Handcrafted book summary of Exam Warriors


Exam Warriors by Narendra Modi book summary

Exam Warriors

   Shri Narendra Modi

Penguin

208 pages; Average reading time 1 hours 30 min

This bookbhook book summary will take not more than 7 minutes

 

This handcrafted book summary will help you learn

  • Why should you not worry too much about exams?
  • Why should you pursue knowledge and not marks?
  • Why is it important to discover one’s self?
  • As a parent or a teacher, how can you help?

While this handcrafted book summary captures about 12 key mantras from the book, the original book carries 25 mantras, richly supported with interactive games, exercises and yoga asana recommendations. We strongly recommend that you buy the book to go through all the 25 mantras and the recommended interactive exercises.

Exams are not a matter of life and death

Exams test your preparation. When you pass the exam, it means you had prepared well. Similarly, if you fail, then you were not prepared well. The failure is not about you. You are not a failure. Your preparation for the exam was inadequate.

When Dr A.P.J Abdul Kalam failed his fighter pilot test, he was disappointed in not being able to achieve his dream. But he did not consider himself as a failure and instead, went on become the great scientist that we all now know him as. One failure does not, and should not, define you. Your dreams can be achieved even if you face initial setbacks or failures.

Why worry so much?

An exam is an opportunity disguised as a challenge. Yes, there will be some tension in your mind during the exam duration, and that’s normal. But if you worry constantly and are under stress all the time, then you are a ‘worrier’ and not a ‘warrior’. Some of the bravest men and women in our history faced the same choice that you face today- worry about the challenge or fight the challenge. They always picked the latter. You, too, should fight bravely and defeat the worry about exams.

Train your mind to revise

When you keep your things in their right place and organise your things before any important activity, you train your mind to be methodical. Revising your notes is another way to train your mind to be methodical. When you revise, you are telling your mind to remember which topic is to be recollected in what manner- acronyms, mind maps, short notes, debating and discussing with friends or many such techniques. Successful athletes often watch their own (and opposition team) recording after a match so that they can identify where they went wrong, and what needs to be done to improve. Watching yourself is again a way of revision.

How you present your work is important

High-quality answers or good content will always be the hallmark of having prepared well for the exams. However, it is important to understand that good presentation helps create a lasting impression. While it is never recommended to focus on the presentation while ignoring studies, but neat and well written or labelled answers helps the examiner get a positive impression about you.

Pursue knowledge

What is important is not how many marks you scored in your exam, but what knowledge and skill you gained while studying. In fact, if you purse knowledge and study hard, good marks will be a by-product of your efforts. Focusing only on marks also makes you susceptible to ‘selective learning”, thereby leaving you with incomplete knowledge and we all are aware that partial knowledge is a very dangerous thing.

The architect of the Constitution of India is Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar. Dr Ambedkar overcame many hurdles in his pursuit of knowledge and went on to study in some of the best colleges in the world. So intense was his pursuit of knowledge that it is believed that his personal library had over 50,000 books!

You are your competitor

When you pursue excellence, then the battle is not about outshining your friend. Instead, the battle for excellence is about enhancing your abilities till you reach your true potential. If you can become a better individual by competing against your self, then why compete against others? In fact, competing with others limits your ability to reach your true potential.

Former pole vault world champion Sergei Bubka kept improving on his world record thirty-five times. Why did Bubka improve his record thirty-five times? Because he was competing against himself. He was pushing his ability to new limits and was not complacent.

Being mindful- live here and now

Living in the present is about focusing on here and now. While it is important to learn from the past and prepare for the future, it is even more important to stay focused on now – your current task or project. Do not let your mind drift into anything other than what you are focusing on now.

The best way to stay focused on now is to get into the habit of observing your thoughts. Whenever your mind drifts, take a few deep breaths and bring your thoughts back to your current focus.

Sleep well

It is important to sleep well, especially during exam time. Good sleep helps you stay sharp and focused. But it is not about how many hours you have slept. What is more important is how well you slept. Just a few hours of sound sleep is far better than disturbed sleep through the night. When you have a series of exams, it is a good idea to have a nap after each of your exams is over. Good sleep helps sharpen the mind and enable you to prepare better for the next exam. Make sure you have a good sleep before your exam, as well.

Build your self-confidence by focusing on your strengths

Believing in yourself is important to be well prepared. Your confidence should stem from your strengths, even from the smallest of your strengths. Do not worry about your weaknesses. Instead, celebrate your strengths and build your self-confidence.

Swami Vivekananda quoted from the Upanishads ‘Aham Brahmasmi’- ”I am the manifestation of divinity’. When you think and meditate on this mantra, you will be filled with a strong sense of self-confidence. One interesting way of writing down your strengths is list down a strength that you have, for every alphabet of your name.

Step out, and experience the world around you

Experience the world around you. Have you ever travelled in the general compartment of a train, without any reservation? What would such an experience do to you? What will happen if you decide to go to a new playground and play with kids whom you do not know? You will get to experience something that is new for you.

But there are millions for whom travelling in the general compartment without a reservation is part of their daily lives. Stepping out and experiencing the world helps you understand the problems and challenges faced by the common Indian. Step out and let life become your best teacher. Stretch yourself by stepping out of your comfort zone. Once the exams are over, work with community service organisations or pursue a new hobby.

Aspire to do

What do you aspire to be? This is a misleading question because the answer to this question carries with it the baggage of expectations of parents, peers, money and lifestyle. Instead, if you focus on what you aspire to do, then the answer will be something that you love doing. Since this aspire to do comes from what you love doing, it will lead you towards your destiny. Think about what would aspire to do for the society, if you had all the resources you needed, and no restrictions.

Be grateful

Being grateful or thankful is being mindful of the world and the people around you, who are helping you in every step that you take. Your teachers, parents, siblings and friends help you access opportunities and prepare well to take advantage of such opportunities. In fact, there are lots of people that you should be grateful to, whom you have never met in your life. The farmer who helps you get food on the table, the mason who built your home or your school- these are people who you have never met, but it is because of them that you have a comfortable home and school. Your success is not yours alone.

What should parents keep in mind?

During exams, which is a stressful time for students, encourage your children to stay happy and stress-free. As a parent, you know your children better than anyone else. Do not add the burden of your expectations on your children. Always accept rather than expect. It is important for the parent to accept that the dreams and aspirations of your children may be very different from what you expect.

Help your children explore opportunities and guide them to conquer their fear of the unknown by allowing them to experience life. Do not stop them from stepping out of comfort zone. Spend quality time with your children and listen to their dreams and fears. Stay positive and help your children stay positive.

Role of teachers

As teachers, you understand the special relationship that exists between you and your students. When students start getting worried about exams, you need to calm their nerves. Help your students make the important jump from focusing just on marks to pursuing knowledge. When students and their parents face the challenge of making career choices, help them by using your knowledge to mentor them.

While this handcrafted book summary captures about 12 key mantras from the book, the original book carries 25 mantras, richly supported with interactive games, exercises and yoga asana recommendations. We strongly recommend that you buy the book to go through all the 25 mantras and the recommended interactive exercises.

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