Getting Ready for the O-Level: Tips from an Experienced Senior Teacher


Ms Shuli Sudderuddin, Academic Director for The Learning Lab's secondary school programmes, is extremely familiar with the pressure that O-Level students face. She has many years of experience with teaching, and has seen hundreds of TLL students through their O-Level examinations.

Here is her advice for students sitting for the national exam this year.



O-Level students often feel stressed, burnt out and exhausted months before the actual exam. As a teacher, I’ve seen students lose motivation and even regress in the months leading up to a major test.

This doesn’t need to happen, however, if students practise some simple habits to centre themselves and to remain calm! Try the following 6 tips to stay clear-headed as you prepare for the O-Level exams.

1. Set Your Body Clock to Your Advantage

Students who are not morning people might find it difficult to sit papers before lunchtime and it can really affect performance if you’re stumbling into the exam hall half asleep.

Make sure to start sleeping and getting up at reasonable hours so that your mind has time to warm up and you are at your peak when papers start!

2. Plan Your Revision

You know what they say: failing to plan is planning to fail. Sticking to a well-planned timetable helps with ensuring discipline and setting meaningful study goals.  It also means you’ll enjoy taking breaks more!

For better retention, study each subject in rotation rather than sticking to one subject for a long period of time.

3. Reward Yourself and Take Breaks


Revising can be enjoyable if you set yourself goals in small, achievable steps and then celebrate these small wins with little treats! 

Why not reward yourself with that cup of bubble tea you have been craving, a short 30-minute nap, or even a brief scroll through your Instagram feed?  This way, you are less likely to burn out or grow fatigued while revising.

4. Stick to the Tried-and-Tested

Nearer to the exam, avoid trying new things that might disrupt your schedule and confidence. New food can cause an upset stomach, a new sleep schedule can affect alertness and trying difficult new questions a day or two before the exam can wreak havoc on confidence!

Focus instead on going over familiar techniques and maintaining a routine.

5. Look Through Work Before Sleeping

Have a series of steps, a formula or a structure you need to memorise?

Try looking through it before going to bed. Research shows that retention improves when students study concepts just before sleeping, particularly if it is new information.  

6. Practise Retrieval Techniques

Many students like to revise by reading and re-reading their notes. While this rehearsal process is good for committing something to memory, an equally important step is making sure one can access stored facts under exam conditions.

Test yourself with flash cards or buddy up! It can be fun to study with a friend — quiz and help each other to memorise key words and concepts.


Generating the Momentum Your Child Needs to Excel

The O-Levels are a uniquely demanding undertaking for all students who pass through Singapore’s education system. To be able to navigate all the challenges that will come his or her way, your child needs to adopt a multi-pronged strategy that blends on-paper learning with soft skills.

At The Learning Lab, we are keenly aware of the key ingredients your child will need on their O-Level journey, and are committed to helping him or her identify and avoid any potential pitfalls.


Click here to discover firsthand tips and tricks from our students on how they successfully prepared for the O-Level.



Resources to Excel in the O-Levels

The Learning Lab has a wealth of resources you can benefit from. Check out our secondary students' guides to mastering English, Maths and Science below.

Students who are unfamiliar with the format may not score well for the expository essay. Avoid this pitfall by understanding the format's requirements.

5 Ways To Master Expository Essay Writing

Unfamiliar with the format and hesitant about what content needs to be written, many students prefer to stick to the tried and true forms of narrative or descriptive essays. Ultimately, students are afraid that they may not score well for the expository essay. However, there are ways to overcome these hesitations. 

Click here to read the full article.

Find out how to strategise for revision, optimise time in the exam and tackle challenging questions while dissecting a past year O-Level Additional Mathematics Paper 1.

5 Ways To Manage Additional Maths Paper 1

During the ‘O’ Level exam, even the most capable students may experience mental blocks or are unable to complete the paper on time. Find out how to strategise for revision, manage the time crunch in the exam and tackle challenging questions from a past year ‘O’ Level Additional Mathematics Paper 1.

Click here to read the full article.

In this guide, we break down essential information about Paper 2 of the ‘O’ Level Chemistry Paper and share 5 key ways that students can tackle this paper.

5 Ways To Tackle 'O' Level Chemistry

The study of Chemistry at the ‘O’ levels requires students to retain and apply a vast amount of content knowledge and a very specific set of skills. In this guide, we break down essential information about Paper 2 of the ‘O’ Level Chemistry Paper and share 5 key ways that students can tackle this paper.

Click here to read the full article.



The Learning Lab is now at 8 locations. Find a location that suits your needs.

If you have any questions about our programmes, please email us at or call us at 6733 8711 and we will be happy to assist you.


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