I Almost Failed My ‘A’ Levels Because I Didn’t Have Heart

When you study, understand what you are studying and not just go through the process.  Study with passion, study with your heart.

This is very important because you can be at your desk for hours staring at your assessment books and just doing the questions mindlessly. At the end of the day, you may have “studied” but you have learnt nothing.  I knew this the hard way.

When I was studying for my ‘A’ levels prelim, I did “study”- I was scanning through all my textbooks and read all of them, some even a couple of times. That doesn’t mean I understood what I was reading. My mind was a blank during the prelims and I flunked it big time.

I “woke up” to my senses only two weeks before the actual ‘A’ levels. I had so much to catch up- I studied from 8am -10pm daily at the community centre’s study room. Then I will head back for a shower before studying till 2 am again. This routine went on for an entire month or more.

Lucky for me, I made it to university but I will never want to repeat that again, nor for anyone to experience the same thing. I had nightmares about the ‘A’ levels for years to come. When I was in university, I would finish revision for all my papers five weeks before the exams every single term because I didn’t want to go through the process of doing last minute revision ever again.

So for all you kids studying for the PSLE- if you didn’t do well for your CA1, there’s still some time. Don’t be demoralised.

BUT that doesn’t mean you can continue slacking. It’s time to wake up and start studying with your heart.

1. Set a goal for your PSLE. Not too low. Be reasonable but always aim higher than you think you can.

2. Work towards your goal.

3. Be determined. If you feel like watching TV during your revision, remind yourself you want to succeed and score.

4. Stop finding excuses for yourself. Be very harsh on yourself. This is only the one small exam you will face. That are a lot more in life.

5. There’s no point being sad about your bad CA grades now if you are not doing anything to improve it.

Unfortunately, the Singapore education system is one where there are tests at a young age. On the positive side, it moulds us into stronger characters and we probably learn a lot more compared to our counterparts elsewhere in the world. So study hard.

There’s a Chinese saying 先苦后甜. Experience the bitterness before you can taste the sweetness of it all.

If you are slack now, you will just beat yourself over the bad grades at the end of the year and at that point of time, it’s too late.

It’s better to be hard on yourself now for six months and be overjoyed in December when you get great scores.

So please, ganbatte!

Wei used to post under the nickname PSLEGURU with his buddy Wallace. He’s a journalist by day and helps Primary School children with their school work over the weekend with creative teaching methods. Read about them here and their Facebook page is here

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