Study Strategy

Study Strategy for graduating students (O and A levels)

If you are taking the national exams at the end of the year, you need to listen up. Half of the academic year has passed, so has all the CCA and SYF commitments. Your attention should be focused squarely on catching up on your revision using the correct study strategy.

A common refrain i hear from parents is that their children is studying hard and late into the night, but is still failing their tests and exams.

study strategy

stressed girl studying

Doesn’t hard work promise good results? So why are they still failing?!

Most students are studying for their exams the wrong way. They are reading through their lecture notes or textbooks and trying to understand and HOPEFULLY apply those complex concepts.

This is akin to going for a piano exam, after reading a book on how to play piano. It’s going to be a disaster.

The most effective revision is to PRACTISE past year questions and APPLY the concepts. A lot of students practise doing their tutorial WHILE referring to their lecture notes/textbook. There’s two fatal mistakes here. In exams, you can’t refer to the notes or textbook and you have to complete the questions under timed constraints.

This group of students most likely struggle to pass their tests, scoring below 45 marks.

What’s the most effective study strategy to use?

Doing past year questions without referring to notes under timed constraint of course! 

But not many students will do that as they feel that they will not be able to do ANY questions. A compromise will be they refer to their notes for the first few questions and take note of what are the parts they couldn’t do by themselves. Then after a few questions with reference, they can proceed to attempt the questions without referring to the notes. Finally, once they get the hang of it, they should practise doing the questions under timed constraint.

Even after practising after timed constraint, students would need to mark their work and check for missing key marking points.

If they can do that consistently for all topics and content subjects (science/math), they will be in a much better position going into the exam.

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