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8 Ways To Prepare For Exams

Students face hundreds of challenges while preparing for exams. Starting from assembling notes and trying to make sense of it, ignoring any kind of distractions, and overcoming exam-related anxiety on the day. In this article, we underline a few simple strategies that would help you pass some common bumps you may face on the road to exam success.

Break A Tedious Task Into Small Bits

The most common challenge one faces is from where to begin, and which bit would be more important for their examination. This normally happens as we see things too vast and large. In this scenario, you have to use breaking the task trick.

Divide your syllabus into small parts; the ones you could cover in 10 to 15 min. Tell your brain you’ll just sit for 10 min and will take a break, soon after. But what actually happens is, once you have started you don’t realise how much time you have already devoted to it.

By the time you realise, you might have already completed a chapter. This happens because you stop stressing to complete the entire book and focus on one single bit of syllabus which would help you in concentrating.

Tell your brain you’ll just sit for 10 min and will take a break, soon after.

Stay Positive And Motivated

If you simply don’t want to be bothered while preparing for an exam, do not stress your brain with negative thoughts and stay positive.

For this, you need to think about the benefits you’ll reap once you successfully pass the exam. If you need more benefits, invent ways to reward yourself or ask your family member to push you into putting in more efforts.

The more positives point you see, the less delaying tactic you will experience, and the more enthusiastic and motivated you will be.

Believe In Yourself

“If I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning,” said MK Gandhi.

When you hold yourself back and don’t believe in your abilities, it’s called self-efficacy. Just think about a time when you did well without much effort, or your efforts paid you beyond expectation. This is a simple trick of assessing yourself and to become aware of oneself. This would help you in making improvements and regulate your actions.

“You can have anything you want if you are willing to give up the belief that you can’t have it,” said Dr Robert Anthony.

Believe in yourself, if you think you aren’t good — you won’t practice! Our brain can’t create an improved response. When you see an improvement, celebrate, shout out in your mind, “Yes, I did it —I can do it!” This will strengthen your self-belief and rejuvenate your intention to do better next time. With these little steps, you will improve your performance and build your self-efficacy.

Use Distractions As A Reward

A common trouble for plenty of students is being distracted easily while trying to study. Your brain can grasp only one thing at a time. Therefore, your interest flicks from one aspect to another very easily, specifically when you have an assignment due, it can be irritating how these distractions take over your thoughts.

People have a tendency to be stimulated towards pride and hide away from pain. When studying isn’t the most amusing activity, your mind looks around for different things. Try this; make a list of the most common distractions around you. Rank them from “maximum pleasing” at the pinnacle to “least pleasing” at the bottom. Do you tend to certainly go for the most pleasurable ones first?

Now, use your distractions as rewards for putting in some effort. Before you begin preparing for any examination, decide on a short-focused attempt and reward yourself with the most pleasurable distraction for praise after you’ve finished the task at hand.

Notice how well your mind will maintain your interest in the task, understanding, that the reward will follow shortly.

Reduce Screen Time 

A rising matter of concern among students is that they don’t concentrate well because of sleep problems. The biggest reason for this is the excessive use of mobile phones. The bright light emitted from devices such as phones, tablets and laptop screens being used before sleep time.

Recent studies show that how humans use technology is affecting their brains in a manner that might be addictive and unhelpful for their capacity to examine and assume critically. Other researchers recommend that the boom in electromagnetic WiFi energy from an increase in smartphone use is negative to our health and wellbeing. Try turning your devices off for an hour before you plan to sleep and reduce its usage.

Follow A Present-Centric Approach

Try using present-centric awareness exercises. Worry is created due to over-thinking about the future. As your body, mind, and feelings all work together, the destiny-targeted thoughts create emotions that launch stress chemicals compound in your body that make you tense.

When your mind focusses in the present moment, you can control your thoughts. If you generally tend to fear a lot, ask yourself, “Where am I now?”.  Take a few deep breaths and focus on your consciousness and attention on your breathing. If you’re in bed, attempt shifting your interest towards your toes and slowly flow it up through your body, relaxing while breathing deeply. If you’re out and about, attempt setting your interest in the surroundings around you.

By bringing your attention back to present-centred awareness, your worrying thoughts will disappear, and you’ll sense better. This process is basically to distract your focuses from the past or future to the present.

Time-Saving Technology

Students all around the world are inventing new approaches to study using advanced technology. During study hours, use relaxation music designed to help and increase one’s concentration. There are software programs to assist you in making notes or telling you tricks and shortcuts to help you memorize content. There is organiser software for students to divide time and syllabus. You call it, and there’ll be something out there for you to use. Go online and find some time-saving technologies.

Just think about a time when you did well without much effort, or your efforts paid you beyond expectation.

Get A Study Coach

Get a study coach who specializes in helping students with common exam challenges. Online coaching for exam-preparation through YouTube or Skype is also a great way to get help, and it’s affordable and convenient.

Visit the exams website to get previous year sample papers and solve them once you are done with your syllabus. By attempting these test papers, you would be able to assess yourself.

These few steps could reduce challenges while preparing for exams. Your focus and dedication to achieve something is the biggest key factor to give you success in exams.

Note: This was originally published here

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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