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10 Important Study Tips to Ace Your Science Exam

In Singapore, on top of going to school, many students also go for tuition classes or have their own private tuition sessions at home. Since Science is a compulsory subject in Primary and Secondary schools, many students depend on their tutors to answer their questions and help them excel in the subject. However, even a couple hours of 1 to 1 tuition a week might still be insufficient to help students ace the subject. Hence, I will be giving 10 very important tips students should follow when revising for their Science exam.

#1 Read the Chapter Before Class

Many students spend quite a sum of money purchasing Science textbooks at the beginning of the year. Make sure that you make full use of it! Even though your teacher may not refer to them in class, you can make full use of the textbook by using it to help you prepare for your lesson.

Before your teacher touches on a new topic, read through the chapter in the textbook first. This will help you have a gist of what the new topic will be about. You can also identify the parts you have trouble understanding, take down your questions, and ask your teacher in class! Reading the textbook will also help you keep up in class as you already have some basic knowledge of the topic.

#2 Highlight the Keywords

Keywords are the most important things to help you score well in Science. To ensure that you do not miss out on any keywords, highlighting should be your best friend. I do not mean highlighting any words you see, I am referring specifically to highlighting the keywords.

In Science, there is definitely the use of scientific terminology. Your job as a Science student is to identify and know your terminology. To do so, pay attention in class and make sure you highlight the important words in the notes given by your teachers. If you are not sure, you can ask your teacher, during your private tuition or group tuition sessions, which are the keywords.

Highlighting keywords not only helps us to study better but is also crucial in understanding the questions. Science questions are usually rather lengthy. In order for you not to miss out on important clues such as which topic the question is testing, highlight the keywords in the questions! Look out for what exactly the question is asking for.

#3 Create a Cheat Sheet

What is a cheat sheet? A cheat sheet is basically a sheet of paper that is filled with the most important information you need for that exam. For science, making a cheat sheet for a Science exam will consist of a list of important keywords for every topic that is being tested in the exam. It can also include answers to difficult yet common questions. This can help you memorise the concepts and apply them to different questions.

With a cheat sheet, it saves you time from having to flip through thick textbooks or stacks of notes while memorizing for the exam. You have all you need on a sheet of paper. Sometimes a cheat sheet can be a sheet of paper where you write down the points that you cannot seem to remember. This way, you will be able to make full use of your study time as you focus your time on remembering important concepts you have not memorized instead of reinforcing the ones you can already remember. 

#4 Make a Mind Map

This was a tip my private tuition teacher used to tell me. For visual learners such as myself, mind maps can be of great help. A mind map is a diagram to visually organize information. Sometimes, after memorizing all the concepts, you might need to organize the information in order to know when and where to apply them. This is where the mind map comes in! By making a mind map, you can see where different concepts link with each other and from there, you can quickly identify which topic the question is asking.

Research has shown that mind mapping helps with memory and retention. By creating links between the different pieces of information and organising them into neat groups, your brain will be able to remember them more easily.

It is also a more meaningful way to study as it challenges you to apply the information that you have learnt. Nowadays, many science papers depend on the students’ ability to apply their knowledge. Through mind mapping, you will be able to form links and help you figure out how to apply your knowledge in different circumstances.

#5 Memorise Important Points

When studying for the Science exam, you will not be able to run away from memorization! However, do not memorise from the textbook. The textbook is lengthy and has a lot of information that may not be crucial to helping you score in the exam. Memorise the keywords you have highlighted and the information on your cheat sheet or mind map. Memorizing is important for science because, in order to get your marks, you need to know your scientific concepts and terminology well.

#6 Practice!

Even though memorizing is important, it works hand-in-hand with practice! Be it assessment books, school worksheets, or past year papers, you just need to practice! Through practice, you will also remember the concepts better. You will be exposed to different types of questions and learn how to apply your knowledge.

Doing more questions can also help you to be more familiar with a wide range of questions, increasing your chances of scoring well in the exams because you have already encountered the questions before.

#7 Do Your Corrections

You cannot focus on practising without correcting your mistakes. Whenever your school, group, or private tuition teacher goes through a question in class, make sure you note down the correct answer.

Although memorizing the answer does not work for Science, it does not mean that doing corrections is not important. More often than not, students do not get their marks because they miss out keywords or their phrasing is wrong. By taking note of the correct answer, you will know what keywords are needed in different types of questions. With this knowledge even if the question is different, you will be able to do it!

#8 Re-do Your Work

During your revision, it is important for you to re-do the questions you’ve gotten wrong previously. This is to test yourself! By re-doing the questions, you will can tell if you have learnt from your mistakes.

In aiming to do well in the exam, the biggest thing to avoid is making the same mistakes. Re-doing your work will help you to identify which parts you are still unsure of and help you learn from your mistakes so that you will not make them during the exam.

This is also a good way to ensure that you have fully understood how to do the questions instead of just memorizing the answers.

#9 Consult Your Teachers

Your teachers are here to help you! Be it, school teachers, private tuition teachers, they are all here to help you understand the subject and improve it. After you’ve done your revision and practice, make sure you seek your teacher’s help if you are unclear about anything.

However, do not book a consultation slot or attend a home tuition session without any preparations. While you revise and practice, note down the parts where you are confused or the areas that you need clarification. This way, you maximize the time you have with your teachers ensuring that all your doubts and questions are being addressed. It is only through asking questions that you can learn and improve in a subject!

#10 Do Timed-practices

To prevent the scenario of you not being able to complete your paper, timed-practice is the best method! When practising past year papers, make sure that you sit down in a conducive environment, set the timer for the duration of the paper, and complete the paper in one sitting, within the time limit.

Doing timed practices familiarizes you with the speed you should be going at and helps you to know how you should allocate your time. If you are unable to complete the paper within the time limit, you should continue to do more timed practices and aim to complete within the time limit! With more timed practices, you will eventually be able to provide good answers within the exam duration.

FamilyTutor, as a Singapore tuition agency feels that these 10 effective tips will help you prepare well for your science exam. Follow these tips and work hard! All the best for your science exams!

Carey

Carey

Carey is a humanities undergraduate who has been teaching for a few years. With her experiences as a student and a tutor, she hopes to provide you with useful tips and advice to help you in your education journey!

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