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7 things to know before taking your ‘O’ levels

Updated: Dec 23, 2020

Majority of ‘O’ level students in Singapore has only gone through one national exam, which was their PSLE.

But even that is just a distant memory for many by now. With ‘O' levels coming up next week, our tutor team have come up with a list of 7 things you should take note of before going for your ‘O’ level examinations.


1. Waking up late

Say your worst nightmare comes true. You overslept. What should you do?

Don't panic because even if you are late, you are still allowed to take the exam. Call your school immediately and cab down. You can also head down to the nearest designated secondary school and take your exam there instead!

A safety measure is to form a small group chat with a group of friends and check with each other whether everyone is awake. Make sure your friends have your family member's contact number in case they cannot reach you if your phone is on silent or out of battery.

2. Communication = Cheating

Any form of communication is considered cheating. Even exchanging glances is considered an offense as well! So even if your friend wants to get your attention for whatever reason, ignore them during your examination.

Attempting to borrow stationeries or picking up someone else’s paper when it falls to the floor can be deemed as cheating too. Don’t take the risk.

3. Stationeries

You will not be allowed to borrow stationeries during the exam. Our suggestion is to bring back up stationeries and check before entering the exam hall. Make sure your calculator battery is replaced or keep a standby battery in your stationary case.

Bring pens that you are familiar with and take note that if you decide to use correction tape, use a good one. The lousy ones may peel off and trust me, you do not want that to happen.

It is best to not use correction tape and just simply cross off the words or workings that you’ve written wrongly to save time and avoid problems we’ve mentioned previously.

4. Jacket

YOU’VE BEEN WARNED: For some reason, ‘O’ level examination halls feel like the north pole (especially when you are nervous) and the last thing you want is to freeze while doing your paper. Keep yourself warm and always bring along a warm jacket.

Make sure you check your pockets before you enter the exam hall, you don’t want to be caught for cheating!

5. Entry proof

You need to have your entry proof. Photocopy multiple copies and put one in your bag, your wallet and your pencil case.

No entry proof means no entry into the exam hall. If you really forgot to bring your entry proof, head over to your school’s general office, they will help you print one (though they will probably grumble a little).

6. Avoid a heavy meal prior

Please have a proper meal before the exams but avoid getting a meal that is too heavy in carbohydrates. Too much carbs = food coma. Rather than keeping you alert, the heavy lunch will only make you tired and sleepy during your examinations.

Our advice is to avoid eating too much carbohydrates before your exams such as rice, bread or sugar. An ideal pre-exam diet would be one consisting of eggs, nuts, yogurt, salmon and broccoli. Remember to stay hydrated by drinking plain water in regular intervals as well!

7. Avoid burning the midnight oil

Not sleeping the night prior is actually worse. You might feel desperate for the extra few hours of revision but the reality is that you won’t remember much of what you studied the night before. Burning the midnight oil is actually counterproductive instead.

Read this article if you want to find out more. You will be better off getting some quality sleep and feeling fresh the next day.


We hope that these 7 tips will be helpful to all students who are taking their O’ levels next week!

If you are looking for some quick revision tips, check out our article on 'Last minute revision guide' for some solid guidance and advice!

Remain calm and don't panic in the exam hall. Take deep breathes & believe in yourself!

We also shared our '4 exam smart strategies' which teaches you how you can prepare yourself as you enter the exam hall!

As always, at OVERMUGGED, we are always looking to help prepare our students academically and mentally for their big exam. If you enjoy such tips, please follow us on instagram as we will be sharing free tips to get you ready for your O’ levels!

May the bell curve be ever in your favour!

Do also check out our article on 'How to calculate your L1R5 & L1R4' if you are unsure how to tabulate your 'O' level score!

Brought to you by OVERMUGGED.

By Tutors, For Students

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