Updated: Jun 29, 2021
June holidays are finally here! Like it or not, this is the golden time period for you to do some catching up and make the final push towards your 'O' Levels / 'A' Levels!
If you have been slacking off for the first half of the year, this is the perfect time to catch up and hit the books!
But there is no way you are going to be motivated every day unless you have a revision plan that works for you!
If you feel like you are most likely going to waste your June Holidays by not being productive, you are at the right place! In this article, we are going to walk you through, step-by-step, on how to construct your own personalised June Holiday revision plan!
Let's jump right in!
Step 1: Analyse the big picture
Think ahead. What is your goal for your 'O' Levels? To enter a certain JC? To get into your preferred choice for poly course?
Know what your end goal is and work backwards from there.
Know precisely how much your L1R5 or L1R4 has to be, include a margin of safety and compare it against your mid year results.
Which subject do you need the most improvement in? Which subject is compulsory to be included in your 'O' Level score? You need a game plan.
Student A is aiming to enter EJC science stream, which means he will need a minimum L1R5 of 7 points after deduction. He has -2 from his CCA points and does not have higher Mother Tongue. This means his end-game is a minimum L1R5 of 9, and to be safe, he should target to score 8 points net.
This is his current score after MYE:
English - B3 Chemistry - B4 Physics - A2 E-Math - A2 A-Math - C5
Combined Humanities - C6
Pure Geography - B3
Chinese - likely to get B4
Based on this, his likely L1R5 combination will be English (compulsory), physics, E-math, geography, chemistry and A-Math.
His current L1R5 is 19, a pipe dream from his target score of 8 points.
So what should his game plan be here?
Subjects that are most important (need to spend most time):
1) English (From B3 to A2) - compulsory subject
2) Chemistry (From B4 to A1) - will most likely be included in L1R5 and have the potential to make the biggest improvement.
3) A-Math (From C5 to A2) - while you might think that Chinese might be able to replace A-Math, having a B4 will effectively eliminate his chances of entering EJC. This makes A-Math a compulsory subject.
Subjects to revise moderately (already quite strong but need more practice):
1) Geography (From B3 to A1) - Need to recap content and aim for higher grade by prelims.
2) Physics (From A2 to A1) - Do more practices
3) E-Math (From A2 to A1) - Do more practices
Subject to deprioritise:
1) Combined Humanities (From C6 to B3) - Heavy content and unlikely to be included in subject combination.*
*To deprioritise does not mean to give up completely. What it means is that a greater amount of attention should be catered to your most important subjects first. In this student's case, if he screws up his A-Math paper, he will still need his combined humanities as back-up plan, hence it would be foolish to completely abandon this subject.
If everything goes according to plan, he will get a L1R5 of 8 - 2 = 6. He also have a margin of safety for one of his subjects to drop by one grade, with Combined Humanities as a back-up option in case A-Math fails to meet expectations.
Another consideration why A-Math is more important than Combined Humanities is because A-Math is needed in H2 Math in JC while Combined Humanities is not needed for a Science stream student. So think big picture! (Read our article on the difference between Science and Arts stream in JC here!)
In essence, what you will need to do is to figure your own end goal and have a game plan!
Step 2: Set clear goals
It is easy to say 'I will study for 6 hours' today but what is it that you are planning to accomplish?
As the saying goes,
Fail to plan? Plan to fail.
Set clear goals for your June Holidays and know 'why' you are doing it. The goals you set should be in tandem with the game plan that you devise in Step 1.
When we say set clear goals, it is not 'Revise A-Math more'. You should identify which chapters you are weaker at and seek ways to improve on those areas. Be it doing more practices, revisiting the concept again, using OVERMUGGED's free notes or creating your own notes, you need to do what is most effective in helping you master your area of weakness.
If you are able to turn your area of weakness into your strength by the end of June Holidays, more than half the battle is won.
Be very specific when it comes to your goals. For example:
'Do 2 chapters worth of math practices, followed by corrections within 3 hours, to complete by today' 'Revise weaker chemistry chapters and highlight keywords, then attempt questions in topical TYS' 'Read the newspaper for 20mins every morning and take down 5 key learning points that can be used in a discursive essay'.
Know what you need to achieve by the end of each week and divide it up further to devise what you need to do by the end of each day.
Set clear goals and work towards them!
Step 3: Set time frame
The truth is that you are only 4-5 months away from your 'O' Levels or 'A' Levels. Time is of the essence. The sooner you internalise the amount of time you have left, the better you can construct a study plan that will suit your timeline.
4-5 months is a lot shorter than you think. Recall the start of January this year? What have you accomplished till today? That is the same time frame you have till 'O' Levels or 'A' Levels. Not a lot of time I would say.
Hence, when your game plan is to improve a certain subject from B4 to A1, you need to set the timeframe for it.
June - B4 range (to recap all concepts, especially weaker topics)
July - B3 range (to attempt prelim papers and TYS practices) Aug - B3 range (do even more practices)
Sep (sch prelims) - A2 range (Need to achieve at least an A2 for prelims) Oct/Nov - A1 target for 'O' Levels
Setting the timeframe will help you understand the rate of improvement that you need to make in order to achieve your game plan!
Step 4: Stock take your resources
The worst thing that can happen is that you are all geared up to do some math practices but you cannot find the worksheet or practice booklet.
You will probably just not do it anymore lel
As you journey towards your national exam, you will unconsciously have more learning resources and soon you will have difficulty finding what you need. Take time now to organise all of your resources such that they are easily accessible and neatly arranged.
This will greatly increase your productivity and also make your life easier down the line. Also, start to put away resources that you are less likely to use. I know everyone would have 'hoarder tendencies' but let's be real, you are not going to touch half the resources that you currently have. Put away those that you will not use and streamline the materials that you will be using more often.
For example, if you have a copy of our curated notes, you probably do not need the textbook or any guidebooks since all the content in the syllabus has been nicely compiled for you already. So all you will need to keep beside you will be the curated notes and your TYS practice booklets.
Also, jolt down important pointers in the curated notes when you are doing practice and you will just need to refer to one single booklet when it time to do your revision. You can also create your own notes and condense everything in a single A4 booklet that you buy from Popular.
This will make revising a lot easier when you have everything in a single place.
Step 5: Set realistic daily goals
You might be pumped up at this current moment and ready to pull an all-nighter. But remember this,
You are running a marathon, not a 100m dash.
Making consistent progress is more important than having short spurts. Furthermore, pulling all-nighters will likely wear your body and mental health out and you will find yourself in a worst state than before.
So rather than setting unrealistic targets and burning yourself out, set realistic daily goals and stick to them!
If you can only keep our butt on your chair for a maximum of 4 hours a day, that is fine but you have to clock that 4 hours every day!
Then after a week, try 4.5 hours. After two weeks, try 5 hours. Build your mental stamina.
This process is gradual and can only be achieve if you set realistic daily goals. Start small but be consistent and persistent.
Also, once you achieve your goals for the day, it is fine to reward yourself with a game or two or catch up on your latest Netflix series. But ensure that when it is time to study, you are locked in and focused. Find that balance for yourself.
Step 6: Review your progress
Making a plan is the easy part, sticking to it is difficult.
In all likelihood, 2 weeks into June Holidays, you will probably find that you are behind your schedule. That is normal so don't beat yourself over it.
But what you need to do is to review your progress and understand what went wrong.
Was it that your daily goals were too unrealistic? Or was it that you are constantly getting distracted? Or maybe you took too long and wasted time doing repetitive revision that was not productive?
Review your progress and make adjustments. Re-calibrate your daily goals or change the environment around you.
If you are constantly on your bed when you should be studying, try studying in the living room instead. Using your phone too much? Ask your mum to hold on to it during the 2 hour study time slot. Find that you are not being productive? Review how you revise and evaluate whether you are spending your time revising effectively. (Check out our podcast episode on 'Study tips from a net 2 pointer at O Levels')
Make the necessary adjustments and keep doing so at regular intervals.
"Nobody said it was easy, no one ever said it would be so hard" - Coldplay, The Scientist
Yes, working towards your national exam is not easy and no one is denying that (except your parents maybe). But just remember that many batches before you also went through the same experience and made it through. If they can do it, so can you!
The good news is that OVERMUGGED is going to be here with you every step of the way to help you towards your dream score!
Utilise our free learning resources to the fullest and let us know how else we can help you!
If you want to save time making your own notes and want a highly condensed booklet which contains all key concepts, exam pointers and worked examples of commonly tested questions, do consider getting a copy of our curated notes to accelerate your revision!
If you are in need of a quick revision of key concepts, sign up for our 4 hour long crash courses this July and learn from our specialist tutors directly as they run through content revision and important exam strategies to perform better during exams!
*If you sign up for our crash courses in the month of June, you will also receive a copy of the curated notes in advance so that you can revise more effectively during the June Holidays!
As always, we hope that this article has been helpful and we wish you all the best for your upcoming national exams!
Brought to you by OVERMUGGED.
By Tutors, For Students