Disregard the prelims and just focus on the 'A' Levels? (Response C)

This query comes from a student:

Hello, I am a J2 student taking my 'A' Levels this year. However, I am feeling extremely exhausted even though the 'A's are still like 2 months away.

Why? Because my JC is making us sit for 2 sets of prelims!!!! We had the first round in June, and the second round will happen in a couple of days. The teachers hold so many after school remedial lessons, and before I finish an assigned problem set, I am given yet another!!!

I didn't do well in prelims round 1, and I am not confident of doing any much better in round 2. There's so much stuff to internalize, and everything feels like a mess right now.

A senior told me to just focus on preparing for the As, and not care about whether I fail or pass for the upcoming prelims. It's too rushed and many students will also be struggling like mad, which is pointless.

Should I listen to my senior and take a can't be bothered approach to prelims round 2? It will certainly make me feel less stressed. I will still be studying hard for the As in the meanwhile of course. Please help. Thanks. :(

The Response:

From what you’ve described, you probably have a long way to go in terms of completing your revision. Given that that’s the case, if you were to try to cram all the topics now, you’d probably only be able to get a cursory grasp of all the topics at best (and I’m sure you know that will not be enough to do even decently in the prelims).

My advice for you would thus be to select and focus on a few topics that you’d reasonably be able to prepare in depth in time for the prelims, while spending less time on the other topics. This way, you will be able to use the prelims as a gauge of whether your studying methods for those topics are sound, and whether you have really grasped the topics that you really spent time on. If you have done well for those questions that you really studied for, that would mean that you have successfully achieved the above for those selected topics, and can proceed to repeat your efforts while revising for the remaining topics for the A levels.

With the above methodology and objective in mind, you will be able to use the prelims to achieve something useful, and be able to put your resulting prelims score (whether good or bad) into perspective.

Hope that gives you some direction to follow.


Eric Chng

(Senior Councilor: May 2013 - December 2020)

Answered On 23 August 2015