HOW TO STUDY SMART FOR O LEVEL (5 TIPS YOU CAN USE RIGHT NOW IN YOUR REVISION)

With O levels coming in 2 weeks, some of you might be feeling very confident, some of you might be feeling very nervous, while some might be feeling overwhelmed and lost. No matter what you are feeling right now, time is of the essence and changes can still be made within these few weeks. This is why we have prepared some last minute exam tips to help you solidify your knowledge within these few weeks.

1. PLAN IF YOU DO NOT HAVE A PLAN RIGHT NOW

If you are just mindlessly studying or revising your subjects now and hoping that it will lead to scoring well for O level, STOP. With limited time resource, it is even more crucial to plan your time strategically.

  • Make a list of all the remaining subjects and topics you are tested on.
  • Note down the sequence of exams as well to differentiate the priority of subjects.
  • Strike out the topics that you are familiar with or have already revised
  • Put a star on the topics that you are unfamiliar or weak in
  • Once you set out the priorities, use a planner to allocate time to specific topics that have to be done before the exam date

Extra tip: Try to combine different subjects in a day to help increase the rate of absorption and level of productiveness

This process might make studying seem very daunting as you realise the lack of time. However, this is a needed reality check for many students and it also forces yourself to be more focused in your revision strategy as well.

2. THE LEGENDARY BLANK PIECE OF PAPER

It is undeniably painful, but it is also the most effective way to ensure that you have retained most of the content that you have studied. For each topic that you have finished studying, grab a blank piece of paper and write down whatever you can remember on that piece of paper. This can include anything from the keywords to definitions to formulas and even diagrams and so on.

However, don’t be disappointed if you find out that you cannot remember much after the first try as it is perfectly normal! This is when you can figure out what is not in your memory yet, and try to remember them by referring to your textbook or notes. Then, repeat the process again until you get about 80% and higher to move on to another topic. With multiple recalling sessions, you can then be more assured that the content has been stored in your memory system.

3. UTILISE MEMORY TECHNIQUES!

Most schools and teachers do not focus on this but it is an essential tool for students to get their distinctions! We all know that we have to memorise a huge amount of content for many subjects, and it does not help that the exams are back to back from each other.

Furthermore, during an exam, you will have no textbook or notes to refer too. Many students face the problem of being unable to recall the information or confuse the information with something else. This is when memory techniques become super useful! They are able to condense the huge amount of information in a way that is easy to remember when studying and also to recap during the exam. Find out the different methods of memory techniques here! (insert link)

4. PREPARE LAST-MINUTE CHEAT SHEETS

If you experienced the frustrated feeling of being unable to remember this specific formula or working, or concept no matter how hard you tried, it might be useful to prepare last-minute cheat sheets.

Every time when you study from now on, jog down concepts that you realise you have been getting it wrong on the subject-specific piece of paper. Let’s say for maths, I know I am always being certain differentiation and integration formulas, and thus I will jog them down on my “Maths” paper. This is so that on the day of the exam, I can feel more confident by revisiting this piece of paper as they are my common mistakes and I can refrain from forgetting or repeating the mistakes on the exam day itself.

5. TRY OUT DIFFERENT SOURCES OF STUDYING

Yes, I know time is crucial and you feel like your teacher’s notes are the only thing you can depend on. However, if you really cannot understand the concept from the notes, or you feel like sleeping every time you read the same set of information, it might be useful to change the source of your studying!

We live in a pretty fast and connecting multimedia world where there are actually loads of educational content on the internet. There are plenty of videos on Youtube that teach about any subjects, from Maths differentiation principles to Chemistry mole concept, to Biology digestive system, to historical events. Worth noting is that since there are audio and visuals involved, they might be able to help you remember even better! (Please only do so if you will not get distracted by going to the other more entertaining parts of Youtube! Focus!)

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