Are you a new JC 1 student who is just beginning to settle into your new school? After the excitement of all the orientation activities, it’s finally time to get down to some serious work. You might not feel ready, and you might be even dreading it, although you have worked so hard to get to this point. It’s normal, and don’t worry – because we’ll be sharing some ways you can survive and even thrive in your two years at JC!
Studying well and getting good grades is a huge part of JC life, because – let’s face it – most people are there to get their results and go to university. As a result, this causes a pressure-cooker environment which is not healthy for everyone. Adding to that, both the A Level and IB syllabus are not easy to study for, especially if all you know is the O Level syllabus.
So, without further ado, here are some of our top tips on how to survive JC, especially with regard to keeping on top of your studies and doing well for your A Levels or IB exams
1. Review your learning regularly
The subject content at A Levels and IB is quite heavy, so you absolutely cannot leave studying until the last minute.
Ideally, you should find time after each day’s lessons to review what you have learnt and pick out any parts you are still uncertain about. If reviewing your lessons every day is too difficult, try doing a weekly review or at least after each topic.
For most subjects, there would also be quizzes every now and then to encourage you to study and review topics regularly. If you put in the regular work, you will find it much easier to study once the major exams like promos or the actual A Levels or IB exams are near.
2. Clarify doubts ASAP
A major feature of JC exams? Many topics are interrelated, and it is not as simple as answering textbook recall questions! To be able to tackle novel and higher-order thinking questions, having a basic understanding of the subject content is the minimum requirement.
As a result, it is dangerous to leave doubts and uncertainties lingering as you move on to another topic. You will find your gaps in knowledge slowly snowballing until you are unable to grasp the subsequent topic. By then, it may be too late to learn everything from the start!
At the JC level, it is extremely important to put your pride or shyness aside and be willing to consult your teachers or tutor, as it is for your own good. At Future Academy, we have tutors such as our JC Math tutors who are highly patient and will not judge you for asking questions! It is our utmost priority to help you and make sure you understand your subject content.
3. Focus on your own goals
Comparing yourself to others is additional stress that you don’t need. It doesn’t help you to pile on additional expectations or feelings of inferiority!
Instead, you should understand that everyone has different talents, abilities, and goals. What is your goal for your time in JC? Are you aiming for a certain university or course? Make that your goal and focus, and ignore the rest!
For example, if you want to get into an academically demanding course like Medicine or Law, you will want to invest most of your time into your studies, and maybe some extra activities that will add relevance to your portfolio, like Science Olympiads, service learning projects, or the debate club.
But it’s okay if your goal isn’t super ambitious or conventional. It’s perfectly fine if you just want to do your best and get into a local university, or if you actually want to pursue a passion that’s non-academic. Just don’t let others influence you and make yourself miserable by comparing your path to theirs!
4. Balance your studies and CCA
Yes, studies is not everything. CCA is also part of your JC life and it can be a good avenue to develop other interests, skills, and social relations. But your time and energy is finite. It is crucial to understand your own capacity and limits, and make wise decisions on how to balance your time.
It is not uncommon to see students pour too much time into their CCA – especially for CCA leaders – and neglect their academics as a result. Consider carefully before you choose your CCA or accept any leadership roles. Yes, it may look good on your portfolio, but not if you sacrifice your academic results for it.
Consider options like choosing a CCA with a lower commitment level, refusing any leadership roles, or choosing a CCA which you truly enjoy and allows you to destress rather than add to your struggles.
5. Discover study spots in school
You’re going to spend a lot of time in school, and a lot of that time for studying! It’s worth taking some time to explore the different spots in school and find the ones conducive for you to study. This doesn’t have to be the library or designated study room, either! Most schools have benches or little nooks all around that can be good for getting some revision done while in between long breaks.
6. Take care of yourself
We said it before, and we’ll say it again. Despite what the world tells you – your studies are not everything. Yes, at this time of your life, it may be very important, but it is definitely not the be all and end all.
Even if your academic results are your topmost priority right now, there is merit in taking good care of yourself. You study better if you are healthy and happy! So, listen to the good ol’ advice of taking your meals regularly, getting decent amounts of sleep, and taking breaks for exercise, hobbies, and socialising.
Most people find their time in JC highly stressful and hectic. We hope that these tips will help you develop your own strategies to study effectively while coping with the stresses of JC life. While it will still not be easy, at least it will be more manageable.
On the academic side of things, our tutors can also help you have a slightly easier time in JC. Rather than wait until things become bad, register for classes such as our A Level Physics Tuition to receive expert help and on-demand guidance! We hope to see you at our tuition centre in Braddell, Bukit Timah, or Bugis – flexible and convenient options await you!