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Saturday, August 23, 2014

SPM 2019 Tips: How to Score Straight A+'s in SPM

Who Says You’re Not Gonna Score?

by Hoe Zhan Hui [Writing Contest 2014 ★ Winner ★]

SPM Tips Straight A+

So, who said so?

All in all, I am not talking about anyone scoring a hat trick in a soccer game. I’m talking about real business! I mean, some serious study plan! Everyone wants to be somebody. I wish to score STRAIGHT A+ in SPM, you too! Now, what to do? Easy…

1) Leave everything behind (for the time being while doing something)
‘One target at a time.’ It’s more effective in reducing your overall workload and stress. Trust me, you’ll feel much lighter. I won’t say, ‘Prioritise’. It’s more like getting the job done rather than prioritizing something else that you should not be. FOCUS on the task in hand. Say, you are in chemistry class. Then, don’t do other stuffs during your chemistry class. Strictly, only do chemistry stuffs. It’s a good time to finish your undone chemistry homework!

2) Blend in with the education system
Hey, don’t go fussing about the downside of our education system. Eventually, you’ll be the one going through it. Save your effort! You don’t like to memorise, do you? Well, don’t memorise! Instead, you lean on the ‘practicing’ approach. Trust me, you won’t even realize that you could answer questions you are already so familiar with. This technique is much more effective for slow-learners like me! I need all the time I could get to digest raw information and making them a part of me. However, some ‘facts and figures’ are unavoidable. You need to memorise somehow. But here’s the trick. You practice ‘remembering’ the facts. In other words, you might need a few days, maybe weeks to get them familiar with. You will remember them in times of need!

3) Never stop asking stupid questions! – Not annoying ones
Have you ever wanted to know minute details of how to solve a question but sounded like asking stupid questions? This is perfectly fine in my point of view as long as you stick to the rule of thumb. Firstly, don’t ask repetitive questions, it’s annoying, yes. Secondly, explain what you are trying to do before asking what you wish to know further. You get the picture. Feeling better? Keep your questions simple and straight to the point. By asking always, I actually knew what to do when I’m on my own during my exams! Glad I asked. Believe me, trying to be stupid to gain extra info is better than trying to be “Mr-Know-It-All”.
You Can Do It
4) Dream BIG & Dream ON!
You got to have something in your mind that you want so badly! In this case, say, “I want straight A+ in SPM!” Now, I got a BIG dream and I must literally ‘dream on’ to keep the spark alive in me. With this, I’ll have just the right push to be successful. Motivation is a very powerful tool to spur one on. No man will be successful doing things that they themselves are not passionate about. To quote it, you must be goal-oriented and optimistic plus a little bit of extra effort. Bon voyage!
Walt Disney if you can dream it you can do it

Narrowing down on how to do well in different subjects…

a) Language Subjects (Bahasa Melayu & English)

How often do you speak Malay Language or English? You might find them a little difficult to score in exams. However, surprisingly, some can write better than they speak. In writing a piece of essay, it’s all about expressing out your ideas. Having good ideas are as important as knowing how to write.
  • Start practicing your grammars.
  • Try grabbing maximum scores in grammar, comprehension and literature sections.
    • Grammar – Start off easy with building simple sentences to writing complex and compound sentences with beautiful words in it. Here, I’m not stressing on bombastic words but anyhow a handful of beautiful words would definitely suffice to add colours to your essay.
    • Comprehension – Grammatical errors in this section are rarely penalized as this part tests on the ability of a student understanding a passage. As long as you write down the answers that are understandable, you might be in your way to scoring a few marks here.
  • Don’t cheat in your literature sections by just reading the synopsis on everything. This is not going to work.
b) The Sciences (Physics, Chemistry & Biology)

Science subjects are often the far most interesting ones in school, well, at the very least.
  • Start off slowly by doing topical assessments, which includes actual-exams format questions.
    • By doing this, you’ll get to know every topic inside out. (Possible questions, definitions, level of difficulty and most importantly, your mastery of the topics.)
  • Do questions first before memorising facts.
    • Frankly speaking, I can’t memorise facts on the go. Instead, I felt better memorising facts in question form that is a much easier technique. The question and answer are paired. Thus, the moment when you look at questions even if they’re twisted, you’ll still know the answer.
  • Paper 2 is where you need to pay attention to the most.
    • Throw away PMR habit of spending so much time revising objective questions.
    • In exercise books, there are already answers provided in factual form for essay practices. Make them your “reference book”! It is a much easier and convenient way to look at your facts than reading your thick, bulky reference book, which you don’t even know where to start!
c) Math Subjects

Again, all you need is practice, practice and practice.
  • Get yourself familiarize with all types of questions.
  • Use the ‘topical approach' mentioned earlier in (b).
  • In Additional Math Paper 2, you’ll normally find ‘application questions’.
    • Therefore, start practicing with real-exam format questions after understanding the concepts of each topic on the whole.
    • Invest more time on the must-score questions especially in Section A and Section C just to play it safe. The topics involved are still manageable like the ‘Index Numbers’ and ‘Simultaneous Equations’. At least, you can still get a good mark if Section B is too hard.
  • Modern Mathematics should not be a problem compared to Additional Mathematics.
    • Some easier questions do carry a lot of mark such as the ‘Venn diagram’ or the ‘Plane and Elevation’.
    • Again, practise more and you’ll get the hang of it! This subject would be easy if you did your homework back in lower secondary.
Good Luck in Your SPM
d) History and Moral
  • Start early.
    • By doing so, you not only create more time to remember the facts, but also lessening your burden during last-minute study.
  • History
    • Use the ‘topical approach’ to remember facts from each topic without jumbling up everything.
    • Refer and answer questions simultaneously.
    • Slowly after some time, try answering without textbooks. You don’t want ending up being too dependent on textbooks, right?
    • A must-score in Paper 2. Using the same technique, use answers provided at the back of the exercise books as quick notes! They are perfect to use as long as the facts are extracted from the official textbooks.
  • Moral
    • There is nothing much to do but to memorise the definitions first.
    • Easily, you can break down any one of the definitions into key words on the spot. You save all the time memorising definitions alone and then key words another.
    • Last year, there were slight modifications in the format! That was pretty scary. I was thinking whether I should approach the questions like what I used to do before or to use a totally different approach according to the new instructions. Well, I packed in both just to be on the safe side. Quite lengthy answer, though.
Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS)

So, what’s the moral of the story? Be flexible! ‘Blend in’, remember?

This year, questions requiring higher order thinking skills (HOTS) might be trending. Anyhow, think out of the box! Remember, you can always apply concepts and formulas that you have learnt in class. The problem is, how can they be applied in a question itself?

Hoe Zhan Hui
I really do hope the techniques shared earlier will come in handy! Those are just my personal opinions and experiences throughout my years in school. I was once an SPM student no more than any of you. Enjoy your secondary school life and hey, WHO SAYS YOU’RE NOT GONNA SCORE!
Make yourself SHINE. Make the people around you PROUD!

Hoe Zhan Hui, 18, has achieved 10A+ in his SPM and also 7As in his PMR. He opted to continue his study in Taylor’s College Sri Hartamas for the IB Diploma Programme under KPM Bursary and is still waiting for the Maybank Scholarship Award scholarship. He is a slow starter but that’s not stopping him to achieve his goals! His life goal? He is interested in tech entrepreneurship and he wished to take up computer engineering course. He dreamt of having all the modern science fiction technology coming to life one day!
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  1. I will try the tips that you shared here.

  2. The tips are time tested and would definitely benefit our students.

    As the old saying goes, "practice makes perfect."

    Advisable to go through the fundamentals steps, ie. read, understand, practise past exam questions, etc. Ask the teacher or private tutor. Best way to learn is also asking.

  3. hey...im 17 this year..and just finished my spm trials... i would likely to ask your help ..please are there any scholarships than i can apply using my trial results...i am eagerly wanna go overseas to further my studies..please reply soon..thanks a lot..

  4. will u give some short advice to me ? so that I can motivate and feel more confidence to myself that I can do the spm well ??

    1. Hi Eyka, I'm sorry I didn't get back to you in time. Hope you're doing well!

  5. Hey, pavithra here.Thank you,i was able to confirm i'm on the right path.Dreaming big to get 9A+

    1. Hey pavithra, great to see you inspired now and don't let the flames go out!

  6. Hi, i'm having trial spm this week. Thank you, for the tips given. Wish me luck!

  7. Will be sitting for spm in another 20 days from now.Thanks for the advice,will be useful and yeah who said i can't do it? ;).All the best for the 2015 SPM batch! And again thanks for the tips feeling much more confident now

  8. My spm trial result really sucks. I only got 4A and failed Modern Maths and Add Maths. I'm totally not good with calculations or formulae and only can depends on subjects that doesn't need to use calculator such as BM, English, History and Agama. But strangely I managed to score C+ for Physics. Maybe because the questions doesn't add much calculations and formulas or whatever.
    SPM is less than 2 weeks and honestly my confidence level is zero. I know this is not good but I just don't know howwww :((((

    Sorry I typed too much :((

    1. This is just your feelings because you dont have the confidence. Try to mix yourself with your friend who will teach you when you dont how to answer some questions. I had an experienced when my trial only got 3 A and i really really sucks in Bio. But i try to learn and accept that subject. I stayed at home and didn't went to school just because i want to concentrate with my bio. And finally in spm, i got B+ for that subject. Thanks god because i never ever get B in my bio subject. So i just want to say that try to act cool but at the same times try to be a hardworking student. Hope this is helping. (Even i know this might seems not help you)

    2. Do not be disheartened. Remember that we are not judged based on the grades we achieved but the process we have been through.

      Hope that this helps your confidence level. I find this TedTalk inspiring and mitigates any self-confidence issue within myself.

      Ted Talk link:

  9. Useful Tips and hope it will help me to score 6A in Spm


  10. Hi, 5 more days till spm but Im not working as hard as I did during trials... How can i stop myself from being too comfortable and overly satisfied with my results? Lol. I got straight As but I do want to get straight A+ if possible..

    1. i worked super hard during trials because there are many things i have to do to up my grades, but now it seems that i have achieved some.. Lol... Do u get my problem here ORZ

    2. Hello, perhaps you could try reviewing the exams papers and tests papers that you have taken before for every subject. Find out what you did not do or what topics that you have not mastered completely. After identifying them, I suggest you to practice the questions in those topics with topical exercise books and SPM clone questions. You could buy SPM past year papers that are divided into topics. Hope this helps. All the best!

  11. Hello,just done my BM paper yesterday...I forget to write the number soalan on top but I write it besides,is it okay...will I fail T.T ?

    1. Don't worry too much about it. Focus on your next paper. I am sure that examiners will not penalize you. Since you did indicate your question number, that is fine. One of the marking criteria is that students answer questions accurately. Again, don't worry too much about it. All the best!

  12. Thanks for your advice! I got 9a+ on my end year exam. But I need more help from you. Should i do more topical assessments or trial/real spm questions? I'm form 4 right now btw

    1. You can definitely work on the topical trial/real spm questions. This will be more helpful because you can identify the topics which you are weak in. Since you have not learn about concepts in Form 5, you can start pre-reading your Form 5 textbooks and then doing some exercises for those new concepts. Don't forget to give yourself some break. Since you have worked hard, do take a break off from academics for a while! Good luck Haziq.

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  14. I completed all of form 5 syllabus. I think all of the subject except Sejarah are very simple. Should i focus more on that or treat every subject equally?

    1. Good to hear that! There's so much more in the world. If I were you, I'll definitely give myself the opportunity to explore things outside of school. I feel that the things that I did in and outside of school offer valuable experience that cultured the my thinking process and taught me how to bring the best out of others and myself. My advice: Start shaping the life that you want and work towards your goals. I, personally, participated in an international trip but also used the holidays to push myself back on track. I was slacking in Form 4 for being overcommitted in too many activities. I did not regretted my choices because I gave myself the chances to discover what my strengths and weaknesses were. Since you believe that you are on track, feel free to go out of your comfort zone! Enjoy your life. Don't stress yourself too much. In a talk that I attended a few months ago, the speaker gave us an advice so important that I would not forget. He said, "I don't believe in work-life balance. But, I believe that we should be unbalanced." What he meant was: prioritising. You worked hard for a year. Now, take the time off to move yourself to the other end of the swing and then you're ready to snap back in full force next year. All the best!

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  16. Hi zhan hui. I'm shida. I'll be taking spm on next year. Yeah of course I'm nervous and get motivated after read your tips. But then again I will back to my old self.. Too much relaxing. I knew this isn't good but I still don't make any progress .its a concern for me ,I have a lot of concerns . I'm sorry its too much but could u please help me~~

    1.I find physic is more way easier than chemistry.I can't score in my chemistry. Its like I don't know what I have been learning through all this year. Idk an efficient way to learn chemistry. I have tried but I just can't.so, could u please tell me seriously,how to study or how do u study in chemistry ???

    2.i chosen acc bcs I don't have any interest in bio but its not like Im interested in acc either. But now, I can't score in my acc ..what should I do now.. Please give me some tips in order to score and study acc....~~

    3.I'm a Malay but my English marks is more better than Bm m I felt bad abt this. But at the same time I don't want my English marks drop but getting improve....

    4.Idont know what I'm going to be in the future. I don't have any ambition or what course should I take.. People said that it is the time for me to know what I'm going to do or my target.

    5.my classmates are too loud.. I can't focus in class whenever I do revisions
    If I asked them to study,they said stop showing off and Ignored me ..then I just end up joined them..haizZz

    6.I always sleepy in class especially in the afternoon.. I knew I should get enough sleep but then do I study/ revision..??
    Ps:I'm a boarding school's student.

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  18. Hi. Just want to know how to get A+ for sejarah. I find it very difficult understanding sejarah. Any study tips for sejarah? Tq

  19. Hi. Just want to know how to get A+ for sejarah. I find it very difficult understanding sejarah. Any study tips for sejarah? Tq

  20. I found it very very hard to get A+ for BI BM and BC even harder with the HOTS coming in. Please help me. Is it that to play safe, we always have to choose story to write for the English essay?

  21. HI, I'am an O-level Student from 2010 and now taking SPM this year privately.Your tips are really promising for me. As you can see, I don't even know where to start or comprehend all these subjects because of inexperienced ( and 5 years leaving a school behind ) about local educational system. Do you have any advice for me ? What should I do ? Thank you.

  22. I need help in managing my time for studies since I'm taking 12 sibjecs and targeting A+ in all the subjects

  23. Thanks for provide these tips,I will more learn from you

  24. Thanks for provide these tips,I will more learn from you

  25. hey thanks for the tips , can you give me tips on how to make my english better .I really have problems with english (( as you can say right now hihi )) * I am looking for your reply , thanks *

  26. Thank u for giving effective tips that could boost my confidence level

  27. Thank you for the good tip. Btw, good luck for ur future put there!

  28. I dislike SPM... (some subjects are somewhat unrelated to my future reasons). :(

  29. I'm just afraid I fail bm and sejarah that end up not getting a certificate for higher education.

  30. Thank you very much :) I really want to achieve 10A+

  31. Pray for us #batch02..Thanks for your impressive tips..Congratulations too on your achievement..Hopefully will have a good achievement too like you


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