Study Tips: How to be Exam-Ready

Posted on: 03rd November, 2023

With the N-level and O-level exams fast approaching, the rising anticipation might compel you to delve deeper into your studies. Perhaps you’ve attempted to read your textbook cover-to-cover, only to find your focus waning or the material simply not sinking in. In these moments of frustration, you may question how to tackle the vast amount of content efficiently. The key is smart work, and here are some strategic study tips to guide you through this crucial preparation phase.

1. Start Preparing for Exams Early

When preparing for exams, revising early can reduce the hours you clock in while maximising your outcomes. By starting your revisions early, you benefit from the luxury of time to delve deeper into subjects, re-explore challenging areas, and review several times for memory reinforcement. This, in turn, positions you for success, ensuring comprehensive understanding and confidence as you walk into the exam hall.

2. Review Past Year Exam Papers

As you commence your exam preparations, an approach you may take by default is to attempt to commit the information to memory, but merely memorising your study notes will only get you so far. After all, exams assess not just what you’ve retained but how well you understand that knowledge and your ability to apply it. This is where past year exam papers prove invaluable.

Tackling such self-assessments helps you identify areas that need more in-depth exploration. Regularly practising papers under timed conditions also familiarises you with the question format. This not only reduces exam day jitters but also helps calibrate your pacing for the actual test.

3. Study with Your Friends

Ever heard of the saying “To teach is to learn twice”?  This is especially true when preparing for exams. When you articulate and teach concepts to your friends, you can reinforce your understanding while benefiting your peers. If you find it challenging to grasp how specific theories work, someone in your study group might know how to shed light on them.  Moreover, the interaction and collaboration within study groups can make revision more enjoyable and efficient. It’s a win-win for all!

4. Take Necessary Breaks

Just as non-stop training for a marathon doesn’t yield optimal results, studying incessantly without pause can be similarly counter-productive. In fact, some studies even indicate that engaging in frequent, shorter learning sessions interspersed with breaks can enhance focus and aid in retaining new information. However, bear in mind that not all breaks are created equal.

For instance, turning to social media as a “restful diversion” might not be the best choice. This is because research in the Journal of Behavioural Addictions found that individuals who indulge in phone breaks took 19% longer to complete a task and solved 22% fewer problems than their peers.  As such, a better option is to seek out activities that truly offer intentional moments of relaxation. But how long should these breaks be?

The Pomodoro technique offers a suggestion: immerse yourself entirely in a specific task for a 25-minute interval, followed by a short break of five minutes. For instance, you could intensely study ‘Mathematics’ for 25 minutes without distractions and take that well-deserved five-minute break once the time is up. Thereafter, repeat this format and take a longer break of 15 to 30 minutes after every four Pomodoro intervals. In doing so, you can prime yourself for optimal concentration.

5. Ask for Help or Exam Tips

If a particular topic eludes you, there’s no shame in seeking clarification or assistance.  A little direction from someone, be it a teacher, tutor, senior, classmate, or even an external perspective, can make the material more memorable and comprehensible.

Explore Life After Exams with PSB Academy

Nonetheless, each individual’s study rhythm varies, so you may need to tailor the recommendations to your unique needs to find your best groove. As you delve deep into your exam preparations, you may also start wondering what path to venture down after your exams. If you’re feeling lost, why not explore the certificate programmes at PSB Academy?

Understanding the varied interests and strengths of students, PSB Academy offers an extensive selection of certificate courses in Singapore. These programmes provide an introductory taster of the field:

By forging partnerships with global institutions and industry leaders, we ensure that our curriculum at PSB Academy seamlessly integrates academic rigor with real-world relevance, equipping you to become a candidate ready for the industry’s demands. Let PSB Academy be your partner as you embark on a new chapter in life. Explore our certificate courses today.