Re-exam: 10 Ways To Help Your Child Stay Focused

While the whole country is still reeling with the news of re-examination of class 10 and 12 CBSE papers, we tell you how to help your child stay calm and refocus during this challenging time.

By Leena Ghosh  • 10 min read

Re-exam: 10 Ways To Help Your Child Stay Focused

CBSE orders re-exam of Class XII economics & Class X mathematics papers -- The Times of India, 28 March 2018

The Central Board of Secondary Education has decided to re-conduct the examinations for Economics (Class 12) and Mathematics (Class 10). Following reports of leaks of question papers, the board has decided on this course of action in order to be fair to students who appeared for their board exams this year.

Re-examination is a student’s worst nightmare come true. And yet, this is exactly what will happen in a few days for CBSE students of classes 10 and 12, who just finished their 2018 board exams this month.

Following are some of the facts

  • The copies of the leaked papers were reportedly distributed on a popular messaging app
  • Class 10 Mathematics exam and class 12 Economics exam to be re-conducted, according to an official circular published by the Central Board of Secondary Education

This news has shocked students and parents across India with many taking to the social media to vent their anger and frustration.

Excerpts from the new CBSE circular published on 30 March

  • The Board would be conducting the Class XII Economics paper (code 030) for all candidates except the students in CBSE schools located abroad. The candidates will appear from the same allotted centres using the same admit card. The date of the said examinations will be 25 April, 2018.
  • As regards, Class X Mathematics (code 041), the intial enquiries have revealed that the leak was restricted to  Delhi NCR and Haryana. Details are still being worked out. In view of this, it has been decided that re-examination will not be considered for any other state except Delhi NCR and Haryana. If after a detailed inquiry it is found necessary to conduct a re-examination, it will be held in July 2018.

Students react

S Sowmya, a class 12 CBSE student from a school in Chennai, looks at this development as an opportunity to better her performance, but adds that many of her classmates feel that a re-examination is unfair, as it was not their fault that the papers got leaked. “My mother is a teacher, so that’s how I got to know about the re-examination. I have no idea how the question papers got leaked; but, personally, I am happy because I didn’t do the exam as well as I had expected to. However, my classmates are not very happy as many have done well, and it feels like a waste of time for them to write the paper again. Now, many students will have to cancel their plans for vacations; so, it’s very disappointing for them and causes a lot of inconvenience for the whole family,” she says.

However, Sowmya is not worried about the preparation for the re-test. “Since we had already prepared once, it won’t be difficult to prepare again. But going through the whole process of writing the paper again does not feel good. One never expects the board exam papers to get leaked,” she explains.

For Hemalatha, another CBSE class 12 student from a Chennai school, re-examination is not a problem as she loves the subject. “I enjoy the subject and I don’t mind writing the paper again. I feel no pressure because I am sure I can perform better the second time,” she says.

Impact on students

Arundhati Swamy, a counsellor and the Head of Parent Engagement Programs at ParentCircle, says that it’s a rude shock for children who will be going through a lot of mixed emotions right now. “It’s the worst news students can get, and it is a shock for them. Children will be going through many emotions like anger, frustration, confusion and hope. For children who haven’t done very well, this will feel like a second chance but for someone who’s done really well, it’s a lot of pressure to repeat the performance,” she explains.

Another challenge, Arundhati feels, is getting the children out of the holiday mode. “There’s going to be a lot of disruption if vacation plans have already been made. Many students are already in the holiday mode and this news will change their plans. Apart from children, parents will also be very unhappy because they have to go through the whole process again with their child. Maths is usually a stressful subject for many children and they will have to face performance anxiety all over again,” she says.

Ways parents can help their children refocus

While it’s natural for children to feel frustrated and disappointed upon hearing this news, as parents, it is our duty to help them calm down and refocus, so they can give their best shot in the examination. Arundhati gives some tips on how parents should help their child deal with re-examination stress and get them to focus.

1. Acknowledge their feelings: Parents should acknowledge the feelings of their children and allow them to feel it or express it in any way they want. They should let them know that their feelings are justified. Parents themselves should also calm down and deal with their own feelings first, before helping their children, as this will help them deal with their child’s emotions better.

2. Follow their lead: Rather than dictating to their children how to go about the re-examination and asking them to sit down and study, parents should ask in what ways they can support and help. An open approach will make it easier for children to deal with re-examination stress.

3. Do not preach: It’s okay to help your child see that nothing can be done about this situation, but it’s very important not to preach right now. Saying things like ‘this is life,’ or ‘welcome to life,’ will not help the child in any way.

4. Don’t let them feel sorry for themselves: While it’s necessary to sympathise and empathise with your child right now, you have to be careful not to overdo it. Otherwise, he may start feeling sorry for himself and it will be difficult to get him out of the holiday mode. Take the whole process of re-examination step-by-step.

5. Keep distractions at bay: If you have planned family holidays or other leisure activities, reschedule them. This will help your child stay focused. But, make sure you work with her on removing distractions and not do it in a controlled manner.

6. Do not focus on the reasons behind the re-examination: Give your child an opportunity to vent his anger or frustrations. But do not keep delving on reasons behind the situation. This will only make the child focus on the problem and not on preparation for the exam. 

Ways to help your child relax

  • Encourage your child to relax and unwind before going to bed. He could read or listen to music to beat the stress. This will help him get a good night’s sleep.
  • Going for short walks or runs also help de-stress. Join your child if she wants and go for a walk together.
  • To help your child stay positive, encourage him to visualise success in his upcoming examinations. This will boost his confidence.
  • Encourage your child to practise relaxation techniques like deep breathing, meditation or listening to calming music.

Examination is a stressful time for both parents and children. And, a re-examination not only adds to the stress but also makes the child feel angry and frustrated. So, it is important to stay positive and try and look at the bigger picture right now. Follow these tips and overcome this hurdle with confidence. All the best!

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