The year 2020 passed by so quickly. Students just went to school for the first 2 months in 2020 - the rest was history. Even today, schools haven’t reopened yet.

Students are anxiously waiting on what will happen once the school term starts again. Our life is not going to be the same anymore. Covid 19 has left us all in a panicked, sad, scared, and chaotic state.

As 2021 arrives, nothing seems to change for the better. You have missed the whole year of schooling because of the pandemic.

New-norm has just started by having online classes which have never happened before in Malaysia. Sometimes the online class was flooded with 50 – 100 students!

Do you think you are a responsible student? Did you attend all the online classes last year? Did you do all the exercises given in Google classroom?

Can you understand all the topics taught by your teachers? Can you focus throughout the class or dozed off since the teacher couldn't see you as your camera was off?

All these questions keep popping into your mind. Well, if all the answers are ‘YES’, I’m going to say well done! I believe you are going to do well in your final examination. You have adapted so well amidst Covid 19 situation.

But what if the answers are mostly ‘NO’. Do you think you are ready to take SPM at the end of the year?

You only have less than 10 months to prepare for the big examinations. What do you think you can do to cover all the time you have lost?

Today, you are becoming a high school senior. One of the candidates for Malaysia High School Degree, SPM. How do you imagine your final year in high school will look like?

Will it be thrilled to embark on a new life after the school's end, or will you be sad to leave your friends, teachers, and all your school memories behind?

In this article, Superprof has outlined tips that have been proven to be the best way to prepare yourself to confront your exams and walk away feeling satisfied with your efforts.

Here’s how you can beat the fear and get a grip on your final year as a high school student despite everything that is happening around us.

Tips 1# Start to Think About Your Future – Have a Goal

Thinking about future
Have a self-reflection on what is going to happen in your future will depend on what you are doing today (Source: Unsplash)

SPM is the final test that will determine how you will live your life after finishing school. It's normal to feel overwhelmed by the prospect of the one big exam which could affect your whole life, however, it’s nothing to be scared about.

The first thing you need to do is think about your future.

What would my life be like after finishing school?

Where will I be?

What will I be?

Who will I be?

These questions are very important to think about early in life. At 17 years old, you are mature enough to start deciding on your own future.

You need to have a short-term target, medium-term target, and long-term target. List down everything.

Having a goal is crucial as you won't drift off the path to success. You will be able to focus on your target and make plans on how to achieve it.

Write your goals on a piece of paper or sticky note and paste them somewhere that you can easily see every day.

Tips 2# Don’t Let Fear Conquer You

This year is going to be the most challenging year that you will face throughout your life. You need to be physically and mentally prepared to work harder and smarter as your grades are very important and most of your time will be spent on studying instead of having fun.

Since you have missed a lot in your study, therefore, it is essential that you get your head around all the tricky concepts, especially on your weakest subject.

Failure is not the end
The pill for anxiety is to be able to accept FAILURE. Once you can accept failure, you are able to make more improvements (Source: Pixabay)

You need to be proactive in searching for your weak spot and improve it early. You need to find ways to boost your grades, so you can be more confident walking into the examination hall.

Tips 3# Manage Your Time Well – Time Management

Write and organize your daily schedule. You need to start counting the days left until SPM. From there, start to break down and list out your to-do list.

Give extra consideration and focus towards your academics (school, tuition classes, and homework time), and make sure to leave yourself some leisure time so you won’t get burned out.

You need to work out your priority to achieve better and effective time management. You should start off by listing your tasks as follows:

  • When will SPM take place?
  • How many SPM subjects will you sit for?
  • Which SPM subjects do you like most?
  • Which is/are your best subject(s) and which is/are your worst?
  • Is the subject a requirement for your future career?

You need to start thinking about what you want to do in the future. If you wish to further your study overseas, you need to score an ‘A’ for English in your examination.

Tips 4# Have Priorities and Start to Get Fit

You need to slow down on gaming and social media as that will consume most of your time. Instead, you can consider focusing more on getting fit – to live healthier. This is important to keep both your mind and body in good shape.

You’ve stayed so long in the house and even your sleeping time has been disrupted. Thus, you need to work out more towards your self-enrichment.

The recipe for physical and mental wellness is by maintaining a healthy diet, slot in a few minutes of exercise each day, and get adequate sleep, roughly around 8 hours each night.

Even though you are busy with your classes and homework, leave your schedule empty for at least half an hour every day to get some exercise.

Exercise is a pill for stress reliever and it also works wonders for multiple other conditions –from depression to anxiety. A brisk walk or cycling can help clear your head.

You also need to consume a balanced diet as you need to be mentally and physically fit to get through this year. Eating fresh fruits and vegetables can also help boost your immunity.

Be aware of your sugar intake to prevent further complications. I know, munching on chocolates and sweets while studying is one of the best ways to overcome stress, however, taking fewer fats, sweets and fizzy drinks could have a revolutionary effect on your mood and mental prowess.

Nonetheless, you have to consider uplifting your spiritual self too besides improving both your physical and mental.

Everything in life should be a balance between these three. You can also start meditation or self-reflection from time-to-time.

Eat Live Repeat
Treating yourself to something good is one way to relieve stress (Source: Pixabay)

Tips 5# Find A Good Peer and Study Group to Go Through Your Final Year Smoothly

A good friend with the same focus and motivation is the best thing you can keep throughout the year and beyond. You are able to express all your stresses and worries to them as they understand your plights.

Staying positive is a must when you are up against all the challenges coming towards you.

You can also initiate a call to your classmates and friends, who are serious about improving their prospects for the exams – the same goal as you. Get together with your friends and create a study group to revise together.

This way, you can kill two birds with a stone as you can get a chance to improve both your study and well-being over any stressful encounter. BEWARE of the chances of this study group to end-up as just another social get-together. Stick to your main focus!

Tips 6# Look for Alternative Ways to Improve Your Grades

You need to stay true to yourself and quickly identify your weak subjects early on this year. This is very important as you can focus more on that particular subject and make improvements.

DON'T wait until the last couple of months before exams as you can get breakdowns and burnout easily!

So, what you can do is start looking for an alternative way to learn, whether on online platforms or offline. Get help as soon as possible.

These days, you can easily find extra classes or tuition centers near you. Join seminars and courses for SPM as this will help you a lot in giving tips and tricks to tackle your SPM papers.

Check out our SPM tutors on Superprof!

All of these tips are applicable in life as well as studying. Make it a habit, and it will help you get through the challenges and difficulties the world may throw at you.

The most important thing that you should remember is to stay calm and put in the max effort you achieve in your studies and on your exams.

You might not get the result you aimed for but knowing you've done your best is the single and most important thing that you should never be ashamed of.

All the best!


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Alia Jamaludin is known as a passionate environmentalist and animal lover. By being both educator and writer, she can reach out her positive thought to almost every being on this planet.