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Importance of Health for GATE Exam Preparation

The Importance of Health during GATE or any Exam Preparation

All of us have struggled with exam pressure at some point or the other. Particularly when it comes to exams like GATE, all the nights that you spent partying instead of studying come back to haunt you. And then follows a series of regrets. To avoid this, the only way through is to study regularly, for as long as it takes so that you can actually relax when exams come and not hyperventilate.

Though binging on your syllabus the night before, might sound like a good idea in the short run, believe you me, it is not the best thing for you, your body, your mind, and even your grades in the long run.

So, the first thing that I have to say about exam preparation is that calm down! It is only an exam. I understand that you have to clear it with good grades, but you also need to understand that it is not worth your life or your health, both – physical and mental.

The only way you are going to crack your competitive exams is if you study hard. Exams like GATE demand years of preparation and if you try to be a daredevil and attempt to cover the entire syllabus the night before the exam, well let’s just say that stress and anxiety definitely aren’t going to help you to study.

So what will, in fact, help you in studying?

You might remember from your schoolbooks that the WHO defines Health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” This is what I am talking about when I say that you need to take care of your Health during exams.

Let’s first talk about your Physical well-being.

You need to take care of your body during exams because the moment you fall sick during exams – you are doomed. You will begin by throwing a tantrum about how life is not fair that you have to study even when you are down with the flu (or whatever it is you have managed to contract). It might even to get to a point where you are so ill that you have to miss your exam.

And if you happen to miss out on your competitive exams like GATE that are conducted once or twice a year, well, there goes your entire year down the drain just because you didn’t take care of yourself for those 10 days of exams.

So, what can you do to make sure that you do not fall sick during your exams and are in the prime of health to study?

  • Eat Healthy – Add green leafy vegetables and fresh fruits in your diet. Eat dry fruits regularly as they sharpen your mind.
  • Chuck the Junk Food – Yes, junking up on chips, burgers, pizzas, feels tempting and fulfilling. But it also weakens your body as it lacks all nourishment that your body needs. And gorging up on it will only make you fatter and sleepy.
  • Stay Hydrated – Drink plenty of water. Water relaxes your body, and makes you healthy. Keep your water intake regular and frequent, and you wouldn’t have a pimple-ridden face post exam.
  • Stay away from Caffeine – Don’t give in to the fashionable trend of coffee addiction on exam nights. It will keep you up but will be harmful to your body and mind. Instead go for healthier alternatives like green tea or fruit juices.
  • Sleep – For the love of God, staying up whole night sifting through the pages will not do you any good. You might fill up your head with ideas but only a well-rested mind is able to present those ideas on an answer sheet in an organized manner that will fetch marks.

Now that we have got the technicalities out of the way, let’s focus on the more important things that most of us dangerously tend to overlook – Mental Health.

Exam stress is understandable. Come exams you will experience anxiety, tension, discomfort – and it is okay to feel all this because at the end of the day you are just a kid trying to get through his/her exams with good grades. These feelings will come and let them because it means that you have not yet given up on yourself and that you actually care about your exams and how you perform.

What matters is – your attitude towards these feelings. If you take them up sportingly and use them as a source of motivation, they will help you through. But if you let them overpower you, you will find yourself drowning in a whirlpool of emotions with no means to navigate.

The answer is – Distractions. Plan your studying time in such a way that you give yourself enough time to divert your thoughts from studies. Take a break and indulge in activities that make you feel happy and relaxed. Activities that will calm your agitated mind.

You are free to choose your stress-buster or your form of self-care. Some people might like to hit the gym and exercise to get their blood flowing faster. Some might want to hang out with friends and share some silly rumors they have heard. Some might want to just lie down with their eyes closed and their favorite music playing in their ears. Some might want to check up on social media and laugh on the exam memes that always hit a little closer to home. And my personal favorite, watching an episode or two of Friends to laugh my head off before going back to the books.

My point is take up whatever does the trick for you. There are no wrong and right ways when it comes to de-stressing and relaxing. You are good to go with anything and everything that lightens up your mood, eases the creases on your forehead and puts a smile on your face.

But again, no extremes. Before taking a break, decide when you will be back from the break. Like Dumbledore said, “It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.” And so, it does not do to dwell in the break and forget to come back to study.

What, you might ask, will this closely timed break accomplish?

And the answer is Mental Health.

Let’s take an example. Suppose you have 10 chapters to go for tomorrow’s exam and you still have to revise 6 of them. But you have been studying for 3 hours straight and now the words on the pages are but a blur. What do you do?

You take a break. Get your eyes away from the books. Go for a walk (or whatever calms you). Refresh your mind. Believe in yourself that you can do it. And come back to the table with a fresh mind that believes in itself and a healthy body that is supporting you all the way through.

You get this, and there is no stopping you from acing those exams and walking out from the exam hall with a healthy body and mind.

Good Luck!

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