Student Life

How to Study for SPM

Published by Afterschool.my on Oct 13, 2017, 09:49 am

The time of the year that all form 5 students dread is drawing near. For almost all students, SPM is the exam, their career definer. Numerous questions come to the fore as we approach the final countdown, and with students slowly beginning to crack, we thought it best to finally roll out tips on how best to prepare for SPM. So, what are you waiting for? Scroll down and read the very best tips for SPM.

Practice Makes Perfect


It was the effervescent Bruce Lee who uttered the now widely used quote of, “I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.” What did he mean? Quite simply, the key to mastering anything is practice. It’s simple, ad yet very few students commit to doing so. Finished a whole SPM past year question booklet? In the words of DJ Khaled, find another one, and then another one, and another one. Practice until you can’t practice anymore, and then, practice some more. Bruce Lee may have needed 10,000 kicks, but you, budding SPM 2017 student, need 10,000 practice papers.

Study Hard AND Smart


Yup, almost everyone has the first part nailed down. Studying for long hours, glued to your seat, your eyes unflinching, until of course, you stop studying smart. How you ask dear student? It’s simple. After a certain point that varies from student to student, they can no longer absorb information as well as they were able to at the beginning of said study session. What would usually take you 10 minutes to remember and understand, will now take you 30 minutes, or more. Perhaps you’re blankly staring at the book without paying any attention, and then claim to have studied for one hour. But how do you study smart? Well, this nicely brings up our next point:

Take Smart Study Breaks


Remember, taking study breaks are crucial to ensure you keep those brain juices flowing. A tested yet rarely tried method does something like this: Take a 3 or 4-minute break for every 30 minutes you’ve spent studying. On every 4th break, make it a 5-minute break. What you do during these few minutes is equally crucial. Listening to calming music or walking about to keep the blood flowing are good options. Booting up a quick game of FIFA is perhaps not, and should be saved for after SPM 2017.

Find Your Sweet Spot


What would the ideal time be to study in a day? Those of you sitting for SPM 2017 may try to emulate friends who have found success with different timings. Find your sweet spot, because it does differ from person to person, and make full use of it. If you know you’ll be in total disarray waking up early, and not get much done, then try staying up late instead. Experiment until you find what’s right for you, and never stray in the lead up to SPM 2017.

Be Methodical


How else can you best prepare for SPM 2017? Well, another important tip for SPM 2017 is employing a methodical approach. What does this mean exactly? Well, one example would be creating a chart with all chapters for every subject you’re sitting for, and then ticking each off as you go along. Keep all your Xeroxed notes organised in colour coded folders instead of strewn about on the floor of your room. Chart a timeline, so you know exactly what you should be studying, when you should be studying it, and when you will finish.



There may be many ways to prepare for SPM, but perhaps the most important one of all is to keep a cool head, calm and collected. Realise that a wee bit of nervousness or anxiety is normal, but don’t let it become debilitating. Many students will know the answers to the questions being asked, but due to worry or panic, go completely blank and proceed to fluff it entirely. Remember that while SPM will be important, it’s not the end of the world. It’s actually the beginning of the next chapter of a student’s. So, prepare as best you can and leave it all put in the examination hall.

Got all that? We have one last surprise for you: Afterschool.my's SPM Revision Guide 2019! Click here to download it for FREE!

Covering subjects from Bahasa Malaysia and Additional Mathematics to Physics and Chemistry, these questions have been meticulously curated by dedicated teachers based on papers from previous years. The SPM Revision Guide consists of spot questions based on a 10-year analysis of past year papers identified by teachers with 20+ years of experience.

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