You have set the mood to study hard over the next few hours. Ready with your favourite pen and paper to take down notes, you open your textbook and count the number of chapters to be read. And then, your mind goes blank! You calm yourself down and open the first chapter to read the first line. Before you notice, you have read the same line at least 10 times, with no recollection of what you just read. Unable to concentrate any further, you close your books and sit in front of the television to release some of the built-up stress.

If this is you, then relax! With one month left to go before exams, it is natural for you to feel stressed and anxious. However, with careful organisation and a calm attitude, you can easily wade through. Follow these tips to overcome this last-minute exam panic and de-stress yourself during this crucial phase.

●     Make a practical time-table

Put together a time-table that has specific time allocated for each subject. Make sure it also includes periodic breaks for relaxation and other daily activities. Be realistic about the time allotted to each subject and your own capabilities in meeting the pre-set timelines.

●     Organise and divide the syllabus

Break down your entire syllabus into small portions that can be managed more easily. Information arranged in a structured manner is easier to recall and remember. Try to break down complex topics into smaller sections and group similar information into separate groups, whenever possible.

●     Create a checklist

Examine your entire syllabus to identify the most important topics or the areas that you need to concentrate on. Make a checklist and prioritize all the items in order of their importance. Strike out each item off your checklist as you complete it and you will feel more in control over your syllabus.

●     Be realistic about your goals

While deciding your time table or creating a checklist, be realistic about your goals. Do not exhaust yourself and take frequent short breaks in between study hours to refresh your mind. With careful planning and a calm attitude, you can easily overcome the last minute exam panic. More importantly, remain positive during your exams and do not worry yourself sick over the exam results.   Dr Samir Parikh The author of this blog is Director – Mental Health & Behavioural Sciences at Fortis Healthcare.

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