During my time in university, there were many years when I had exams during Ramadhan. Fasting during exams is not a bad thing! I found my results were surprisingly much better than I had expected, especially given I had many practical exams that required speaking for a long period of time.
We all want to spend this month in the best way possible which is why those with exams commitments find it disheartening. The reality is, though we want to spend the whole month at home and away from distractions, this is not life. The month is full of blessings and having your exams during it can be seen as a positive thing, if you choose to see it that way. It is really important to try and control your stress levels as you want to make sure you do the best in your exams and make the most of the month. Exams in Ramadhan can actually have a positive effect in that you use your time much more wisely and plan your day better.
I have put together some tips and ideas, some of which I am now saying in hindsight. I hope it helps those of you who are fasting during exams or studying
Ramadhan is a month full of blessings. Many of us will say this is the month when your faith is the strongest and develops the most. Supplicating and communicating with Allah is the way to develop your relationship and faith. Struggling with revision is something that really stresses many students out. Turn to Allah and ask for His help.
Plan, Plan, Plan
Planning your time out is essential, even more so than normal. Know what you want to cover each day and set specific times to that work. I found revising early in the day was best as you are most rested and less hungry. This means you can leave the late afternoons and evenings to do acts of worship. Develop a timetable that works for your routine and commitments. Use your breaks from studying in a productive way by reading some Qur’an or spending time listening to a beneficial talk.
While you may want to do every act of worship, attend every family gathering and events at the local mosque, you have to be honest to yourself. Your obligatory acts should be cemented into your routine; choose additional acts that are sustainable throughout the month. Set realistic goals for Ramadhan and aim to work towards them slowly throughout the month. The most important thing is to be consistent, to the best of your abilities, as this will help you continue to develop throughout the month.
Fasting during exams means you are not eating or drinking during the day. This means paying special attention to what you eat and drink during the hours that you can eat. Ensuring you have a healthy, balanced diet is essential. Drink plenty of water as dehydration will cause difficulty in concentrating and that will of course cause problems with revising.
With the days being much longer, our sleep often suffers during Ramadhan. This is something inevitable however there are ways to work around this. Schedule in short power naps if you are able to. Take scheduled breaks to take a walk to wake yourself up. Try to sleep as much as you can when it is dark as this will help keep your sleeping pattern as regular as possible.
Having a positive mind set makes a world of a difference to our confidence levels. Take every day as it comes and concentrate on solid steps rather than a floppy sprint to the end of the exams. Fasting during exams is something many will be experiencing so you are not alone. Challenge your energy into doing the best you can.