Set realistic targets

When students are anxious or unprepared for major exams, they must come up with quick measures to reach attainable goals.

TWO major public examinations are just round the corner — the SPM (Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia) and STPM (Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia). With both exams approaching soon, it is only natural if you’ve begun to feel some form of anxiety. Have your preparations been enough? Are you ready?

Despite the mounting tension, there is still some time for you to take on some quick measures to ensure that you succeed.

To begin with, get motivated. If you lack drive and energy, then it simply means that you are not fired up and raring to go.

Although your parents, teachers and friends give you the support, the best form of motivation should spring from within you.

In her 1952 book, Key To Yourself, writer Venice J. Bloodworth, stays current and relevant when she proposes a simple yet classic approach to achieve success.

Decide, visualise and act,” she suggests.

I would say the same. The first thing you have to do is decide what it is that you wish to attain or achieve in the coming examinations.

For instance, Raju, who is in Form Five now, has decided that he wants to achieve an ‘A’ in all the subjects he sits for in the SPM examination.

Meanwhile, Amrin, who is a mediocre student, is realistic. He has chosen to concentrate on getting credits for five key subjects.

For the rest of the subjects, he will be content if he passes them.

Sheila, who knows that she is weak in almost all subjects except Bahasa Malaysia, has decided that she will simply aim to pass all subjects, or at the least – Mathematics and Science.

Yes, this is the way to think. You must first decide what your goals and targets are.

To motivate yourself, write them down and look at them daily.

Visualise: You must visualise your success in terms that you can understand.

Turning to prayer:  Turns to prayer for  motivation and to succeed.

Once you have visualised your success, the next step is to DO the right thing. You have to ACT.

Yes, actions speak louder than words. This is the time for you to stop making excuses and wasting your time.

You have to hit your books constantly, put in regular hours of study and hone your skills by doing many exercises and trying out various forms of academic tasks.

To do this successfully, you must be disciplined, hard-working and persevere.

There is no short-cut to success. As Winston Churchill put it, “It’s not enough that we do our best, sometimes we have to do what’s required”.

You have to study. So, do it consistently and regularly. Know yourself, your weaknesses and strengths and plan your schedule accordingly.

The important thing is to do it:

Yes, choose a learning style or studying method that suits you the most.

Reading, making mini notes, using mind maps, memorising, discussing with study mates or doing exhaustive workbook exercises — choose how you study best, then do it.

But, remember it is very important that you give priority to not only your mental work-outs but your physical and emotional well-being too.

Reward yourself:

To this end, when you take a break from studying please do indulge and reward yourself by doing a physical activity you enjoy.

Stay away from doing another mental activity for this will only drain your mind further.

Going out for ice-cream, dancing, sharing jokes and laughing out loud, cycling, jogging, listening to music, playing with a younger sibling or pet, cooking with your mother, doing a yoga work-out, a car-ride or a walk, are preferred to watching TV, reading a novel or tackling a computer game.

Finally, persevere and be resilient. In the words of Victor Hugo — “people do not lack strength, they lack will”.

So, be willing to “decide, visualise and act” correctly and you’ll be successful.

Good luck.

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