Examination stress is a wadded burden, which comes along with examinations itself. If a child is appearing for this ghost of the ghosts—well, the boards—then only God can save them from the anxiety. As a parent, you continue to bug your child to:
Well, you ain’t really helping them. In fact, that’s just leading them to feel more pressured, anxious and lost in the scenario, and that’s not exactly a good sign.
This year, my seat has changed. I’m more of a guardian to a board examination candidate than being a student myself, and that has made me see the other side of the story—the one I never knew of. It technically begins in the morning with most parents, the usual being asking the child if they have prepared enough.
Well, honestly, one can never prepare enough. You cannot know everything that may come your way, at least the average student may not—because I know there’s also a statement: “when s/he could do it, why can’t you?” Answering this isn’t really the concern here, the stated concern is the idea of comparison, which is raising the competition between children making them enter the rat race, probably way too soon.
The child might not be prepared enough, but trust me, he’ll do just fine if you tell him that whatever he has done is enough. It’ll be better to boost that confidence and make him believe that he knows everything, and there’s nothing to be scared of—because, if we look at it the logical way, can you tell who topped the 12th boards last year without googling it?
This impractical series of questions come to an end when the child walks out of that examination centre, and parents ask: kaisa hua? (how was it?).
Trust me, you cannot change their paper; they cannot change it either. Then, why even try going into the details of what did he answer to which question or how wrong and right he has been all that while.
In a recent survey conducted by MindSpeakers 2020, a team of twenty-four young individuals across India under the Fortis Young Mental Health Advocacy Program found that 82% of the students feel sad or irritable during exams. Almost 25% of them feel extremely nervous night before the exam, while approximately 70% reported having blanked out during the exam. No matter how much you, as a parent, may ask and how much the child may know, 83.6% students have also reportedly stated that even after being well prepared, they have failed to perform well.
While the level of stress among students has reached a gradient high, what needs our attention is how we teach them to cope with the soaring stress—because ultimately, while we teach them to win, we should also teach them to be strong enough to reach that end line of the race. Because that’s exactly where it all counts!