5 Essential study tips to scoring well

I'm not exactly a pro in this nor the perfect example, but many of you have been seeking help from me with your exams! And since it's the "exam period", I thought it's a great time to do an updated version on some useful tips  I follow religiously!

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It may not work for all of you but this is just how I usually do it!

1) Select a conducive environment

My surroundings can easily affect the way I feel, which is why finding the right spot to study is the first on my list. Good environment = good mood to study.

I know it's already a pretty known fact that you've to find a suitable place to study, but it seems like many people don't actually put it to action? I notice how many of my friends love studying at crowded places like Mcdonalds, Starbucks, Coffee Bean. I used to study at Changi Airport during my O'lvl days but I think it's pretty overrated now and which I totally do not recommend during peak hours cos the crowd can get pretty overwhelming and it can cause you to lose focus.

Also, don't ever study on your bed - It may work for some, but I feel that it can get tempting to fall into a deep slumber.

I don't really like studying at home as I'll get distracted with the things in my room, so here are some places I would recommend:

- Book Cafe (This is by far my fav cafe to work at, it's quiet in the afternoon on weekdays and opens till around 1030pm at night. Not only does it serve awesome food, there's also a corner where you could get cosy on their sofas and work on your stuff.

- Marina Bay Link I swear one of my biggest problems was finding a place during the weekends because it's so freaking crowded everywhere. Some time ago I noticed that Marina Bay Link is a ghost town over the weekends since it's a corporate area.

- Priv√©, Keppel Bay If you update yourself on Hao's tweets you should know that I was just studying there couple of weeks ago during my assessment period. Great scenery, food and ambience. However the food might be a little more on the pricier end so you might wanna take that into consideration.

- The Grandstand Been there several times for project meetings with my friends. Many cafes in that mall (or should I say food centre haha) I would suggest to avoid this place over the weekends as it's a family friendly place and the kids there can be quite rowdy.

I could go on and on, but let's not make this post all about awesome cafes hahaha. Let me know in the comment section if you'd like to know more places and perhaps I could write a separate entry the next time! :)

Anyway, if your parents are strict on your whereabouts, I guess another alternative would be to stay in school after classes. Reason being, most people usually head back after school hours and I'm sure most of your schools have plenty of quiet spots that you could access!

Lastly, I'm not a fan of the national library (seriously f*ck that, there are too many people there) but I love my school library, so go ahead and make full use of your it if you're allowed to study in there!

2) Plan your schedule

I know this sounds redundant and I'm aware that schedules are pretty hard to keep up to since unforeseen events tend to take place. However, instead of writing a timetable (eg. 11am wake up, 12pm eat etc) just jot down the things you have to complete by the end of the day/week. So somewhat like a to-do list.

If you're not too fond of bringing a book around and since most of you are on your phones most of the time, you can set Reminders using the iPhone app or mark your S Planner on Android. Another alternative is to download the Desktop Calendar on your laptop (Windows users) or put sticky notes on your dashboard! (Mac)

Not only does this help you to check if you're on track, you'll feel a sense of accomplishment once you've completed the things your required to do. This way, it sets as a form of mental motivation as well. 

Be realistic with your goals btw! Don't aim to rush and finish 10 chapters within a day because your brain would probably be fried after the 3rd.

3) Take ample amount of rest 

Please ah, when I said ample I don't mean like 10 mins study and 5 hours break lol. Personally, I can go up to 3-4 hours at one go, followed by a 30 mins - 1 hour interval. Of course, this depends on how much time you have in a day so you'd probably have to adjust it to suit you. I usually start studying minimally 2-3weeks before a paper so I don't have to restrict myself when it comes to the number of hours I've to squeeze in in a day. Besides, its acts as a leeway for extra revision time.

Above that, it's also important to sleep at regular timings. At tertiary level we have study breaks, and classes start in the afternoon on some days so it doesn't really matter how late I stay up till. However, if you're in primary/sec school... I would suggest to stick to a regular sleeping and waking up timing.

Simply because you can easily screw up your body clock whenever you adjust your sleep schedules - Which is a really bad thing because it's hard to concentrate in class once you start to feel like you're in a paradise filled with feathery pillows and springy beds.

Besides, that saves you from taking naps after school! I used to take naps and it's really bad because I'll start procrastinating... Then I'll end up sleeping for more than an hour at times and I'll be wide awake during bedtime at night. 

If you desperately need a nap, try not to hit more than 30mins!

Now that I'm done sharing with you some of the ways I prep myself for a good study session, next are some tips on how I usually score for my texts/exams!

4) Forget about keeping a nice handwriting

Surely, keep your revision notes nice and neat for all you want but when you're trying to memorise something or scribble things that you're uncertain about, work on rough paper instead and FORGET ABOUT YOUR GOD DAMN HANDWRITING!!!

Tbh I'm saying this based on my personal experience as I used to care a lot about my handwriting while writing my notes, and it can get pretty distracting the moment you start caring about how your words look more than what you're actually writing.

That being said, I'll usually try to familiarise myself with a piece of content by writing it several times on a rough paper. Once I'm sure and confident, I'll then proceed to writing it out nicely on my notebook so that I could read and revise. You can do it the other way round as well, both works!

Anyway, point is to get what you wanna memorise into your head and not to have it look perfect. Remember, you're studying not designing an award-winning poster.

5) Get someone to test you

I'm not sure who's willing to do this for you, but I'll usually get someone to test me every single day, a week before my paper. (Sometimes even more) This way, you're like preparing yourself for the real deal and it will sorta boost your confidence as you start getting more and more of your answers right along the way.

You can do it verbally... but not trying to show off, I scored full marks for my tests twice when I took the extra effort to write down my answers and get someone to mark it for me instead. :p

If no one's willing to do this for you, I guess you can go ahead and test yourself by writing and checking it thereafter - But I honestly feel that it doesn't work as well and would definitely not work at all if you decide to surrender and peek at the answers lol.


There are probably a million other ways to go about doing this, but above are just some of my preferred and (I guess) more substantial methods that I wanna share!

After all, these are just some help I can offer but in order to pass or ace your papers, you will need to try your very best.

I know it's tough to find joy in studying especially when you're in primary or secondary school. When I was at that stage, I hated almost every subject in school and all I could think of are the fun things to do when my exams are over but education is really important.

People often ask me why don't I give up on my studies to focus on my career but because it's my backup plan. The media world is complicated, tiring and unpredictable. I always believe that people want to see new things and they'll eventually get bored of me.

New bloggers will come by and replace me in no time.  Even though I'd love to do this for as long as I can, I feel that it's important to receive proper education and graduate with good grades.

Fame may be an easy way to earn you a living, but fame doesn't last - Skills do.

Trust me, after my O's I thought of home schooling and sometimes I even wanted to drop out of school but I'm so thankful I didn't  cos otherwise I'd be leading an aimless life with no direction.

I won't deny that going out to work gains you work experince compared to what you learn in school sometimes, but how do you even start working without learning the fundamentals?

I used to say things like, "Why do I even have to study this, it's pointless and I wouldn't even need it in future", or "I could study all these at home by myself."

Question is, WOULD YOU? 

Could you guarantee that you'll be disciplined enough to study on your own accord everyday?

There's no shortcut to success; you reap what you sow. Don't regret when it's too late!

All the best for your exams darlings!

If you've more interesting and useful ways, do leave a comment below and share it with everyone! I guess we could all use an extra tip or two. :)

My three years of experience with Gushcloud

 8 MAY 2015 Update: A lot of you know that I took this post down the day I posted it. That was because I was told back then that it was the wrong time and as much as I didn't want to bring harm to anyone, I couldn't help but feel bitter that I wasn't able to express my side of the story. But oh well, now that all the drama has subsided, I have decided to live it again.

______________________

I guess 3 years ago, I picked a path and embarked on a new journey that has made a significant difference to my life; Never would I have known I'd be back here today reconsidering my choices.

I am no longer your 16 year old sweetheart. 3 years back, I would've kept my lips sealed and sucked it up but that's no longer the case. For a good 2 years, abiding by my managers' preferences regardless of my own interest was something I was taught to believe that all bloggers were supposed to do. - It wasn't until last year when I started to question the unusual operations of Gushcloud because of an insane amount of questionable incidences.

Disclaimer: This post is written based on my 3 years of working experience with Gushcloud and the reason I'm writing this is not to defame Gushcloud nor to jump on the bandwagon of the entire Xiaxue/Gushcloud saga.

I thought it's just time I finally clarify something - I HAVE NEVER BEEN CONTRACTED TO GUSHCLOUD.

I know it may come as a surprise to many of you because I've always claimed to be their "influencer/blogger," but it was only because I was being gracious towards them.

As one of their pioneer bloggers I thought I would be in an appropriate position to give my honest comment on everything that has been happening because it seems like none of the influencers dare to breathe a word on how they truly feel nor to air their grievances even though I'm aware that many of them would agree with the things I'm about to say.

How it started...

It all started in early 2012 when I was approached by both, Nuffnang and Gushcloud at the same time to be contracted as one of their bloggers.

I eventually chose Gushcloud because they offered me much more than what Nuffnang did - And because I was pretty young back then, my dad stepped in and took over all the discussions.

As my dad has over 20 years of experience in the advertising industry, I trusted him when he suggested that I shouldn't sign the contract and be tied down to Gushcloud, so I didn't and I never did.

However, despite not signing, I was rather faithful to them (or should I say naive?) and agreed upon any requests they asked for. I took up every assignment that was given to me even when my dad repeatedly stressed that I wasn't fairly paid and I shouldn't. I didn't heed any of his advices and even fought with him every time we had a conversation pertaining to Gushcloud.

How it went down...

As far as I know, in 2012 most of their payments to me were never punctual and everything accumulated up to xxxxx amount in that year alone. Their reason was always, "Clients have not paid us yet." I don't know if that's true, it's still a mystery to me until today.

There were several times where external companies came to me and wanted to engage in my services, however I was reprimanded by my manager and was told that I should pass them any jobs henceforth. Which I did.

However, for some unknown reason, almost every potential client didn't revert to me after Gushcloud handled it on my behalf.

I was not alone in this, even Jian Hao experienced similar situations too.

Just so you know, Jian Hao, Danial Ron were recommended by me to join Gushcloud at the beginning of 2013 and not long after, Julian Tay, Yahya, Ridhwan came along because of Jian Hao.

After I got closer to Jian Hao, I was then introduced to some other people of the same industry in early 2014. And as time passed, I started to discover how I was severely underpaid and was paid even lower than many other bloggers in the market whom statistics and engagements were far lesser than mine.

I wasn't exactly pissed or anything, because I always thought it was already a privilege to be earning that sorta money, but I was a disappointed and one thing for sure, I kept my cool and continued working with them - The only different thing from then on was that I learnt how say "NO" to the things I felt uncomfortable doing or which devalue my worth.

There were many other reasons which contribute to my official departure, but I guess I'll let bygones be bygones and I suppose there isn't a need to point them down for every single petty mistake they've made, but that doesn't mean that I agree with the things they've done or are still doing whether is it to me, or to someone else.

All in all, I just wanted to say that some of them were really nice and offered help when I needed, but I started having my doubts when I learnt many things about them.  

Were they were really nice, or did their public facade masked a side of Gushcloud I never knew about?

At some point, I felt like I was just their money making tool and perhaps the friendship we had wasn't real.

I must admit I'm pretty close to a few of the staff from Gushcloud and because they have been looking out for me and provided me with the little things I asked for on several occasions, I always found it hard to sever ties with them because I chose to believe they aren't what people think they are.

However, the person who would once be the first to stand up and say "I believe in Gushcloud" has turned into someone who isn't able to make an affirmation on whether they are capable of all the things which people are talking about. - Which is why I have decided to make it clear that I'm no longer part of their committee.

And dear clients or potential business partners, you can now contact me directly at naaomineo@gmail.com for any business enquires.

Thank you. :)

Getting my new tattoo.

Some say tattoo's a form or art, some call it an expression - I call it remembrance. 

Sorry I took so long before I came up with this post guys. At this point in time, I'm not exactly sure if there's still a single soul reading my blog because of my inefficiency and lack of updates - Have been putting so much focus on my school work that I neglected this space of mine that I took years to build.

Sometimes I ask myself if it's worth it; Is it worth it to actually forsake my (pretty) well-paying job for my studies? After all, my passion is still in writing and will school help me realise my goals? What if I don't get the job I want? What if my job doesn't pay as well in future? WHAT IF I CAN'T EVEN GET A JOB? What's a starting pay of $3000 (If I'm lucky enough to hold a degree) today? Will that be enough? At the rate of how everything is increasing significantly in price, can we even afford to buy ourselves a filling meal with $2, 50 years down the road?

I've so many thoughts in mind. What should I do? Should I drop out of school now? But if I do, what if my career goes down? What am I gonna depend on? Should I at least get a cert first? But school is adding so much weight to my shoulders. How am I supposed to maintain a 3.8 GPA while I sustain my position in both my blogging and vlogging career? There's only so much one can do isn't it?

Work wise, I need minimally 3 days to take photos, blog, come up with a script, scout for locations and do up a video. School wise, I spend at least 4 hours a day on my school work. Not to mention, my school starts at 9 everyday and the latest it ends is at 6/8 in the evening. Above all of these that I've to commit, I need time to do my regular activities and spend adequate time with my loved ones too... So what now?

It's crazy! I've accumulated up to 158 chats on whatsapp 280 & texts messages and everyday I get people cursing me for not replying their messages lol. Hahahahaha #sorrynotsorry

It all boils down to perseverance doesn't it? How much I want it. How much time and effort I'm willing to invest just for the life I long for.

I love challenges, I love it when I have so many things to do because I feel driven this way. I feel like I'm living everyday with a purpose. I want to be not only good, but the best at everything I'm doing. It's pressurising, but I WANT IT SO BAD.

//

With that said, I got this tattoo to remind myself the obstacles I've faced throughout my life; represented by the mountains.

The wolf in this case, signifies me as a person. How wolves are strong by nature and always excited for challenges. My designer put a lot into the sizes as well, ensuring that the mountains (obstacles) are not too big so that they don't overpower the wolf (me).

Like they say, it's not about the destination but the climb right? The heights are worth the climb because I believe it's gonna be beautiful when I finally reach the summit.

The last 6 years of being exposed to the social media scene wasn't the easiest thing that has ever occurred to me, in fact it was one of the hardest. Can you imagine receiving up to 50 comments a day telling you that you're ugly and all sorts of other nasty comments 6 years ago, at age 13? Hahaha. It was crazy. Sometimes I've no idea how I survived till today.

Which is why I wanted to remember these moments in my life. Struggle, pain, happiness - All the sweet and bitter moments made me who I am today. All in this tattoo. :)

It's amazing how all these were explained in words and translated into an image with the help of my designer.

Done at Primitive Art // Designed by Aeriel // Artist Douglas

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