I think many students are not aware of this. If you are good in sports and intend to apply to a JC or Poly via DSA in June, they will look at your mid-year exam results. Thus you should aim to at least pass all your O-level subjects with a B4/B3 average at the least, else the JC or Poly would tell you to re-apply again with your prelim results instead.
The problem is, the S4 mid-year exam is always the hardest exam to do well in due to the following reasons:
(1) Teachers would have just finished teaching some topics and then the exam comes;
(2) There is little or no revision time for older topics;
(3) It tests the S3 topics as well and in the case of Math it tests all the topics from S1;
(4) Exam-setters typically make it very hard in order to “wake-up” the students.
Thus S4 students often fail most of their subjects for SA1. The results don’t matter much if you are NOT applying to JCs or Polys via DSA in June. But even if you don’t intend to use DSA, poor results at SA1 doesn’t bode well for your performance in the prelims, which in turn will not give you the confidence you need to face the O-levels.
THUS DOING WELL AT SA1 IS STILL IMPORTANT NO MATTER HOW BUSY YOU ARE. PLEASE PRIORITIZE YOUR TIME CORRECTLY AND AIM TO DO WELL IN ALL EXAMS.