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Friday, September 04, 2015



Tips On How To Study 4 Days Before Your 2015 UPSR Exams

Note: This last minute exam tips were specifically written for students sitting for the 2015 UPSR examinations to help them prepare and countdown to the exams but they can be used as last minute preparation tips for students sitting for any exam.

This is a guest post by Vathsala Subathiran. Vathsala has been teaching home tuition for the past 5 years. Prior to becoming a full time home tutor, she was lecturing in a University for 15 years. She is a Master of Computer Science graduate from University of Malaya. She specializes in Computer Science and Networking and is starting PhD in Education next year at University of Malaya. You can read more about Vathsala on our Parent/Tutor Forum.

We would also like to thank Classroom Clipart for the school clipart used in this article.

The following tips are 100% based on my own experience and therefore I believe students will use their own discretion to decide what is best for them. As a lecturer and home tutor, I deal with tens of students every single day. I understand the struggles my students go through whenever the exam dates are close. Hence, I have compiled a list of things you can do to help you be more prepared in a shorter period of time. This is a method tried and tested by me and some of my students and it worked out well for us. I hope it will do the same for you too.


DAY 4 (4th SEPT 2015)

1. STAY CALM
Staying calm helps you stay focused on what you need to achieve instead of on the horror of the exam. When you are nervous or panicky, you lose focus and your mind gets mixed up. This will cause you to forget what you have studied so far. This will even be worse if you have not done your revisions well. You will not be able to think clearly or even recall what you have studied. So, keep cool and stay calm all the time. You can do this by taking regularly short breaks in between revisions. Do light exercises to stretch your muscles. You most probably had been sitting all day long.

2. GET ENOUGH SLEEP
Avoid studying until late at night. Instead try to wake up early to study. This way you will be fresher throughout the day. According to Andrew J. Fuligni, professor of psychiatry and bio-behavioral sciences at UCLA, if you do not get enough sleep at night, you are more likely to have problems understanding what you are studying the next day, and eventually do very badly in exams. So, instead of staying up late, make sure that you get a good 6 – 7 hours sleep at night and wake up earlier than usual to study. At this time your brain will be lighter and be more ready to absorb more information.

3. EAT HEALTHY AND DRINK PLENTY OF WATER
Breakfast is the most important meal for everyone because it is supposed to supply you energy to carry out tasks throughout the day. However, many students tend to skip this most important meal of the day. The reason being not enough time or rushing to school. Studies show that eating a healthy breakfast not only improves a student’s concentration in classroom but also performance in tests. This is also true if you are studying for exams especially at the last minute. A healthy breakfast comprise of all the important nutrients such as protein, fibre, calcium, vitamins and carbohydrate. Avoid taking carbohydrate-only breakfast as it does not last more than two hours. So, choose your breakfast wisely but quickly during exam week. Drink water regularly throughout the day as water is another important component for your body, especially for students in Malaysia due to the bad haze condition. Avoid going out unnecessary and keep yourself hydrated all the time. Water is needed to dissolve and carry the nutrients all over the body and to the brain.

4. START REVIEWING THE CHAPTERS 
This is the most important task of the day as this will determine what you are going to send into and keep in your brain until your exams. Skim through all the main topics in your textbook and try to remember them, including the subtopics in each main. Close the book and write down all the main topics with their subs. on a small piece of paper.

5. PREPARE SHORT NOTES
For each topic and sub-topics, prepare short notes using your own words. This is very important as this is what you will be doing in the exam, i.e., writing in your own words. If you have not practiced this before, than this is your only chance. Try to recall all the main points that you have covered in each topic and subs. If you are able to do at least 70% of these, then you are in the right track. This itself will boost your self-confidence to a higher level and encourage you to do more. If you are unable to do so, then don’t worry. You are still allowed to cheat. Go back to the topic or sub-topic you are having trouble recalling, and read them through quickly but calmly. Now, rewrite the points without seeing the book. Remember! This day is only for preparing the short notes and not doing any extensive revision yet. So, do not over-stress yourself.

6. PREPARE FLASH CARDSAlthough this step is optional, it may be very useful if you managed to do it. For each topic and it’s sub, create a small flash card. For example, cut an A4 paper into 4 pieces. On each piece, write the main topic, sub-topic and a question from that topic. One the back of the paper, write the answer. Once you have done all these, you are ready to use them on day 3.

7. AVOID LOOKING UP NEW MATERIALS

At this point of time, avoid buying new reference materials or model exam papers. This is because, a new material may present one or more new stuff which you may not have seen before. This will create further nervous breakdown and you will instantly lose focus. Instead, just refer to all the materials you have been using for the past three years. Each time, remember to look at what mistakes you have made and what is the correct way to answer. Answers after correcting mistakes are rather easier to remember than first-time correct answers.

8. TAKE REGULAR SHORT BREAKSDon’t forget to take regular short breaks as your brain need to rest as well. Trying to cramp everything in one go will not help. Each time you feed something new into your brain, it takes time to be processed. If you keep pushing new stuff without stop, your brain will do the same, i.e., push the old stuff away to receive the new. So, you will lose the old stuff. You can take 10 minutes breaks every ½ hour. There’s nothing wrong in it. After all, you are not going for a war.

9. START REVIEWING THURSDAY’S (10th SEPT 2015) SUBJECTS
Ok. You are now ready to start your actual revision. . What should you do first? This is the day you should start revising the subjects whose exam falls on Thursday. Use all the short notes and flash cards prepared to do your quick and efficient revision. In case you have doubts about a certain topic, do not hesitate to open up the book to look up.

DAY 3 (5th SEPT 2015)


1. STAY CALM
Remember! Saying calm help you focus more.
2. GET ENOUGH SLEEP
Remember! Not enough sleep equals to poor performance.

3. EAT HEALTHY AND DRINK PLENTY OF WATER
Remember! Breakfast supplies more energy to sustain you throughout the day.

4. START REVIEWING WEDNESDAY’S (9th SEPT 2015) SUBJECTS
On this day, you can start revising the subjects whose exams fall on Wednesday. If you wish you can also do group study with your friends, but make sure that you don’t spend more than 10 minutes in travelling. Only do group studies with friends who live near your house. Word of caution: You and your friends should always remember that time is DIAMOND at this point and hence strict discipline should be observed.

DAY 2 (6th SEPT 2015)

1. STAY CALM, GET ENOUGH SLEEP, EAT HEALTHY AND DRINK PLENTY OF WATER

2. START REVIEWING TUESDAY’S (8th SEPT 2015) SUBJECTS
As you know, Tuesdays, which is the first day of your UPSR exam is a very important day because on this day you have 3 major papers: Bahasa Melayu Pemahaman, Bahasa Melayu Penulisan and Mathematics Paper 2. All three papers are hard so you need more time revising these subjects. That is the reason I have allocated 2 full days for these. So, for today, you can start with either B.M or Maths. If I were you, I would definitely choose to do B.M first. B.M has a lot of stuff to remember. Knowing that I have 2 full days will give me the courage and confidence to start the day. A famous personal development coach called Brian Tracy has recommended that completing the most difficult task first thing in morning help you to better manage your time for the rest of your day. In your case, the most difficult subject could be either Maths or B.M. So choose wisely. Make sure that you know the correct format for surat rasmi, surat tidak rasmi, laporan, berita, etc. You must also know most of the popular peribahasa, simpulan bahasa, perumpamaan, sinonim, antonim, etc. DO NOT TRY to learn anything NEW.

DAY 1 (7th SEPT 2015)

1. STAY CALM, GET ENOUGH SLEEP, EAT HEALTHY AND DRINK PLENTY OF WATER
This is your last day of revision. DO NOT PANIC. Do what is necessary to keep your body and mind in healthy state.

2. START REVIEWING TUESDAY’S (8th SEPT 2015) SUBJECTS
If you have done your B.M yesterday, then you can start with your Maths today. As Maths is all about formulas, you need not worry much as you would have already mastered all of them throughout your school years. Maths formulas are easy to remember if you have been practicing regularly. On this day, all you need to do is to just go through all the important formulas especially the difference between perimeter and area of a given shape. Many of my students often get confused between these two. Remember, perimeter means adding the lengths of all the sides, where else area means multiplying the length and width (basically two adjacent sides). You must also know how to do unit conversions correctly as there will definitely be one or two questions on this. You may still practice more questions but make sure you are calm. Remember to take regular breaks and rest whenever necessary. Avoid locking yourself in a room as you need a lot of oxygen, unless this works for you. Most importantly, avoid group studies at this stage. This is because, having more students means more noise and more distractions. Moreover, your friend might bring up a new concept which he/she might have seen in his revision books or heard from someone, which you may not know about at all. This is cause you to panic, a situation we would not want to even think about on this day.



Now you are ready to face your exams. I hope you find my tips helpful.

Good luck!

Don't miss part 2 of this article: Exam Day Tips For UPSR Students

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2 comments:

  1. Very nice post. the methods given will be very useful even for nomal study strategy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello vyzvam, thank you for dropping by our blog. Yes definitely these strategies are useful for everyone, not only those sitting for the UPSR exams. We will convey your kind words to our guest writer. :)

      Delete

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