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Dealing with exam stress

primary symptom of pre-exam stress was 'avoidance'
Karachi, Apr 28: Stress levels are on the rise as Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) Part I and II examinations commenced from Tuesday while O and A Levels exams are also round the corner. Pre-exam stress and stress during examinations is common amongst students in early teens and in most cases, prevails until their late teens. However, the causes, symptoms and the ways students deal with it differ from case to case.

Qandeel Hasan, a student of HSC Part II, Pre-Medical at Government Degree Girls College, Gulshan-e-Iqbal explained that lengthy courses and confusion about what paper pattern the board would follow were causes of constant pre-exam stress for her. Describing how she was coping, Hasan said, "I can't do much about the paper pattern, but I managed the lengthy courses by simply understanding the material rather than rote learning." Similarly, Mahgul Khan, a student of HSC Part I at Rana Liaquat Ali Khan College of Home Economics told that she preferred understanding the content to learning each and every word of it, adding "What stresses me out the most is that people who check our answer sheets always expect answers written in a certain way, which worsens the situation."

Khan also recalled that last year one of her college colleagues had faced such severe pre-exam anxiety that she had to drop out of college on doctor's advice; and has still not resumed her studies. According to a psychiatrist Dr Uzma Ambreen based in Karachi, the primary symptom of pre-exam stress was 'avoidance'. "Before exams start, a lot of students tend to avoid studies as they want to delay the associated anxiety. They feel like sleeping more, and their concentration level lowers. This is avoidance at the subconscious or unconscious level," Dr Ambreen described.

She said that symptoms such as sleeplessness, weepiness, tremors, palpitations, shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting and diet loss could be observed among students during exams. Dr Ambreen believed quite often the parents were responsible for stress related problems in their children. Excessive pushing, comparing them with others' children, and pressurising them on the basis of previous exam results was also a cause of stress among students during exams and to avoid this stress, parents must encourage them, said Dr Ambreen. "Yet there is little acceptance of average grades and average kids in our society," she added. To deal with exam stress, Dr Ambreen urged students to "plan well ahead, make timetables, get organised, ask beforehand for help, tackle difficult subjects first and study in groups if self-studying seems hard." However, Ambreen Emad, a homemaker and the mother of two, was of the opinion that children could not be left to relax in the most important years of their education. She said, "If parents keep accepting their children's will, when they procrastinate studying, it will cause panic at the last moment. Therefore, it is essential that parents put their foot down at the right time." She added, "It is only for their better future that we tactfully encourage them to work hard, though we should also realise our children's capacities." -By Haya Fatima Iqbal (Daily times)

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Students demand admit forms even after HSC exams commence
Karachi: The Board of Intermediate Education Karachi (BIEK) was thronged on Tuesday by dozens of prospective intermediate exam candidates who are yet to receive their admit cards despite that fact that the Board has already conducted the first paper for the Higher Secondary School (HSC) annual examinations-2010.

The Board, however, turned down the demands of the students and their guardians, after which the people who had gathered at the BIEK office chanted slogans against the Board management.

"We had already given students a chance to submit their examination forms and many students had collected admit cards from the BIEK counters even after the official last date. It looks like some people have made tardiness a habit," BIEK Deputy Secretary Muhammad Imran Chusti told journalists.

"The examination schedule was announced several months ago, and after considering some students' problems, the Board had given them another chances to submit their examination forms," BIEK Chairman Anwar Ahmed Zia said. "It is, however, completely unreasonable to appear at the Board Office and demand admit cards after examinations have begun across the province."

The students and their guardians, meanwhile, tried to explain they had not submitted examination forms on time. Many blamed their colleges for the mishap. The candidates also said that they would lose an educational year if they were not allowed to appear in the exams this time around.

Meanwhile, the open use of mobile phones was witnessed during a visit of various examination centres on Tuesday.

Ban on photo copy machines near exam centreS: The Home Secretary in exercise of powers under Sec 144, Cr PC has imposed a complete ban on operation of photo copy machines around examination centres and had banned the gathering of unwanted personnel/persons in and around the examination centres.

This order shall come into force with immediate effect and shall remain operative/enforced till completion of examination and shall be applicable to all examination centres of the HSC Annual Examination throughout Karachi District.

Any violation of this order shall attract penalty under Sec 188 PPC, while all the Station House Officers (SHOs) are directed/authorised to take cognisance notice against the violation in accordance with applicable laws. The news

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