We used to make lists, to-do lists. And we got a bit obsessive. At one point we even lived by it as if it was the law.

When we were 13, we got into secondary school or high school. Everything changed. The schooling system changed and we failed our 1st test. Having not failed any tests before, we just collapsed emotionally. It might sound like we were a bit of a drama queen, but hey, we were 13. Young and innocent with demanding parents. It was somewhat about having to handle the look on our parents' faces. Or at least, the mother. We grew up in a very strict family, one might compare it with a boarding school or convent. You get the gist.

After getting over our failed test, we decided to double up. We were more than above average students. But put us in a school with a system that was more military in whipping out grades, than being encouraging and making sense out of learning, we usually reject it. We were really not learning in school. It was so dull and we always drifted away. The teachers were mostly reading from textbooks. Why oh why did our parents had to pay money for us to go through that?

Anyway, we formulated this study program for ourselves. A to-do list, a timetable of revision. 1300-1500 Science, 1500-1530 Tea break, 1530-1630 History, 1630-1800 Maths, 1800-1930 Shower, TV, Dinner... etc. We stuck to it like a limpet. We read the books and more, did our own research and actually learnt. We did really well and we stopped that after we got the gist of it.

Then came majoring in subjects from the age of 15 to 16, the big preparation for your life and the O' Levels Examination. We made our selection and majored in subjects which, did nothing for us now. The subjects to major in were limited and did not exactly help to steer us towards our ambition. We didn't hate school but we simply didn't enjoy the system and how the teachers taught.

We drifted away for a good year and a half. We did OK in class but not great. We then adopted our crazy little to-do method again, 2 months prior to the big exams. 8 subjects, 1 and a half years of studies in 2 months. We did really well and the college we applied to even asked us why we didn't opt to go to a mainstream college with those grades. Yep, we got into what we had always wanted. It could either be the fruits of our hard work and determination, or that the school system is really flawed.

2 years of studying vs 2 months. We have tried and tested the to-do method. You might want to give it a try, just for today to see how much more you can achieve. (You do need a whole load of tenacity and focus though.)

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