Dos and Don’ts While Studying For Your SPM Examination

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SPM is coming!

Throughout the years of SPM examination, a lot of students have been reading the tips on how to score for your spm, how to get straight As for spm, how to answer SPM examinations — and the list goes on. 

We believe students need help the most towards the start of the SPM examination, especially now we are in the middle of fighting a pandemic outbreak together at the moment. 

With that in mind, we aim to make it easier for the students to recognise the simple but essential dos and don’ts while studying for SPM examination. 

Let’s get to it!

The Dos While Studying for Your SPM Examination

Do - Make your own pocket-sized notes

This goes with the saying, study smart not just study hard. 

It’s true students were taught based off of textbooks, but it’s safe to say — students are not robots. You can’t possibly memorise the entire content of the textbooks. Well in rare cases it might be possible, but we all know how long it will take; too long. 

Here’s how you study smart, yes you can study from the textbooks but at the same time you make your own notes; for your eyes, your understanding — personalised only for you. 

This simple guide may be helpful in creating your own notes;

  • Write your notes in bullet points – avoid from being too wordy or copy paste it from textbooks; write it in your own words.
  • Include 2-3 examples for every key point
  • Highlight the key points with bright colours – make sure it’s eye-catching and easy to read (use your highlighter!)
  • Create tables and mind maps – especially for certain topics that include comparison and formulas

This will help not only save your time, it will also suit your learning style best. You are your own teacher after all. This will also help you extract out the important topics that you will need to focus more on and increase your understanding on the topics that you find difficult. 

In addition, you can go through them as many times as you want and access them anywhere you desire — you don’t have to go around holding that heavy textbook of yours.

Do - Create a study schedule

Again and again, schedule. Hard work will not give you the best result if you lack consistency.

Especially during times like this, where everything is done online — you spend most of your time at home. This makes it even vital for you to know how to divide your time efficiently; for study, for entertainment, for friends and families.

Create only one study schedule and try your best to stick to it on a daily basis. You can personalise it however you want depending on your performance, you might want to include more hours or sessions for difficult subjects — you will need more practices for those. 

Here’s how you can start drafting your study schedule;

  1. Determine which subject you find difficult and which subject you find you’re good at – include more study sessions for the difficult subjects.
  2. Create a checklist of the topics you want to cover for each subject daily — this is to keep track of the topics you have covered. (It will make it easier to identify which topic you might need to go back to.)
  3. Identify when your brain is the most active and arrange your study session according to your best hours — is it in the morning, afternoon, or at night?
  4. It’s best to keep it maximum two hours of studying per session and one hour to do practices per session.
  5. Include breaks in between the study sessions.

A study schedule will help you create a consistency in managing your time as well as avoiding procrastination. It will train you to be a disciplined and independent individual. All in one.

Here’s a simple study timetable for you to start!

Source: SmartGirl

Download it here.

Take a look at their website (SmartGirl) to browse for more cute planners! 

Do - Take a deserved break

It’s understandable for students to be frustrated, and anxious when it comes to the SPM examination — no one wants to fail nor repeat any paper. That will cost you time and energy, and pride.

However, there’s a reason why we are always told to do things moderately not exaggeratedly. It’s for your own good. 

Experts say best students study around 50-60 hours per week — that’s like 7-9 hours per day. Nothing more than that. Hence, it is essential for you to include breaks in your study planner.

As much as studying is important, your well being is not any less. You need to make sure that you have a well-balanced schedule to create a healthy lifestyle. You can’t keep on consuming knowledge without taking a break — your mind and body have their limits too.

It’s best to always include multiple short breaks in between the study sessions to give you the rest you need before you bounce back to get your mind to work.

The Don'ts While Studying for Your SPM Examination

Don't - Rely 100% on your textbooks

It will not hurt to do a little bit of research on your own. Of course, this applies if you have the time and the willingness to do so.

Instead of only relying on textbooks, you can always learn about the topics online — it’s the technological era, everything is on your fingertips. There are various platforms for you to start, you can surf Youtube, Google Search or even Facebook groups. 

You may find the information or tips to enhance your understanding on a particular subject — you may also get additional knowledge which you can later add into your exam paper to get extra marks.

Don’t give your 100% focus on textbooks; there’s a limit to the amount of knowledge you can get from textbooks. Try to be an explorer — you’ll gain more.

Check out this useful website we found! 

SPMflix – They provide videos, webinars, tips and techniques for SPM subjects all for free!

This Youtube video also might be helpful — she gives you a list of apps that you can download to make your study session easier!

Don't - Study at the very last minute

The one trend that is always famous — last minute studying.

“There’s always tomorrow.” This is you?

Well the bad news for you is, studying requires a lot of time, effort and a lot more patience. You putting off your study is not exactly the best thing to do especially with the SPM examination coming. Tomorrow is always there, but the time is running out. You need to utilise the time that you have right now to study and study until you are confident to face the day of the examination; that is not too long from now.

We get it, not everyone finds studying fun and relaxing. However, once again, education will pay you the best interest. And what you might forget, it’s a responsibility. You owe it not to other people, but to yourself.

Don’t follow the trend of doing things at the last minute — it might be difficult to shake that habit off of yourself once you have entered the workforce.

Don't - Cram everything in your schedule

Say, you feel like there is not enough time to study so you decided to study everything in one day, repeatedly every day from day until night. Don’t.

Just for your information, cramming everything inside your head will not make you the best student. The word efficient exists for a reason. You need a strategy to make it work.

You might want to redo your schedule using this as a guideline — 

  • Don’t put difficult subjects next to each other on the same day. 
  • Don’t have more than 3-4 subjects everyday. 
  • Don’t forget to have breaks for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
  • Don’t study until late night.

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, remember?

Summary —



  1. Make your own notes
  2. Create a study schedule
  3. Take a deserved break

  1. Rely 100% on your textbooks
  2. Study at the very last minute
  3. Cram everything in your schedule


Read next: What to Expect for SPM 2021

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