Hi everyone, I’m one of the top scorers in SPM 2015 who have achieved 10A+ in SPM and also enlisted in the prestigious Program Penajaan Nasional.
As a student who does not attend tuitions, I believe that self-study allows a person to be more disciplined and more independent in managing his/her own time.
Therefore, by following the same paradigm for studying, there is a sure-win strategy to achieve excellent results in academics.
I would like to share my secrets with all the juniors who intend to tread this path full of challenges but with promising rewards at the end of this journey.
1. Planning a schedule
It is important to plan the activities for each week by making sure every subject is given equal priority for revision purpose.
Personally, I allocate at least one subject for each day from Monday to Sunday, prioritizing weaker subjects for one full day, while combining subjects like Maths and Add. Maths on the same day in order to maximize learning efficiency.
It is important for you to personalize your timetable with sufficient room for recreational activities and extra-curriculum, as well as flexibility such as postponing a certain revision topic to other days in case of emergency or change of plans.
2. Reading and Learning
The first phase towards mastering a topic is to read through the whole chapter, as if you’re studying a book.
It is not important for you to master every single concept at this stage. By going through the whole chapter, you would have a better understanding of the flow.
It is also highly encouraged to jot down notes or highlight relevant points along the way, which will you go through them next time.
Usually, I would spend roughly 2-3 hours studying one topic for the first time, going through important subtopics and understanding the fundamentals behind each derived equation.
3. Doing Exercise books
The second phase is to attempt practice questions in exercise books available in the market.
Personally, I own 3-4 revision books for each subject from different publications, in order to attempt a variety of questions as well as HOTS/KBAT questions which will further challenge your understanding of the topic.
It is recommended for you to refer to books for the answer at this stage, as you are still considered as an infant trying to grasp the concepts of the questions.
Usually, I will write down the answers on a separate paper instead of writing on the book, as I can always challenge myself to redo the questions without referring to notes or answers on other days.
This is also one of the ways to share exercise books with others to save your budget, as well as fostering good relationship, two birds with one stone!
For those who love challenges, when faced with difficult questions, you can try to write down your own answer first, but don’t push yourself too hard, there’s always the answer at the back to guide you!
Remember, this is still the preparation stage, you still don’t have to achieve perfection yet! There’s still so much room for growth, so absorb as much as possible from all these reference books.
After the completion of two exercise books with reference, you should attempt doing questions in the third exercise book WITHOUT any reference to answer or notes, so that you could evaluate your understanding of the topic and give yourself marks based on the number of questions correctly answered.
This marks as a checkpoint for the completion of the topic. Remember, if your score is unsatisfactory, you should always go back to the revision of the topic!
4. Exam-based questions
Once you’re done with EVERY topic in the practice questions, it’s time to face some real challenges.
Your next task is to attempt those intimidating “BANK SOALAN” and “KERTAS PERCUBAAN” with 6 sets of exam-format papers.
Sit down, take a deep breath, start the timer and start doing the questions in a true exam condition. No referring to notes, no checking answers.
At the end of the “test”, mark your paper based on the mark scheme and give yourself the final score. (Note: some reference books might have wrong answers, revision books and some googling will be your best friend)
Initially, when I first attempt these exam-based questions, it is normal to get below-average or unsatisfactory scores that might make you feel down or discouraged.
Don’t give up! The more you wrong, the more concepts you’ll remember, and the more you will get it right next time. Practice, practice and do more practices!
5. Past SPM Trial Papers
If you’ve come this far, congratulations, exam-based questions are no longer a real threat.
Next, what’s the mini boss you will face before sitting for the trial examination in your school?
Past SPM Trial papers from different states. These are valuable assets prepared by the most elite teachers all over the country, with challenging questions that truly evaluate the fundamentals of each topic.
In fact, some of the past trial papers that I’ve attempted had even appeared in my SPM trial examination in school!
As the questions in trial papers are fairly similar to the actual examination, it will slowly but surely build up your confidence in order to face the true challenges of SPM examination.
The following attached image is my results in the trial examination that I sat for in 2015.
I strongly believe in the importance of Trial Paper. And this is why I have split SPM Trial Question of different states by topic, and compile them into an ebook.
Click the button below to download it for FREE.
6. Past SPM Papers
Once you’re done grinding through all possible questions, naturally you would like to have a taste of the actual examination.
You can easily buy past SPM papers in the market, usually in the form of KOLEKSI or ANALISIS version. I would suggest going for ANALISIS version especially for science subjects like Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and Science.
They provide valuable insights and explanation of the theories behind each question, as well as their related topics.
Aaaaaaaand finally, you will sit for the long-awaited SPM examination in November.
The examination lasts for more than one month, so do not compromise your health while doing intensive preparations for the examination.
Remember, although results are important to secure a proper placement for tertiary education, your diligence and perseverance in studying are worth more than a few alphabets on the results slip.
As long as you work hard for it, you will surely be rewarded.
Pick up your pen, the paper is your battlefield.
7.0 The Final Goal
After a long journey of revision and attempting multiple trial papers all across Malaysia, I’ve finally achieved the first milestone in life – 10A+ in SPM. If the percentage of your results exceed a certain threshold (i.e. 95%), there is a chance of being enlisted in Program Penajaan Nasional (Top 50/100 in Malaysia).
However, this is just a starting point, as there are much more difficult challenges which lie ahead – pre-U studies, university endless coursework and the hectic working life.