- Education and Science
High competition exams and the faith factor
Believe in yourself
A little cared for factor
This time I am going to talk about a very important factor without which it is not at all possible to crack tests of high competition like SAT, JEE ADVANCED, AIIMS, AIPMT etc. I fail to understand why coaching classes and experts on the subject do not place this most salient aspect at the top of everything. I am talking about a thing known as “Faith in oneself.”
This little cared for factor, when assisted with the forces of knowledge and talent, produces magnanimous results. Are there any coaching classes in India which conduct motivational classes from time to time? To my knowledge there were none till few years back. I have not been keeping track for a while now. So I am not sure about the present scenario. I also do not have much knowledge about international coaching classes. But what is important is, a candidate must seek the impact of faith, confidence, motivation or inner light or whatever you call it, in her/ his preparation.
Do you have faith in yourself?
Every aspirant who wants to clear any of the above mentioned exams must ask this question to herself/ himself. I wonder why candidates do not care for this most important factor. Swallowing difficult concepts and grabbing chapter after chapter everyday is what they are most interested in. But do they think about the confidence building measures? Do even coaching classes and parents bother about it? I always like to speak on the issue of how the students preparing for these gruelling tests of high competition, can perform better. I keep holding such discussions with my friends, relatives, the would-be candidates, teachers and whosoever is interested in the subject. But what I observed was, this very important ingredient of success in such tests, that is, faith in oneself, confidence in one’s own abilities, was either entirely missing or very less cared for. I have penned this article with a view to helping out the perspective candidates on this issue.
The big advantage
More than one who has got through such a test, a candidate who missed it narrowly or the one who could not perform well due to nervousness despite a good preparation, can tell you about how important a role the faith factor plays. The 'never-say-die' approach of preparation boosts your morale to such a high that you attempt and even crack the problems which you knew little about. Only thing that you have to have in your mind is you have prepared well and so the answer must be somewhere nearby and that you need to look for it and you can solve it. These steps of thought create the magic for you.
How it affects the end results
It’s really surprising to see the difference in the end results which are created by the difference in the attitude or temperament of the candidates. Whereas a confident candidate turns a difficult question paper or interview to an easy one, a candidate lacking in self-belief builds up nervousness in the initial hours of an exam, loses the initiative which is the crucial component of success in such tests and finally ends up somewhere low down the list. There may be a vast difference of performance between two candidates of almost equal callibre but of different attitudes. It’s all in the mind. A candidate who does not have faith in herself/ himself goes on making mistakes one after another and knowing that she/ he is sinking, starts committing blunders. The final result is so unbelievable that the mentors find it difficult to swallow and the candidate doubts the coaching classes, the way of preparation, her/ his abilities and just everything about the exam.
A teacher was enquiring about how the preparations of his students for an ensuing test of high competition were going on. He said, “I am giving you a test problem. When you will have tried to solve it I shall know how are your preparations going.” But before the students started to solve the question, the teacher sought their opinions about the problem.
One student said, “Sir, I can solve it easily.”
Another one said, “Sir I’m not sure but let me try it. I hope I should be able to solve it.”
Yet another one said, “Sir I knew how to solve such problems but I think I won’t be able to solve it now. This is what happens with me most of the time, you know……”
The teacher who was telling this real story from his class told me that the most interesting answer to him out of the three was the third one.
The first one was confident and he might crack the exam in all possibilities. The second student was not at a good level of preparation at the moment. But he was positive and hopeful about his abilities. He would try hard.
The teacher said that though the last one had been preparing for a long time and was at a good point to try to crack the exam, he was lacking in confidence. The dots in his speech above show that he wanted to rant more. He wanted to whine on his weaknesses. The sad part was that nobody had tried to tell him how he could build up on his strengths. The teacher told me that when he consoled the student and praised his analytical skills in the following weeks of preparation the student was quick to leap ahead of others in quite a small time. In the beginning when the teacher praised him for many of his skills, which he disclosed to me were really praiseworthy, he could clearly see tears trickling down from the corners of his eyes. The teacher made him believe that he could do, though the teacher had a hard time doing it. But later he said that he himself was surprised with the performance of the student in the exam. This weak willed student had surpassed even the first student.
I am telling you this is just one of many such unbelievable stories. If you want to read another one here is a link:
Some habits to be followed to inculcate faith
1. Read testimonials and success stories. Learn how people have risen from dust to the skies.
2. Maintain a bottom line. Be rest assured that since you have quality you will do well even in the event of not getting selected in your desired tests.
3. Rather than regretting your non-performance learn as a habit, to find causes of your failure and solutions thereof.
4. Try meditation and speaking to yourself to remain calm, cool and composed. You will know that only you and nobody else can help you.
5. Set challenges for yourself regularly. Make winning strategies and enjoy the challenges. Soon you will develop the habit of playing with and winning the challenges.