it's SPM baby!
oh gosh bloody hell. argh!!! i am not ready lagi laa. and plus i'm like so cop-off as i have lots of stuff that i extremely left behind than other friends. telling you guys about my so last year final exam which is as hard as Phd paper i tell you i just got 3A's. [thanx for MYSELF for not studying hard ad love to play around during class session.]
oh god i'm not ready. well,this morning when i woke up i'm like
"hey,tomorrow is school day girl n yeah u are in senior year. great for you!!"
yeah,so grreat. i just feel like i'm still 14 years. no burden to think off. well not really. haha. owh,for sure tomorrow i will talk nonsense all the time and just for example i'm gonna say this to my mom.
"mom,can u send me to kindergarten please? plus,their test is really easy and i can give u as many A's as what you really hope from me. don't you think like that?"
[without hesitate my mom would slap me as she thought i'm still sleep]
"what,is this school?"
"are you tree? why do you have leg?"
"hye chair! hye desk!"
"are you teachers? why did you look so weird? of course u are prefect"
"owh hey buddy,it's been a long time since our last day together. kick me!"
i tell u i'm gonna do that. hell yeah!! well,since i'm extremely panicked not for even my first day of school i do have check out some blog that i find kinda give some inspiration and tips that useful as my preparation for this bloody year. [ok,stop using obsence language dowh] i am follower of kana kana blog. wow what a great vocab as well as grammar he have.
well,let me share with you his tips.it's a lot buddy. a lot!!! and again i tell you credit to kana kana blog for this tips.
Tips 1: making notes
As my parents would probably tell you, my style of studying is not the best because I studied at my own pace. That suited me better because I couldn’t achieve much when I couldn’t concentrate. Bear in mind that everyone’s brain functions differently, and everyone’s capacity is different.
But one thing I firmly believe in, that has brought me success, is making notes. I personally feel that reference books should not be relied on all the time. Last year, I made my own notes for the whole Form 4 and Form 5 Sejarah textbooks. I regretted not doing the Form 4 one in 2007 because I had to work faster and harder in Form 5 to complete both years’ Sejarah content, but I knew I had to. I believe that making your own notes helps you to remember. This is because making your own notes requires you to process the information, filter out what is not important, and understand your material. Furthermore, I don’t trust reference books to give accurate information. And, making notes saves time when doing last-minute revising, which is something I am guilty of but I don’t regret doing. Last-minute revising is important, but revising consistently is even more vital. There is no shortcut to success. Many thanks to Pn. Umadevi of MES for stressing the importance of making notes and making sure we did our notes consistently.
Biology is also another subject in which I relied heavily on my own notes. For this subject, I used the SUCCESS Biology reference book as my “textbook”. I made my notes out of the book, especially of the important processes, diagrams and such things that need full understanding of the matter. One good example is photosynthesis. If you memorize the process of photosynthesis word-for-word, you may not remember it correctly in exam. However, I drew a diagram of chlorophyll, H2O, CO2 and the arrows linking everything together. That way, I remember the diagram in exam and explain it in my own words. Saves effort, saves time, gets you good marks. Other things to take note of is blood osmotic pressure, the heart, blood clotting process, transpiration, the skeletal structure, respiration, etc.
Studies have shown that mind maps help your memory. I am a firm believer of mind maps. Sejarah requires lots of mind maps. For example, when I study about the Renaissance and Reformation, I draw arrows to the Factors, the Effect, the People Involved, etc. (all in Bahasa Melayu, of course) During exam, I usually remember the locations where I jotted down the points. Again, I stress that everyone’s brain works differently, but you might want to give it a try.
Before making notes, gather your resources, make a general overview of your study materials, make a list of what you need to know. While making notes, write down keywords and phrases that are important. Underline, bold, highlight, flash cards, read out loud what you write!
Lastly, use lots of colours. Studies show that colours jog your memory. So, unless you’re colour blind, use plenty of colours in your notes. I used the Stabilo point 88 coloured pens to decorate my notes. It not only makes your notes look nicer, more creative, but it is proven to help you remember! One of the quirky things I did last year was sticking random pieces of paper on the wall and scribbling important things to remember on them. For example while studying Chemistry I keep forgetting the colours of phenolphthalein, so I wrote down that it is purple when alkali and colourless when acid. (did I get that right?) And other important things as well. =)
How to remember everything? Review, review and review until you feel over-learnt! Test yourself, teach somebody, use acronyms! For example, I used a rhythmic poem to memorize this: Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus Species. Cleanse, Rinse, Repeat.
Tips 2: Time and Place
I always wondered last year, when should I study, how long? Now, everyone is different; some people work better in the morning, some people hit it off at noon, but some others are night owls. If you are like me, whose mornings are a burden yet the night beckons me to sleep, then choose the evening to study. Yet again, that’s just ME. You have your own special time when your brain is most alert.
Try to have a regular study schedule. I set a time for myself to study after dinner at 7 pm and the earliest I stop is 11.30 pm. However, I often get the timing all wrong, but as the saying goes, “It’s not how many hours you put in; it’s how much you put into those hours that count.” Try to study at the same place, preferably in a well-lit room far away from distractions.
I find that studying too long for extended periods of time does no good because your brain needs rest after awhile. I usually do four 30-minute sessions every night, with 10-minute or so intervals in between. Or rather, that was the original plan but my breaks usually lasted too long, oh well. Have everything you need ready when you study. If your mind is wandering, go to the next task. Usually when I find that my brain is not working, I just use the time to make notes. I spent many, many months just making Sejarah notes, but it paid off!
Always make a schedule, or a plan of some sort. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Oh and get the book “Study Smarter Not Harder” by Kevin Paul.
Tips 3: In Class
There is no higher rule. Pay attention in class. If your teacher is boring, too bad. Get some sour Mentos to chew on (don’t let anyone find out though!) to keep awake. Avoid talking in class when the teacher is teaching something important. Unfortunately, I don’t practice what I preach, but it’s better if you pay attention in Sejarah, Add Maths, and the Science subjects.
I always have pieces of paper in front of me when teacher is teaching. I would scribble down important things that teacher said, or diagrams the teacher drew. Write down keywords and points in an organized but flexible way. Write in your own words in a writing that you can decipher. Leave blank spaces.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. I know you’re shy and you might be labeled incompetent or kia-su, but actually asking questions gives you the answers you need. If need be, go and see your teacher in the office. Or you can ask your smart-ass friends who should know the answers, and why? Because they asked the teacher.
Before class, read up what the teacher would probably touch on. After class, keep your notes properly and add to your own notes when you’re at home. Review what was taught! Review, review, review.
Tips 4: In Exam
Everyone tackles the exams differently. Some do it slow and steady, some rush through everything and sleep the rest of the time, so do it in parts in a systematic order. I am guilty of doing the exam too fast so much so that I always have to tell myself to slow down to avoid careless mistakes. However, it is good to keep track of your time so that you have enough to time to finish the paper and check your answers.
My method may not be the best, but it is good for me. When I get any paper like English, Sejarah, Biology or Moral that has an essay, I will start the exam by turning to the back to see what are the essay questions. Then, I immediately start thinking of the points to add. Then I scribble down anything at all that comes to my mind at the side. Once I run out of ideas, then I start the front section of short answers, hoping that more ideas would come to mind. This is because essays usually carry the most marks. Watch the time so that you don’t waste time on short questions. Make sure you have enough time to finish the essay. If you feel that you’re running behind time, start the essay question, after that resume the short questions.
Always, always make an outline of your essay. Plan your introduction, order of your points and how you elaborate them. Scribble down phrases, keywords and idioms that you may need to use. For example, if the BM essay is about unity, quickly scribble down idioms like “Bersatu teguh, bercerai roboh” and “Muafakat membawa berkat” and others, so that you have them to use at your disposal.
When writing essays, get to the point. Explain connections, address questions well. My father always said, make every sentence a quality sentence. Avoid using bombastic words, but don’t be afraid to show off your language skills, but only if you have any.
Try to stay for the whole exam. However, if you’ve really done your best and there’s not much that can be done, just stay on! There was a special case last year. There was a Sejarah paper after the English paper. Most people finished the English paper quickly, almost everyone left early. Why? To study for Sejarah, of course! But it depends on the individual.
Most importantly, don’t panic if you don’t know how to do. Stay calm, do another question and then you come back to the one you don’t know. It will come to you soon. If not, then you panic. Don’t forget to bring everything you need, like you pens, pencil, eraser, ruler, calculator, log book, lipstick, water bottle, eye-liner, stapler and liquid paper. And your lucky charms, for good measure.
Tips 5: Music. Sleep and Other Stories
According to scientific research, music may help your brain! This is supposedly because our brain functions in waves, and music with the right rhythm may stimulate your brain. However, this is true only for Baroque music that has a steady and moving rhythm. Try to listen to pieces like The Four Seasons, Canon in D, Minuet in G minor, Swan Lake, etc.
Get enough sleep. There’s no use studying with a groggy brain. Studies show that sleep helps you to remember what you’ve just learnt better. Exercise is also good for you. It stimulates your brain, makes you feel better, and prevents you from gaining too much weight like I did last year. I gained almost 10 kilos from the beginning of Form 5 until after SPM!
Always finish your homework on time, or at least as fast as possible. Oh wait. DO YOUR HOMEWORK. Laziness does you no good. If you don't practice, you don't learn. But from experience, there is never enough time to finish all my homework. Because of this, I had to learn to prioritize which homework I do. Never put off Science and Add Maths homework, because they tend to pile up. Modern Maths is excusable. It's a good feeling when all your homework is done.
Group study is good as well. Although I didn't do much of it last year because no one wanted to do with me, the sessions I had with friends were fun. When we discussed, say, an issue about Sejarah, it kind of sticks to me for a while. Also, my heated arguments and discussions with my mom and sister about Chemistry and Biology gave me lots of insight and hindsight about the subject.
Having the right mental attitude is imperative. Read this amazing poem, “The Winner”. That should be all from me. Good luck and God bless! Listen to my song, "SPM" for some entertainment and realization that you're not alone in your battle for success.