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Thursday, January 30, 2014

SPM Straight A+'s for Dummies: How to Score Straight A+'s in Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia Exam

Update: Get 2014 SPM tips and trial papers here.

Editor's Note: This guide on how to score straight A+'s in Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) was first published as an ebook in 2012. SPM 2014 candidates might find the below tips and experience sharing practical and inspiring. Start your SPM 2014 preparation now! Make sure you do not regret getting straight A's in SPM.
SPM Straight A+'s for Dummies
SPM Guide: Tips on How to Get Straight A+'s for SPM

SPM Straight A+'s for Dummies

Written by Andy Lau, SMK Section 9, Shah Alam

Hey! The name’s Andy Lau. Seriously! I’m 18 years old this year, and have just sat for the 2011 SPM. Although I’ve met with an accident (more like a fall) almost at the end of the exams, I still managed to score 10A+’s! Praise the Lord! Okay, more on that later…

In this post, I would like to share a few tips with you guys on how to score straight A+’s in your SPM exams. You may not realise this yet, but the SPM exams are really, really important if you’re looking to further your studies in the future, especially if you’re aiming at scholarships! Don’t worry, it’s not impossible. Just, not a walk in the park, that’s all…

A lot of people think that I spend hours and hours studying at home. The truth is far from that! I spend at least one hour on homework (more if I bring home a mountain) and at least one more hour revising the subjects that I’ve learned at school. The rest of the time, I spend sleeping, watching tv, gaming, photography, and the internet. You see, the secret to success is really to prioritise your work, and make the most out of the time you have. Remember, you only have 24 hours in a day.

One more thing that I would like to emphasise is your relation with teachers. Teachers are your friends, not enemies. Treat them well, and you will be treated well. I’m not saying that you have to be a suck-up to get teachers to like you. Just treat them like how you treat your parents and friends! Try not to anger them, because they are the source of your knowledge.

You also have to discover your own style of studying or revising at home. Personally, I study with music through my headphones while doing maths and accounts where all you do is count and count. I’m more of a trance guy (that’s a genre of electronic, if you didn’t know), because I find pop songs too distracting while studying. However, subjects like Biology and History need complete silence to process. And I mainly study at night, mostly because I will always fall asleep in the afternoons. :P Everyone has their own way of studying. Just find which one works best for you, and stick to it!

The most important piece of the puzzle is actually quite simple. UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU’RE LEARNING! Why I say learning is because learning is different from studying. Learning something lets you have a deeper insight on subjects. It’s pointless to stare at a book, memorise every single word, but not understand the meaning of it. So, when the teacher is teaching in front, make sure you understand what he or she is trying to tell you. If you’re confused, don’t be shy to ask for help! You can always ask your friends as well! And when you’ve finally got it down, life would be so much easier! And always remember to revise what you have learned so that you won’t forget.

Time to address one of the most used tactics of students; last minute studying! Everyone I know will always try to stuff everything in their brains before they enter the exam hall. I will also study last-minute. But, my definition of studying at the eleventh hour is actually REVISION. You don’t learn something new an hour before the exams. That would be disastrous… It’s actually important to study consistently. I know it’s really cliché, but it’s true. You should have already covered all the topics in all your subjects BEFORE you sit for your SPM. And you have to feel confident that you can ace the test! A negative attitude will only bring bad results, trust me. So, just be optimistic and think of all the fun you’re gonna have after this war called SPM is over! :D

And one last thing, try not to get into an accident before (or during) your SPM… I share this from experience. :P Try not to do anything stupid or extreme. You have plenty of time for that AFTER your exams! Just something I would like to share, I actually got the whole day to do the accounts paper, since I sat for it in ICU (head injury). No time limit! But I finished it according to the original time limit, of course ;) And you’ll get to do it in bed! HAHA! But, please don’t run into a speeding car just for this. It’s not worth it…

P.S. – What I know about this new Malaysia Education Ministry bursary (National Scholarship Programme) thing is that, you MUST have at least 9A+’s to get it. This bursary is actually a sponsorship to do matriculations, A-levels, International Baccalaureate (IB), or Form 6 (STPM), if I’m not mistaken. If you get 9A+’s and above in your SPM, you’ll automatically get it. No tests, no interviews! You just have to select what pre-U course (pre-university programmes) you want, and it’s free! I’ve registered for A-levels, as it is more recognised internationally, and it’s also quite valuable compared to matriculations. However, I’ve heard that it’s also tougher than matrics. I’ve also heard that they changed the STPM to new modular assessment system, so I have no idea on how it actually is. In the end, it all comes down to your own choice. Make sure you ask a lot of people and do some research before you make your choice!

So, that’s all that I can come up with as advice. Please, don’t just spend all your time studying. Have plenty of fun at school with your friends, because high school will be one of the best times or your lives! To all you guys and girls that will be sitting for SPM 2014, I wish you all the best! Try your hardest, because your future depends on it! God bless!
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  1. awesome ! thank you very much.........you have motivated me........><

  2. hi Andy Lau , mind you tell how to choose university ,kolej or matrikulasi or form6 ??????????????? im form5 student in tis year 2014 and im also 2014 spm candidates ,i take science stream and i wana take course engineering in my future ....... reply pls:] CONFUSED

    1. Hi! Well, as far as I know, if you're focused on doing a specific degree, such as engineering (mechanical, civil, anything), there are specific foundation programs for each one. However, those are mostly at private universities, so you have to cover the costs yourself.
      For SPM students, just do your best during SPM, and try to get under bursary (if they still have it now). Then you have a choice between A-levels, matriculations, or form6. I only have experience in A-levels, and I can say that it's quite a good choice in case you're not sure about what degree to take in the future. Please do ask around for advice, and what it's like to take these pre-U courses, because they do vary.
      For engineering, I have a few friends under bursary who successfully managed to get places overseas like UK with good A-levels results. So, it is possible! Just work for it now, when you still have the time. And don't overstress yourself.
      All the best :)

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Andy , how you study for biology ?

  4. Hello andy .
    I wana knw if can i still pass my bm if i dint score for the novel section ?

  5. Wahhh this motivated me somehow haha..sitting for chemistry tomorrow and I'm really nervous >< (not that I don't trust my brain but I'm just scared I'll forget everything I studied haha)
    Kinda curious but did you take chinese? It's one of the subjects I'm super worried about cos I never really do well in that subject orz (but it's compulsory to take in my school)

  6. Hey andy! When do you usually start studying all the chapters? What month? And how did you get all A+ for spm and trials like most of it D?

  7. Hye andy..thanks for your expertise on how to score in spm..
    Actually..im having a lots of problems in add maths and chemistry..(no chemistry at all)..its hard to understand the formula and followed the class sessions with teacher because im not in a class for several weeks(fell sick frequently)..my teacher emphasizes me to memorize it first..enventually I will understand(BUT NO!!..)..i need your tips on how to tackle all these subjects especially involving theory and calculating without wasting too much efforts and time on studying..thanks

  8. hii andy, can i know how to remember sejarah ? i got problem with.that 😥

  9. hii andy, can i know how to remember sejarah ? i got problem with.that 😥

  10. hey andy thank you for your advise .im in form 4 this year .im afraid how i am going to get straigt A1 FOR SPM . I PLAN TO do medic but i AM A ARTS STREAM STUDENT?

  11. Thank so much for the awesome tip to achieve my goal. Now I'm ready to start my mission.:-D;-)

  12. Thank so much for the awesome tip to achieve my goal. Now I'm ready to start my mission.:-D;-)

  13. Hi,brother andy lau im m.thevanraj n tis year im form 5. The tips u had told was so much useful to me n thanks 4 it brother. Nw im following the tips as well as i could n it makes a different to me. Thanks alot brother.

  14. Hi :-) Andy lau how to choose university,kolej????? I'm form 5student in tix year...i take sains sukan class...so which course correct to study for sains sukan class

  15. Hello Andy Law...Thnx for sharing yr experiences..I hope it will help me alot..Im form 5 next year 2017.I'm in science stream except biologi.Meanwhile im taking accounts as i wants to become an accountant...Would you help me on is there any courses 2 be a accountant or wht type of scholarship should i take...Im really confused


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