Effective Exam Preparation Tips for GCE O-Level
Exams can be a stressful period for children and parents alike. The O-Level in particular, can be a source of frustration for students and parents. As Singaporeans, we’re familiar that a good result for your O-Level can be the key to a fruitful tertiary education journey — and we know the importance of the exam as a key milestone in life. With that in mind, you might ask yourself how you can help your child better prepare for their O-Level and study more effectively.
Burning midnight oil and cramming before the exam day is a sure path to disastrous results, so consider taking a sustainable approach. So whether you’re a parent looking to help your child or a keen student, here are some key tips to develop healthy study habits and build confidence for O-Level!
Students rely on memory to recall important concepts, theories and solutions to exam questions. The hippocampus (the part of the brain responsible for remembering new patterns) can easily get overloaded when you’re trying to cram months worth of information over a span of a few weeks. That’s why students end up not being able to recall information during exams despite having studied as much as they can the day before.
Instead, help the brain absorb information more readily by spacing out revision sessions. Simply going through what was taught in school at the end of the day is a great way to lock new information into memory, and ensure it is available to be recalled when needed.
Besides school, a student spends most of his or her time at home. A conducive environment is an important and often overlooked factor that can help students focus and improve the effectiveness of their study sessions.
However, conducive doesn’t mean changing your decor to look like a classroom! What’s conducive may vary from student to student. Some need a clutter-free environment free of distractions while others may relish a chaotic mess of books, papers and stationery. Start dedicating a small section in the home or bedroom just for study. This will help the student get into the zone when in that space, and further design changes can be made according to their vision of a conducive study environment.
Humans are social creatures, and being around peers is a great way to study more effectively. It is difficult to fight off procrastination alone, and being surrounded by like-minded peers who all want to excel can be the push a student needs. Being able to ask friends when you’re stuck on a question, discover new study methods and count on others for moral support is just some of the perks of group study.
The right study group requires commitment from all of its members, adds positive support, instills discipline and can motivate as each individual works with the group to attain their goals.
The most effective way to practice something is to do it. While it is fine to practice on workbooks and assessment books, the best way to get used to how exam questions are presented and phrased is to do the exams itself.
Now unless you have a time machine you simply cannot predict what will be coming out for future exams. That’s why past year papers are so valuable for real-world practice as they emulate exam questions as closely as possible, helping students learn how to read and tackle them.
Take regular breaks to prevent fatigue and keep focused. A good way to incorporate breaks is to introduce them as an incentive or reward for a certain amount of time spent studying.
The Pomodoro technique is one such method that encourages periods of intense focus and regular breaks to develop better time management and improve productivity. It encourages 25 minutes of concentration followed by breaks of 5 to 15 minutes, which is generally accepted as the ideal amount of break time before it starts becoming detrimental. There are many Pomodoro timers available online, so find one that works the best for you!
With how sedentary we can be all day, break times are perfect for moving around, stretching and getting the blood flowing!
As the saying goes — no man is an island. As parents, we always try to be available for our child when they need help with a school problem. And as students, we always strive to do our best in every subject. However, it is not always possible to do it alone! Every successful student has a strong support network of teachers, peers and even tutors they can turn to.
At the Learning Journey Education Centre, students can have access to a strong support network of teachers and peers to help them excel at school.
Rather than rote learning through traditional classroom methods and worksheets — we focus on small groups of four to six students per teacher, with interactive and engaging lessons with a rigorously tested curriculum. We customise our teaching approach and methodologies based on each students’ aptitude and at their desired pace.
The small group setting helps our students meet like-minded peers and one-on-one access to their teachers, with plenty of opportunities to speak up, ask questions, contribute, interact and learn from each other during lessons. Students in our intimate small group settings are often active learners who are comfortable asking questions, and enjoy the company of other students, often motivating them to work harder!
Interested? Find out more about our small group learning approach and enroll your child at www.learningjourney.edu.sg.
Online classes are also available to keep your child safe while learning.
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