If you’ve been keeping up with our tips on how to prepare for your SPM trials or what to do a month before SPM, you’ve either been studying hard for the real deal (yay you!) or procrastinating (whoops!).
With D-Day a fortnight away, we understand the importance of putting in more hours of study to ensure everything remains fresh in your mind. However, apart from studying, are you doing everything that you should with the remaining time leading up to the exam of your life?
Here are a few things to keep in mind before the biggest exam of your secondary school life!
#1. Stick to your study plan
Remember the study plan you devised a month before? Well, be sure to stick to it!
Sticking to your study plan enables you to stay organised as you go over your weak chapters and complete your revision on time. Not only that, but it’ll also help you feel more confident as your exam looms closer.
#2. Regulate your sleeping patterns
The time to pull all-nighters are over — research strongly suggests that it doesn’t help you get better grades anyway.
Instead, it’s important that you go to bed at regular hours to ensure you get quality sleep and are able to perform optimally in school. Not only will you feel more refreshed in the morning, but you’ll also find yourself feeling more energised than ever!
#3. Stay healthy and hydrated
At this point in time, your parents and teachers have probably reminded you countless of times to eat healthily and stay hydrated in the weeks leading up to your exam, and we cannot stress this enough either!
The last thing you want is to fall sick before SPM, so it’s essential that you keep yourself in the pink and drink the recommended 8 cups of water a day, in addition to eating a healthy diet to stay alert and nourished during your exam.
Most importantly, as you prepare your body towards a healthier cycle, stay off unhealthy late-night snacks and sugar-laden energy drinks to avoid a sugar crash.
#4. Practice, practice, practice
With only 2 weeks to go, you can forget about re-evaluating your study methods. Instead, stick to a technique that works for you and get to the groove!
Now is also the time to practise past-year questions to help reinforce what you’ve learnt. If you can, go through each past-year paper at least twice and practise looking for keywords in the question. This helps to give you a better idea of how to think through an exam question during the real thing.
At the same time, don’t forget to scrutinise the marking scheme to ensure that you understand the logic behind the answers.
#5. Manage your time effectively
Practising good time management skills will help you strike a balance between home and your studies, and ensure that everything remains on track. This does not only mean sticking to your study plan but also sleeping and waking up at reasonable hours and eating your meals at regular times.
If you find yourself still cramming for your exam, identify your weak spots and prioritise them accordingly. If time management is your enemy, practise answering your exam questions within a time limit. After all, it’s best to have all questions answered than to leave one blank due to time constraints!
#6. Make a checklist
Similar to what you should do the night before your SPM trials, you should prepare a final checklist where you can add more tasks to the list as D-Day approaches.
Start by listing down the most obvious and important tasks along with its deadline (e.g. purchase all your necessary stationery before your exam). The sooner you cross things off your list, the lighter the burden on your shoulders (and head)!
#7. Have a designated bag for SPM
Whether it’s your regular backpack that you use to school on a daily basis or a spare bag you have, it’s best to have a designated bag for SPM to avoid the risk of forgetting to bring your important items!
Your bag should include spare stationery in case the one you’re using fails you. This saves you time from asking your friends minutes before the exam!
If you’re on the cautious side, we suggest that you carry everything you need in your backpack throughout SPM to avoid forgetting or misplacing important items. These include, but are not limited to:
- At least 3-4 pens in blue and black
- Correction tape and at least 2 refills or 2 liquid paper pens, if permissible
- 2 of each: pencils, rulers, pencil sharpeners and erasers
- At least 1 non-programmable calculator and 1 geometric kit
- At least 4-5 brushes and a spare paint set, if you’re taking art
- A copy of the SPM 2018 exam schedule (highlight the subjects you’ll be taking and take note of the date and time)
- The necessary identifications, such as your SPM exam slip and IC
- A spare watch or small clock (optional)
After all, it’s better to be over-prepared than to be flailing like a fish out of water during an exam!
As SPM will be the biggest (and final) exam of your secondary school life, it’s important to give it your best shot. After all, your results can determine whether or not you secure a scholarship or get into the tertiary programme of your choice. So work hard, don’t give up and believe in yourself. All the best!