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How I Overtook Others and got A* from D after Failing Exams?

Language/语言:   English   简体中文
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By: Ken Deng   Published on 12 Nov. 2022

Approx. 1300 words, 6 mins

  Download Audio       Audioscript

Having experienced low scores in my primary school, I have overtaken dozens of students since 2019 and got A*s, the Top 10 in our grade and Top 1 in our class.

In my free time, I end up doing some study tasks to remedy the missing parts including my basic language reading and comprehension skills as well as the English vocabulary.

In the past few weeks, I found that my memory and thinking speed were waning, but at least I have overtaken a large number of students to get outstanding results.

Right now, I have a sense of achievement, being featured by some schools and education institutions, entering the top class in the grade, and being praised by parents and teachers.

Do you know my secrets to become successful after having low grades previously? Let's jump in!

My Previous Problems

Before talking about my tips, I am going to share my problems previously. So, why and how I didn't study well in primary school?

Primary School

My scores in Grade 1 were all 100%, but some scores were gradually descending as time goes on. Until I was in approximately Grade 4, I failed language and PE exams (Grade D, at 50-59%).

This means that I should have learned basic language comprehension skills.

Let's say, while reading an article or a book, I couldn't even understand the meaning of the text.

Can't Read an Article

Can't Read an Article

Junior High School

Grade 7 and 8

I then gradually became self-disciplined from Grade 6. Although I was already self-disciplined, I still haven't made any improvements in Grade 7.

I knew that I can ask teachers if I couldn't understand the knowledge points, but I still cannot understand them even if I have already asked some teachers after class.

As a result, like now, I cannot follow the teacher's teaching speed and even need several days to fully understand the knowledge points taught in one day (but I still can get A*s finally).

In order to improve my scores, I have then been using some measures which will be described later.

In the middle of Grade 8, I got 130 out of 150 in the English exam and was promoted to the English Class A from B, being featured by Aipei English.

Grade 9

While I was participating in the National English Spelling Bee competition in 2019, I was inspired by the champion. I wonder why she could get such an outstanding prize.

This accelerated me to study harder and get outstanding results. I have been inventing some study techniques to speed up this process.

In Grade 9, I got the full mark (150/150) in Mathematics mid-term exam, entering the Top 10 in our grade and Top 1 in our class. I also overtook another previous top classmate.

How did I Overtake Others?

Having difficulties overtaking others, I have invented some techniques to overtake others. Now, I will tell you my secrets to become successful.

Find Motivation to Study

The first method is to find motivations to study.

In Grade 8, I discovered my first knowledge in real life, which is a Physics knowledge point with the formula s=vt.

This motivated me to study more. Some knowledge points can be discovered in real life and explain the phenomena we usually see.

Discover and Share Knowledge in Real Life

Because knowledge can be applied in real life, I tended to share knowledge points I have discovered on social media from 2019.

Until 2022, I finally realised that this is similar to Teaching Others.

Sharing Knowledge on WeChat Moments (Chinese, 2019-2020)

Even if I may make mistakes while sharing knowledge points, they can be corrected and this is also a studying process.

For example, during a holiday in 2021, I incorrectly shared a formula s = ut + 2at2 which should be s = ut + (1/2)at2. Then, I discovered and corrected this error.

Utilise Free Time

The next one is to utilise my free time.

Because I didn't have listening, reading and comprehension skills, I need and tend to use more time to study and remedy such essential skills.

Let's say, I remember English words on Quizlet and read (blog) articles on the transportations.

See What I Do in Transportations

That's why I get rid of games and don't communicate more with classmates who are indulged in games.

Utilising Free Time on Underground

Set Goals and Take Actions

Another problem is that I always forget about the tasks I need to do on a daily basis, so I ended up setting goals and taking action since 2020.

Without plans or goals, you will be less likely to motivate yourself.

For example, I need to read books, remember English words, speak and write English, and so on.

View my Latest Daily Goals
My 2020 Study Plan and Daily Goals

My 2020 Study Plan and Daily Goals

You need to take action after setting your goals, or it will not be useful.

So, I have been using a daily goals checklist and I fill in it every evening before sleeping time since 2020.

My 2020 Daily Goals Checklist (Paper-based)

My 2020 Daily Goals Checklist (Paper-based)

Use my Study Planner App

In 2021, I have made my Study Planner web-based app with my programming skills to intuitively plan my study journey.

With this app, I can easily make a monthly summary of my goals because my computer and servers will help me to handle all the work.

Daily Goals Monthly Summary on my Study Planner

Daily Goals Monthly Summary on my Study Planner

It also reduces my procrastination problem by listing the projects I need to do later on and their deadlines.

Setting Project Deadlines on Study Planner

Setting Project Deadlines on Study Planner

It is completely free and is now available for registration. If you are interested in, you can sign up and quickly boost your time-management skills.

Learn More     Sign Up (Free)

Form Study Habits

Another thing I do is to form great study habits.

For example, I need to be well-prepared before studying, including taking out my materials and refilling my water bottle.

So, how can I achieve this?

Well, from 2022, I have invented and have been drawing and sticking Great Study Habits are Productive posters on the wall.

Some of My Great Study Habits are Productive Posters

Establish a Productive Environment

In 2022, being inspired by the Study To Success channel and our school's apartment decoration competition, I have been decorating my bedroom to have a refreshing and productive atmosphere.

My Bedroom Tour
Overview of My Home Desk Study Environment

Overview of My Home Desk Study Environment

My Achievements

These are my methodology to overtake others. But before the end of the article, I want to talk about my achievements as a result of them.

Featured by Schools

Between 2019 and 2020, I have been featured by Aipei English, Tongcheng Tongmei (TCTM) and Phoenix City International School (PCIS).

Get A*s

In the IGCSETM international exam, I got 6 A* and 1 A. Then, in the AS Level exam, I got 4 a (90%), plus an A* in EPQ.

View my A* Experiences
My IGCSE Results (June 2021)

My IGCSE Results (June 2021)

Improvements on IELTS

Previously, my IELTS scores were at the bottom level, ranging from 5.0 to 6.0.

After my endeavour for several years, including remembering English words and reading books in my free time, I have got overall Band 7.0.

I will keep working to satisfy university matriculation requirements.

Overtook Dozens of Students

Based on my effort, I have overtaken dozens of students.

Some students used to have higher scores than myself. However, in recent years, I have overtaken most of them.

Let's say, while I was endeavouring to get A*s or 90%, some students stuck on A (80%) or B (70%).

It's Never Too Late to Learn

Here, I want to say that it's never too late to learn.

Although I didn't have enough skills to comprehend language, I still got outstanding results after endeavouring for several years.

So, take action now, start overtaking others, never give up and get more A*s.

Explore More Study Tips

These are my tips for overtaking others after getting bottom scores. I hope you enjoy them, study harder and overtake others too.

More useful study techniques and habits are available on my website. You can Explore More Study Tips if you want.

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You can share and recommend this article to your friends and classmates if you wish, and write comments below about your feelings, questions and your school life.

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