Managing stress and expectations

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With prelims up coming, many O’level students have started preparing full gear- cue late nights, lethargic mornings and the very dreaded pile of revision practices building up. It’s no wonder that many students complain about being stressed out.

Some work better with high stress levels, but here at StudyLoungeSG we believe that stress levels should be in moderation. While healthy stress levels can propel you ahead, challenging your personal goals, excessive stress can inversely, slow you down. A lot.

We’ve all been there before: we know the guilt that comes with granting ourselves (much needed) breaks. We’ve been taught that time not spent doing something, anything, is time wasted. However, after years of teaching students, we’ve found out that blinding marching on (counter-productive really) is really just a myth. By taking adequate breaks and effectively managing stres levels, it truly bolsters productivity by heaps and bounds.

Here, we’ve compiled a list of tips that we’ve gathered to help you ace your O’levels!

It's a marathon, not a race

Contrary to what many believe, the journey leading up to O’levels isn’t a race- it’s a long running marathon. Pacing yourself is key for effective learning, you wouldn’t want to find yourself burnt out before you even reach the finishing line.

The baseline is this, maintaining a slow but steady pace is better than bursting in short spurts. Tortoise, hare, tortoise, hare. You get the drift.

Start off slow and ramp it up

The trick here is to start off at a comfortable pace and slowly push your limits. You can try to sit down for 12 hours a day to do your revision but trust me, you will burn out in a matter of days. You will completely lose your motivation to study and it backfires instead. So this is what we are suggesting:

  •  (realistically) 2 hours of daily revision, followed by a concept map right after to test whether you’ve truly internalized the key concepts you just studied


  • gradually increase it by half an hour after every week to slowly get accustomed to the workload. Aim to hit 8-10 hours a day by the time you are approaching O levels. You can thank us next time when you realise how you are able to study for 10 hours a day without feeling restless. The key? Start slow.

Celebrate the small victories!

REWARD is really important here as well. As much as you can study hours on end, adequately giving yourself small incentives to push on will consistently motivate you and make it less tempting to be distracted during your study sessions.

When you hit a certain daily goal, reward yourself with a break! Go have your meal or even watch one episode Game of Thrones online! Who says you are not allowed to take breaks when you did your due diligence! Maybe for every chapter you finish revising, reward yourself with your favourite snack! (although we would recommend you to do this moderately…)

Rewarding yourself is a important form of intrinsic motivation. It can even be as simple as talking a stroll downstairs or going for a swim after your 2 hour intense prelim paper practice. By taking pit stops along the way, you will learn the art of sustainable success!

We know that sometimes, self discipline is really hard. Here, we’ve tracked down some of our favourite apps to boost productivity!

Apps that you can use include:

  • Habitica (highly recommended!)

  • Eggzy

  • Plantie

  • Forest (free for Android users)

If you feel that you are constantly stressed out by your academics and find that you are in a constant state of anxiety and frustration, consider visiting studyloungesg for a free consultation session with our tutors for a one-to-one session! The session is absolutely free and we are here to help you out, because we care!

For more tips and related articles, be sure to give us a follow on our instagram @studyloungesg !

tsl team