Junior college is a long and arduous 2-year journey that feels like an eternity for students. The curriculum is rigorous and demanding. Above a tough syllabus that students have to manage. They also have to learn to juggle other extra-curricular activities and commitments as well. On top of all these, most students also sign themselves up for JC tuition as it’s difficult to survive and conquer exams with just guidance from tutors in college.
Junior college is considered a pre-university education and hence the learning and teaching style requires students to be independent learners. However, students may not understand how to adapt to these changes and excel in their studies.
So, here are some study tips for junior college students in Singapore!
Firstly, every study session should be as effective as possible. When studying, students should make sure that they are not distracted and are fully focused on their study.
Moreover, everyone has a threshold where if they study longer than this threshold. Their brain will not process the information as fast as before. Many students ignore this threshold and attempt to study for hours straight or pull off all-nighters. Although they may have the willpower to do this easily and retain the information well enough.
A more effective method is to have short repeated study sessions instead of long study sessions. Thus, it is also important for students to plan out a study schedule to ensure that they can distribute what they need to do across these study sessions.
Secondly, no matter how boring a lesson may be, students should put in the effort to take notes during every lesson. With the comfort of the lecture theatre chairs and the air-conditioned room, it may seem enticing for students to take a small nap during their lessons.
However, no matter how sleep-deprived they may be, students need to understand that it is during these lectures where they are learning something new from experienced teachers. Missing these lessons means that they will have to make up for this loss in their own free time.
Thus, it is important for students to push through the lethargy, pay attention during lessons and take note of the important parts of the lessons. Taking notes will help students remember the content better and make revision easier in the future. Students should also develop the habit of taking notes while reading textbooks at home for the same reason. These notes will end up saving a significant amount of time during revision.
Thirdly, students need to be consistent in the effort that they put in. Procrastination is something that everyone is familiar with. Despite knowing the dangers of procrastination, the short-term relief that it provides appears more appealing to students.
Once students tell themselves that they will do the homework later since they will have a lot of time, they have fallen prey to procrastination. This mentality can easily snowball causing students to end up having a large stack of work to do with only a few hours left when they previously had a few days to complete the same amount of work.
Time management is an important skill to have and having it will help students make sure that they stay on track.
A COMPLETE UNDERSTANDING
Students will have to remember a lot of information across many unrelated subjects. Some students may do well for their examinations through pure memory work but the truth is that it is risky and ineffective.
Purely mugging information can cause students to easily forget them and is a method that only works short term for most students. Students need to understand the concepts instead of memorising them.
For example, in biology, students may have heard the term hypercalcemia. Many may blindly try to memorise what it means without giving much thought to the origin of the word. Hyper means high, “calce-” means calcium and “-emia” means presence in blood and thus hypercalcemia is high level of calcium ions in the bloodstream.
Many of these parts are common in other biological terms and can be easily memorised by understanding the origin. Similarly, formulas can be derived instead of memorised, reactions can be understood using mechanisms instead of memorised, etc.
EVERYONE MAKES MISTAKES
When students perform badly in a quiz, test or any assessment, they should not think of it like the end of the world. Students crying after seeing their marks may be a common sight even though it should not be.
Although it is normal to feel disappointed, students should not feel useless or stupid because of one or a few bad grades. Instead, any failure should be thought of as a learning process no matter how difficult it may be to do so.
Instead of crying over the marks lost, students should understand why they lost the marks and put in the effort to learn more so that they do not repeat their mistakes. This is also true for practice papers and mock assessments. Many students may have the mentality that since it is not graded, it does not matter how badly they do.
Practice tests allow students to learn from their mistakes for free without feeling the effect of failure. Some students may do many practice papers a day and wonder why they are not improving while other students may do only a few a week but have a significant improvement.
The key is that the students that improve would have analysed the mistakes that they made in their practice papers.
Every student will have some doubts in the content that they learn. There is no shame in asking teachers or peers about the doubts that they have. Being afraid to ask questions will end up greatly reducing the potential of the students.
The sooner that students clear the doubts that they have, the faster they can progress on to harder topics. There are also some students that think that they understood everything but unknowingly have many misconceptions. These misconceptions may not be obvious at first but can cause many problems when students try to learn the topics at a deeper level.
Thus, students need to understand the importance of asking questions and clearing their doubts!