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Interview with 'O' Level Graduates

After the release of the 2018 ‘O’ level results, we were given the opportunity to interview some of the O level graduates who had just received their results after months of anticipation.

Q1: What are your feelings right now after receiving your results?

Anisah: I think right now I feel very numb but overall I feel very happy because I have achieved the expectations I had set for myself for O levels.

Natanya: I feel quite happy because it’s the score I was hoping for!

Shalini:  I’m feel relieved because all the hard work and effort I put in paid off. Moreover, I’m a DSA into VJC so when I saw that I did reach my goal, I was really relieved. Thank god!
Celest: I feel very happy and thankful towards the school and the teachers for helping me achieve my goals. 

Tanvi: I am really overwhelmed as I did not expect this.

Q2: Where/who did you draw your inspiration/motivation from?
Rachel Quek: My mother, father, and teachers

Hui Qi: I drew my inspiration from my brother because he did very well for his ‘O’ Levels so I also wanted to do well.

Isa: I think a lot of my inspiration came from my friends, my family and my teachers. I truly wanted to do well so that my parents don't have to worry about me

Chloe: My friends. They were all equally motivated and we constantly encouraged each other along the way. 

Estelle: I think some of my motivation was from the teachers I encountered from Secondary 1 to 4. They actually saw the problems I had and instead of asking me to simply focus on my studies only, they showed care for my overall wellbeing. I felt like they saw me as a person not just a student. I am very grateful for their constant support and they are the reason I did well in my studies.

Tanvi: Some of my seniors who did not do well in Sec 3 actually improved tremendously and got into really good schools. They were my source of inspiration. 

Yu Xun: My parents were my source of motivation. They were always so encouraging.

Q3: What are some of the study methods you employed?

Rachel Teo: I am an auditory learner so I think it is best for me to recite my notes repeatedly to a wall or mirror to memorise my content. Additionally, if you are one of those that study last minute, you should really push yourself to start earlier! From my experience, by studying earlier, it is easier to clarify my doubts and be sure of the content I’ve revised.

Anisah: Some good study methods I’ve employed, especially for my Science subjects, was mindmaps. Making it colourful like what they taught us in the Resilience Workshop helped me to improve my studies.

Isa: Study methods differ from person to person. Thus, you need to explore some study methods and find out which suits you best. For example, visual learners would prefer using mind maps and auditory learners would prefer to recite their notes out loud. It is really important to know which method suits you. For me, I’ve realised that although I am a visual learner that prefers mindmaps, I am not very organised. My solution was writing on whiteboards, which gave me the opportunity to review what I’ve known and find out what I did not know.

Shalini: A lot of students have this misconception that they do not need to listen in class and can read up on their own. However, I realised that it is important to pay attention in class as most of the thinking for me happened in the classroom. 

Ke En: I wrote on the whiteboard for example when memorising content heavy subjects like Biology and would pretend to teach someone else. It helped me deepen my understanding of the subject. I am also an auditory leaner so I would read out my notes to grasp the content better. 

Q4: How did you manage your time between academics and other commitments?

Natanya: It is important to know what commitments you are attached to and be clear of your responsibilities. You can have a schedule or some kind of planner to list out your tasks. Procrastination is not easy to avoid and to overcome this I fell back on my planner which helped me to be on task and actually allowed me to have some rest time too.

Celest: I had to ensure that I did not ignore my family and so I tried to keep my Sundays free so that I can spend the day with my family and friends. On weekdays I tried to complete my work by 6 pm to have dinner with my family and this was important to me. 

Shalini: I realised that it was important to make use of all my free time like before and after training. While commuting home I would try my best to read through my notes. I know that everyone is tired after CCA but it is important to also spend time revising everyday as I realised consistency is key. 

Yu Xun: Time management is important, I used any free time I had such as traveling time and free period or recess to read through my notes. 

Q5: What are some obstacles you faced, and how did you manage to overcome them?

Anisah: I think the main obstacle faced would be family matters. In my Secondary 4 year, many things happened between my parents and I found it very hard to continue to study and be motivated to push on. As I am not only a student, I am also a family member, I realised that I have a responsibility to my family as I did to my education. Besides that, another obstacle would be commitments from secondary 3. Personally, I feel that secondary 3 was one of the most painful years as there were a sudden influx of commitments and responsibilities. I had to learn on the job, however when I went up to secondary 4, it was easier as I had learnt to manage these expectations I have of myself.

Rachel Teo: One obstacle I faced was the stress level, especially nearing the ‘O’ levels. At the period leading up to ‘O’ levels, the stress levels was really high. What I suggest is taking breaks between revisions, by going for walks or taking naps to relieve your stress. What I felt helped me a lot was to take such breaks and reward myself by watching a video or listening to some music after completing a task.

Isa: For me, there were many challenges I faced along the way during my secondary 4 year. However, I think it is very important that you keep believing in yourself and telling yourself that whatever happens, there are people you can rely on when you need them so don’t be afraid to fall and when you fall don’t be afraid to ask for help to get yourself back up. Keep believing in yourself and you will get there in the end.

Celest: I was feeling nervous at the beginning of the year because I wasn’t sure about the ways to juggle between my CCA, studies, responsibilities as a house leader. However, with support from my friends and house masters I was encouraged and eventually got the hang of it. I realised that I had to persevere and not give up. 

Lanqing: My biggest obstacle was English Language as I am not a local student so this is really like my second language. I worked very hard to improve in my language with the support of my friends and teachers. Although at the initial stages in Crescent I did not badly with consistent effort I did improve and am so happy with my O level results. 

Tanvi: Initially I was feeling overwhelmed by the tests and the test grades but after speaking to my friends and teachers I learnt to manage my emotions better and it really helped because I was calm during O levels, which helped me think clearly. 

Q6: What were some distractions you faced and how did you manage to overcome them?

Rachel Teo: One of the greatest distractions for us would be our hand phones. I suggest using apps such as ‘Forest’ and ‘Tide’ that will lock your phone so you would not be able to access it for a certain period of time.

Rachel Quek: I studied with my friends to prevent myself from getting distracted. 

Kyra: I shut down all the apps that were distracting and focused the time on studying. However, when I felt like resting I would re-open these apps and use it to de-stress. I think the important thing is to learn to balance your time between rest time and revision time. 

Chloe: There are certain apps that can restrict you from using your phone for a certain period of time. I used those apps to prevent myself from getting distracted by social media. 

Q7: What advice do you have for your juniors taking their ‘O’ levels this year (2019)?

Natanya: All the best! It may seem like a really big hurdle now but in the end it will all work out and you’ll find that ‘O’ levels is still manageable and as you’re left with slightly less than one year, really do need to work hard for it and make full use of your time and cherish all your classes as what you learn in lessons is really very important.

Anisah: To all the juniors taking ‘O’ levels this year, anything can happen this year. You have to be open-minded and just stay strong. Just remember that there will be people around you who will be there for you and help you so don’t give up and reach out to ask for help when you need it. You’ll definitely do well, the teachers in Crescent will definitely prepare you well. All the best!

Estelle: Always get enough sleep, at least about 10 hours of sleep a day and the study. 

Celest: Do not study throughout the night and sleep in class because you will miss out so much if you are not paying attention in class. At least try to sleep by 11 pm and you will feel refreshed in the morning and be more attentive during lessons. 

Shalini: All the best! Is it not going to be easy but have faith in yourself and surround yourself with friends who are equally motivated to do well. If you have any questions, do not be shy to ask your teachers for help. 

Ke En: Do not be hard on yourself if you ever not do well in any of the tests. Sometimes, you might do badly but failure is part and parcel of life and your test grades will not determine your O level results so do not let the numbers get to you!

Lanqing: My advice is to believe in yourself. Sometimes you will get bad results but you need to have faith in yourself.

Wen Xin: You should be confident and never give up. It’s always never too late to start working hard. Also remember to take time to rest. Work hard!

Q8: How do you think the Crescent school culture helped you in preparing for your O Levels?

Isa: I think Crescent has a culture that is very supportive. Teachers know when students need help even when we do not ask for help. They always devote themselves to their students. Personally, night study sessions are something I am really very grateful for because it gave me a chance to really buckle down and study in an environment that is conducive, especially if there is a lot going on at home. It is easy to ask your friends for help too! Crescent has provided me the opportunities to better myself and the teachers are always willing to go the extra mile for us.

Chloe: Crescent is nurturing as the teachers are helpful and they act as a source of motivation for us. 

Rachel Quek: The teachers are always so supportive and have helped me quite a lot during stressful times. My classmates and friends were also equally understanding and encouraging, for example we shared our notes with each other. There were times I was struggling with some subjects like A Math and Chinese and I got help from my friends Min and Crisann who always helped me with the subjects I was weaker in and I would help them with subjects they were weaker in. 

Wen Xin: I think the teachers are helpful and they have always been there to help me whenever I had some doubts or difficulties. We were able to approach them for consultations and they always tried to help us improve. 

Ke En: I think everyone in the school is supportive especially as we were nearing O levels so it made me feel like I was not fighting a one-man battle. Teachers were also always available for consultations. 

Q9: What are some of your plans after this?
Anisah:  I have plans I have thought up way before the ‘O’ levels. I wish to take the Biomedical Science course at Ngee Ann Polytechnic because I really want to become a doctor or a job in that field. I am also doing this for my family as after I go to polytechnic I plan to go to university. This is just a plan, I have no idea if I will change my mind as my ‘O’ level grades are what I wanted but I think this is what I am going with for now.

Ke En: I am still conflicted between JC and Poly, I need some time to think through. I do know that I am going to do something in the science field. 

Wen Xin: I am going to JC and am interested in the science stream. I am also excited to choose another CCA that would be of interest to me!

 1.Tanvi Shankar (4C1) 1.Vaishnavi Singh (4C1)
Rachel Quek Ju En (4C2)
 2.Jahnvi Kaushik (4C1)
 3.Estelle Zhang Xu (4C2) 3.Caitlyn Chew Su’en (4C1)
 4.Chen Wen Xin (4S1) 4.Sarah Chow Wan Xuan (4C1)
 5.Lyu Lanqing (4S1)
 5.Elise Tan En Ci Paan (4C2)
 6.Shreya Reddy (4S1)
 6.Yu Yu Wint Maung (4C2)
 7.Teo Ke En (4S1)
 7. Nila Hari (4G1)
 8.S. Shalini (4S1) 8.Amrita Prasad (4G2)
 9.Chuang Wen Yan Natanya (4G2)
 9.Crystal Yong (4G2)
 10.Yong Hui Qi (4S2)
 10.Keerthana Reddy Eswaravaka (4G3)
 11.Rachel Teo Xin Hui (4S2)
 11.Su Nanda Moe (4G3)
 12.Celest Liew Tian Hui (4S2)
 12.Madeline Yap Kah Mun (4S1)
 13.Kyra Wong Li Ann (4S2) 13.Fatimah Binte Mazlan (4S1)
 14.Pang Yu Xun (4S2)
 14.Amrita Kokkeri (4S2)
 15.Anisah Nurhani Binte Abdul S (4S3)
 15.Bernice Yap (4S2)
 16.Ardelia Isa (4S3)
 17.Chloe Lim Xinying (4G2)