Planning For Examinations

(This post by Mr Li Minghui Samuel first appeared on his Mathematics tutoring website on 20 July 2015. It is reproduced with permission.)

By Li Minghui Samuel

"Prelim is in one month's time. A Levels will be starting on 1st November. What should I study today? If I study Math, what about Chemistry? But then Physics is my weakest subject. How?"

Does the above sound familiar? Have you ever asked yourself such questions before? Students have been asking me how should they study. I am going to share my way of planning for exams here.

1.5-2 months before the actual exams

- A piece of writing paper

- Long ruler and basic stationery

- School timetable

- Exam timetable

1) Draw 3 columns and label the headings: Date | Exam for the day | Study for the day

2) Fill up the dates and days under the 1st column, all the way till the last day of the exams.

3) Fill up the exam subjects under the 2nd column, beside the respective dates.

4) One day before each exam, write down that subject(s) under the 3rd column. On the last day of exams, write the word "PLAY!" under the 3rd column.

5) **Fill up all your subjects under the 3rd column. Spread them out across 2 months.

6) Paste this exam timetable on the wall or stick it on the refrigerator.

7) ^^Follow the exam timetable closely. When you feel that you need a change, use a different colour pen to cancel the subject for the day and replace it with another one. Be sure to reallocate the subject you've just canceled to another day.

** I follow a way of filling up the "study for the day" column.

1) If that day is a school day, I will write the subjects for the class on that day. Firstly, the teacher will most likely give some assignments. Secondly, the teacher might go through a new topic which I will need to review on my own again after school.

2) If that day is not a school day, I will plan to revise more subjects. This is to make myself to study harder on a weekend, for example.

3) I tend to plan revision of subjects which require memorising (History, Geography) on a weekend.

4) I will never plan revision of 2 subjects which require memorising on the same day.

5) I tend to allocate more time to subjects which I am weaker in. For example, in secondary school, the most number of occurrences in my timetable is Social Studies and the least is E Math.

6) I tend to group my weakest and strongest subjects together on the same day. This is because I spend less time on my stronger subject; as such I will have more time for the other one.

7) Do not leave allow an interval of more than 5 days to lapse before revisiting each subject. If I study Math on Monday, the latest I should study it again is on Saturday.

^^ I always use a black pen to write my plan, and a red pen to make amendments. Using different coloured pens helps you better track your changes.


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