Some will have their wishes fulfilled, several may find their results short of expectations while the rest may have wished they put in more effort. Be that as it may, what should be top most in the minds of all students involved is that they will all move up to upper secondary. They will be in Form Four, come the new school year and PT3 is over and done with!
I have a little advice for students as they move on. They should allocate some time to reflect on what they had gone through in their studies and preparation for the assessment.
More importantly, they should think through on how best to improve on their study methods and processes so that they can be more effective and efficient in their learning. It is alright to be humble; consult friends, parents and teachers if necessary. Hold on to the truth that “you reap what you sow”. Perseverance and diligence are the keys. There is no shortcut in acquiring true, solid knowledge and skills.
Then, when they are enrolled in Form Four next year, they have the opportunity to “freely” choose their “package” of subjects. This is an initiative of the Education Ministry that beginning next year, Form Four students would not be streamed into Arts or Science. Instead students can choose from “packages” that combine Science and Arts subjects. Nevertheless, constraints of facilities and availability of qualified teachers may restrict schools in providing all options.
Students may find themselves having to pick a “package” that does not contain all the subjects they want.
They may need to take a subject or two that are not in their wish list. Do not fret over this. Trust that if they have interest in and can excel in the subjects they have chosen and are offered to do, they can also summon enough interest to master the one or two subjects that are not of their option. We are talking about subjects to be taught and learnt at SPM level. If they have confidence in the subjects of their choice, they can one day move on to degree, and even Master’s or PhD level. They should have the confidence to tackle and do reasonably well in any subject at SPM level if they put in enough effort. This is simply a realistic expectation.
An interesting example is the inclusion of History as a compulsory subject in SPM. Given a choice, in the old setup, few Science stream students will opt for History. But, note how the Science students scored over the years in the History papers. And, it was not just rote learning that saw them through. There were “tough” questions that required much analytical and critical thinking. If there is a will, there is a way. Students must try cultivating this attitude as they move on to upper secondary schooling.
A healthy mind needs a healthy body. Students need to eat well, exercise enough and rest well to keep their body healthy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Avoid that path.
If students want to improve and have a better school life, take note of the above advice. Start when they are in Form Four from next year. It is never too late!
LIONG KAM CHONG
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