.E. (Dopamine, Oxytocin, Serotonin and Endorphins) chemicals. It is critical students take on physical activities they enjoy between their study breaks – it can be 20 minutes of yoga, dance, aerobics, a sport, gym just to bring back the oxygen and circulation in the blood along with the D.O.S.E. of happiness, alertness and focus.
- How should Gen Z kids keep their mood set for studying?
- The way we all care so much about charging our mobile batteries everyday, but do we care enough about recharging our brains batteries? Some students boast that they studied non-stop for 6 hours. The truth is, if they really did study non stop for that long, their brains would’ve slipped into unproductive study during that time. Just by staring at a book in front of you doesn’t result in better brain absorption of concepts. Such children also tend to boast that they slept only 4 hours or 5 hours the night before the exam. My advise to such children is you have to ensure you get minimum 7 – 8 hours of continuous sleep at night so you wake up with your brain refreshed and recharged, so you can tackle your exam and the days challenges head on!
- Does food also play a vital role at the time of examination, should there be a diet chart for students whose exams are near?
- A Diet chart is not mandatory, but yes food plays an extremely vital role in ensuring our bodies and brains are active and healthy. There is a saying, “You are what you eat”. If you eat heavy food, even though it tastes good, you will feel extremely heavy, lethargic and lackadaisical for the next few hours. Your body sends its energy to help with digesting that heavy meal, rather than for you to be active. It is often seen parents pamper their kid during the exam time, and make all their favourite foods with all the cream and oil to increase taste. Unfortunately, this is the last thing the child needs in their exam preparations. Students should eat nutritious, healthy, fresh foods and avoid heavy meals. Almonds, broccoli, avocados, green vegetables, complex carbs, protein rich diets are always better at keeping the brain charged and active.
My parting advice, in keeping with the lingo and parlance of these Gen Z kids is: KEEP CALM & ACE THE EXAM, concluded Mr. Podar.