Why do Ten Year Series?
Just like you wouldn’t go on stage without rehearsing, you shouldn’t sit for your O Level or A Level without doing touching TYS.
Fondly known to many students as TYS, the Ten Year Series is the best resource you can make full use of.
“A” students understand this:
Questions and style can be repeated over the years.
The wise Sun Zi said it best in his classic Art of War (seriously!) – know yourself, know your enemies.
When do Ten Year Series?
You should be doing your TYS whenever you complete revising for a topic.
You do not have to wait until you are taking the O Level and A Level.
And you shouldn’t be doing it once only.
By doing the TYS early, you already know what are the common questions being asked, and what you should look out for when you are revising.
Remember the Comprehension test technique where your English teachers would advise you to read up on the questions before reading the passage?
And remember to get the Ten Years Series answers as well.
Difference in Standards between TYS and Prelims
School tests and examinations are never the same as the actual TYS.
Teachers may try to set the same standard, but they will never be fully replicate the experience.
Generally speaking, I don’t believe in doing plenty of “hard” or “tough” questions if the difficulty of the actual examinations is simpler than that.
Want to know the best part?
Tons of questions are actually out of syllabus.
Join my class and I’ll show you plenty.
So if you fare badly occasionally, don’t be too disheartened by the setback.
Topical or Yearly?
My personal preference:
For my students, I normally encourage them to purchase the topical TYS over the yearly ones.
By drilling the topical TYS topic-by-topic, you can be exposed to all the questions that ever appeared for the O Level or A Level examinations for that particular topic.
In this way, you will immediately know your familiarity and weaknesses with that topic.
Then, you should revise your notes and textbooks on the parts where you find it challenging.
If you were to do your ten-years-series year by year, you tend to forget which topics you are weak in.
1-2-3 Star Method
You are not supposed to do the TYS once and dump the book.
Do it earlier, maybe 2 months before your ‘O’ Level so that you have time to go through the questions again.
The first time you do your TYS, attempt ALL questions. Only then you have a feel how the ‘O’ Level standard feels like.
As you do the questions, put a star beside the questions you got it wrong, or you got it correct but it is a tough question.
The reason you are doing every single question is to filter out the really hard questions.
I call this:
The “1-2-3 Star Method” (1 star, 2 stars or 3 stars … you get the point).
You have no time to redo the entire book before the O or A Level.
The questions that you have starred tell you exactly what questions to focus on, without the need to redo everything.
Remember, these are the questions you have gotten wrong previously.
If you have time, do the TYS at least twice before the exams.
For questions that you have gotten correct and is confident of the concepts, you can remove the stars.
On the 2nd attempt (just redoing the starred questions), put another star beside the questions you got wrong for the 2nd time.
Now, you have a list of questions, some with 2 stars, others with 1 star.
During your revision where time is not on your side, do those with 2 stars (hardest) first, before the 1 star.
There you go, a smart and efficient way of using your Ten Years Series and ensuring all questions are fully covered; the tougher questions more so.
Extending this concept further, perform the 1-2-3 Star Method for your school homework, tutorials and assignments.