Pass your exam with flying colors


Dear friend,
Examination seasons often come with a lot of tension. Usually there are candidates who are very prepared and go in expecting to come out with flying colors.  We say bravo to such candidates.  They are confident. Having confidence is important when it comes to exams. But candidates must beware of over-confidence. Over-confidence has led to failure in the past for many candidates. On the other hand there are candidates who are totally lacking in confidence.  They are afraid.  They are not sure of what the outcome will be. These are the ones who have not prepared very well or who have not prepared at all.
However, all is not lost for them.  Whether a student has prepared or has not prepared, it is important to know that the last straw often breaks the Carmel’s back.  Maybe you know the story of the stone that was hit 99 times and it did not shatter and when it was hit for the 100th time it did?  This story has many lessons that can be useful to those of our children who are writing exams. It is the last straw that will make or mar for them. This simply means that the final minutes are very important.  All the time that you take to prepare your exam is important but the last period before writing is very crucial and should be handled with a lot of care.  It is like in football. Some teams lose very crucial matches because they fail to manage the last minutes well; and some teams score last minute goals to carry home the trophy. We must not play with the final lap of anything that we are doing. Examination candidates need to take note of this. Do not do an excellent job all through and ruin everything at the last minute.
A student can mismanage the last minutes and pay dearly for that if such a student is not careful about what he or she does during the writing season. Some students become so confident that they think they know it all and allow distractions to come in at the last minute. Nothing should be allowed to distract you especially when the exam is at hand. Focus is paramount. It is unfortunate when students think they are well prepared and start going in for rocking to prove to their friends that they are so tough that they can rock and still write and pass.  No rocking is allowed at this time. Work now, play after should be the motto.  Of course, this does not mean that one should kill oneself with work. Neither work too much nor relax too much.
At this time of writing, a positive frame of mind is very important. You have worked hard.  Even if you have not worked very hard, know that it is not by your own power alone that you pass.  Have hope and faith on God.
The examination period is not a time to take chances.  Put all the chances on your side by doing what you should do. Take enough rest. Do not dance lame before the real dance. This means that if you have a paper to write do not work yourself too much and become worn out before you go in to write.  Some people stay up too late if they have to write a paper the next day and in the morning they are unable to get up or they get up too late and tired. This may make them go late to the examination centre. This could even make them forget their writing material.
Parents have a great contribution to make at the time of exams to help their children succeed. There are some parents who do not just behave as if their children were writing an exam. To them nothing is happening, especially those who are not the real parents of the children who are living with them and writing. They still continue to overload the children with domestic chores not giving them enough time to finalize preparations and rest enough.  This is a time when parents need to be most gentle to and supportive of their children who are writing.  They should not do things that will anger, discourage or destabilize them psychologically.
We come to the examination room.  What the children do in the examination room is very important. That is where they offer the final product. If this time is poorly managed, everything goes into the drain. The student must continue to maintain composure. Many students fail when they get into the examination room and are gripped by fear, worry and anxiety.  Hence, they do not take time to read the instructions to know exactly what is expected of them. Of course, if they do not read the instructions well they will not know them and this will mean not following them. There can be no doubt that the outcome will be failure. If a student wants to succeed, he/she must read the instructions very well and follow them to the letter. They are told this over and over by their teachers.
Another factor to look at is that of the invigilator. Some students fail because they are not lucky to have good invigilators.  Some invigilators are good; some are bad. A good invigilator makes the students relaxed.  Just his tone of voice is sympathetic and empowering. The bad invigilator makes them tense. Even when a student has an individual worry he/she does not care to help. He/she rather scolds and threatens which is not good for the children.
Now I come to something which I have deliberately kept to bring at the end: prayers. We say prayers can move mountains.  This is true. While some students know this and pray a lot for God’s guidance during this examination period, others do not.  The importance of prayers cannot be over-emphasized. My advice to candidates is to pray without ceasing for God’s guidance in the exam. Pray in the evening, pray in the morning of the exam, pray even as you go to the examination centre, pray in the examination room when you just get in; pray when you receive your paper and pray before you begin to write. Even as you write pray silently for God’s guidance; pray when you have written, before you hand in your paper.  You do not need to make the whole world know that you are praying. You pray silently to yourself. If you pray and have faith, God will help you through successfully.  With him everything is possible.
Of course,there are many other hints that can help you do well in your exam but if you follow the ones given here, there can be no doubt that you will pass  your exam with flying colors.

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