Students Share Their Tried-And-Tested Study Hacks!

25 Sep 2017 by Isabel Pang

With mugging season in full swing, studying smart is definitely the way to go. Up your study game with these tips from top students!

Read the Rubrics

Despite complaints against Singapore’s rigid education system, that’s actually the best part because everything is governed by a rubric system (which basically means a specific academic grading or scoring system). To give yourself an edge, familiarise yourself with the marking scheme and play to that grading criteria. Find out the assessment objectives and discern which portions might play against your strengths and focus on improving your weaknesses – don’t wear your brain out on things you’re already good at.

Tip shared by Alexander Gee, ACSI 2015, IB 45/45

Simplify Memory Work

Faced with a mountain of text to memorise? Try Rachel’s method of condensing content-heavy subjects into bite-sized information onto rainbow-coloured cheat sheets that help make chunky revision less dull. She also swears by acronyms – instead of memorising the term ‘Population, Savings and Income tax’, she remembers ‘Ivy Stole Prata’ instead.

Tip shared by Rachel Lim, Nanyang Junior College 2015, A levels 88/90 rank points, NTU College Scholarship

Stepping Out of The Zone

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy – while you’re assuming the hermit mugging position, remember to take breaks. Whether it’s hitting the pavement or indulging in a rich bar of chocolate, your body and mind needs this time to recharge. 

Tip shared by Titus Ong, Best All Rounder Student in Industrial and System Engineering NUS 2017, GPA 4.7

The Optimum Thinking Space

As Olivia found, productivity levels are heavily affected by your study environment. In her case, she requires wide open spaces where she can relax and people watch during her short breaks. Finding the right environment for you takes a bit of trial and error. You might concentrate better with a bit of background noise (like at a cafe), or perhaps you’d do better with easy access to snacks – even having natural light versus fluorescent lighting can affect your study efficiency. Need a list of places to study in Singapore? Check out our list of study spaces here!

Tip shared by Olivia Low, Temasek Polytechnic 2017, GPA 4.0

Collaborate With Your Classmates 

If it isn’t viable to organise group studies, why not make use of technology to conduct an online session instead? Ying Ferng attributes part of his good grades to his friends – despite living in various parts of Singapore, they come together over Skype during the study break. Not only do their pleas for help receive a faster response than through their WhatsApp group, they keep each other going throughout, and even take synchronised study breaks! 

Tip shared by Kok Ying Ferng, Ngee Ann Polytechnic 2017, GPA 3.9

Go Beyond School Materials

For those in poly/university, you’d have experienced firsthand that while lecture materials would be adequate to facilitate the lessons, the key to scoring well lies in learning beyond the textbooks. For a deeper understanding of each topic, Si Kuan cross references recommended textbooks and constantly tracks his progress against lesson objectives.

Tip from Thio Si Kuan, MSRDP Scholarship, PhD in Mechanical Engineering NUS

Learn From Your Old Test Papers

Don’t throw out past exam papers just yet! Wayne sifts through these old gems to pin point the errors he made, and plans his studying around learning how to rectify them. Not only does it help prevent similar mistakes in the future, his method also helps to track personal progress. 

Tip shared by Wayne, De Yi Secondary School 2016, O levels 4 points

 Get Your Foundation Right

Neat study tricks aside, the key to acing your exams is really laying a good foundation for each subject. Seri remains grounded and starts by paying attention in class (no matter how boring the lesson might be!) and going on from there. Whether it’s complex-looking math equations or memorising scientific formulas, you’d find that applying each one comes easier upon understanding the concept behind it. 

Tip shared by Seri Khairuniza, ITE College West, GPA 4.0

Featured Image: FreePik

What are some of your personal study tips? Share your tricks with us in the comment section!

More related stories: 5 Pro Tips to Help Procrastination, Increase Your Study Productivity With These Effective Tips, 17 Places You Can Study At Without Being Chased Away

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How A Young Local Artist Found His Voice Through Art

20 Sep 2017 by Johanna Teo

His parents might have had a career path in mind for him, but that did not stop Quinn Lum from pursuing his passion of being an artist. We speak to the university student on defying societal norms and taking the road less travelled.

“When you graduate, we are going to retire. Now we are feeding you, and in the future you have to do the same for us,” was what his parents told Quinn Lum, a student from the Nanyang Technological University (NTU). Like many traditional Asian households, such a “future” would look something like this: scoring straight As, getting into a good university, and eventually securing a stable job. But Quinn had his own plans.


Not one to comply to societal norms, the 23-year-old turned to art as a form of exploration; translating his desire for artistic freedom into bold colours and abstract silhouettes. And his perseverance paid off – Quinn’s recent works have been showcased in exhibitions including the China International Photo Festival 2015, and he was also awarded the Most Promising Young Artist Award at UOB Painting 2010 and Gold with Honours in the Singapore Youth Festival Arts and Crafts Exhibition 2012.

Sitting down with the NTU School Of Art, Design and Media undergraduate, we find out what it’s like growing up in a result-oriented environment, and how he is using his artworks to create conversations close to our hearts.

How did you first discover your love for the arts?

It started way back in kindergarten. I remember my teacher instructing us to colour a Donald Duck picture. And because I loved Power Rangers, especially the green ranger, I decided to colour the whole thing green. When I brought it home, my mum, was like “How can a Donald Duck be green?”. She ended up sending me to a community arts centre where I learned how to draw and paint, and the rest is history.


Fallen Crown by Quinn Lum

Where do you usually find inspiration for your works?

It varies from my daily experiences, but walking really helps. If I’m really stuck, I would set my phone and laptop aside, and just walk around to observe the things around me. In fact, that was how I got started on my latest work. I was walking along a path when I realised that it was brighter than usual. When I looked up, I realised the tree that once stood outside my former primary school was chopped off. Hence the name, Fallen Crown.

How would you describe your creative process?

Initially I would dig deep, and try to see what are the issues I should be addressing. If you go into the arts scene, people are interested in what they can learn from you, so finding that question really takes time. It might be painful because you’ll delve into portions of your life you don’t want to revisit. But because you face the issue head on, you’ll learn and grow [from it], and you move on.


Report Book by Quinn Lum


Growing up in a result-oriented family, in what way has it impacted your artworks?

I’ve touched on the topic but not in a conscious manner. I remember there was this assemblage I did in Secondary 2 – the teacher was trying to get us to convey what we felt, but somehow I felt trapped. Like as if there was a barrier around me and it was too clinical. It was only a few years back that I got to realise this was what I’ve always wanted to say. It was my voice; and finding that voice wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be.

How did your parents react when you decided to pursue the arts?

It was a compromise. I told them that I was going to be an arts teacher. And they were thinking “Okay that’s not bad, there’s a stable paycheck and you can do what you like”. I was teaching at National Junior College after my national service, which really showed me how important the role of education played in with regards to the arts. And the best way to do so, I thought, was to be engaged in the arts scene before going back into teaching. So I decided on a full-time arts degree in NTU, and that brought me to where I am right now.

32.5/40 Do Not Go Below This by Quinn Lum

What are your thoughts on the local arts industry?

I feel that there needs to be a lot more fluidity – be it in terms of freedom or expression. I also think it’s important for different communities to bounce action-and-reaction off one another. With more collaboration, communication and understanding taking place, it can really spark off something different.

Looking back, what’s something you would say to your younger self?

Back then, I was too busy thinking about how to make it big; how I could hone my craft to reach the next level. But that was a very linear thought process. Like, “How am I going to take better pictures?” But in today’s society, everyone can do that – just look at Instagram. More than anything, I would like to ask myself: “Where would you want to bring this conversation to?”, and “What would you want to do for yourself?” rather than just trying to please others.


EXposé by Quinn Lum

What’s a piece of advice you have for aspiring artists?

Having a voice is very important. Talk about what’s next, and what can we do. You’ll definitely face pressure from your teachers and parents, but if you want to be in the arts, start doing it when you are young. Immerse yourself in the environment, meet likeminded friends, and get the conversation going.

All images: Quinn Lum/ This article was adapted from the September 2017 issue of Teenage


You can view Quinn Lum’s collection of artworks and photography series on

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5 Pro Tips To Help You Fight Procrastination

13 Sep 2017 by Lynette Goh

We are all guilty of procrastinating – which inevitably leads to frustration and anxiety when your to-do list piles up. Don’t fret, here are a few tried-and-tested tips to help you fight the P-bug and get productive instead.


Between the ever-piling workload and looming deadlines, we tend to put things off until the last minute, and end up scrambling to get it all done in one day. Consider breaking work up into smaller, more doable parts. Start by getting the menial bits out of the way, such as responding to e-mails and doing research, before focusing on the larger task at hand. Think of it as mini goals to complete so you’ll get a sense of accomplishment after each one, helping you to stay motivated. Remember, a little goes a long way!


You’ve gotten into the zone, but all it takes to snap you out of that smooth work flow is a tiny ping from your mobile device. Know when to set your phone aside and only allow yourself to check social media during study breaks. If you’re not comfortable going off the grid entirely, simply disable all push notifications and put it on flight mode when you get down to work.

Bonus: Turn to ambient sound generators such as Noisli or A Soft Murmur to block out distractions while helping you relax. 


If you find yourself having a hard time concentrating while studying on your own, grab yourself a like-minded study buddy who can keep you in check should you start slipping into procrastination mode (and vice-versa). Having a trusty friend around lets you bounce ideas off one another and brainstorm solutions together, making the arduous process a less painful one. Just be sure to pick the right pal and not end up distracting each other instead!


Take a look around your current workspace – does it make you feel inspired or does it stress you out? If your answer is the latter, a change of scenary might do you good. Instead of sitting in front of your laptop all day in your unkempt workspace, head over to the library for some light reading or set up camp at a cosy cafe with a cuppa in hand. Working in a conducive environment not only helps to maximise productivity, it also puts you in a healthier state of mind to get your brain juices flowing.

Bonus: Adding personal touches to your workspace (where possible) such as plants or family photos, to your workspace will make it feel like a place you’d actually want to hunker down for hours at. 


Whenever you tick a task off your to-do list, celebrate your successes – no matter how big or small – by rewarding yourself. Be it treating yourself to a meal, indulging in retail therapy or buying yourself that concert ticket to see your favourite band, make it a habit to give yourself a reward when it’s due. This gives you an incentive to work harder towards your goal, so you can go ahead and let loose knowing fully well you’ve earned the reward. You deserve it!

Featured image: Nick Morrison on Unsplash 

This article was adapted from the September 2017 issue of Teenage.

What are your personal tips for fighting the procrastination bug? Share the wisdom in the comment section! 

More related stories: 17 Places In Singapore You Can Study At Without Being Chased Away8 Easy Psychology Hacks To Get Ahead In LifeIncrease Your Study Productivity With These Effective Tips

Forget camping at Starbucks or McDonald’s. Here’s a complete list of the best mugging spots you can head to in Singapore, libraries, co-working spaces and all. 


The A11ey
Address: S9 Building, 55 Serangoon North Avenue 4, #02-03 Singapore 555859 
Tel: 8820 2117/9487 4972
Opening hours: 24/7
Amenities: Wi-Fi, power outlets, storage locks, printing services, water dispenser, study lamps
Rates: $6 for 3h, $10 for 6h and $15 for 12h

Touted as a co-working and study space, The A11ey is a cosy nook in the heartlands that’ll provide a comfortable and conducive study environment while saving you a pretty penny. And it also has different work spaces depending on your requirements, from individual slots to group and discussion rooms. The A11ey charges their visitors in hourly blocks, with the most affordable being only $15 for a 12-hour slot – the place even has a promo offering “Free 3 hours with every hashtag”, ensuring the study session literally never ends. 

Desk Next Door

Desk Next Door

Address: 416 Ang Mo Kio Ave 10, #01-977 Teck Ghee Heartlands Singapore 560416 
Tel: 8151 8068
Opening hours: 9am – 10:30pm daily
Amenities: Wi-Fi, power outlets, printing and laminating services, laptop rental, water dispenser
Rates: $3 for 2h, $6 for 5h, $10 for 10h

Buckling down sans any distractions will be easy at Desk Next Door, a simply furnished pay-per-use study area at a shophouse in Ang Mo Kio that charges as little as $1 per hour depending on which session rate you pick. 

The Study Area


Address: Oxley Bizhub 61 Ubi Road 1, #02-40 Singapore 408727
Blk 201 Hougang St 21, #01-07 Singapore 530201
Opening hours: 24/7
Amenities: Wi-Fi, customisable workspace, power outlets, personal lockers, scanning facilities, CCTV 
Rates: $12 for 12h, $18 for full-day booking (Rates differ per group size)

Intense mugging sessions ain’t got nothing on The Study Area (TSA), highly conducive, interruption-free zones at Ubi and Kovan respectively, catered for students and working adults alike. TSA even offers Dolce Gusto capsules for coffee lovers who’d like to enjoy a good cuppa without stepping out.

Study Box

Study Box

Address: Bugis Village, 67B Queen Street, Singapore 188546
Tel: 8338 5672 (Contact via WhatsApp)
Opening hours: 7:30am-10:30pm
Amenities: Wi-Fi, snacks and drinks, power outlets, printing, scanning and laminating services
Rates: $3.5/hr, promo price of $1.50 from 2nd hour onwards

A no-frills “communal space to realise your dreams”, The Study Box is conveniently located in Bugis Village. Apart from hot-desking options, The Study Box also has discussion rooms available for as low as $6 per hour, which is perfect for project work and group study sessions. 

Study One Corner

Study One Corner
Address: [email protected], 228 Changi Road #05-08 Singapore 419741
Tel: 9155 9408/9336 4004
Opening hours: 24/7
Amenities: Wi-Fi, power outlets, photocopy & printing services, Dolce Gusto coffee machine, Snacks & drinks 
Rates: From $1.50/hr 

As Study One Corner’s Facebook info cheekily reads: “Who said corner only meant to lepak? Study also can.” This cosy ‘corner’ provides not only a conducive studying environment; it also has friendly staff that’ll help visitors feel right at home. 


Address: Clarke Quay Central, 6 Eu Tong Sen Street #02-32 Singapore 059817 
Jurong East JCube, 2 Jurong East Central 1 #02-11, Singapore 609731 
Tel: 6222 6100 (Clarke Quay branch), 6904 4045 (JCube branch)
Opening hours: 11am – 9:30pm 
Amenities: Wi-Fi, power outlets, Snacks & drinks, games 
Rates: $6 for 1st hour during weekdays, $8 for 1st hour during weekends, $1 for every subsequent 10 minutes, $30 for full-day

Branding itself as “your home away from home”, Coffeemin kinda seems like the IRL version of the Room of Requirement from Harry Potter – visitors are able to study, play games or simply chill for highly affordable prices. Plus, they also offer modern calligraphy, leather crafting and other handy workshops to unleash your creative juices!

EBC Lifestyle Hub 


A post shared by Teenage Magazine (@teenagemagazine) on

Address: 50 Tagore Lane #05-04, Singapore 787494
Tel: 6511 2929 
Opening hours: 9am – 6pm
Amenities: Wi-Fi, power outlets, workout equipment 

Tucked away in Tagore Lane, EBC Lifestyle Hub is a gem of a building that offers self-storage solutions, serviced offices and now co-working spaces that start from as little as $14.90 a day. And don’t worry if it’s a little out off the way – EBC Lifestyle Hub also has an eatery and a grocer that’ll settle any hunger pangs. 


Photo: Actually

Address: LASELLE College of the Arts Block D, 1st McNally Street, #01-01 Singapore 187940
Tel: 6337 5581
Opening hours: Mon to Thu: 9:30am – 9:30pm Fri: 9:30am – 10:30pm Sat: 10:30am – 10:30pm
Amenities: Wi-Fi, Power outlets 

Cafe by day and bar by night, it’s not uncommon to see students mugging away at Lowercase, the picturesque cafe housed within LASELLE grounds. While we’ve tried to steer away from F&B establishments, its undeniable that Lowercase is a student-friendly environment that’s perfect for a chill mugging sesh. 

HubQuarters @ *SCAPE


Address: *SCAPE #04-01, Singapore 237978
Tel: 6521 6565
Opening hours: 9am – 9pm, closed on Sundays
Amenities: Wi-Fi, Power outlets

*SCAPE isn’t just a prime hangout spot for dancers-in-training, it’s also a co-working/studying space for students and young entrepreneurs alike. And in the spirit of balancing work and play, easily unwind and reward yourself with the many food, entertainment and shopping options in the area. 


Heading to the nearest library is a no brainer, but there are some standout libraries worth venturing out of the neighbourhood for. 

Tampines Regional Library 

Credit: Mum’s Calling

Address: 1 Tampines Walk, #02-01 Our Tampines Hub, Singapore 529684 
Opening hours: 10am – 9pm
Amenities: Wi-Fi, Power outlets 

The newly reopened Tampines Regional Library now boasts an indoor playground, a culinary studio, a running track and even a heritage gallery spanning across five floors of the community hub. For the students who can’t snag a spot at the study lounge, you’ll still be able to settle into cosy reading nooks, or spread your textbooks over the various communal workspaces and discussion corners scattered throughout the expansive library. 

[email protected]

Library Orchard
Photo: Word Revel

Address: 277 Orchard Road, #03-12/#04-11 orchardgateway Singapore 238858
Opening hours: 10am – 9pm

Aesthetic isn’t the only thing keeping students from flocking back to the IG-approved [email protected] Granted, this space isn’t as suitable for long periods of studying, but it’s great for brief cram sessions in-between town hangouts. 

[email protected]

Address: 8 Raffles Avenue #03-01, Singapore 039802
Opening hours: 11am – 9pm

An underrated gem, the main draw of this arts-centric library (for exam season least) would be its lush furnishings – think leather chairs and sturdy tables – that ensure maximum comfort throughout your stay.

National Library/Lee Kong Chian Reference Library

Address: 100 Victoria Street, Singapore 188064
Opening hours: 10am – 9pm

The motherlode of all public libraries, this IG-worthy building is the ideal spot for muggers looking to hit the books. Whether it’s snagging yourself a plush arm chair for some light reading at the library’s basement levels, or heading up to its Reference library (level 7-11) to camp out at their many study tables, you’ll definitely be able to study in peace here. Just remember to bring a jacket as it can get pretty chilly. 


 Singapore Management University (SMU)


Address: 71 Stamford Rd, Singapore 178895
Opening hours: 24/7 

Located in the heart of town, SMU’s city campus has outdoor study areas at their ground and basement levels that even non-SMU students often head to. It’s an ideal spot for evening study sessions, but be warned that it can get quite noisy at times – avoid if you need absolute silence to study! 

Yale-NUS Library


Address: 20 College Avenue West, #01-401 Singapore 138529
Tel: 6601 3551
Opening hours: Weekdays: 8:30am – 6pm Weekends: 10am – 6pm

Not studying at NUS? No problem! The Yale-NUS Library allows public access to not only its vast library, but also its designated Study Space during opening hours. Head down if you’d like an interruption-free cramming session during the daytime.  

Sengkang Community Centre (SKCC)


Address: Sengkang Square #04-01/02, Singapore 545025
Opening hours: 24/7 

A popular haunt for students living in the Northeast, SKCC provides more than a proper study setup – they offer free flow of food and beverages as well! If all 3 study rooms are fully occupied, students can still snag a seat at one of the many tables located at the ground level. For group discussions, try booking one of the private meeting rooms at [email protected]ngkang CC, a recent initiative for working adults. 

There are over 200 RCs that provide study areas, especially during examination season, so if you haven’t already found a suitable spot on this list, you could try heading down to your neighbourhood CC. 

Study Area at JCube 

Photo: Hypequiva

Address: JCube 2 Jurong East Central 1, Singapore 609731
Opening hours: 10am – 10pm

There’s tons to see and do at the most popular mall in the West – even study. Students who don’t mind the hustle and bustle can head to the communal tables around the second and third levels of JCube for a quick mugging session during off-peak hours. 

Featured image: The A11ey

Did we miss any of your favourite study spots? Sound out in the comment section with your thoughts and recommendations! 

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Have a passion for fashion and the thirst to succeed? ZALORA will be awarding scholarships to 6 tertiary students from around the region, plus a paid internship opportunity – how’s that for the opportunity of a lifetime? 

The ZALORA Scholarship is back for the third year running! ZALORA will be awarding scholarships to six tertiary students from Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Indonesia and Philippines – each scholar will receive S$3,000 sponsored towards their tuition fees and a paid internship opportunity. Similar to previous years, students’ submissions will have to be in accordance to the theme, with 2017’s theme being “Redesign the online shopping experience for the next generation of shoppers”. 


A post shared by ZALORA Singapore (@zalora) on

ZALORA encourages students to explore innovative and creative ways to conceptualise how online and offline shopping experiences will evolve in 10 years time. According to a press release by ZALORA, “Applicants can submit their compelling insights on post-millennial consumption styles based on their perceptions and analysis on factors such as shifts in social media usage, societal changes, technological changes in their preferred format including essay, video, or even infographics. Winning entries will be selected based on creativity, innovation and relevance to the theme as well as their analytical skills and academic results.” 

All entries should be submitted by 30th September 2017, 11pm Singapore time (GMT +8).  For more info on application details and eligibility criteria, head to, or e-mail ZALORA at [email protected]. Good luck!

Featured image: Oliver Thomas Klein on Unsplash

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