Your exam preparation should be ‘motivation driven’, advices Gagandeep Bhatti
PriyamDave, 24 Nov 2018, #NEET
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"A strong, positive self-image is the best possible preparation for success." The quote by Joyce Brothers must be dictated by aspirants who will be appearing for their Class 12 exams along with the medical competitive entrance tests. The scores to be obtained in board exams which will probably determine their academic future and the course of life. The board exams followed by the competitive entrance exams boosts up the stress level in the medical aspirants, which sometimes lead to the  negative thoughts, depression and suicidal tendencies. Therefore, to cope with the exam pressure and maintain the healthy positive mental balance, Careers360 brings an interview and expert advice.

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Students as well as parents should understand the fact that, "the trouble with being in the rat race is that even if you win, you are still a rat." Therefore, it is important to know that we are humans, who should reject the insidious pressure of society which will destroy the happiness around them.

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In the special interview with the Mumbai-based Clinical Psychologist Gagandeep Bhatti, she said that the inability of students to accept the failure and disappointments under pressure, increases the negative thoughts and sometimes ignoring the issues may lead to suicidal tendencies also. Gagandeep, who practices Psychology at her clinic namely as Eternal Being, also advices the parents to maintain a positive environment at home and ask aspirants for open communications, which will boost their confidence and self-esteem to flow through the tough time. The words of appreciation and motivational stories with examples works a lot to boost up the confidence. 


Read interview excerpts:

Careers360: Why’s there an increasing tendency of suicides among 10+2 students who are preparing for competitive exams like NEET/AIIMS?

Gagandeep: Simple because of the atmosphere in which they were bought up. Our society place the students with highly marks on the top rather than acknowledging their talent. The worst scenario is that the worth of a student is scaled on the basis of marks he/she obtained in an exam, thus, the aspiring-cum-talented candidates are tend to believe that these competitive examination are life defining. The young minds are moulded in the worthiness depending on the marks and getting admission in the best colleges and if not, then, it is the end of their life and glorious career. The dignity is also the main reason for this - dignity of parents and family. This is mainly because candidates are 'fear driven' and not 'motivation driven'.

Careers360: What should be the role of parents and coaching institutes in helping students to cope with exam pressure?

Gagandeep: Parents should accept their children as the way, in their terms of ability, aptitude and inclination. Parents should refrain nagging, comparing and pressurizing the child to fulfill the dreams, which they wanted for themselves. They must understand that he/she is their child, with full of emotions and thinking ability, who can achieve more than they could have imagined, if guided properly. 

Schools and coaching institutes should motivate the students without humiliating or comparing in front of other children. They must try to find out the best skills of a student and motivate him/her towards it. The words of disrespect at the age of a child, in front of friends and classmates effects the self-esteem and confidence.

Careers360: What are the factors that lead to suicidal tendencies among students who prepare for highly competitive exams?

Gagandeep: A student preparing for an entrance exam had to experience the pressure and the expectancy coming from their parents, coaching institutes, teachers and peer pressure. Even the continuous comparison with the students is the main reason of pressure building tool. Also, the students are taught that these exams are the only way to career or life building. No one focuses on building the knowledge.

Careers360: What are the symptoms of suicidal tendencies among students undergoing extensive preparations for entrance exams? 

Gagandeep: Suicidal tendencies especially among students at such times could be briefly described as: talking about death or suicides subtly in general talks, writing in scribbles about death either poems or general self-destructive stories, withdrawal from general participation, general isolation, helplessness in talks, feeling unworthy and meaningless, wanting to give up and visiting or calling people to say good bye!

Any behavioural change that seems sudden and unusual of the child’s nature is a cause of concern. Not necessarily suicidal but it is a cry for help the child is struggling within. And being a parent, guardian, friend, teacher or well-wisher and even the stranger, it is the responsibility to protect the child from destructing themselves.

Careers360: How a student can cope with suicidal thoughts? How should the candidates with suicidal tendencies be counseled?

GagandeepSuicidal thoughts are already a ringing alarm that needs immediate help and support. Please immediately take professional help in such cases. Expecting a student who is having such thoughts to cope on own is risky and irresponsible for an adult who is aware of this situation. It is a cry for help. Never expect that this can be coped on its own and it will “get well soon” on own.

And most importantly, no matter how much of this ‘secret’ you are asked to keep, speak it out and help the person in need because maybe the person is not in place to even asking for help.

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