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Sunday, December 21, 2014

Why last-minute study? – Plus some tips to do so ☺

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Why last-minute study? – Plus some tips to do so ☺

by Wan Qing [Writing Contest 2014 ★ Winner ★]

Hi there. Don’t think it’s wrong to study at the eleventh hour when exam is around the corner. I truly understand secondary school students don’t have much time to study, because they are surrounded by homework, assignments, projects, oral tests, tuitions, co-curricular activities, personal stuff like blogging, fb-ing, outing etc. A week of 5 days at school and the rest is weekend.  But, sometimes, weekend is taken by school authority to conduct school activity like Sports Day, Jogathon and so on. Sometimes, they even use it as replacement school day for previous holiday. Well, secondary school students’ life is never been an easy one, so minus this and that, how many hours you left to do revision? Hardly more than 3-4 hours per week. If you are good enough in time management then you’ll have no problem. But what if you are not? What if you are as lazy as I am? So, I highly recommend last-minute study to you guys who encounter the problems above.

Last Minute Study Tips
Last Minute Study Tips / PicCredit

Now, let me do a little bit of frequently asked questions (FAQ) here.

Q: Did you try last-minute study before?
A: Haha! My answer is YES!!! And I did that throughout my whole secondary school life.

Q: Usually do you manage to finish all the revisions in time?
A: No, not really. I just look through short notes I made or given by my teachers.

Q: Do you manage to obtain satisfied results in the end every time after doing so?
A: Satisfied grades maybe. At least got an A or the worst will only be a B.

Q: Did you do that during your latest exam?
A: My latest exam is the big one, SPM, last year. And yes, I did last-minute study too.

Q: So what’s your SPM result?
A: Full A’s of 9A+ and 1A-. I’m not trying to boast about my result but just telling you that I can do it, there’s no reason why you can’t.

Q: Can every student use this method?
A: I can’t guarantee haha. I don’t want to be blamed as well. So, I can only say I highly recommend this for secondary school students. I’m not sure whether last-minute study can be used during college years.

Q: Will I fail my exam for doing so?
A: Hmm, worry not. You’ll never fail. I never fail my exams for doing so, so just make me as an example for you.

Q: Will it work?
A: Well, never try you’ll never know. But trust me, it won’t waste your money. There’s no bad trying.

Okay, after the FAQ section, here’s the section of why last-minute study? Here’s a list of few reasons.

1. You can remember better.

I can’t use scientific facts or investigations to point out or prove this. But for me, last-minute study makes me remember better compared to normal regular revision. The reason for this I think is probably because when there is a need to revise, and when you are under stress, you’ll try to pack in as much knowledge as you can.

2. People expect the least hard work and the best outcome.

If compared to regular revision, last-minute study is less time-consuming. In short, this act shows the laziness in you. I’m sure you have friends who always play and never see them study but when results come out, their results are even better than yours. Here’s a bit of tip, if you want something, don’t just work hard, work smart is more important. Last-minute study with the correct way brings you the best outcome.  Yea, your parents will surely nag about that, but when they see your outstanding results, they will be proud of you, trust me.

3. You barely squeeze out your time to do self-revision regularly.

The reasons I said so is just the same as my opening paragraph. Nowadays secondary school student life is quite busy. And they need to cover lots of subjects, like in Science stream; you may need to study 10 subjects. Some students even take extra subject like Account or Arts. That adds in a lot of trouble for you to divide your time between subjects. When you finish your homework after school it’s already almost 5 o’clock. After that you might go and take your bath, eat up your dinner and go for your tuition. When you return home after tuition, your whole day is like “Arghh! I didn’t even revise or study yet!” so you probably will feel sorry and regretful for doing nothing. But, you can make a difference by doing last-minute study.

Below are some tips about last-minute study.

1. Don’t panic.

Remember, never panic. Even though you have only one day left, don’t get panic that easily. This is because when you panic, you can’t do things well.  You can’t bring the best of you out. You get what I mean? Panic will only harm you by haunting you with the disadvantages of last-minute study and increase your possibility of getting low grades.

**Solution: Think again what your teachers have taught you recently.  Prepare a pencil and jot down the possibility of questions coming out. List down whatever things you remember and what you don’t remember. Then, when you think you are done, immediately find the answers for what you don’t remember.  After that, if you feel like you still have time to study, then go ahead to do some model tests or look through short notes.

2. Plan and prepare.

Well, last-minute study doesn’t mean you don’t have to plan. The date of school exams is usually announced one month earlier. So, you can use the first week after receiving the exam timetable to plan what to study. Let’s say if you want to study three days before the first paper, prepare all the things you might need like notes, exercises and reference book in case you think you still have time to revise all that.

3. Follow your study mood.

If you still don’t have the mood to study one month before the exam, don’t force yourself to study. I tried before to force myself study, but it doesn’t last long. I know I’m not that kind of person who used to revise regularly, so I better choose the easy way out. Hmm, I think you too think the same right? Maybe by force it will result in the opposite way I supposed.

**Advice: But you can’t say you don’t have study mood all the time. You must always remind yourself, results are essential for your future, and study is a need to survive. So, how to induce study mood? You can approach yourself to your friends who are preparing for exams, listen to what they revise, what they learn, what’s their problem and so on. If possible, join your friends’ study group and contribute your knowledge as well. After the day, I think you’ll probably find your study mood.

4. Tidy up your study room.

This is a good habit and should be cultivated since young though I don’t usually do that unless being scolded by my parents lol. But I compared several times between the differences. If you tidy up your study room, your notes will be reachable and organized. I know that because when coming up to Form 4 or 5, you will start to have multiple notes of different subjects from school, tuitions, or from your elder sisters and brothers. So, your desk must be scattered with all the papers. When you need to find notes to study, I’m sure you’ll start to lose your temper like what I did.

**Solution: So, tidy up all the notes. Which is used more frequent? Put them in files of different colour so that you can easily recognize.  Separate your notes subject by subject, then progressively, topic by topic. After doing that, you’ll see the difference.

5. Concentrate when teacher is teaching.

This is super helpful as I did the same. Don’t always talk rubbish when teacher is teaching. Listen carefully what your teacher say, and always remember to bring your own notebook to jot down important points. Some teachers are even good enough to tell you what questions usually come out in the exam, and what topic is not popular. Many people say that Biology is hard. But, there are some students who only practice this tip without going tuition but manage to get A+ in Biology. If the lesson is bored, try to do something make yourself feel refresh for instance doing some stretching, drinking some water or asking permit to go to toilet and wash your face. Don’t look down on these little things, because when you start to get bored and can’t focus, you can’t organize things in the way you want.

6. Don’t make notes at last minute.

Making notes at last minute will only waste your time. You will feel stressful when you study last-minute, and you might want to use the shortest time to finish what you’ve learnt, so don’t waste time on unnecessary things, unless it’s the note you made before. And if you have your self-made notes, it’s better to look through because the notes are based on your own understanding.

7. Switch off your phone and computer.

This will make somebody insane I guess haha. Well, you want to do last-minute study and yet you don’t want to sacrifice? This doesn’t make sense okay. Asking you to switch off those electronic gadgets is purposed to reduce distraction so that you can focus well. You can play background music of course if you want to, but not those rock music or DJ songs, you’ll know what happen next – you’ll try to follow the rhythm of the music and try to sing. I usually listen to R&B, jazz, blue, guitar instrumental etc. Adjust the volume so that it’ll only be background music, something like 20% to at most 60%.

8. Remember to motivate yourself.

It’s important to do so even when people look down on you. I’m sure when you start to do last-minute study; your parents will scold you for doing that. But!!! But!!! Don’t care what they say, just move on. Keep on telling yourself you can do it no matter what they say. Just imagine, if you lose self-motivation, you’ll start crying and regretting for what you’ve done before. So, remind yourself past is the past. You can’t go back and change it anymore. Don’t immerse yourself in the past. So, grab the time left and utilize it to the fullest.

9. Study during the breaks between tests.

I’m sure there will be breaks between tests.  It ranges from 20 minutes to 1 hour. So, use that time to study after you eat or you can eat and study at the same time. And, remember; don’t look at the mistakes you’ve done in the exam hall okay. This can’t help you much. In fact, this makes you feel down and tremble in fear. So, always ask yourself what’s the next paper and go for it. Don’t look back at the previous papers unless your exam has ended.
Wan Qing

So, let me conclude this. Honestly, you have your choice to not believe in what I suggest. Well, it’s up to you haha. I’m just sharing my own study tips here. And I hope these tips are helpful to you all. Don’t get crammed or screwed up.

Finally, all the best in your exams! Good luck and bye ☺

Update: discuss and share your opinion on this topic here.

WanQing is an eighteen-year-old girl just graduated from secondary school and now considering to go for Malaysian Matriculation. She blogs too!
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