by Ng Weihan
Singaporeans, and those pursuing education in Singapore, are often intimidated by the word ‘examination’.
In fact, this is not at all surprising, considering that we live in a meritocratic society, and our future is very much dependent on our grades. Not too long ago, the PSLE and ‘N’ Level results were released while the ‘O’ and ‘A’ Level results are going to be released in a couple of weeks time.
Coming from the perspective of a student, who faced many challenges while studying, I decided to share my story.
I clearly remember my primary school teacher telling me that I could be mildly dyslexic. I didn’t quite believe and never wanted to, until I struggled hard with my academics in secondary school.
Concepts that my friends could easily grasp, like Electromagnetism and Mathematical Problems in real world situations, were extremely tough for me. I confided in that primary school teacher of mine and shared with her some of difficulties. She sent me an online dyslexia test which I did, and the results came out to be ‘moderately dyslexic’. I was a year away from the ‘O’ Level examinations. At that point in time, I decided that hard work was the only way that was going to get me through the national exam – I had to give my all. I did all the practices that I could, trying and failing over and over again, but never giving up.
A year flew by in the blink of an eye, and my heart was thumping fast and hard as I stood in front of the teachers’ desk, on the 11th of January 2017, all ready to collect my ‘O’ Level results. As I pulled the results slip out of the crisp white envelope, a wave of emotions swept through me and tears meandered across my face. I wasn’t sure if I was happy or sad. Probably happy that 7 distinctions could get me to my dream institution, but sad that my inability to learn as quickly as my peers meant that I did not do as well as them even though I worked hard.
I moved on with life and went to a Junior College. Life seemed pretty smooth-sailing as a positive attitude of mine brought me once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. However, a month before the promotional examinations, my dad wasn’t in the pink of health and suffered a heart attack. Going through heart procedures meant that my mum and I would have to travel to-and-fro from the hospital to home and, it greatly impacted my studies. I was both worried and stress. It definitely wasn’t easy, juggling between academics and family. Yet, with hard work once again, I pulled through the promotional examination, doing pretty well.
To my fellow Singaporeans out there, who have or are receiving your results for the national examinations, please do not be disheartened if you did not do as well, but know that hard work will get you through eventually.