Things nobody tells you before O Level exams

An O Level candidate in their final days will be subjected to an onslaught of “good luck”s and “all the best”s and a rather tedious amount of basic, repetitive advice telling you to remember to carry your passport and Statement of Entry on exam day. However, having recently attended these exams, I think a lot of important things remain unsaid.

So here’s a list of advice compiled from my newly minted experience that I wish I knew before I entered the exam hall.

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Your mock test results don’t determine your exam performance

Mock examinations are great for keeping track of your progress and advance through the syllabus, but the initial marks you get in them aren’t a proper indicator of how you will do in your exams. From my experience I’ve found that mocks serve the purpose of re-teaching you each chapter, so you’re actually supposed to be making mistakes and finding chinks in your armor so you can hone those topics better. Moreover, you’re more prone to making silly mistakes during mocks because the environment is nowhere near that of the exam hall, and you can easily get distracted.

It might get really cold in the halls

Most exam halls have air conditioners blasted at max so make sure you carry a light jacket along with you. Your feet might get cold as well so wear socks too. Some centers do not allow candidates to bring water bottles into the examination hall with them, so ensure that you will have access to drinking water during your paper.

Don’t discuss answers after the exam is done

As tempting as it is, you should try to refrain from consulting the council as soon as you exit the exam hall. It may feel extremely relieving knowing that you got some of your answers correct, but being privy to the fact that you got one or two of the answers wrong will cause you mental dissatisfaction and hinder your preparation for the upcoming exams. Try not to worry about an exam that’s already done with, since you can no longer do anything about it, you might as well move on and focus on doing better in the next exam.

Don’t protest for assessed grades one week before the exams

Not only is it not going to work, but the time you’re spending on the street could have been better used at the study table. Not only that, you will have a very high possibility of becoming the subject of incessant trolling, so maybe just accept your fate and pray to the threshold gods to save you that season.

Relax and enjoy the time you have

A common word of regret repeatedly heard from A level students is how much they wish they had lived life more when they were in the 10th grade. It’s no secret that the transition from O to A level is extremely abrupt, and you will no longer have the same amount of freedom or time to have fun or try out new experiences.

Achieving a decent result in O levels is not an insurmountable task, so go ahead and invest in ECAs, start your own projects, and live out your indie coming-of-age, aesthetic lives before A levels devours all of your free time.

Koushin is your average leftist e-girl with a love-hate relationship with academia. Send her condolences at

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