There is an immense pressure on secondary school students in Singapore to score excellent results for the ‘O’ Level examinations. This is because studying in the ‘elite’ junior colleges or the more prestigious courses in polytechnics are widely viewed as the key indicators or benchmark of success. As a result, a lot of the youth in Singapore spend their formative years ‘mugging’ extremely hard in order to meet these expectations. It is common for them to develop bad habits such as skipping meals or getting insufficient rest so that they have ‘more time’ to study. This is actually counterproductive and detrimental to their body. Instead, taking care of one’s health and adopting good habits are the secret to achieving good results for the examinations. Read on to find out what are some of the good habits you can adopt to help you score better.
1. Growing your mind
Oftentimes students get demoralized when they receive results that do not meet their expectations. They start to feel like they are not smart enough or that they are limited by their own innate ability. These are actually traits of a fixed mindset and it hinder students from reaching their potential. Instead, it is vital for students to adopt a growth mindset towards learning. A growth mindset is one where students believe that they are not limited by their ‘intelligence’ and that they are able to become smarter if they work harder. This mindset helps gives them the motivation and drive to push themselves towards achieving their goals and not simply accept failure as an outcome. One way in which you can adopt such a mindset is to embrace failure as an opportunity to learn and grow. Pursue new and exciting challenges and be open to making mistakes, no one will fault you for not getting things right at first. Refrain from having to constantly appear smart or capable as it plateaus your own development by making you afraid of failure and only sticking to what you already know.
2. Organizing your mess!
Many students underestimate the impact of being organized on getting good results as they are unable to see the link between them. It is common for students to have stacks upon stacks of paper with their most recent materials at the top for convenience. Picking up the habit of filing and categorizing your materials according to subjects, topics and date is essential. Being organized actually helps to make your materials appear more manageable and accessible. You will have a better sense of the amount that you have to cover and can allocate your time accordingly. It also helps when you know exactly where all your materials are and can access them easily when you need to refer to something instead of having to sieve through a mountain of paper each time. Being organized also helps to bring order to your environment and indirectly your mind ensuring that you are in the optimal state when revising for your exams.
3. Food is fuel
There is a tendency for students to have poor diets and irregular mealtimes. Secondary school students have very packed schedules due to the vast number of subjects that they have to take and many of them opt for the convenience of fast food when making meal choices or even intentionally skipping meals. Your diet actually plays a huge role in your academic success as having a nutritious and balanced diet helps to keep you healthy, energetic and more importantly, prevents you from falling ill – which is the worst thing that can happen when you are revising or sitting from an exam. Fast foods do not contain enough vitamins or minerals to keep you healthy and may even cause you to become more lethargic. Regular mealtimes also helps to ensure that you have the energy to sustain you through a long day of studying and helps you to remain productive throughout the day.
4. Power of focus
Many students are finding it more and more difficult to focus due to the many forms of distractions available in this day and age. Their attention is divided into their WhatsApp notifications, social media accounts, mobile games and studies etcetera. This makes it difficult for them to concentrate on their most important task, preparing for their examination, as they can easily get instant gratification elsewhere. Many students believe that they can multitask and accomplish many things at once, however this is a common misconception. Removing distractions such as turning off your phone or mobile data and allowing your brain to focus on one task, your revision, is actually the most efficient and productive way to study. This is what your brain is best at and it will help you to make consistent progress in one area at a time!
5. Sleeping to success
Our final tip for you is to make sure you get enough sleep. A lot of students are not getting sufficient rest due to schools starting early in the morning or them ‘burning midnight oil’ in a bid to cover more material in a day. This is actually counterproductive and detrimental to your exam preparation. Sleep is an essential biological process that helps you to consolidate the information you acquire and recall while you are awake. Without enough sleep, you will not be able to retain what you have studied earlier on in the day and this will result in your efforts going to waste. Adequate sleep also prevents you from being sleepy and unable to focus throughout the day by keeping you refreshed, energetic and at your creative best – helping you solve questions you might otherwise not be able to solve!
The aforementioned habits will not only help students to cope with the rigors of school life but also enables them to prepare for their ‘O’ levels more effectively and efficiently, allowing them to be in their peak condition and achieve excellent results. Adopting these habits will also stand them in good stead in the future when they move on to higher education where the stress they have to deal with increases exponentially. Habits such as eating well and getting enough rest are also vital in ensuring they remain healthy in the long run!