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Want to do well academically in JC? Here's 6 tips to help you!

Large Wreath

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Large Wreath

Content written by:

Christy Lee

Last Updated:

9 June 2021 at 2:58:07 am

Image by Daniel Mirlea

The lecture-tutorial teaching system is a key feature of Junior College.

This mainly differs from secondary school. Therefore, one has to find new ways to adapt and do well.

With “excelling at the A-Level” as the end in mind, these specific tips serve to make the preparation process over the two years less of a struggle with your consistent efforts.

1) Style of learning

2) Long-term efforts

3) Planning & goal-setting

4) Practice is key

5) Verify your learning

6) Health & well-being

1) Style of learning

i) We need to identify what type of learners you are. Do you fall under;

- Visual

- Auditory

- Hands-on

Visual learners use diagrams to better aid learning. Auditory learners can recite the content or listen more to recorded content to stimulate memory. Hands-on learners do better by touching and doing things physically.

ii) Learning styles also refer to the environment that allows you to study best. Ask yourself these;

- Do you prefer studying at home or outside from home?

- Do you prefer quiet places like the library or relatively more noisy ones like cafes?

- Can you study with friends or can you only study alone?

- Does listening to music while studying distract you or help you focus better?

By answering these questions, we can understand how to study more effectively and productively.

iii) Different subjects also require different learning styles. These include;

- Writing your own notes (beware of spending too much time)

- Constant memorisation

- Constant practice

Additional tips

There is no one-size-fits-all way of learning. Experiment with a variety and eventually develop your learning style to study smart and efficiently.

2) Long-term efforts

We should not expect rewards without hard work. To do well for ‘A’ Level as well as the examinations leading up to it, you must be prepared to put in consistent hard work

These long-term efforts apply to both lectures and tutorials.

i) For lectures,

- Pay full attention to them as they are the main platform for acquiring new knowledge

- Avoid dozing off during lectures and relying on recorded lectures. Make use of your time at school wisely to acquire “how-to” in answering questions. Recorded lectures are only useful if you know how to use it. Acquire sufficient sleep is very important!

ii) For tutorials,

- Conscientiously complete them and ensure your quality of work. This helps you to understand the process of answering the questions that are relevant to your exams

- Avoid accumulating overdue tasks. While sometimes you may have to temporarily prioritise others over studies, make sure to eventually come back to the assignments. A disciplined mindset is very important

Additional tips

Consistency is key. Long term efforts are more important than short-term ones. This is a time to train your tenacity and resilience

“Sow the seeds of hard work and you will reap the fruits of success” Israelmore Ayivor

3) Planning & goal-setting

Planning reduces uncertainty and confusion; thus, results in productivity.

i) Areas of planning can include

- when to revise concepts

- when to memorise content

- when to do practices

It would be good to have these plans aligned to the lessons your teacher is giving; so you can acquire answers directly during the lessons.

ii) While planning, you should also set goals. At the end of completing what you planned to do, you should be able to answer these questions

- Which or how many learning outcomes do you want to achieve?

- For the upcoming examination, what grade do you want to obtain?

- To realise that goal, how should you amend your plan to cater to your needs later on as different commitment starts coming in?

iii) Goal-setting allows one to have a direction to work towards

Additional tips

Set a goal so you can craft a direction to get there. Avoid doing without thinking. Avoid thinking without doing.

Many of us will tend to forget this plan usually because they might have many plans later on. A good plan is one that you stick to it and follow through by refining and making it better to reach your goal!

4) Practice is key

i) Listening to lectures and completing tutorials are inadequate. Lectures are for you to be exposed to new knowledge for the first time. Tutorials are for you to learn how to apply concepts to problem-solving

ii) To complete the learning process, you have to practice either using past-year school papers or the “Ten-year Series”. This allows you to be familiarised with the examination context. You will know how to tackle iconic examination questions that test the same concept repetitively. The purpose is to let you identify the type of questions whenever you see them appear

Additional tips

“For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them.” Aristotle

Practice makes improvement!

5) Verify your learning

i) Large amount of time is needed for practice. Therefore, avoid practicing without aligning to your plan and causing your precious time to go to waste.

ii) Schedule consultations with teachers to make sure you are learning the right way. This includes;

- Did I understand this concept correctly?

- Am I employing the most appropriate or efficient method to answer or solve this question?

iii) If you feel uncomfortable speaking to your teachers, you may want to pick up this skillset as communication is important when you are in the workforce.

iv) Nevertheless, it takes time. So start by paying attention in all lessons as other classmates will ask questions that may help you refine your plan

Additional tips

Learn with guidance. Available time to learn is limited and precious, use them wisely!

6) Health & well-being

i) It is inevitable to become stressful while preparing for the major exam. It is important to ensure your mental and physical health to prevent yourself from breaking down or burning out in the process.

ii) Pace yourself well and reward yourself with appropriate amounts of time off studying. Breaks can include;

- Treating yourself to your favourite snacks

- A short nap

- Or simply doing your hobbies!

iii) Have an adequate amount of sleep and eat healthily. This allows you to welcome each day with energy and positivity. A healthy body also ensures that you can function in the long-term. Imagine working so hard but falling ill near the ‘A’ Level; that will be upsetting!

iv) If you need someone to talk to in order to de-stress, never forget about your support systems, such as your friends, teachers, and family members!

Additional tips

Never neglect your mental and physical health for studies! They are equally important. Instead, strike a balance between work and play.

“Have regular hours for work and play; make each day both useful and pleasant, and prove that you understand the worth of time by employing it well” Louisa May Alcott

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