Studying at home hampers preparation for competitive exams, say students


The COVID-19 crisis has taken a toll on the mental health of students and professionals preparing for competitive examinations. Anxiety levels are at an all-time high as students are not only worried about the pandemic but also about the uncertainty of their careers while trying to prepare for the examinations with limited resources, said teachers.

“I don’t have study materials and even when I try to study, I’m finding it difficult to concentrate because I’m anxious all the time. I’ve also not been getting the newspapers regularly and I depend on them to update myself on current affairs,” said Lokeshwari S., a civil service aspirant.

With classes, libraries and study centres closed, people have no recourse but to study at home, which is not always conducive to productivity. “Earlier, I used to go to the library to prep. At home, I am easily distracted, and I am unable to focus. While I use online tools for tests and quizzes, I feel that it’s not the same,” said Nischith M., another civil service aspirant.

Others like Narayan Bhargava, who is preparing for various competitive exams, said that the uncertainty and lack of clear answers from the government have made him lazy. “I have lost track of what I’m doing as so many of the examinations I was preparing for have been postponed. I used to study at Central Library, Cubbon Park, which has been closed for almost two months now,” he said.

According to Vinay Kumar G.B., founder, InsightsIAS, one of the reasons for the lack of focus is the fact that everyone is preparing from home in isolation. “The competitive and conducive atmosphere that is available in classrooms or reading rooms is missing. Hence, students are not able to prepare to their full potential.” He added that user traffic for their online classes and materials has increased, and that it was a challenge to keep students motivated and busy the whole day. “We give them online answer writing exercises and quizzes,” he said.

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Chetan Arya from VR4U Study Centre in Chandra Layout expects the number of students, who would come back to study centres after easing of the lockdown, to drop by around 55%. “We do not know when we will be allowed to reopen. Many have gone back to their native towns and will not return immediately,” he said.

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Sagar Biswas

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