Let’s face it, exams are stressful. They take a semester’s worth of knowledge and cram it all into a two or three hours session. For engineering students, especially this phase of the year is the most fearsome. And to add to the misery is the fact that we are to spend the holidays with family, only to worry most of the time about rhetorical questions like:

“Am I gonna make it to the next semester?”

“Do I have to worry about what all I missed this sem?”

“Do I have time to compensate for the time that went by unfruitful?”

All that these questions get us is misery, not to mention of the time they take to contemplate! The fear of inadequacy in our own exam preparations — as well as the prospect of facing the unknown of how good we will fare is something we all deal with.

There is, however, another form of exam stress that doesn’t get recognized as much. I’m talking about the exam stress that comes after we have written the exams and those seeds of doubt in your ability prop back up when it is ultimately too late to do anything about it.

However here is a list of what we shouldn’t do after we are done with the exams:

Stop looking for answers right after the exams!

We’re all guilty of this one. Right after the exam, in a desperate bid to console yourself that you knew what all you were writing about, you immediately begin searching your notes or in our case, the internet, to see if you got the test questions correct. Doing this is risky as it almost always leads to heartbreak. In all instances, you will be left fretting about how you wrote the exam until the class’s final grades get posted on UMS. After you write your exam it is simply too late to change your answers, therefore worrying about them is wasted stress. perhaps sometimes ‘Ignorance is bliss’

Don’t ruin your holiday trying to do something that needs routine.

This point may seem obvious to some as people start downloading video courses while they pack back home, but the holiday break should be used as a break. At the outset of your break, the beginning of the Spring term may seem like a long way away but it will come quickly, as quick as a wink, and then it’s back to the good all undergraduate grind. Also, the holiday ‘break’ only accounts for an academic break, the rest of your life doesn’t go on break and it’s easy to lose your time off to other stresses: work, family, and yes, shopping and another holiday ‘obligations’, to name a few. Furthermore, while this time of year is generally branded by advertising agencies as the ‘most wonderful time’ of all times, the fact is that for many people the holidays are not always particularly pleasant.

Don’t judge your capacity to get back on track:

While writing a bad exam can be a deflating experience, especially if you feel like you put in a more than adequate effort in preparing for it like late night shifts at books. Keep in mind, however, that there is a myriad of factors that can lead to you writing a bad test beyond your comprehension of the course material. Perhaps you focused on the wrong material, or weren’t studying as effectively as you thought you were or fell ill the day before — these are all plausible situations. Try to learn from your bad exam experience and use it to more effectively prepare for future tests. No one said learning was easy and there will inevitably be some roadblocks to you attaining that pristine 10 CGPA.

Resume your daily routines:

During the final weeks of the semester, many of us are scrambling for time to get everything we need to get an accomplished finish. In doing so we tend to neglect certain other important parts of our lives and exercise is often one of them. Physical activity is a good stress-buster and with all your exams completed for the semester, the three to four odd weeks you have prior to the beginning of the Spring Term is an ideal time to try and get back into a semblance of an exercise routine

Don’t talk to the classmates about how all the exam went:

In a similar vein to that of the above “Don’t” — talking with your classmates about their test answers can be highly stressful if they responded to the exam questions differently than you did. This is especially true for multiple-choice tests(which feature in the ETE in which more than one possible answer seemed plausible. The risk is that your classmates — especially if they’re your friends — may be good at persuading you that an answer you chose that you thought was correct was, in fact, incorrect as they chose something different.

Try to focus on what’s coming up in the next sem:

Somewhat contradictory to the above — the holiday break is an excellent time for you to get ahead of your workload. The break offers the perfect time to catch up. The more academically productive you are over the break will inevitably result in your Spring term being a little less stressful. Pre-emptive stress-busting is a form of stress busting, so if you feel as though the second half of your year is going to be particularly difficult and busy, there’s no harm in preparing ahead of time!

The best is to go for the academic task in the next sem to the best of your abilities so you won’t have to read an article like this after the next ETE.