Counsellors feel the heat as exam stress hits the roof
With CBSE, RBSE and ICSE board exams beginning this week, counsellors are facing a tough time handling the last minute queries of students and parents. Stressed out students are making frantic calls to school counsellors even at midnight while some cases were also reported where students had to be rushed to hospitals. The reason is peer and parental pressure and soaring cut-offs. "I got a jittery call at 10 pm by a Class XII commerce student requesting for an urgent meeting two days ago," recalls Nidhi Parashar, a counsellor at a private school. This students had come to the conclusion that he was the only student from his class who was not prepared on the subject. His assessment was based on the WhatsApp group of Class XII students.
"Every day, these students tally the subjects they have covered one by one on WhatsApp. When the student in question realised that he is far behind other students, he asked for a meeting with me. I connected him to his subject teacher who took half an hour to boost his confidence by asking questions on his areas of expertise and called him for assistance the next day," said Parashar.
The peer pressure has become more intense due to social media channels while the pressure from parents remains the top reason for stress among students. "During a phone call from my student who was in deep stress, I learnt that his parents monitor his every move. He told me that even if he goes to the loo, his parents knock at the door and ask him to come out early. Such an attitude affects the focus and confidence of students which ultimately affects their performance," said Raj Singh, maths teacher at a private school in city.
Many schools started counselling much in advance from January, till the queries from students and parents remains high. Most of the schools have full-fledged counsellors who hold personal meetings with students and parents. Lala Rawat, principal of Cambridge Court High School, says, "We shortlist students on the basis of their scores in pre-board exams. Each student is briefed about his shortcomings followed by briefing to the parents. This has minimized the queries and has given us time to prepare such students for exams." Counsellors say that they the number of cases of exam stress among students have increased in the last few years. The reason is tough competition. Even in Jaipur the situation is such that for getting admission into leading colleges one has to score 80% and above. The cut-off at Maharani's college goes upto 90% in some premier subjects.
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