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As I look at my teenage son struggling with his Additional Mathematics, I remember an incident that helped me pick up the pieces and start again. We had finished our trial examination and had just received our results of the mid-year examination. I was sitting among the top scorers of the school, trying to appear calm. I felt small and hid my Chemistry paper from them.

Every now and then, this swell of fear would rise and threaten to consume me. I took a deep breath and tried to be brave. But the truth was, I had failed my Chemistry and Physics again. The teachers had entered the class only to give us a piece of their minds. They left, disgusted and disappointed with failures like me.

For a year and a half, I had struggled to understand the subjects. At that time, tuition was unheard of and even if there were any, my parents certainly could not afford it. So, as I cycled home that afternoon, I began to cry. I felt like dying. Then, instead of going home, I took a detour and went to my friend's house. Swee Fan, a third-year law student was my comrade, my friend and my mentor.

One look at my swollen eyes and she beckoned me to her room. She listened patiently as I related the events of the day. My parents had placed such high hopes on me. I was their hope to move out of their financial difficulties. They would be very disappointed with me. She listened calmly and then wrote something on three slips of paper. She told me to open only a slip of paper each day. I could not wait to open the slips of paper.

I woke up early the next morning, feeling fresh after the 'torrential downpour' of tears the previous day. I rushed to open the first slip of paper. It was written in print: ACCEPT IT. I tried to understand what she meant by the word 'accept'. After some time, I realized that she wanted me to accept my results, no matter how bad it was. I had been going through this denial phase, struggling to accept that I had failed. I knew that there was nothing I could do to change what had happened.

The next day, I opened the next slip and it read: FORGET IT. Could I forget what had happened? The wounds were still fresh. How could I forget my teacher's remarks about me and my friends' comments? I kept thinking about what I could have done and what I did not do. Then, I realized that I had to try to forget all those things. It was difficult but I had to do it.

Finally, on the third day, I awoke, eager to read what my friend had written this time. I took out the last slip of paper, almost wishing that there would be more slips. The slip of paper read: MOVE ON. That was brilliant. True, in time, I could probably accept and forget what had happened but if I did not move on, I would still be wallowing in self-pity and worry. If I did not move on, I would certainly fail my papers again.

I went to see her the next day. She told me that she had faced the same situation and someone had given her the slips of paper and it had helped her. She asked me what were the things I needed to do to move on. I thought for a long time and I told her I needed to look at my weaknesses and work on them. So, we got down on the floor together and worked out a schedule that I could follow. Then, she taught me to highlight the things that I didn't understand and to get help.

The next few weeks were the hardest of my life. Each time my past failures threatened to engulf me, I would remember those three magic phrases. When I finally received my examination results a few months later, I was pleasantly surprised that I had managed to get credible results for both subjects, thanks to those three magic phrases.


Based on the passage given, write a summary on :

her problems,

what her friend did to help her, and

the three phrases that helped the writer.


Your summary must:

be in continuous writing ( not in note form )

not be longer than 130 words, including the 10 words given below


Begin your summary as follow:

I felt afraid as I had failed Physics and Chemistry ...

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I felt afraid as I had failed Physics and Chemistry. I had difficulty understanding the subjects. Tuition was not available then. I could not afford it either. My friend listened while I told her my troubles. Then, she scribbled on three slips of paper and I could only read one each day. She accompanied me to make sure I was better. The next day, I opened the first slip which read 'Accept It', indicating that I should accept my results. Another slip of paper said 'Forget It'. The third slip read 'Move On'. When I saw her, she explained the advice and asked me to list the things I needed to do to move on. She helped me draw up a schedule and told me to highlight the problem areas and get help.(130 words)

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