• Darrell Er (Founder of OVERMUGGED)

4 steps to help you get closer to your dream score for 'O' levels!

Updated: Dec 23, 2020

‘O’ Level exams are now less than 4 months away, and this is the time where all the students start emerging from their ‘bubble’, scrambling to prepare themselves for the upcoming milestone exam.

We have all dreamt of doing well, landing ourselves in our post-secondary dream school. But how far are we from reality? Are these schools beyond our reach? Or are we just a few grades shy from hitting the mark?

Being a few grades shy, means a missed opportunity. We don't want that to happen to ourselves. There are ways to bridge the gap and realise our dreams.

Here are 4 defining ways to making your dream score come true!

1. Understand yourself

Before we can achieve anything, you need to have a good understanding of yourself.

Starting with knowing how you study best; understanding how you function makes the studying process a lot more efficient.

  • Visual learners should use colour pens and highlighters in their exam notes, this will enhance their memory retention. It will be even more effective if they draw pictures to reinforce their notes.

  • Logical and rationale learners should make use of flowcharts and mind-maps, this way they will be able to see how ideas and concepts connect and interact with each other.

  • Physical learners learn best by doing and experimenting, and should never be confined to their desks for long hours. You will be better off watching useful videos with illustration and demonstration to understand difficult concepts.

  • Auditory learners should vocalise their ideas and concepts out loud as they study, this will enhance their memory retention.

It is also important to prepare yourself mentally before you study. This is commonly coined as “study mood”. This will help you focus on your work for about 40 minutes before you lose focus again. Therefore you are encouraged to take short breaks in between and maximise your time.

Personally I like to listen to soft piano music when I study as it keeps me relaxed and focused. Find your "study mood".

Understanding how you study gives you better control over your studying habits. Changing ineffective ways of revising and replacing them with more productive study methods is a huge step forward to help yourself get closer to your academic goals!

We also wrote an article on 'how to do your last minute 'O' levels revision effectively' to help you prioritise your revision and come up with a do-able revision plan with limited time left.

Better late than never right?

2. Being Strategic

No war in history was ever won by going into a battle recklessly without any prior planning. Now that you understand yourself better, devise a strategy that will help you achieve your goals.

Likewise, you should first identify your target score. Then from which, decide the subjects that will most likely be part of your L1R5/L1R4 combination. Focus on the important subjects and devote more time to those that are more urgent. Prioritise the subjects you need the most help in, and not your favourite subject.

If you are unsure how to calculate your L1R5 or L1R4, read our comprehensive guide here.

3. Timeline

Time is of the essence in your preparation for the exam, but more than just speed, good pacing and consistency is the formula for reaching your study goals.

Dedicate a fixed amount of time every day for your revision. Start small but gradually increase your revision duration. Calculate the amount of hours you will likely have for each subject leading up to ‘O’ levels.

Learn to prioritise your tasks within each session. If you only have time to do either prelim papers or the ten-year-series (TYS), do the TYS first as it gives you the necessary exposure to O’ level style of questions.

If you feel that you will not be able to achieve the progress needed by self-studying, consider investing in guidebooks or even seeking tuition options.

If attending a weekly tuition is too much of a commitment, do consider attending our crash course program which focuses on exam-oriented techniques that cuts through the clutter by identifying key concepts and doing chapter breakdowns efficiently.

That way, you will get a comprehensive recap of the whole syllabus and our specialist tutors will also point out commonly test questions and give you exam smart tips to ensure you be prepared for your national exam!

4. Revision techniques

Lastly, make the most efficient use of your time. Studying alone may help you concentrate better but the difficulty comes when you are stuck with a question and you have no one to turn to.

Hence, it is a good idea to study in a small group setting of 3-4, and clarify with each other when in doubt. The process of explaining a concept you know to a fellow friend serves as a form of revision and helps reinforce the understanding further.

One way to check if you really understand a concept or topic is to explain it to someone else confidently and be able to answer their questions.

Additionally, the group can also collectively consult a teacher in school. Making sure you thoroughly understand a concept is much better than just memorizing. Always ask ‘why’ and seek an answer.

If you prefer to study alone, you can also consider joining our 'O' Levels telegram channel where you can ask questions and get help in real time!

Achieving your dream score might not be the easiest but any dream worth having is a dream worth fighting for!

Before entering the exam hall, be sure to read our article on '7 things to know before taking your 'O' levels'!

Here at OVERMUGGED, we dedicate ourselves to make your life easier with quality free chapter notes for all subjects & we also conduct exam oriented crash courses to help you prepare for your national exam!

You can also check our 'chemistry self study guide' & 'physics self study guide' for a more structured approach towards your revision!

If you are struggling with revising effectively, do consider getting a copy of our curated notes which contains content breakdown for all chapters in your syllabus and it even contains commonly tested questions and exam pointers! Each booklet is designed by an experienced tutor and we are committed to bring you the best learning material!

I wish you all the best may the bell curve be ever in your favour!

Brought to you by OVERMUGGED.

By Tutors, For Students

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