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Ashwini (1690)

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Exam fever seems to have gripped the whole of city with annual examinations of all boards in progress presently. Rashmi Mohan, Central Board of Secondary Education ( CBSE) co-ordinator of Varanasi, said that around 4,000 students are appearing for class X while over 9,700 students are writing class XII exams this year. District inspector of schools ( DIOS) Vijay Shankar Misra said that 1,32,531 students of UP board class X and XII are taking the exams that began on March 16. Before the UP board examinations will conclude, entrance examinations of universities would begin.

The Banaras Hindu University (BHU) has received 2,53,000 application forms for its entrance tests in different courses. The impact of ongoing exams is also visible at shopping malls and other public places, which are mostly frequented by students and youngsters. Shweta Jaiswal, a class XII student, said, "As my board examinations have just begin, there is little time in hand to revise the concepts for IIT-JEE which will is scheduled for April 8, so I have put on hold all other activities like watching television and logging in to social networking sites. I am studying simultaneously for both the examination." Monica, a post-graduation student of science at BHU, said, "As the syllabus for the entrance to higher studies is more or less the same, there is little hardship.

However, we have to look at the subject more deeply and objectively which needs proper studies during this period." She added, "I have said a complete no to social networking sites during this time, outings and hanging around with friends have also been reduced to negligible till the exams get over in May." Saba, a commerce student, said, "I watch news and Bollywood songs on music channels to refresh my mood after hours of studies for post-graduation entrance exam. According to Diksha Srivastava, a student of class VIII, said her parents insist her to study continuously, while she likes to take small breaks by watching television and listening to music. "If not given some break, I get exhausted and lethargy creeps in mind which even hampers the studies more," she added.

Punam Rani Shukla, a counsellor and senior research scientist at Institute of Medical Sciences (IMS), Banaras Hindu University (BHU), said a little fear of exam is good, but it should not reach the level of stress. "Plenty of students undergo stress during examination time, and most of them are those who are preparing for competitive and entrance examinations. It is not advisable to stay aloof, covered at home and cutting all social contacts during examination time. In fact, one should give 2-3 hours to leisure activities, like indoor games, brisk walk, listening to some light music and talking to friends," she added. According to Shukla, spending time on internet to get some refreshment while studying is not good, as it strains the eyes leading to dry eyes, senseless fingers (Carpel Syndrome), headache and irritation.

She added, "Parents who have high expectations from their children in highly competitive entrance examinations like medical and engineering must not pressurise them with their hopes, but let them explore their capabilities." Pradeep Srivastava, father of an engineering aspirant, said, "As the competition is really tough, I would like my daughter to clear the exam this year itself and take admission in whichever good college she gets, so that she does not have to drop a year for the preparations." While students are preparing for board and entrance exams for higher studies, kids who are ready to begin their education in pre-schools and nursery classes are also learning basics from their parents to get admission in a good school.

According to Sharavani Bhatnagar a resident of Chowkaghat area and mother of a five-year-old girl, there is no relief from running and enquiring about various schools and their teaching methods and selecting the right school for the child. Seema Singh, a mother of a six-year-old kid, said, "The research for the right school began early in February itself. Now we are occupied with registration process and standing in long queues for interviews."


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