Are Boards Making You Anxious? Here’s How You Can Beat Exam Stress
Here’s how you can tackle exam stress.
Here’s how you can tackle exam stress.(Photo: iStock)

Are Boards Making You Anxious? Here’s How You Can Beat Exam Stress

“I can’t study, I feel sleepy and I’m not able to concentrate at all.” This is almost every other student after just five minutes of opening their textbooks. Class 10 and 12 Board exams are here, bringing with them a mountain of stress.

From the pressure to get high marks to the expectation to do well, handling all that stress can be quite a pain.

In recent years, support for students has poured in from all sides to ease this pressure. The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has also set up a helpline.

“I don’t even know what I don’t know.”
“I don’t even know what I don’t know.”
(GIF Courtesy:

FIT reached out to the CBSE helpline for the most frequently asked questions (FAQs). We then got Sudeshna Nath, Consulting Psychologist at Delhi Public School, Vasundhara, to answer these for you.

I'm not able to concentrate, how do I study and prepare for exams?

Has it happened to you that you’re studying about transformers in Physics and the next thing you know, the entire fight scene from the movie ‘Transformers’ is playing in your head? Okay, that’s just me. But for many, concentrating while studying proves to be difficult.

Unless there’s a medical problem, we all have a span of attention. We need to understand for how long, and how many things can we attend to at one point of time.
Sudeshna Nath, Consulting Psychologist, DPS Vasundhara

Also Read: Looking At ‘Study Drugs’ as a Way Out? DON’T

The moment I start studying, I feel sleepy. What do I do?

Anything that you are unable to attend to and find boring, even if it’s a movie, will make you feel sleepy. You’re just wasting your time if you get to it half-heartedly.

The amount you sleep is also important. At least six-eight hours of sleep is vital - if it isn’t enough, sleep for two more hours. But make sure it is at a stretch. When you sleep intermittently, your body doesn’t get proper rest and you will tend to feel lousy when you want to study.

Say you’re very good at maths, pick it up when its not your peak study hour, and study physics at peak hour, if you find it difficult.

I study a lot, but can't remember anything and forget most of what I read. What should I do?

How many times did you watch that Batman movie, after which you remembered the dialogues by heart? More than a couple of times, I’m sure. The same applies here. You need to understand what you’re studying and revise it, don’t mug it up.

Any learning passes through three channels; sensory memory, short-term memory and long-term memory. So, in order to remember things for long, certain methods have to be followed.

First of all, whatever you study, has to be rehearsed within 24 hours in order to go to your short term memory. From short to long term memory, it has to be elaborated, understood and then rehearsed for that information to stay.

I feel very anxious. What if I don't get good marks and don't do well?

Anxiety is something which at its optimum/desired level, will help you study but if it goes beyond a certain point, it can be destructive. At that stage you need to take professional help.

As we repeatedly say, marks aren’t everything. Your life and you are much bigger than mere numbers.

Performance anxiety occurs when you’re not able to study because you’re thinking about the result, says Sudeshna Nath.

Do a lot of sample papers, it’ll help you gain confidence. Once you get an idea that what you’ve studied and what could come in the exam paper is more or less similar, then it’ll lessen the anxiety.

So, basically relax, eat well, sleep well and follow these tips to overcome that stress!

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