If your high school academic life were a stage play, then a trial exam is your final rehearsal before the big show.
Most students treat this final rehearsal as just another hurdle to jump through, when instead, it can be a stepping stone to your next stage in life.
Here are some reasons why your trial exams are so important.
1) Enable you to apply for college early
Most students start college in either January, March or July.
Starting in July would mean you are half a year behind your peers. Starting in March means you would still be taking your exams the same time as the January intake students, except you would have 3 months less time to study — not a very strategic move.
The best time to start college is in January. You can apply for January intakes by using your trial exam and forecast results. Still unsure about applying early? Check out this article on why you should apply for college early.
2) Give you more options for scholarships
With the recent sharp fall of the ringgit, many students increasingly rely on financial aid and scholarships to fund their studies. If this sounds like you, take note that plenty of scholarships accept trial exam results and mid-term results for application.
There is no harm in applying for more scholarships as most of the applications are free. If you receive multiple offers, you get to choose the best scholarship offer to accept!
The early bird often gets the worm. Do not wait for the post-SPM rush to apply for scholarships, as there will be massive competition from everyone else. Some scholarships also close early (as early as September or October) so do apply early especially if scholarships matter a lot to you.
3) A good test of your current standing
Your trial exam results are very good indicators of how you would fare for the final exams, as they are usually less than 3 months away from your actual exams.
Figuring out your position for each subject will help you come up with a better and more accurate study plan to prepare for your final exams.
If you did not score well — do not be upset! At least now you know which are your weaker subjects that you should focus more on. There is still time for you to overcome your mistakes and learn from them. If you scored well — great job! Now you roughly know what you must do to maintain or even improve for these subjects.
Make sure you grab this opportunity to figure out any problems and solve it before the real test!
4) A chance to plan for your future degree
Your trial exam results will not only help you come up with a study plan for SPM, but for your future degree as well!
Planning to study Medicine? Your study plan should aim for at least 5Bs for your science subjects. Planning to go for CAT and ACCA? Make sure you score at least an A- for your Accounting subject in order to get certain paper exemptions. Want to be an Actuary? Better step on the pedal for your Math and Add Math subjects!
You are the captain of your own ship, and your trial exam results can be your compass!