The Paper 1 of science subjects are always thought to be easy. Despite being called Paper 1, the multiple-choice question (MCQ) section is usually scheduled as the last paper of the subject in the exam timetable in secondary school and JC exams. As a result, many students think that they have already studied enough and they don’t need to pay special attention to prepare for this exam section.
Well, from experience, Paper 1 is not always the easy paper students think it is!
In fact, Paper 1 is often full of traps and trick questions that cause students to lose marks. Many of these are due to careless mistakes like misreading the question or making a wrong calculation. To make matters worse, some students have become complacent or lazy by this point, which makes them even more susceptible to committing these errors.
So, how do you ensure you don’t fall into the trap of Paper 1 and instead secure as many marks as you can? Here are some strategies to tackle Paper 1 MCQ like a pro!
Don’t forget to also check out our science topic guides:
1. Write down the formulae
As you advance through the MCQ paper, it’s common to sometimes get mind blocks and moments where you may suddenly be unable to recall a formula. Prevent this problem by having these difficult formulae at the top of your head right when the exam starts, and write all of them down on the first page – or anywhere you can quickly refer back to later.
Essentially, you would have created your own formula sheet and you can free your mind to think about the questions more carefully, rather than be worried about forgetting the formula later on.
2. Read the question twice
More haste means more waste – wasted marks, we mean. It’s easy to gloss over important details when you speed read and only read the question once. That’s why we always remind students: read the question at least twice over before attempting to answer it!
Some important and very commonly misread parts of the questions include: number values, units, and whether the question is asking for statements that are TRUE or UNTRUE. It may help you to underline or circle these vital pieces of info so you don’t just skip over them.