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How to Study for SPM with Less than a Week to go

by on October 28, 2014 | Top Stories

How to Study for SPM with Less than a Week to go -

Feeling tired? Bored staring at the same paragraph in your textbook? With only one week to go, find out how you should change your study strategy and ace your SPM exam.

We know what it's like to be counting down an exam, and it's no fun. As SPM draws nearer, you might want to consider some changes to your exam strategy. Just like a runner preparing for a big race, you too need to modify your pace accordingly. You don't want to burn out before the exam is over.

Keep calm

Remind yourself that if you've been attending school regularly and have been doing all that work your teacher dished out, you are very likely to have a lot of knowledge already. The bulk of this knowledge is what's going to help you through the exam.

If you feel that anxiety is creeping up on you as the exams draw nearer, here are some tips on how you can overcome exam anxiety and do better in your SPM exam (Insert link to the article: Beat exam anxiety and do better in your SPM exam).

Make a study plan

This is not the time for your regular sort of studying that you've been doing the last few years. In other words, you're not going to read your textbook from cover to cover; you should be reviewing your notes and confirming what you know before each exam paper. Working backwards from your SPM exam schedule, determine what needs to be covered – don't try to spend equal amounts of time on each topic; spend more time on topics you don't know as much about. You still need to review what you already know, but they will be easier, so do spend more time on what you find challenging.

Keep up an achievable pace

From now till the end of your exam, don't try to study for 6-8 hours straight. You need to pace yourself with shorter, more frequent revision sessions. Even if you've burned the midnight oil cramming for a test before, it is not advisable that you do last-minute cramming now. Take breaks but don't get distracted! Stick to an achievable schedule and maintain your momentum. At this point, we need to stress that getting enough sleep is just as important as studying. If you want your mental faculties to work at its optimal level from now till SPM is over, make sure your get at least 8 hours of sleep every night.

Learn how you study best

Do you remember things better when you use diagrams and pictures? How about a mind map or mnemonics? Do you like making notes on cards so you can carry them around to review throughout the day? When you figure out the study method that is most effective for you, use it! Everyone has a personal study style so don't try to force yourself to use a method that doesn't work for you. Remember, now is the time you need to study smarter, not harder.

Do practice papers

If there's one exam tip that doesn't need mentioning, it is this one. But we are going to mention it anyway. Practice papers, whether they are past year questions or papers from other schools, are a great way to prepare for your exam. Doing practice papers helps you to brush up on your exam techniques. Do try to do some papers in one sitting – as if you're sitting for the exam – so that you can get used to timing yourself. Remember, if a question is too difficult, skip it first and get back to it later.

The other thing you need to do after completing a practice paper is to analyse your answers. Which topics are you still unsure of? What kind of questions leave you stumped? Are you making any careless mistakes? Now's your chance to diagnose and fix these problems!

Ask for help

Don't try to do it all alone. You may think that your friends may be too busy with their own study schedule but discussing specific questions or topics could help you understand and remember things better. You could also ask your teachers, parents or older siblings for help. Even younger siblings can be a great help – get them to quiz you on something you need to memorise. You don't have to do this alone.


You may think it's a strange time to think about exercise but it's been proven that physical activity improves brain power. We are not asking you to embark on a rigourous fitness regime (or sign up for boot camp). But you might want to think about taking a brisk walk, going for a swim, or having a quick one-on-one basketball with your mate to stimulate your mind. The bottomline is: exercise can improve your memory and thinking skills. Read about it here and here.

Do you have any great tips on how to survive SPM? What are your sure-fire revision methods? Share them with us!

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