How to overcome academic challenges while studying for SPM 

For SPM students.

Being a student studying for their SPM exams can be emotionally and physically exhausting, however, regardless of how tired you are, completing the exams is something every student has to do. That being said, it doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to help make being a student less challenging. Here’s a list of common challenges many SPM students face and how to overcome them. 


  1. Time Management & Procrastination: 

One of the most common struggles students have is trying to balance revision, extracurricular activities, and a social life. While studying for SPM exams is most definitely the most important thing in a student’s life, they also need to have time to grow their social skills and soft skills. This dilemma often leads to students feeling overwhelmed or burnt out from trying to do everything at the same time. 

How to overcome this problem, is by using a diary or planner to help keep track and organize tasks, prioritize responsibilities, and help create a realistic schedule. Additionally, in these planners, tasks can be sorted through the Eisenhower matrix to determine what is urgent and needs to be done and what can be done at a later date. Students should also practice saying no when necessary and break larger tasks into smaller, more manageable parts. 


2. Study Skills: 

Inadequate study methods or a lack of proper study habits (or both) can prove to be a huge challenge for many students. Without a proper study plan, students often find that they waste their time jotting down notes and tips without actually being able to remember any information. 

To combat this issue, each student should experiment with different study plans and techniques to find out what works best for them. This can be done through the use of flashcards, mind maps, information summaries, or by teaching the concepts to someone else. Students can also try creating and sticking to a consistent study routine in a dedicated study space to help them keep motivated focused. They can also turn to their teachers or classmates to help them with tough concepts or even just to have study buddies to make studying less boresome. 


3. Test Anxiety: 

Feeling nervous or stressed while studying or right before exams can have an extremely negative impact on a student’s performance while both studying and in the exam hall. 

How to overcome this is by practicing relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing to help manage anxiety. Students can also manage their anxiety by preparing well in advance, allowing themselves to feel more ready and confident rather than anxious. They can do this by breaking down study material into easily digestible chunks as to not feel overwhelmed and simulating test conditions during revision to get the feel of answering questions with a time limit. 


4. Lack of Motivation: 

Easily one of the hardest struggles faced by SPM students is finding the motivation to continue studying, especially those subjects that students are particularly disinterested in. 

The fastest way to combat this lack of motivation is by setting clear and achievable goals, both in the short-term and long-term. This ensures that students Find personal connections to the material, seek out interesting aspects of each subject, and consider the future benefits of learning. Reward yourself for completing tasks and stay connected with supportive peers or mentors. 


5. Seeking Help: 

Fear of asking for help when facing academic challenges is another problem that hinders student learning. Most students are afraid to seek help in fear of embarrassment or out of anxiety. This, in turn, prevents students from being able to find answers to problems that they are facing. 

To overcome this fear, students can try to understand that seeking help is not a sign of weakness but rather a sign of strength. Many teachers are accustomed to students asking them questions and will not judge any questions poised to them. If asking a teacher is still too daunting of a task, students can even reach out to their peers to share their thoughts, ideas, and knowledge with one another. If that, too, is too scary, then you can make use of online learning platforms, such as SPMflix, to ask your questions online and allow teachers to explain them to you virtually. 


Studying for SPM can truly be taxing, but don’t let that stop you from studying hard and scoring well. Hang in there, you got this!