Students’ most under-utilised study weapon: Assessment books and Practice papers

Beyond a shadow of a doubt, every student is aware that assessment books and practice papers are of utmost importance in helping them succeed. However, it is a pity that students are unaware of how these resources can be utilised to the maximum potential to strive for those ‘A’ grades. A useful resource when underutilised is as good as not being utilised at all as the opportunities that it presents are not being grasped rightfully.

So, how can students utilise their assessment books and practice papers to the best of their ability?


The biggest mistake (and the most common) that students make is to rush into beavering away at their desk by completing one practice paper after another for every subject. This is dangerous as the amount of effort being put in only gives diminishing returns and the end-result further goes on to destroy hope in oneself and the joy for learning.

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Before moving on to practice and master one’s skills, it is of utmost importance for the student to have a clear idea of the content and the concepts that are discussed in great detail in it. It is also essential for students to be able to differentiate the high-yield information from those that are not so significant while learning and in order for a student to accomplish, he needs to understand that not all information is created equal.

Achieving clarity in the concepts being given in the textbooks and/or lecture notes is the first step to achieving stellar results in examinations.


This is a crucial step to get pass and also a challenging one for almost every student. Examiners are keen on testing students’ ability to connect the dots by themselves and present the conceptual linking in their exam papers to derive the answers. For example, a single math question may test concepts like differentiation, geometrics and kinematics and such questions require students to understand that how these concepts are inter-linked to one another and according to that understanding, the student needs to implement the right techniques of solving the mathematical problem to arrive at the answer.


Every student in his learning journey will inevitably be confused about concepts or wrongly assume one thing to be something else. The beauty of learning is to essentially learn, unlearn and relearn concepts every now and then, and what is most important is to do it with enthusiasm.

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On many occasions’ students may find themselves being unable to explain a concept that they have learnt to their peers and this is a sign that there are some logic gaps that have been created in the learning process. When working on practice papers and assessment books, if certain kind of questions are more challenging than others, students should take note of the pattern and revisit the respective topics to solidify the material before coming back to the question.


There are numerous home tutors in Singapore who have the knowledge and expertise to guide students to achieve excellence. Unfortunately, many students try too much all by themselves and push their boundaries too far causing them to burn out at one point. Letting things snowball will never yield positive results. So, it is essential for students to seek the necessary help from home tutors to save their grades before it’s too late.

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For students who are not struggling, private tuition will still be a great support as tuition teachers will be able to guide them with even better resources and teach them to adopt new learning techniques which can boost productivity.


Learning may be challenging but it’s equally as rewarding when students choose to be patient and persistent. A good student knows that studying smart is more important than studying hard and an even better student knows that he or she should never be afraid to ask for help and support when needed!