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Mr Chen's anecdotes.

Cramming for Exams 101

(Disclaimer: I do not condone last minute cramming for exams.

Start your revision early!

Yes I am referring to you here.)

Alright, let's be real. Most of us have found ourselves in the precarious position of having WA the next day with 0 revision done.

We get it. We're living in a digital age and there's a plethora of distractions out there. On top of that, we have to juggle so many other commitments.

At this point, you will likely feel insanely stressed out because you've got only 1 night to make your revision count.

"I'm not panicking, I'm just tripling my revision by using three devices."

If you find yourself in this situation, don't panic. Not all hope is lost. While we cannot reverse the clock or time travel to gain you some extra time, you can still make the most out of whatever time you've got.

Ready to learn some tips on how to make your cramming more effective?

1. "If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail." - Benjamin Franklin

The first thing you need to do is to sit yourself down and grab a pen and some paper.

Make a list of what needs to be studied. This helps you visually map out how much time and effort you will need to allocate to each item on your list. Be as detailed as you can.

One way to help you structure your list better is by referring to SEAB's syllabus (just google it) as it usually covers the must-knows for your N / O / A Levels better. Your teachers used the same set of syllabus as their own guide as well, so you can trust that whatever they're testing you will be within the scopes of that very set of syllabus.

Just don't refer to the wrong one. Check the subject code carefully!

After getting your list ready, identify the best method you can use for revision for each topic.

For example, if you are supposed to study DNA replication, you'll likely have to do a fair bit of memory work. That's going to be different from say, studying for mole concept.

2. Gather your weapons, i.e. all the materials that you need

Now that you've got your plan out of the way, it's time to bring out all the weapons that you need. Everything that you need for quick referencing should be on the table, be it your notes, textbooks, or past homework and tutorials.

You don't want to waste time later on digging for your materials in the middle of cramming. That's going to break your flow!

3. Just study the way you're used to studying

a female student studying

This is not the time to try a new studying technique.

(Well, unless it is the Pomodoro technique then sure, by all means. Because this gives you a good structure for your studying time vs your break time)

Just study the way you are used to. This is so that you don't waste time on learning how to study using a new technique. You can try that some other time when you don't have to cram.

4. Take adequate breaks

While cramming, you may find yourself hitting a wall sometimes. That can happen especially when you're under pressure.

When that happens, just give yourself a short 5 min break to freshen up.

What you should not be doing this time is to start using your phone and to get online.

We all know what happens when we get on apps like TikTok. We simply won't stop scrolling.

5. Make sure you sleep

This may sound counter intuitive, but trust me, it IS extremely important that you sleep.

You may be tempted to lose a few hours of sleep just to cram a little more, but you're robbing your brain of the opportunity to rest and reorganise whatever you have learnt via a process known as neuroplasticity.

Are you ready to get cramming and to conquer that exam?

Not all hope is lost. Now that you've learnt how to cram, remember to start your revision earlier the next time.

Now get off my blog and start studying!

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