You’ve worked hard, burnt the midnight oil for months altogether, escaped distractions, been a sincere student, but are now jittery one day before the exam. You are confused about what to do on the day of the exam. First of all, don’t worry! This is going to be a simple yet substantial guideline for you, so better grab a cup of coffee (or water, whatever suits ya), sit back, relax and enjoy the article (Just to be clear, I was also thinking of the messages given after safety instructions given in flights…. Something like – “I am the head air hostess of this flight. Me and my team shall ensure your comforts on this flight. Sit back, relax and enjoy the *aircraft company name* experience). But let’s not digress any further…
The natural thing that is done by students at such a time is to jitter and fear. Most are afraid that they are not prepared fully or that they might not do well. Then they begin contemplating about what would happen if the exam doesn’t go well, and so on.
It’s human nature to be afraid of losing out. There’s no reason to be concerned if you feel in such a way. I would be concerned if you weren’t feeling thus. All those having pre-exam jitters, take a deep breath and try to relax. It’s the best thing you can do right now. Just think back in time when you felt that surge of confidence (if applicable to your case). Remember it, feel it, let in engulf you, but only just. These situations are tricky and confidence is like fire…
Fire… If it’s too low, it would die before scaling any heights but if it’s too strong, it could end up causing immense destruction. Burn it just right… steady. Let it grow as you grow. I can tell you for a fact that your confidence is maximum somewhere during an examination. Beginnings are usually weak, but as you go on solving questions, feeling that every correct question you did edged you over others, it’s the very feeling that increases your confidence with time.
At a certain point, the confidence endows upon you so much fortitude and energy that you are capable of solving every question that comes in front of you. Don’t worry if it hasn’t happened yet. Best things usually happen at the end. They did with me. Anything can happen on the day of the exam, it’s that uncertain. Yet, that’s what gives it the thrill.
In short, just relax. A little bit of under confidence is good, but overconfidence is certainly bad. Keep this in mind, all your life.
Many kids face “black-outs” on the day of the exam, due to variety of reasons.
Know that this is completely natural. The reason for this is a temporary loss of concentration and focus, something which can happen for a multitude of reasons. The best way to counter it is to have a little bit of water, and to take deep breaths for 30 seconds or so. Try to clear your mind in these 30 seconds and bring the exam back in focus. This should help a lot. Also, whatever you do, just don’t panic. Examinations primarily test your nerve and your ability to perform under pressure. Make sure you don’t hurt your chances by panicking.
There is a universal confusion regarding what is the best method to approach the paper.
Although the best way to attempt any examination is whatever way you are comfortable in, I would like to offer my 2 cents here. The trick to competitive examinations is to optimize your performance in the given time. It’s not necessary to score 100%. The trick is to be relatively better off than others. And as many questions carry the same amount of marks, it hardly makes a difference which questions you get right.
Do you see where I am getting at? I would advise you not to take the examination paper to your ego. No one is going to applaud you for solving the toughest question of the paper if you end up missing 2-3 easy questions because of that.
Attempt the easiest questions first, followed by medium level ones. After these two categories of questions are attempted and marked, then only go on to the toughest questions. Ideally, 25% questions are easy, 55-60% are medium level and around 15-20% are tough.
Analyse the past few years’ rank cutoffs and you shall see that 80% are enough marks for top 100, maybe even top 50.
I hope this article covers a lot of ground and helps you clear a lot of last-minute doubts. Do your paper well. Just keep in mind that, at the end of the day, these are just examinations and that your life comprises much, much bigger and better things than these petty examinations.
All the best,