Planning to Take the SPM in 2018?

Very few people get excited over the prospect of taking an exam, especially when the stakes are high. It is an extremely stressful endeavor and if you let your anxiety get the best of you, it will be difficult to overcome.

But there are ways to conquer your fears. It all comes down to the right approach. If you prepare in advance and make it a daily part of your routine, you will definitely gain an upper hand.

The 2018 SPM begins in November, which means you have plenty of time to get ready. But you really should start as soon as possible. These next few months will quickly go by and before you know it, your test date will approaching! Before we give you some useful hints for succeeding on the SPM, let us briefly discuss what the exam entails.

The Malaysian Certificate of Education, also known as Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) is a national-level exam that all fifth-year students of Malaysia must pass. It is equivalent to the O-level examination and is the second-to-last public exam that students will take before entering college.

With so much riding on the results of this test, it really does pay to start planning your preparation routine.

Six Tips That Can Help You Maximize Your Results on the SPM

Practice As Much as You Can

If you are truly motivated and want to get the highest score SPM score possible, your best bet is to take as many practice tests as you possibly can. You can start off by doing them slowly and deliberately, focusing on the different sections and figuring out general techniques. At some point you should began taking simulated tests based on the same conditions as on the actual exam (such as the time limitations and inability to use Google to help you find answers). The nice thing is that if you take practice tests enough, you will get so used to the routine that by the time November approaches and you have to take the real thing, it won’t feel any different from what you have already been doing.

Study Hard and Stay Focused

Devote some time every day – for instance, one hour - to preparing for the SPM, not just on weekends. Much like learning a language requires you to immerse yourself, you will not benefit if you are only studying for the SPM a couple days a week. In addition, when you study, actually focus on studying. It is easy to give in to temptation and watch YouTube videos or write to friends on social media. But this entirely defeats the purpose of studying, doesn’t it?

Make Sure to Find Time to Take a Break

If you have decided to devote a few hours to studying, always make sure to take a break from time to time. As a rule, for every 30 minutes that you spend prepping for the SPM, you should take a 5-minute break. This gives you enough time to listen to a song, stretch, or have a snack. Of course, it would be very easy to imagine a 5-minute break turning into 10 or 20 minutes, especially if you decide to turn on your XBOX. But wait until you have finished studying before you do something like that.

Figure out When Your Brain is at its Learning Peak

What time during the day does your break study best? For some people, they are at their learning peak the moment they wake up. For others, it is impossible to study in the morning as they feel groggy, but they are in their zone in the late evening. Everybody is different, so it is important for you to pick the time of day that works best for you. It might require a bit of experimentation, but you will eventually figure it out.

Be Organized

As you are preparing for SPM, develop a highly organized approach. Create a study schedule in advance and stick to it. Determine which parts of the test you plan to tackle on any given day. Creating a chart and measuring your progress as you take practice exams would also be effective. If you plan to use printed material, make sure to keep them organized in folders as opposed to covering the floor in your bedroom. Likewise, if you are using digital material and sources, keep the files organized neatly in folders on your computer.

Relax, Eat well and Stay Positive!

While it is perfectly normal to feel a bit off anxiety before taking an exam as important as SPM, you shouldn’t let it reach a point in which it keeps you from functioning. Use some relaxation techniques such as deep breathing exercises or yoga. Get 20 minutes of cardio every day. Play card games, do puzzles or Sudoku. Of course, you should also make sure to get enough sleep and eat properly. The morning of the exam, you should have a healthy breakfast containing a protein and complex carbs, such as the kind you find in whole grains. Finally, stay positive! Remember that while SPM is an important exam, do not see it as something scary. Instead, look at it as the next phase of your exciting life!

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