Exam stress? Expert tips for navigating NEET, CBSE and JEE Main exams

With NEET UG 2023 registrations starting and the upcoming board exams, and JEE Main 2023 Session I all happening at the same time, career experts offer tips to stay calm and give it your all
Ten expert tips to excel in the upcoming exams | (Pic: EdexLive)
Ten expert tips to excel in the upcoming exams | (Pic: EdexLive)

With NEET UG 2023 registrations kicking off, Class XII students are feeling the pressure with upcoming CBSE board exams, state board exams, and JEE Main 2023 Session I all happening at the same time. But don't stress just yet, career experts are here to remind you to stay calm and give it your all without letting stress get in the way of confident preparation.

Who are these experts? Meet them:
1. Yasasvi Santosh, Director of Spark Academy
2. Ashwin R, Career guidance expert and analyst
3. Gaurav Tyagi, Career expert on NEET
4. Jayprakash Gandhi, Career guidance expert and analyst

Don't let exam stress get the best of you! These top 10 tips from the experts will ensure your success:

1. You are not alone:
According to Santosh, these are the first exams after COVID-19 normalcy returned, so delays and short notices are understandable. "Everyone is in the same situation and has the same limited time to prepare. There is no question of anyone having an undue advantage. Thus, there is no need to panic," he adds.

2. Think: Why are you preparing?
Ashwin suggests that students must throw the word stress away from their lives by understanding the reality of the situation. "Stress will automatically go away if students realise the reality of the situation. They have to understand that they need to work hard to achieve good marks, which will land them in good colleges and which in turn will provide them with good opportunities and a good lifestyle," he says.

3. Prioritise: Which subject to study first?
With limited time before exams, it's important to prioritize your study approach. Here's how to effectively tackle the syllabus:
i) Start by focusing on subjects you excel in.
ii) Then, target important chapters that are frequently covered in exams.
iii) Lastly, prioritise Class XII material before moving on to Class XI.

4. CBSE syllabus first
According to experts, it's crucial for students to put in effort for the CBSE board exams as it lays the foundation for entrance exams. Gaurav states that the syllabus for JEE and NEET align with the CBSE syllabus and that the NCERT textbook is sufficient for NEET. Ashwin mentions that while additional practice questions are necessary for JEE, the concepts remain the same as what is covered in the NCERT books. Gandhi concludes by emphasising the importance of having a strong understanding of the basics for success in any exam.

5. Balance: How to manage time?
With JEE Main approaching in two weeks, it's best to prioritise preparing for that. During the board exams, when there are less intensive subjects like languages or computer science, students can adopt a 60-40 approach, dedicating 60% of their time to the exam subject and using the remaining 40% to prepare for NEET or JEE Main Session 2 in April, suggests Santosh. Ashwin adds that it's manageable.

6. Your hours of study don't matter
"Even if you are studying 2-3 hours, you can do well if your concentration is 100 per cent," says Gaurav. He warns that relying solely on memorization will not lead to success and that students who do so will struggle in entrance exams. Gaurav advises students to strive to understand concepts rather than just memorising them.

7. No need for online sources
Gaurav cautions that online sources such as Telegram, YouTube, and Instagram can be misleading and advises students to steer clear of them and instead focus on NCERT textbooks. To achieve a good score, Gaurav recommends practising both subjective and objective questions and advises students to aim for admission to government colleges.

8. Revision is vital
Experts suggest that students revise concepts thoroughly and prioritize the most important chapters in their revision. Santosh advises students to practice past question papers and take at least 2-3 mock tests. The other experts concur, highlighting the importance of familiarizing oneself with the exam pattern.

9. Tackle the question paper well
"Reading between the lines is important. My advice is to understand what the question asks and then answer. Many times students are in a hurry, do not read the question properly and end up answering it wrong," says Gandhi. He suggests that students should not panic or spend excessive time on questions they don't know. "Focus on answering the ones you know, then after completion, revert back to the questions left out," he adds.

10. Don't forget health
"Maintaining proper sleep and diet are important," says Gaurav. Ashwin concurs and adds that starting the day early and taking a cold shower before studying can improve concentration.

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