Category Archives: School


Having my mind unwind to half a year ago, my lips rose to a convex function parabola, feeling reluctant to stop dreaming and return to the real world. I then started to think: why was high school graduation worth a nostalgia? Here’s the reason, broke down into three parts:

Part 1: The Magazine.

“Many of you may ask, why don’t we do a PDF file and save costs?” One teacher captured our heart with this question. “Because of nostalgia!” she continued. Soon our job began: RM 180 of funding per pax. I was fortunate enough to had one of my relative (as a businessman) to contribute advertisement which costs RM 150, and had my job almost settled by December 2012. Some, unfortunately, had to seek for donations and keep counting how far they had gone towards their goal. This explains the enormous amount of advertisement in the back cover: more than half of a book! The book was then completed in October 2013:

There’s no decent translation of the theme, showing how Chinese phrases can be unique so that no translation can replace/supersede it. A thumbs-up to the committee for their year-long hard work!

Part 2: The song.

While the number of graduation and farewell song could overwhelm the market, which should we use? The most prominent piece “aud lang sye”? Nope, our ancestor composed one specially for Chung Ling brother schools. Interestingly, our school (exclusive for CL Butterworth) had a unique graduation song every year (all in Chinese Language), many thanks to a school senior who fought for this).

How could it be a no good news for me? I had a 4-bar motive in my head since Form 2, and I decided that that’s the right time to throw that in. I was then inspired by my senior who graduated in 2012 with this unprecedented successful F# major piece (marvel in both lyrics and melody):

(Name of piece: The sky of memories)
LOL he did the whole work himself, I can’t have sufficient tenacity to aim to unseat him, never! Meanwhile, there were a 6 competitors fighting to have their pieces be the song of 2013. Isn’t that I couldn’t lose any details from composing to recording? Let’s sketch our pictures.
Composer: Me.
Arranger: Tan Xue Heng
(using his knowledge of orchestration, plus my advice learnt from DipMusLCM theoretical diploma)
Lyrics: Zeno Lee and Lim Shan Hua (no joke, their Chinese proficiency is among the best in the class, where they consistently score more than 60/70 in Chinese essays)
Singer: Ryan Goi (You will know why we invite him later: he’s really popular in Sound Cloud, proving how proficient is his singing)

For designation of style, a sense of sadness is essential but not too much, since I regard graduation as something not supposed to be over-emotional (basically, not funeral-like music please). My arranger concurred with me and we picked up our pencils and worked out together.

Suffices to say, there were at least 6 different versions of recordings, from the most sketchy piano-only version to complete studio recorded. The second final draft was submitted (using instruments created organ) to save recording costs:

Despite some imperfect recording (and tempo, etc), we won the battle, with 25 majority votes compared to the second highest ones. Happy or not, we had to finish the final recording, which took place in mid-term holiday (this time we obtained budget for from the school). I didn’t know what the heck I was doing prior to the recording, calling Shishoki Studio for few times before booking, and being in perplexity on 4 or 5 hours needed.

But we were ready for recording, finally, after practice and “import” of a Form 4 guy for drum set purposes, and a live cello player! Here’s the strategy after consultation from the recording studio owner: electronic mode for piano and drum set, and live for singer and cello (for short passages).


Upper row from left: Ryan, Me, Jian Ning (Drum player) Lower row from left: Mr. Arranger, Ms. Cellist, group photo

And mission complete after 5 hours!


In 2012, our seniors did a fantastic job of producing a graduation video that depicts the school life, with the graduation song as background music. This time we did the same,officially revealed on the graduation ceremony:

Well, some content is jocular 😀

Much more for this year: some promotional video about my beloved CLB, a fine work by Form 3 students after their PMR exam.

Part 3: The ceremony.

This should be grand finale for all of us, so nothing could be more important than it! But there are two, in fact, one of which was the joint graduation ceremony for 3 Chung Ling Schools (BW, Penang, Independent).

(a) 26 Oct 2013: “For all”–this time the joint ceremony was in our school (Considering modulo 3 😛 ), and each student was to go onto the stage to receive a scroll with certificate inside? While you think that was boring, there were some dramas: MC announces a director from the board giving out scroll for his daughter (so there was a kiss given to the beloved daughter :O ) and waiting for announcement of The Most Outstanding Graduate. Something not so pleasant: blackout for almost the whole ceremony.

(b) 31 Oct 2013: “Exclusively for us”–this one was more interesting, captivating us to enjoy the whole ceremony (despite not really all ears on the lengthy speeches). Some conventional component would be anthems, speeches, awards, recognitions,band performance, and graduation song session. What’s good for catching attention? Awards! The names were usually disclosed on rehearsal, except the ultimate: The Most Outstanding Graduate, which was traditionally kept confidential until the ceremony itself. Too bad, this time they had to let the cat out of the bag since a name was needed on Joint Graduation Ceremony which preceded this one.

On the side of award, the greatest one I owned was the “Outstanding Graduate” (not to be confused with the one I mentioned before), thanks to my participation and involvement in IMOs. The grand prize went to my classmate Kwan Jia Ni, who deserved a big clap for her all-rounder qualities (basically, every aspect you name it, and she has it.)

This, ironically, wasn’t the only proud moment for me; the other one was the fact that everyone was singing the song composed by me: the Graduation song. There are a total of about 600 graduates (460 Form 5, 100+ Form 6), and the whole vocal force bombarded the hall for more than 3 minutes. While enjoying the pride, tears and sobs were mixed in the voice of graduates, making me to realize that our school life would be ending soon.

(c) Photos: The existence is trivial, but the amount is not: I remembered having 40+ photos on my Facebook tagged by friends, along with untagged and photos not posted on Facebook it summed up to more than 70. How about group photos? Almost uncountable.

So that’s all for the graduation, and we were all-gear for the ultimate exam: SPM 2013. It’s depressing enough to have our seat arrangement for exam juxtaposed with the grad ceremony. Who cares? We had enough fun…and for the rest of my life this would be a pleasant reminiscence for me, feeling reluctant to walk out from this reverie.

The student-ministry game 3-Frutition

Waves, battering the shore, created noises that disturbed my mind.

Thoughts, remaining active because of beta waves, deviated further and further from the peaceful condition.

I, lying on the bed, rolled 360 degrees for 7-8 times, still unable to sleep.

As expected, I spent my most difficult sleep ever. Mum, again made it clear: Be prepared to be scolded if I ever disturbed her in her bedroom. By hook or by crook, find something else to do. Then, few scenes gradually occupied my mind, as if my life was replayed……

I remembered being paranoid of my SPM results since end of January, which created the record of most silly thing done in human’s history ever. This anticipated the lifeless countdown since a month before the date: 20/2/14.

I remembered my news feed on Facebook being occupied by posts of countdown (within a week) to result release date, which made my nerves tensed. Thankfully, one of my classmate posted “Good luck everyone” with photo on Instagram, and the waves in my body receded.

I remembered chatting about this topic with Justin and Yi Kye, while one of them mentioned that it was easy for us to over-think stuffs and highlight our own mistakes during the exam. He’s right, at least for me.

The day before was my mum’s birthday, and she permitted me to reward her the gift two days later. She asked for interest for being late some more! Wow, that was good enough to make me feel stressed.


Oops, it was only 11:30 pm when my mind was wrenched into the sheer darkness of my bedroom again!

I quickly grabbed “The Journey” novel, where I was thousands of miles behind each of my family members in reading it (Oops, they finished before I ever started it). I finished in 2 hours, temporarily forgetting what’s happening the day after and get myself involved in all jokes in the story. Unfortunately, the traumatic scene of result release popped into my brain, making me immovable on the rocking chair immediately after finishing it. I forced myself into bed again, and thankfully, I could sleep at 3 and woke up at 6:45.
That’s it.

20/3/14–Arrival at SMJK Chung Ling Butterworth
I arrived rather late at school: just 5 minutes before the official release time. Having known that, the school still wanted to have our hearts suspended–most schoolmates have a file (given by school) and certificates inside. Your heart pounded upon seeing this before realising that the result slip was missing. Trolled.

And our school obey the rules perfectly: the results should not be disclosed until 10 am. The school not only followed it, but they released it only at about 40 minutes later. They’re not culpable for it, since statistical job was tough and tedious. You’ll be impressed when the school publishes the number of students getting each grade for every subject on the day itself.

Lol, that left us 40 extra minutes of waiting.

We finally saw Madam Yip and Mr. Su (Counselor) coming out with 11 boxes: each box contains slips of each class. Oops! There’s only 2 slips in our class box, none of which was mine. I should be relieved: those with 10A’s and above have their slips suspended by teachers for presentation.
” Our heartiest congrats to this batch of candidates, which created average grade point of 2.02, an improvement of 0.31 from last year. We have more than 99% passes and 218 scoring at least 10As (A statistical error in his speech, it’s 138 actually),” reported Mr. Su with his ringing voice. And very soon, they gave out four slips of all A+, 2 of them who had 11 subjects.

The rest was done according to class, our class (5SA1) being the first. The sequence was fishy, too. Seems like according to our inverted number in class name list (alphabetical order) but Zeno (the last guy in our class name list) was skipped.

My name was skipped too.

While some of them officiously reporting how many A+ they have (to their parents and bosom friends), I (along with some of my classmates whose name were skipped) was still waiting. Apparently, quite a number of my classmates obtained 9A+ 1A, where most of them failed to score at Chinese.

I hoped that I could be as happy as them, too. At least, 9A+ to make me eligible for the bursary. Meanwhile, my parents who were supposed to hear from me, obtained the hot news before me:

The feel of joy was just ineffable! But wait, that was not necessarily accurate.

And suddenly…

Instead of saying that “sorry for left out these slips,” Mr. Su proclaimed “Here’s some surprising good news of 11A’s,” which explained why my slip was left out. While chatting with friends with spirits elated by the message, my attention suddenly drifted to the Master of Ceremony when he announced “Here’s a 10A+ 1A slip, again drowned by Chinese. That’s Anzo Teh Zhao Yang!”

Oops! I “failed” in my native language but succeed in everything else! But there’s a trick: only 0.63% of A+ for Chinese Language subject in Malaysia, and A means I’m in the top 5% :).

The presentation ended very soon, and we decided to look for our teachers to say something after 3 months of separation. Besides the profuse occurrence of “congratulations” besides our ears, it worth noting that my Bio teacher was very surprised at my A+, especially when some of the top students who scored more than 90 marks in trials failed to obtain this lofty grade. But I could feel that it was a sign of relieved for her after “terrifying” her by missing exams and Bio classes. Good thing was I secured A+ that was teetering at the fine edge of cliff.

As the step before everything starts, I photocopied my slip and had my senior teachers certified (yeah, 20 copies).

Next plan: Escape!
Now I’d done everything, including the most cumbersome IELTS exam. Hence there’s no reason for me not to have an outing with my dear classmates, especially when they invited me for that. Where’s the perfect venue? Let’s go “overseas” to Penang Island! But before that, we were wanted by someone: Our former BM tutor wanted to see us to discuss 2 important things:
1. Sharing session (slot allocated from his tuition class).
2. Celebration (somewhere)!
Within 30 minutes we had these things finalized (date and venue).

Hence, the rest of afternoon was a freedom for us.

7 of us on the ferry
A visit at Mustache with injured wallet

3 of them had final lesson at British Council in the evening (and that’s why Penang Island was our choice!) Plus one of them left for some other gathering, in the end only 3 of us were left for dinner.

That made me to reach home with a listless body at 9:30 pm.

Waves, remained quiescent for the night, leaving a quiet environment and safe for people to make their home there.

Thoughts, were blank and peaceful, with theta waves undulating slightly in my brain.

I, lying on the bed, finally had a good sleep after few days of worries and sleepless moments, leaving me completely exhausted today.

After note: I decided to study my A-Levels in Sunway under Government Bursary sponsor, but at the same time applied for some other scholarships. At least, I had no worries in my Pre-U studies (financially!) With lavish accommodation (gym+swimming pool+personal bedroom!) and marvelous facilities, that seems to be a perfect plan. But who knows when there’s some surprise from other scholarship application?

Meanwhile, we had good news all around: Justin Lim (IMO peer) and Sahib Singh (IMO 2012 camp student) were awarded the National Scholarship, a rare honour given only for those in top 50 nationwide (besides getting all A+). Yi Kye (IMO peer too!), Zi Khang (IMO 2012 and 2013 camp student) and Kwok Yee (IMO 2013 camp student) also secured the bursary (9A+ and above). Kudos to all math kids!

Finally, acknowledgements to (but not limited to) following:
1. Teachers and tutors. Knowledge and skills are important (in which they have taught), but motivational push was important too. That included countdown (since 392 days before exam) and “less time on Facebook, external activities, extracurricular acitivities lol“. Special thanks to my Bio teacher for treating me “specially” and imposed “red light warning” on me, otherwise I would have lost my A+ in Bio. Meanwhile, my Add Math teacher even asked us to not to allocate too much time on Maths/Add Maths since they are easy to score (we have 70% and 52% A+ respectively for our school this time), but focus on critical subjects (Languages, Bio and Moral) since they are harder to score. My economics teacher should also be acknowledged separately for teaching 7 of us (Science students) after school time without us paying a single cent. Yeah, extra effort from her.

2. Parents. How to make sure that the push is continuous, even out of school time? Yes my parents did that. Distractions were everywhere, ranging from IMO Maths to Facebook. Force is always required to pull me back into dull moments of studies. Moreover, some relaxation was needed and we had some time in shopping complex, plus bookstores like Popular is available too! Here goes the gentle reminder: “Need anymore reference books?” They deserved some other credits like finding tutors (and pay for tuition fees of course!) and following up my conditions of studies from time to time (especially during exam period), but if I write everything the post would be long-winded.

3. Friends (including my sister) and elders I met (including IMO Malaysia organising team). Again what they can offer was often motivation, but my classmates lend a big hand to me when I faced troubles, especially in Sciences subjects. Not to forget when I was in IMO, Chia Chun (my table mate) not only took homework for me, but also made follow ups on Exam Date and all relevant news. It would be wrong not to mention the “good luck” from the rest of them too.

4. Those I didn’t mention above (lol)


The student-ministry game 2-Big month!

It was the end of countdown to the game: let the game begin!

Week 1. BM, BI.
While I targeted to finish reading (or simply, scanning) BM materials before seminar (scheduled 2 days before exam), I failed it, although I succeeded at the moment before exam (focusing merely on highlights by tutor). Fortunately, from Paper 1 (Essays) in the morning to Paper 2 (Reading) in the afternoon everything went as expected (Felt great towards Section B Essay! Less to section A though) except Question 4a of second paper: synopsis writing of the novel. A question that is given advice from teachers: “impossible to come out in exam” and  “spend no time on it”, but now it was in your question paper.


But no one is going to mourn for the loss of 7 points out of 240 !

As for English, just like BM there are certain highlights, and the Section B essay was blessing to me! That’s the essay I wrote, read and get evaluated before. But I didn’t manage to finish all materials: the enormous amount of tuition stuff (3 times others’!) would just crack your brain.

Week 2: “Sejarah” (History) only
While you may be puzzled by a subject occupying the whole week, look at the game rules: only Monday to Thursdays can be used as exams, and public holidays should be vacant. We had Monday and Tuesday of the week as public holidays, plus the paper needs 2 days: many thanks to the 3-paper-format which spanned almost 7 hours.

After using 5 freaking days for last minutes revision, I went into exam hall with confidence before being shocked again by Paper 2: 70% of Thinking Skills (HOTS+KBKK) questions, a dramatic increase from 20-30% of previous years. Well, the facts in the textbook didn’t seem that important already isn’t it? And had fun on 3rd paper: What’s difficult here? Prepare materials online based on topic given (and those from teachers) and bring into the hall! No offense, it’s open book exam. That’s why many people scored 20/20 in trial exam for it. We were even advised to use up all 3 hours in inputting facts based on what we had, leaving the answer booklet almost full, and one of my pen being used up. Also, wondering how the markers were going to get bored of marking the papers, since the points of students were essentially the same. Perhaps, at one point giving all papers full marks, or even marking only the first paper and the others have the same score as the first one? (I remembered my teacher asking us to mark our own paper for mock-paper.)

Week 3. Maths (a.k.a. “Modern” Maths), Moral, Add Maths
There were 3 free days before the week, and I joked to my table mate, Chia Chun: “we need 3 full days for preparing Modern Maths!” Really, there’s nothing great in the material, and we can easily score a 95 even without any preparation (provided we did it carefully). Thus, I gave most of the 3 days for the more critical one: Biology. How about the harder mathematics test on Thursday? The Examination Board will be regretful for what they had done:

Paper 2, Q5,6

Now look at Q6(b). The question is fine, but what can we say about girls. The variance (for girls itself) is -6.5: some of them read imaginary/complex number of books.  Just wondering are the girls human beings.

That’s small case compared to moral exam. With mindset of essay being questions asking “give 2 moral values of this situation”, our preparation focused on choosing right values, matching definitional key words with situational key words, and giving relevant explanation. The moment we checked our paper:
Question B1. “Give 5 ways of ……”
Question B2. “Give 3 reasons of ……”
Question B3.
“State 5 lessons of ……”
(Note: The questions are supposed to be kept confidential, but these 3 questions are disclosed on the paper).
This catastrophic paper caused outcry among the students and teachers: no information of change of question style was notified beforehand! We memorised all 36 moral values and its definition, with some important facts involved. Too bad. Only an edge of the cake can be grabbed. But the essay is 20% (3 choose 2). And 80% cannot guarantee an A+.
The structured questions were not easy games to play, either. Like History paper, many HOTS question involved, and one question asking your feelings.

Bad things happen together, as always. Coincidentally, the Moral Exam was on the same date as the death of he energetic and lively Khai Fatt (19 years old), one of my bosom friend in Bagan Ajam Toastmasters Club from meningitis. May he rest in peace.

Week 4. Physics, Chemistry, Biology.
While previous 3 weeks was relaxing moment (yep, not more than 2 subjects to study per week!) This week was hectic enough. Science essays and experiments require a lot of memorisation. For physics and chemistry there’s nothing much to say, except physics paper 1 being another example of Examination Board being an epic-failed one:

Physics Paper 1, Q48

Knowing the answer is about 36.xx (using logarithm), what’s your choice? I simply assumed that the Board made mistake on wordings (“decayed” vz “preserved”), but A was popular choice since it is close to our desired number. Small note about Chemistry: Paper 3 was the only paper that could afford a nap of 10 minutes. Used only 25 minutes out of 90 given to finish the paper, since the 2nd question (experimental process) was spotted an hour before! Thus, there’s no reason not to charge the battery that was used intensively since morning.

But bio was a heavy one.

While Paper 1 being very simple one, Paper 2 was not a bed of roses. While structured questions were already that demanding (asking a lot of explanations and predictions that required few steps of thinking), essays were even worse. Out of 4 questions, the first two left an impression of “what the heck was that” and I could hardly spam not-that-relevant stuff on the first one. But the third one was good: the first 10 marks were given in seminar notes and I read it one day before! Lucky man, and the other 10 marks were common sense about food pyramid, nutrition and its explanation (well just refer to the package of Gardenia loaf during breakfast). The last one was about environment, also a tricky one but again I read it in seminar and class notes before. There were more points than needed, too! So 4 choose 2, and I did 3, which was quite secured. Paper 3 wasn’t as easy as expected, either. The unusual graph progression in Q1 left us in trouble when making predictions, while Q2 was rather unpredicted and I virtually threw some marks for forgetting the precaution. But, who cares? Applause flooded the hall after the test since for most people there’s only 1 subject left. Some (in other school) could enjoy freedom at the moment.

Anti-trust. Has exam been fair since its invention by the Chinese Emperor ages ago? While the word “Confidential” was written on every page of the papers, the rules were broken anytime. After each test for History, 2 maths and 3 science papers, headlines of newspapers were occupied by “Leakage of papers, again!” Some school received the same set of Biology Paper 1 (50 MCQ), not just the same combination, but same permutation too! Similar things happened for P2 and P3 (except the not-that-accurate-combination). I wonder was there anyone who dreamt/predicted the exact set of questions to be released, or owned too advanced computer hacking technique? Or computers getting alive and created the same question set by itself? How about re-exam? Nope, neither panels nor students have extra time. But the benchmark for grades will going to be tougher, tougher, and tougher.

Week 5. Economics, BC.
I slacked the day returned home from Bio exam (unlike the day before where I forced my brain out to finish all materials). At least get to “read” Facebook as entertainment. The 2 papers were still 4 days away, and my BC teacher allowed us to do so! “But use pure Chinese in your typing please,” she added. Oops! There’s one tuition lesson for BC lol. Still, practice exercises, and the tutor posted some untouched answers on Facebook group. Meanwhile, the Economics preparation went well, and I managed to rush in doing my exercise book last minute.

That’s how our hall looked like during economics exam, extracted from some blogger (note: Hall is for half Science students)

We were asked to fill the front section of the hall, and while having difficult objective section and easy subjective section for trials, this real one is on its opposite. That’s why I ventured my precious time by studying in relaxed mode after the deception of easiness of Paper 1. What’s more? After walking out of the hall with frustration at the end of paper 2, one of my classmate asked, “How to draw the graph using 1cm scale? The value didn’t seem to be on lattice point.” I double-checked the question again and found out I just drew the 2cm scale and at the verge of losing most of the 7 marks allocated.
“Your life may be changed dramatically by the one mark in your paper,” reminded both tutors of BM and BI in class previously. And in this case it’s 7.

With the overall tough paper, I was mentally prepared in bidding farewell with my A+ for the paper.

And here came the last day of exam.

Unlike the previous papers, we had paper 2 (reading) preceding paper 1 (essay), and it is well-known that the former one is much harder (Statistical proof: According to past exams, my mean for P1 and P2 is 83% and 67% respectively.) Asking us to thinking beyond what’s given in comprehension text? No thanks. I would rather have my scores nullified for that question. But the last essay paper was good for me, the section B essay was again a potluck for me.

Time flies fast…

Ding ding ding…

“Stop writing, we’re now collecting ur answer paper, make sure u wrote all details in he cover page,” said by the Head Invigilator who was in our hall for more than 50 hours since the embark of the exam.

And he joked to us not to celebrate in exam since some students taking EST after 2 days.

But deep in our heart:

But that’s not the end in school: the last order of business—farewell party to our textbooks which guided us for the entire tumultuous year. Many acknowledgement to them and hope them the next badge of juniors can benefit from their service too.

Post-exam activity: Campus visit in Sunway and Taylor College the day after that (and essentially the whole family travelled to KL). But that’s no good in returning home in a day, so we spent another day to explore the metropolitan: Sunway pyramid, Ice-City and Mid-Valley became our destinations of post-exam tour! And the meals for the entire day was about RM200……gonna have frugal meals after returning home. But no worries, just enjoy after the whole year of suffer!

The student-ministry game 1-Preps

Those in IMO 2012 will never forget problem 3: The liar’s guessing game, solved completely by only 8 of the contestants and had its mean score exceptionally low: 0.412 out of 7. (Note: I only understood the solution of second part of the problem after looking at the official solution in May, since I was fully baffled by the posts in AoPS and IMOMath website.)

Now here’s the alternative version of the game played by Malaysian students and the Examination Boards (under MoE) where I was the player for the game in 2013: In a game, each player can play a combination of games consisting of around 10 subjects. For each subjects, the game maker will set a series of questions and students would need to answer the questions. Players can make as much preparations and they can, and can even predict the questions that will be asked by the game maker. The format of the questions is fixed, and is known to the players.
After the game, the game maker will give a grade to players according to the response of the players. Is it true that the grades obtained depends on preparation of players?

The answer to the problem is rather subjective: but the answer from me is: agreed to some extent since the it depends on numerous factors and preparation was one of them.

Jan 2012-Sep 2013: Full time preparation as a student.

1. School
What’s next after getting straight A’s in the primary game (UPSR) and junior game (PMR)? Preparation for the next (and probably the last) game under the government. As classical quotes says, “never miss class and homework”, but since the beginning of the year I was absent in the class, periodically in a monthly basis, since I had to attend IMO trainings and competitions. Classmates could see me busily chasing up the syllabus and homework, and I sometimes needed to take a shortcut by copying friends’ work. Till the end of the year I was still in homework debt: I skipped 2 chapters in Form 4 Mathematics homework.
(Disclaimer: I’m not looking down at Mathematics, but since I am strong at it, I preferred finishing other homework first and put it at the bottom of the priority)

2. Tuition
On top of that tuition was a supplementary for students, and all of us (except a few, including one who score #2 and 11A+ in SPM) attended tuition classes for at least half of the total number of subjects. People keep saying that I’m independent in studying as I only signed up for 3 tuition classes for linguistic subjects, but 3 is enough to put me into stress.

However, frankly saying, I did benefit from the tuition classes, especially from the techniques of composition. It worth noting that for BM and BI we get to know the types of questions with high potential to be released in our exams. As usual, practice makes perfect.

There’s some difference in the materials for tuition: English is the one which covered the most out-of-syllabus things (which adds spices to essays), such as advanced grammar, while Chinese is the only one free of tactical approach towards exam (simply because we can’t do it anyway!)

3. Examinations
There were 7 school examinations: 4 in Form 4 and 3 in Form 5, the last one being the SPM Trial Examinations.
Chemical paradox: It worth noting that I “failed” in my first Chemistry test with 76 for missing key words and incorrect techniques, and when I reached my climax of 91 in the final exam (form 4), the teacher said with great hyperbole, “this is the type of results obtained by the student who was absent for 5 months.” Well, I still didn’t get the relation between the two statements.
Trolls: there were moments where the paper was set brutally hard, and it was out of everybody’s expectation. I survived majestically in the form 4 final additional maths troll, in which my classmates were uprooted by the windy conditions of the paper. I finally could enjoy the complacency of being in the top 5 (only once throughout 2012-2013). However, I wasn’t that lucky in the disaster in Form 5 mid-term for Moral paper, leaving me a C+ and less than 25-th percentile throughout the class. Damage was done in others’ results, but not as severe as mine.
Absence: In August 2012 I attended the IMTOT Summer Conference with Justin in Teberda, Russia, which spanned 2 whole weeks (1-14 August). This gave me a good reason in skipping the 3rd exam of the year (only 2 subjects taken): just great enough for me after skipping class during IMO 2012. I would then have a hard time in chasing the half-year syllabus in September to prepare for finals.
Besides, I skipped 2-3 subjects each in first two exams in form 5, and biology was an unfortunate victim for both. The teacher was worried because of this, especially when biology is one of the killer subject in obtaining A+. Though it may be fortunate for me to sit for the trials, her impression towards me didn’t show a significant improvement as I jumbled up all key words in Paper 2 Essay. I passed the benchmark of A+ with very narrow margin in the end, special acknowledgement to my high score in Paper 3.

Post-trial period: Final miles.

Now, we had done our postmortem, and the evaluation chart of trial exam subject grading of each student is published nakedly on the class notice board. I finished at #9: tie with another girl (this is not school ranking, just show that 8 people get better grades than me) at CGPA 0.2. What can we do for final backups? Dim the lights and here we go (quoted from Ryan Secreast in American Idol XD):

1. State papers. If I ever had a chance to tidy up my storeroom I would be aware of how freaking thick my file of state paper is. Basically, 11 subjects and approx. 5 states in average for each paper. Plus we need answer scheme, yeah. My school claimed that it allocated more than 10k in buying just the Penang papers. Wow!

2. Seminars. A lot of seminars available, but I chose only the critical ones: BM (by my tutor, KKLeong), BI (by my tutor, Mr. Sarvana) ans 3 Sciences (one in school and 2 under Elite tuition centre). Again, thick handouts, and instead of spotting questions I was concerned more on the techniques.

3. Self practice. I bought a lot of reference materials and usually rushed it before school exams. A practical realization of problem would be: could I finish all essays? Nope (too time consuming), but sometimes it suffices to read at the answers lol. Also, in the end of the day the practice focused more on heavy Science subjects, so linguistic subjects depended heavily on tuition materials.

Now, enough with material cramming, and it’s now the day before the start of exam. Have a good night sleep, and face the final challenge in my school life.