When I was preparing myself for my 10th standard Board Exams, I remember I seriously didn’t fret over it. Surprising, but true. I just took it as yet another exam and guess what, it worked! I scored higher than I had expected 🙂

But alas, the ease didn’t continue till 12th Boards. Being the final year of school and almost the sole decision maker of my future (or so I was told), I panicked and stressed.

I would just lock myself in my room and study for hours on the trot. I stopped playing and reading my favourite comic strips (Calvin & Hobbes) – my all-time stress buster. Heck, I even stopped eating properly.

In retrospect, I realize I could have done better had I not been so harsh on myself.

Fortunately, before I could doom myself completely, an advice from my father’s friend came to my rescue and I am still grateful to him for that wonderful piece of advice.

He said, “Beta (My child) our mental muscles gets fatigued when overworked just as how our physical muscles do. So taking breaks is a compulsion and not a choice”.

Bang ON! I followed the advice and saved myself by the rear end of it.

Am sure by now you are used to a lot of advice coming your way as well, not knowing what to take and what to drop. I get that.

So I decided to squeeze all of my personal experience and share what truly worked, in just 3 simple tips.

TIP 1 – Do not stay awake the night before exams

It saddens me that so many parents allow their kids to stay awake the night before an exam and study. That is a huge (costly?) mistake.

Instead, it is (much) better to revise/practise the most difficult thing that you have learnt that is part of your syllabus. This will allow you recalling it more easily later.

Also, whether you have completed your revision or not, you must sleep for seven to eight hours the night before.

TIP 2 – Remember the keywords

We all tend to remember things better when we understand the notes and just memorise the keywords. Learning everything word-to-word will put more pressure on your brain.

Remembering the keywords or ‘Chunking’, on the other hand, can do you a world of good. Often called the Mother of all learning, Chunking will help you retain anything for a longer period of time without putting any added pressure on your brain.

For instance, if you want to learn the parts of a human heart; instead of learning everything by heart, understand the topic and remember just the keywords. In the exam paper, frame the answer in your own words, using all the keywords aptly.

TIP 3 – Give up all your learning materials half an hour prior to the exam

Did you know that taking a walk for about 20 minutes prior to an exam can boost your performance by nearly 10 times?

That’s right. Allowing your mind to settle in is sure to enhance its performance. Think of it like this – if you could not dive into that particular topic all this while, what makes you think that last-minute study will help you dive in?

This is the time when your mind needs to wander away from your books.

Hope these tips help you perform even better. More importantly, just remember to do your best and let God do the rest!