By Meisha Nurallyssa
Amid the Covid-19 health crisis, most schools are forced to halt operation to flatten the curve. With every crisis, everyone has to be a team player and play their role to contribute. And so, that’s exactly what my friends and I decided to do.
We realised that our juniors sitting for public examinations this year must be struggling to catch up with the syllabus without being able to attend classes physically. Therefore, we wanted to contribute by sharing tips we practiced during high school that helped us achieve excellent results in the SPM examinations.
The idea was kickstarted by my mother who is currently working on a study app, Notiz.space which acts as a platform for students to share their content and learn digitally. She recommended we do a Webinar using Zoom on how we managed to attain our results.
Long story short, we held KaptenTalk 2.0 – Ready, Get Set and Go for SPM 2020. I acted as the moderator for the session and was joined by top scorers from KYS and MCKK – Saiful Azhar, Lau Weing Yean, Puteri Hannah Yasmin, and Muhammad Luqman Nawar.
We made sure to be as diverse a panel as possible by having speakers from all different streams to share their experience and tips when sitting for SPM 2019. Topics related to studying, getting ready for SPM, and scholarships were discussed. The audience was also given room to ask questions to the panelists.
SPM Tips and Tricks
Here’s what the panelists had to say when asked about general study tips:
Lau Weing Yean:
One way to help you stay organised when studying is to have a study timetable and have it posted on your wall or anywhere you can see it. This not only helps you stay organised about what you need to study next or what to give priority to, but it also helps keep you motivated to learn.
Also, write down your goals and achievements you would like to accomplish and put it up somewhere you can see. By doing this you can get some drive to keep on pushing through those tough times and keep on striving.
To prepare yourself for SPM, drill yourself with a lot of trial papers from different states. Most likely whatever came out in trial papers are questions aimed by teachers around the country. Therefore, the likelihood of it coming out in the actual SPM is pretty high. Do a lot of past year papers too to help prep you on the format and what to expect during the real SPM examinations.
Be sure to start early. Form 4 is no honeymoon year, so be sure to brush up on your basics that would be vital in Form 5. Make sure that if you have any doubts on a topic, clear them as soon as possible and master them.
Different people have different styles of studying. Find yours. Reflect on your strengths and weaknesses and work around them. If you’re not so comfortable with a study timetable that may be too rigid for you, try something else to stay organised. Find a study style that compliments how you study and stick with it.
Whatever you do, make sure you are sincere when doing it and that includes studying. Make sure that whenever you open a book and start learning, you’re doing it because you want to and not because you’re forced to do so. When you find the sincerity in learning, motivation is bound to come, so look at the people around you like your parents and teachers to remind yourself why you want to get those straight As.
A Good Balance in Activities and Academics
Like any other student, our panelists also had extra-curricular activities to juggle alongside their studies. Here’s some advice on balancing the two:
Saiful Azhar (Rugby and Debate):
First things first, respect your teachers by giving them a heads up if you had to skip class for competitions. Maybe also ask them what topics they’ll be covering in the class you’d miss and ask for worksheets or handouts later on. Check-in with your friends on what you did in class and take some notes down. Make sure to be up to speed with your lessons even if you can’t attend.
Lau Weing Yean (Orchestra):
Plan ahead. If you know you’re going to be busy and occupied most of the time, be sure to plan when to study and when to practice for your co-curricular activities. Have a plan to make sure you don’t slack on lessons or your revision. When exams are near, try to slow down on the activities or drop everything all together to be as prepared as possible.
Luqman Nawar (Debate):
It doesn’t necessarily have to be an ‘either-or’ situation. Merge your studies and activities so you can learn something while you’re busy participating in activities. For example, when researching and preparing for a debate, use it as a time to brush up on your English skills to improve your essays. Also, grab a book and do some reading while on competitions so you can gain some knowledge while you’re at it.
Puteri Hannah (Queen Guides):
Prioritise, prioritise, prioritise! Determine when you need to study and when you need to focus on completing any necessary work for your extra-curricular activities. During prep, be sure to utilise the time properly so you get the best outcome when studying. When it’s time to finish logbooks, train or practice for your club/uniform body, make sure to give your all as you don’t want to keep postponing which might take up your study time if you’re not careful.
If you want to know more about what we had to say about getting ready for SPM, feel free to watch a recording of the session at the link below. I hope our session was helpful for everyone who joined us that day and we somehow managed to contribute to our fellow juniors during MCO season. Feel free to ask any of us questions if you need help in the future. Happy studying everyone!
Here’s the link to watch the recording on youtube: