Time Management Tips for Students (What to do if fail JC Test / Promo Exam?)

Do you wish there is a method to improve your grades? How do you improve your grades after failing a Common Test for Secondary School or JC?

The Four Quadrant Method is an ideal method for students (especially higher level students like O Level or A Level students) to plan their study schedule and revision time table.

Many students do ok in primary school, but start to falter and fail in secondary school or JC. This may be due to many factors, some of which can be remedied using effective time management.

According to this model, which comes from the book First Things First by Stephen Covey (Highly recommended to read), there are four types of activities:

Quadrant 1) Important and Urgent (crises, deadline-driven projects)
Quadrant 2) Important, Not Urgent (preparation, prevention, planning, relationships)
Quadrant 3) Urgent, Not Important (interruptions, many pressing matters)
Quadrant 4) Not Urgent, Not Important (trivia, time wasters)

The key to doing well in school and exams is actually Quadrant 2! It is highly related to human psychology. Most people would think Quadrant 1 is more important, but actually Quadrant 2 is the most important type of activity for students.

Quadrant 1 activities (in the Singapore context) are activities like assignment due next day, test next day, exam the next day, and so on. They are important and also urgent. The thing is, these things are usually done by most people since there is a time pressure factor to it. Most students will actually do and complete Quadrant 1 activities. However, as you would know by now, just doing the homework the teacher assigns is not enough to do well for the test / exam under the Singapore syllabus. Firstly, the work that the teacher assigns may be basic material, while in Singapore, the school tests and exams all contain advanced and challenging material.

Quadrant 2 activities are long-ranged planning and strategies, like preparing for a test that is 3 months later, preparing for the Promo Exam that is half a year later. Since these activities are not urgent, most people skip them altogether. However, it is highly important to do Quadrant 2 activities everyday. Stephen R. Covey is a genius for discovering that Quadrant 2 is the secret to time management. Students should set aside some time everyday to do long-ranged preparation, e.g. preparing for a test that is a few months into the future.

Quadrant 3 activities are things that are urgent but not important. Examples are checking Email, checking Whatsapp for class group notifications. Yes, checking email and Whatsapp is compulsory nowadays, but it is not considered an important activity in the grand scheme of things. One should set a minimum amount of them for these activities. CCA may also be classified under this category. This Quadrant is highly deceptive, and a huge time sink, but in the end the activities in Quadrant 3 rank very low in importance.

Quadrant 4 activities are things that are not urgent and not important. Examples are checking Facebook, playing computer games, and so on. These activities should be kept to a bare minimum, and only during scheduled breaks for destressing.

The Four Quadrant technique can be coupled with the Pomodoro Technique which is another good technique for time management.

Hope it helps! This method is for parents to teach their child about Time Management, provided their child is motivated and wishes to improve. For children that are not motivated to study / not interested in learning, parents should check out these Motivational books to motivate students instead.

Math and Motivation

Like many human endeavors, Math is one subject that requires motivation to excel.

There is this inspirational story that I found on https://schoolbag.sg/story/from-rock-bottom-to-top-of-the-class

With no interest in studying and thoroughly convinced he will never do well, M Thirukkumaran was on a downward spiral in secondary school and was almost retained in Secondary One and Two.

Fast forward nearly 10 years, Thiru, 23, is now studying Business Analytics at the National University of Singapore (NUS) under NEA and PUB’s National Environment and Water (NEW) Scholarship.

What turned Thiru a full 180 degrees around? It was the first taste of success, through the efforts of a teacher, Mr Tan Thiam Boon.

In Secondary Three at Monfort Secondary School, Thiru felt that he had hit rock bottom. During a rudimentary algebra test, he scored one mark out of a total score of 50. Instead of shaking his head in disbelief and despair, his mathematics teacher, Mr Tan, went out of his way to coach Thiru after school. But his efforts were in vain.

“Mentally, I had already accepted that I would not be able to do it,” said Thiru.

Undeterred, Mr Tan encouraged Thiru to pay full attention for the next topic, Trigonometry. Dejected and with little left to lose, Thiru came early to sit at the front of the class and followed the lesson attentively. About a week later, Mr Tan distributed the results of a test starting from the lowest to the highest scorers.

Thiru recalled the incident with great clarity.

“Naturally, I had expected my name to be the first to be called. But it was not and I was afraid my paper was lost. But instead, it was the last name called! I still remember the smile on Mr Tan’s face, and the confusion on everyone else’s that day. I sat dumbfounded. Mr Tan had managed to do what nobody else had. In one fell swoop, he eliminated the negative labels that society and I had placed on myself, and reinstated my confidence.  More importantly, he showed me that I was capable, that I wasn’t a “delinquent” or a failure. It was akin to recovering from blindness.”

That initial spark ignited a passion, drive and desire to test his potential and accomplish what he did not even dare to imagine before. Thiru topped his class in mathematics and did well at the N-level and O-level examinations. At Tampines Junior College, his teachers gave him the opportunity to take H2 physics and mathematics, even though he did not take the prescribed secondary school subjects. Thiru’s hard work and determination paid off, often in the top 5% of the cohort for the regular examinations, and emerging as one of the college’s top students at the A-level examinations.

As a tutor, I know this is not easy. I have coached students from Fail to A grade. However,  1/50 is a really bad fail, and to achieve A in a matter of months requires extreme effort short of a miracle. For Thiru to overcome his challenges and extremely weak Math foundation to achieve his amazing accomplishments, required a motivational figure in the form of his Math teacher.

Such motivational teachers are rare, and I am glad that Thiru has found his mentor.

Helen Exley — ‘Books can be dangerous. The best ones should be labeled This could change your life.’ Books are another source of motivation. For those who have not yet found their motivational figure, do not wait as true motivational teachers are few and far between. To encounter one like Thiru requires luck and good fortune. However, good motivational books are there and available if you look for it. I have compiled a list of Motivational Books for the Student, which is available by clicking on the link.

In Math, you must always believe that you can solve the answer, in order to solve it. Just like Thiru, if you believe in yourself, you can do it! A nice book to read about Math and Motivation is Math Doesn’t Suck: How to Survive Middle School Math Without Losing Your Mind or Breaking a Nail. Ideal for teenagers, this book features an award winning actress who struggled with math, but later overcame her fears to be one of the top in UCLA Math faculty. Even Terence Tao praised her.

Which Secondary school is the best in Singapore

Which Secondary school is the best in Singapore

Due to too many secondary schools, we can only list a few here at the start. There may be other secondary schools that can be the best in Singapore. Do feel free to add your own school and vote for it below!

Also feel free to leave any comments as to why the secondary school you choose is the best in Singapore. (We are not just looking at academic results, any valid reason like CCA, school atmosphere can be accepted.)

Also, check out: Which JC is the best in Singapore?

Mr Heng, however, noted that how well a child does in school depends on how motivated he is.

Source: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/parents-urged-to-consider/898332.html

Minister for Education Heng Swee Keat has said parents should consider other factors apart from a school’s previous year cut-off point (COP) when helping their P6 children decide on which secondary school to choose.

          Minister for Education Heng Swee Keat (Photo: MOE)

SINGAPORE: Minister for Education Heng Swee Keat has said parents should consider other factors apart from a school’s previous year cut-off point (COP) when helping their P6 children decide on which secondary school to choose.

Writing on his Facebook page, Mr Heng said it would be good for parents to have an open talk with their children to know what type of secondary school they are interested in.

Mr Heng, however, noted that how well a child does in school depends on how motivated he is.

So he encourages parents to carefully consider the kind of environment that will best motivate their children, and enable them to develop themselves fully in the next four to five years.

Some children, he said, are late developers and the right environment helps them thrive.

Mr Heng urged parents to think of how best they can help their children develop confidence and enjoy the space to discover his talents and passions.

Continue reading at http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/parents-urged-to-consider/898332.html

Jurong West Secondary vice-principal takes issue with ‘every school is a good school’ ideal

Source: http://sg.news.yahoo.com/jurong-west-secondary-vice-principal-takes-issue-with-%E2%80%98every-school-is-a-good-school–ideal-103224519.html

By | Yahoo Newsroom 

Jurong West Secondary vice-principal takes issue with ‘every school is a good school’ ideal. (Screengrab of Google Maps)

“How many of our leaders and top officers who say that every school is a good school put their children in ordinary schools near their home? (Only) until they actually do so are parents going to buy (it).”

Those were the exact words of Jurong West Secondary School (JWSS) vice-principal Pushparani Nadarajah, who was responding to speakers and teachers’ discussions of making every school a good one at the inaugural AsiaEducationExpo (AEX) 2013, according to a report by The Straits Times.

During the first panel discussion, which was attended by about 200 participants, several educators expressed hope that parents would recognise the efforts of all schools to bring out the best in students.

The neighbourhood school’s vice principal’s startling remark drew applause from those who attended the event.

A 37-year-old mother, who has a primary-school-going child and another  child attending pre-school, who did not want to be named, told Yahoo Singapore she agrees with the vice-principal’s comments.

“Look at the ministers, most of them are from good schools, like SJI and Hwa Chong,” she said.

Continue reading at http://sg.news.yahoo.com/jurong-west-secondary-vice-principal-takes-issue-with-%E2%80%98every-school-is-a-good-school–ideal-103224519.html

List of Secondary Schools in Singapore; A Maths Tuition

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_secondary_schools_in_Singapore

Mainstream schools

Name Type School code Area[2] Notes Website
Admiralty Secondary School Government 3072 Woodlands [1]
Ahmad Ibrahim Secondary School Government 3021 Yishun [2]
Anderson Secondary School Government, Autonomous 3001 Ang Mo Kio [3]
Anglican High School Government-aided, Autonomous, SAP Bedok
Anglo-Chinese School (Barker Road) Government-aided Novena
Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) Independent, IP Dover Offers the IB certificate
Ang Mo Kio Secondary School Government 3026 Ang Mo Kio
Assumption English School Government-aided Bukit Panjang
Balestier Hill Secondary School Government Novena
Bartley Secondary School Government 3002 Toa Payoh
Beatty Secondary School Government 3003 Toa Payoh
Bedok Green Secondary School Government Bedok
Bedok North Secondary School Government Bedok
Bedok South Secondary School Government Bedok
Bedok Town Secondary School Government Bedok
Bedok View Secondary School Government Bedok
Bendemeer Secondary School Government Kallang
Bishan Park Secondary School Government Bishan
Boon Lay Secondary School Government Jurong West
Bowen Secondary School Government Hougang
Broadrick Secondary School Government Geylang
Bukit Batok Secondary School Government Bukit Batok
Bukit Merah Secondary School Government Bukit Merah
Bukit Panjang Govt. High School Government, Autonomous Chua Chu Kang
Bukit View Secondary School Government Bukit Batok
Catholic High School Government-aided, Autonomous, SAP, IP Bishan
Canberra Secondary School Government Sembawang
Cedar Girls’ Secondary School Government, Autonomous 3004 Toa Payoh
Changkat Changi Secondary School Government Tampines
Chestnut Drive Secondary School Government Bukit Panjang
CHIJ Katong Convent Government-aided, Autonomous Marine Parade
CHIJ Secondary (Toa Payoh) Government-aided, Autonomous 7004 Toa Payoh
CHIJ St. Joseph’s Convent Government-aided Sengkang
CHIJ St. Nicholas Girls’ School Government-aided, Autonomous, SAP Ang Mo Kio
CHIJ St. Theresa’s Convent Government-aided Bukit Merah
Chong Boon Secondary School Government Ang Mo Kio
Chua Chu Kang Secondary School Government Chua Chu Kang
Church Secondary School Government-aided
Chung Cheng High School (Main) Government-aided, Autonomous, SAP Marine Parade
Chung Cheng High School (Yishun) Government-aided Yishun
Clementi Town Secondary School Government Clementi
Clementi Woods Secondary School Government Clementi
Commonwealth Secondary School Government, Autonomous Jurong East
Compassvale Secondary School Government Sengkang
Coral Secondary School Government Pasir Ris
Crescent Girls’ School Government, Autonomous Bukit Merah
Damai Secondary School Government Bedok
Deyi Secondary School Government Ang Mo Kio
Dunearn Secondary School Government Bukit Batok
Dunman High School Government, Autonomous, IP, SAP Kallang
Dunman Secondary School Government, Autonomous Tampines
East Spring Secondary School Government Tampines
East View Secondary School Government Tampines
Edgefield Secondary School Government Punggol
Evergreen Secondary School Government Woodlands
Fairfield Methodist Secondary School Government-aided, Autonomous Queenstown
Fajar Secondary School Government Bukit Panjang
First Toa Payoh Secondary School Government 3208 Toa Payoh
Fuchun Secondary School Government Woodlands
Fuhua Secondary School Government Jurong West
Gan Eng Seng School Government Bukit Merah
Geylang Methodist School (Secondary) Government-aided Geylang
Greendale Secondary School Government Punggol
Greenridge Secondary School Government Bukit Panjang
Greenview Secondary School Government Pasir Ris
Guangyang Secondary School Government Bishan
Hai Sing Catholic School Government-aided Pasir Ris
Henderson Secondary School Government Bukit Merah
Hillgrove Secondary School Government Bukit Batok
Holy Innocents’ High School Government-aided Hougang
Hong Kah Secondary School Government Jurong West
Hougang Secondary School Government Hougang
Hua Yi Secondary School Government Jurong West
Hwa Chong Institution Independent, IP, SAP Bukit Timah
Junyuan Secondary School Government Tampines
Jurong Secondary School Government Jurong West
Jurong West Secondary School Government Jurong West
Jurongville Secondary School Government Jurong East
Juying Secondary School Government Jurong West
Kent Ridge Secondary School Government Clementi
Kranji Secondary School Government Chua Chu Kang
Kuo Chuan Presbyterian Secondary School Government-aided Bishan
Loyang Secondary School Government Pasir Ris
MacPherson Secondary School Government Geylang
Manjusri Secondary School Government-aided Geylang
Maris Stella High School Government-aided, Autonomous, SAP 7111 Toa Payoh
Marsiling Secondary School Government Woodlands
Mayflower Secondary School Government Ang Mo Kio
Methodist Girls’ School (Secondary) Independent Bukit Timah
Montfort Secondary School Government-aided Hougang
Nan Chiau High School Government-aided, SAP Sengkang
Nan Hua High School Government, Autonomous, SAP Clementi
Nanyang Girls’ High School Independent, IP, SAP Bukit Timah Affiliated to Hwa Chong Institution
National Junior College Government, IP Bukit Timah
Naval Base Secondary School Government Yishun
New Town Secondary School Government Queenstown
Ngee Ann Secondary School Government-aided, Autonomous Tampines
Northlight School Independent
North View Secondary School Government Yishun
North Vista Secondary School Government Sengkang
Northbrooks Secondary School Government Yishun
Northland Secondary School Government Yishun
NUS High School of Mathematics and Science Independent, IP, Specialised Offers the NUS High School Diploma
Orchid Park Secondary School Government Yishun
Outram Secondary School Government Central
Pasir Ris Crest Secondary School Government Pasir Ris
Pasir Ris Secondary School Government
Paya Lebar Methodist Girls’ School (Secondary) Government-aided, Autonomous Hougang
Pei Hwa Secondary School Government Sengkang
Peicai Secondary School Government Serangoon
Peirce Secondary School Government Bishan
Ping Yi Secondary School Government Bedok
Pioneer Secondary School Government 3062 Jurong West
Presbyterian High School Government-aided Ang Mo Kio
Punggol Secondary School Government Punggol
Queenstown Secondary School Government Queenstown
Queensway Secondary School Government Queenstown
Raffles Girls’ School (Secondary) Independent, IP Central Affiliated to Raffles Institution
Raffles Institution Independent, IP Bishan
Regent Secondary School Government Chua Chu Kang
Riverside Secondary School Government Woodlands
River Valley High School Government, Autonomous, IP, SAP Jurong West
St. Andrew’s Secondary School Government-aided 7015 Toa Payoh
St. Patrick’s School Government-aided Bedok
School of Science and Technology, Singapore Independent, Specialised Clementi
School of the Arts, Singapore Independent, Specialised Offers the IB certificate
Sembawang Secondary School Government Sembawang
Seng Kang Secondary School Government Sengkang
Serangoon Garden Secondary School Government Serangoon
Serangoon Secondary School Government Hougang
Shuqun Secondary School Government Jurong East
Si Ling Secondary School Government Woodlands
Siglap Secondary School Government Pasir Ris
Singapore Chinese Girls’ School Independent Novena
Singapore Sports School Independent, Specialised
Springfield Secondary School Government Tampines
St. Anthony’s Canossian Secondary School Government-aided, Autonomous Bedok
St. Gabriel’s Secondary School Government-aided Serangoon
St. Hilda’s Secondary School Government-aided, Autonomous Tampines
St. Margaret’s Secondary School Government-aided, Autonomous Bukit Timah
St. Joseph’s Institution Independent Novena
Swiss Cottage Secondary School Government Bukit Batok
Tampines Secondary School Government Tampines
Tanglin Secondary School Government Clementi
Tanjong Katong Girls’ School Government, Autonomous Marine Parade
Tanjong Katong Secondary School Government, Autonomous Marine Parade
Teck Whye Secondary School Government Chua Chu Kang
Temasek Academy Government, IP Affiliated to Temasek Junior College
Temasek Secondary School Government, Autonomous Bedok
Unity Secondary School Government Chua Chu Kang
Victoria Junior College Government, IP
Victoria School Government, Autonomous
West Spring Secondary School Government Bukit Panjang
Westwood Secondary School Government Jurong West
Whitley Secondary School Government Bishan
Woodgrove Secondary School Government Woodlands
Woodlands Ring Secondary School Government Woodlands
Woodlands Secondary School Government Woodlands
Xinmin Secondary School Government, Autonomous Hougang
Yio Chu Kang Secondary School Government Ang Mo Kio
Yishun Secondary School Government Yishun
Yishun Town Secondary School Government, Autonomous Yishun
Yuan Ching Secondary School Government Jurong West
Yuhua Secondary School Government Jurong West
Yusof Ishak Secondary School Government Bukit Batok
Yuying Secondary School Government-aided Hougang
Zhenghua Secondary School Government Bukit Panjang
Zhonghua Secondary School Government, Autonomous Serangoon