Sarjit Kaur | Shah Alam, Malaysia | 17 Mar 2015 | Asia Samachar
Every student will have their unique studying approach and learning style. A method tried and tested over the schooling years. Each with their own idiosyncrasies. We had the opportunity to speak to a few top Sijil Peperiksaan Menengah (SPM) students recently from Sri Dasmesh International School (SDIS) to find out what makes them tick and here – they unveil their learning secrets.
Tripthpal Kaur, the top scorer with 12As had this to say. “I always believe in being consistent in my studies. I clarify with teachers on topics I don’t understand. I focus in class and revise my lessons for the day.”
She loved Additional Maths and Physics but found Biology and History challenging due to the need to memorise facts. So, how do you deal with these subjects? She would read the text books until she got the facts right and then attempt the past year questions. Eventually, she found that by constantly motivating herself, she began to develop a liking for those subjects.
On how it feels being a top student, she says that being humble is important, as you will never know when your downfall is coming. Tripthpal is also active in co-curricular activities, being the Vice President of the Interact Club and exco member of the Prefectorial board. She plays netball as well. She believes it is important to have a study life balance, as studies alone won’t take you places. The work and play synergy help reduce stress and builds confidence when interacting with people.
She is grateful for her family who has always been there to support her. Her dad’s mantra for her: ‘Always be the best in whatever you do, never the second best.’ Tripthpal intends to do dentistry and is currently doing her A levels in Sunway College. Her advise to aspiring students is – “Believe in God and yourself, dream big and keep pushing yourself to your limits to achieve your dreams.”
Yashvina, an 11A student was a consistent performer. She started at a young age with her parents’ motivation from as early as Standard 4. She realised the importance of academics to go far in life. Like Trithpal, she picks up and grasps her subjects, when her coach is teaching. Most of her work is done at school. She would focus and ask questions the same day.
She is the Vice President of the Science and Maths Club and committee member of the Student Exco. Her exposure to co-curricular helped her experience and learn matters relating to leadership, time management and brought out the confidence in her to speak to people and address members.
She was proactive in taking part in competitions and enjoyed her schooling experience thoroughly. Her advise to students is – to always work hard and push themselves, thought she cautioned that academics is not everything. One needs a balanced education. She is currently doing her A levels at Sunway College and intends to do green engineering i.e. environmental engineering geared towards conserving nature.
Dalbir Singh, an 11A student was amazed at his results. He plans to do petroleum engineering. He was playful at school during the Form 3 and 4 and did not do well in his Form 5 mid-term exams. He realised the situation was getting out of hand and was determined to bounce back. A failure in one of his subjects was his turning point. He started revising from scratch. It was God’s blessing which saved him in the nick of time, he confessed. He attended intensive classes for six weeks.
Dalbir is active in Scouts and sports namely badminton, hockey and track & field. He echoes that sports is essential. He finds it easier to study when engaged in sports. Otherwise, he would feel lethargic and unable to focus. Sports activities essentially gave him more time than he put in.
He gives credit to his teachers, in particular Mr Rajinder Singh, who played a big role in character building and encouraged him on his core subjects namely Physics, Chemistry, Add Maths and Modern Maths.
Learning from his own experience, he discourages last minute studying. “Work from the start, a little bit a day and everything becomes easy. Pay attention as all the studying can be done in class,” he affirms.
He was grateful for the public speaking opportunities during school, including as the master of ceremony for the Sports Day. It helped him break the ice when engaging with people.
Gurjeev Singh, a 10A student says there should be balance in everything. He wasn’t a great student in primary school, he shares. However he picked up in lower and then secondary school and worked very hard to get there. He says there is no shortcut to success. “Find your plan and study smart. Everyone has a different style that suit them best. Some study at the table. I need something comfortable. Find what works best for you and experiment,” he shares.
Co-curricular wise, he was the Scouts Commando which required him to be strict and disciplined. He acknowledges there is a time to be firm, otherwise they all have a good laugh. It helped him open himself up and reach out to different people. He has to be a role model himself before he can expect the same of others. In other words, he practices what he preaches. He shuns tuition and feel individuals could achieve the greatest with his own effort, brain and support of teachers. He plans to do His Bachelor in homeopathy and surgery.
Taroshan Singh, a 10A student shares that he wasn’t always smart. During his secondary school, he was close at the bottom of the class. When he went to SDIS, he felt it was a condusive environment. He felt like a new person given a brand new chance to study. His mum is a single parent. She worked hard to support and send him to school. He can’t possibly mess around and must work as hard as he can. He envisioned himself being one of the top scorers and he attracted just that! He works hard for what he wishes. His mum always encourages him to achieve his goals and cannot possibly let her efforts go to waste, he says. He participates in the Maths and Science Club. He wants to do Chemical Engineering.
Allyson Lim, a 10As scorer, moved to the school in Form 4. She plans to major in English Literature and teach someday. When she came to SDIS, she had a fresh start and found it easy to communicate to teachers and friends. Her motto is to surround herself with positive people. “Those people that don’t bring you down. People who are disciplined and passionate and don’t give up easily. The ones who are always motivating her,” she asserts. She shares the healthy competition and discussion with her classmates where each will work towards improving their individual strengths and thresholds.
She firmly believes that one should not do last minute work. She also doesn’t believe in spotting questions. She is with the Interact Club where she host activities for the juniors. On sports, she advocates a certain balance. One cannot be a book work alone but must develop social skills which are crucial in life. Make time for friends and have conversations with substance. Her conversations with classmates revolve around what’s happening in the world, news and not just about celebrities, she chuckled. She feels she has come out of her shell after SDIS and not afraid to speak in public anymore.
So, there you have it folks. It appears to be a simple winning secret. Not complex or mind boggling. We all can get there.
In summary, the secret to doing well is to focus and pay attention in class and do all your studying there. Ask, if in doubt. Once there is clarity, then attempt past year questions to familiarise with format, structure and questions. Indulge in co-curricular activities to build that self confidence to speak publicly and engage our various life audiences. Pick up at least one sport so you can release stress, in this hobby. Have mentors in your teachers and principal, they will guide you and show you the path.
Most of all, have faith in God, believe in yourself, surround yourself with positive people, work hard and smart and conquer your dream. Because you deserve only the best!
[ASIA SAMACHAR is an online newspaper for Sikhs in Southeast Asia and surrounding countries. We have a Facebook page, do give it a LIKE! Visit our website: www.asiasamachar.com]
SDIS performance at state level (Asia Samachar, 14 Mar 2015)
Sri Dasmesh students score well in SPM (Asia Samachar, 5 Mar 2015)