Have you gotten your SPM trial exam results? Were they OK, great or worse than you expected? You might be wondering, “How important are SPM trial exams anyway? I’ll just study really hard for the real thing.”
The truth is, your trial exams are a big deal because they simulate your actual SPM exam, providing you with a realistic view of your capabilities under exam conditions.
So, what’s next if you’ve gotten good or bad results? We’re giving you the good, the bad and the ugly truth about trials, along with some top tips on how to turn bad results into positive reinforcement.
If you’ve received satisfactory results for your SPM trials, then congratulations! That’s half the battle won, and you’re on your way to SPM success. However, here are a few key things to remember.
#1. Maintain your study momentum
While your good trial results may make you feel dizzy with happiness, it’s important not to become complacent.
You still need to maintain a steady study momentum and give your SPM exam your full focus. Don’t make the mistake of letting your motivation dwindle when you’re so near the finish line!
#2. Identify the study techniques that worked for you
Do you absorb information better in the morning, afternoon or evening? If you’ve figured out your optimum study time, stick to what works for you! If you haven’t, continue to experiment so that you’ll get more studying done during those hours.
To improve your study environment and maintain your motivation to study, consider camping at your library or studying at a cafe for a change of pace.
#3. Apply for college
If you’ve managed to secure decent results for your trial exams and you’re thinking of starting college in January, why not apply for college now?
Applying for college early will leave you with one less thing to worry about, especially since you’ll need to get back to preparing for SPM soon. Not only that, there’s a better chance for you to secure scholarships from certain colleges and avoid the surge of applicants post-SPM.
On the other hand, if your results are below par or worse than you expected, do not despair! You still have time to rectify your mistakes and fine-tune your study techniques. Here’s what you can do before the real exam comes along.
#1. Channel your disappointment into determination
If you’ve received results that are below your expectations, you might feel like all hope is lost and you’re doomed to failure. However, while that’s normal in the aftermath of a major disappointment, the key thing to remember is to learn from your mistakes and channel your disappointment into determination to improve your results.
Zati Najmi Azhani is no stranger to this. The Yayasan UEM scholar says, “It’s OK to not be OK. I give myself a day to be sad, but after that, I move on and work harder.”
Don’t play the blame game. There may be many factors that could have affected your performance but it’s more beneficial to take ownership of your own mistakes and do everything in your power to avoid them in the future. So, if you could have benefitted from studying earlier, take heed of this mistake and study consistently until your SPM exam.
#2. Conduct a post-mortem
Once you’ve received your grades from your teachers, identify the topics or chapters that you are weak on and whether you need to improve your time management skills during exams.
Check if you had failed to read the instructions thoroughly, which can cause you to lose precious marks, and consider how effective your study methods were. For example, did you finish revising all topics or did you leave some out due to time constraints? Did your mind go blank from information overload or maybe you didn’t attempt enough practice questions?
Engaging in this exercise will be useful in helping you identify areas for improvement.
#3. Find specific and doable solutions
Once you’ve identified your mistakes, the only way to improve is to find specific and doable solutions for each of your problem.
For example, if you weren’t able to complete your revision before trials, create a timetable and slot the unfinished topics in first. If you find that you were struggling with particular chapters, schedule a short session with your teacher or a well-informed friend to clarify your doubts.
If your learning methods are to be blamed, make changes to your study routine. For example, if you find you work better at night, do the bulk of your revision later in the day with some light reading in the afternoon.
A Maybank scholar shared that he found poor time management to be a contributing factor to his low marks in his add maths trial paper. The 19-year-old from SMK Sungai Pelek in Sepang, Selangor said he worked on this by setting a time limit whenever he attempted add maths questions.
#4. Don’t give up
Last but certainly not least, Form 5 teacher Madam KamalaDevi Palanisamy from SMK Bercham in Ipoh, Perak says that students should not give up despite obtaining poor results in their trials.
She says it’s important for students to keep positive whilst intensifying their efforts to improve their SPM results.
Madam KamalaDevi also suggests that students finding it difficult to cope should speak to their teacher about arming themselves with the Minimum Adequate Syllabus (MAS) to ensure they know the most important information required for their subjects.
So, whether you’ve obtained good or bad results in your SPM trial exam, know that you still have room for improvement and time to pick up the momentum to do better in your SPM exam.
After all, good results may provide you with momentary bliss, but bad results can motivate you to improve and put you on beast mode as SPM approaches. Keep in mind that failure is a necessary step to success and that it’s never too late to do better!
So if you’re ever feeling down, just remember the lyrics to the late R&B artist Aaliyah’s Try Again hit, “If at first you don’t succeed, dust yourself off and try again”.