EXAMS DURING RAMADAN
Tips to make the most of Ramadan and to get good marks as well
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Muslim calendar: the name in Arabic is Sawm. Each year the month of Ramadan falls on a different date as it follows the lunar calendar and this means that there are around 10 days difference with the previous year. Nowadays in Spain we’ve taken on the word Ramadan to mean fasting. However Muslims, given their faith and beliefs, fast every day from dawn to dusk during this period.
This year Ramadan falls in June and this will affect many students who have to take exams: in INEDIT we wish to take this further and this is why we would like to share the tips and recommendations of writer Sarah Nurgat (@Sarahnurgat), who originally comes from India, on how to enjoy the mystical essence of the fast and get good marks at the same time.
The fast of Ramadan involves going without food or water for over 19 hours a day. This year, for the first time in decades, it falls at the same time as the exam period in countries like the UK. Many non-muslims may ask why people don’t skip the fast during the exam period, but Ramadan is a special and important moment in the life of any Muslim, who seeks a state of peace to connect with their inner divinity and for this reason avoids all that is worldy or material, including the basic act of eating.
The key to taking exams during Ramadan is preparation. With this in mind, here are a few tips from Sarah Nurgat to help you to get organized.
Adjust your routine
Your study routine will have to change when Ramadan starts: you will have to alternate rest and study from 2 am till 9 pm. You can sleep during the morning and study from around midday.
Here is an example of a timetable:
Aquí está un ejemplo calendario:
1.30am – 2.00am – Suhur quick early meal
2:00am – stop during the day – Sleep.
14:00 to 21:00 Study with rest periods
21.00 – 21.30: Iftar, the night meal
22:30-23:30 – Tarawih (additional night-time prayers performed during Ramadan)
23:30-1:30am - Study
It is important to establish routines which allow one to study and rest, although each person needs to be able to carry out their own timetable according to the tasks they have.
Studying on an empty stomach may make it harder to concentrate, which is why we have to try and condense and summarize the essential information in a way that makes it easier to grasp, for example using memory cards, mental maps, and if possible, revising more thoroughly before the month of fasting begins. It is important to do the work that demands most concentration before you feel hunger.
Muslims have five daily prayers and always wash before they perform them. Splashing your face with water and getting some fresh air before the prayers could be a way of overcoming feelings of sleepiness and tiredness.
It’s enough to say that when you have been without food all day, when dinner time comes, it’s tempting to eat something tasty and sweet. In the period of Ramadan, dinners tend to be rather large and full of fried food as well as sweet desserts, excessively greasy and sugary foods that make us feel lethargic and lazy during the time it takes to digest them.
This isn’t the place to lecture on nutrition but it is the time to suggest choosing light and healthy foods which give us nutrition and release energy slowly, like bananas, rice, gachas and raspberries. Of course water is very important but if you do not feel like it, you can opt for fresh juice. It’s harder to eat healthily when one lives in student accommodation. We suggest that you cook batches of healthy and balanced meals in advance that you would have to hand when it’s time to break the Ramadan fast and have dinner.
Original article: Exams during Ramadan, How to prepare?
Original article by Sarah Nurgat
Translation and adapted by Ángeles Gallardo and Tima Batstone