How to Ace Your Science Practical Assessment (SPA)

We understand your concern that you will not be able to get as much practice for your Science Practical Assessment (SPA) as compared to other papers. Moreover, SPA has a weightage of a significant 15 - 20%.

But fret not! You will be able to ace your Science Practical Assessment if you heed these few simple tips from us! 

1. Know your content well

It is key that you master the topics in the textbook which are included in the syllabus for your practical assessment. By doing so, you know how to apply the relevant concept knowledge to your practical experiments. Understanding how the practical experiment coincides with the content you know helps to back up your explanation and makes you more confident in your answers. Content that you have never seen or learnt will never be tested in your exams so master the content that you are taught. 

2. Be thorough & detailed

Pay attention to the details to ensure that your results are reliable and accurate so that your subsequent calculations and readings are not affected. Moreover, inaccurate results may cause your observations to deviate from theories which can cause you to panic when you realise what you have and what you know do not corroborate. Always read the questions carefully & double check your answers as well to prevent any careless mistakes. (P.s., as SPA has a very steep bellcurve, careless mistakes can cause you to lose a huge chunk of marks and fairing below the median score)

3. Check the clock

Plan your time well beforehand to know a gauge of how much time you can spend on each section. When you are not able to complete your experiments, you have to resort to faking your results and panic. Staying calm is one of the most important thing you should ensure during exams.

4. Focus!

Don’t get distracted by the student next to you or your surroundings as it will only pressurise you further and cause you to lose track of what you're doing. Focus solely on your own experiments for the entire duration that you have.

5. Tackling planning questions 

First & foremost before your exams, read up and remember a handful of significant sources of errors that could potentially affect the accuracy and reliability your results as they are always asked during exams. 

Know how to identify your independent, dependent, and constant variables of the experiment. Outline the procedures concisely while clearly stating the amount/mass of reagent/object and apparatus used. If plotting of any graph or diagram is required, label distinctly what each axis or drawing represents. Lastly, explain in detail how your results can be interpreted to investigate the problem at hand.

6. Visualise

Being able to create vivid mental image of the experimental process before exams help to familiarise yourself with the procedures you need to execute and trains your memory.

When you visualise the full procedures and the theoretically desired outcome, it actually stimulates the same parts of the brain as when you physically perform the same action.

Hope these tips will be useful to you. The following are links to other study tips & tricks to help students taking Chemistry.