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How to Secure Top Grades in Your IGCSE Exams in 2022

The IGCSE junction is often deemed the most challenging academic stage in a student’s life. Following the lower school stage and preceding the A Level stage, the IGCSEs require strong focus, excellent time management skills, seamless scheduling, timely revision, and consistent academic progression.

Students who prepare well within the first few months and slow down over the rest of the academic year fail to perform well on their exams. Similarly, students who start late and adopt the crash course-style approach to studying also fail to perform well.

Securing top grades isn’t easy, but it’s also not impossible. The right approach, resources, teaching support, and mindset can help students excel in their exams. In this blog, we’ll offer a closer look at five ways to secure A*s and As in your upcoming IGCSE examinations in 2022. Take notes, and feel free to ask us any questions you may have.

1. Learn How to Schedule

a monthly planner

No matter how committed and capable a student may be, they cannot perform well on their examinations if they don’t have a good schedule in place. As a teenage student, you’ll have a lot on your plate as you start upper school. Even if you’re a responsible and disciplined learner, you’ll still struggle to stay on track without a schedule. Avoid making the mistake of “going with the flow” and hoping you’ll complete your academic tasks for the day as expected. Instead, plan everything out.

We strongly recommend using a digital planner that can be easily updated and tweaked. You can also choose a physical planner; however, that’ll be a tad more inconvenient to use as you’ll have to manually make changes. A planner, digital or physical, will ultimately help you track your progress for the day and follow a set routine. This is imperative.

Students often become complacent at some point during the schooling year. This can happen when you least expect it. A fixed, albeit adjustable, schedule will make it easier for you to settle into a routine again. You can adjust the pace while retaining the structure of your day. Ultimately, this approach will go a long, long way in helping you consistently study and revise for your examinations.

At Cambridge Home School Online, we encourage students to follow a schedule. We also provide any assistance they need in setting it up. This approach has enabled our students to perform exceptionally well in school. Once their classes have ended for the day, students don’t fall into the habit of setting their studies aside for the rest of the day. Instead, students follow their routine, which allows them to enjoy personal and social activities, and allocate some time to homework and revision.

2. Frequently Ask Your Teachers for Feedback

a student interacting with her teacher

No one’s following your academic journey as closely as your teachers. They know the ins and outs of your academic progress, strengths, and weaknesses. At Cambridge Home School, we maintain a low student-teacher ratio. This means that no more than 10 students are taught in a single classroom. As a result, our teachers can easily and attentively engage with each student. They provide individualised attention to every pupil, enabling them to learn better. As they work closely with each student, our teachers gain insight into their learning patterns and preferences.

As a student, it’s your responsibility to make use of this insight. Your teachers will keep guiding you based on their observation and your performance in class, on tests, and during activities. However, you are also required to reach out to them for feedback. It’s possible that there’s a certain subtopic that you haven’t fully grasped.

Speak with your teacher and ask them to inform you about any lapses that they’ve noticed. Value their feedback and start putting it into practice right away. If you’re preparing for IGCSE Maths and your teacher thinks that your coordinate geometry skills aren’t as polished as the other students, start revising the particular subtopic more thoroughly and closely.

These shortcomings aren’t solely detected through tests. Your teachers will also identify them as they assess different performance metrics in class. In addition to asking your teachers for feedback (and following it), make it a habit to self-assess after every class. You should be doing this on a regular basis. Make a list of the specific topics and subtopics that you’re struggling with. Keep working on these areas until you achieve mastery in them. You can check them off once you’re confident that you can attempt related questions with clear concepts.

3. Prepare with Your Peers

a student talking to his peers

Accountability is an extremely powerful concept. At Cambridge Home School Online, we’ve observed that students generally perform better when they share their progress with their peers. This isn’t done to show off or make their peers feel bad for not doing as well as them. Instead, it’s done to motivate each other and collectively stay on track.

We recommend setting up study sessions with your peers. These can be virtual or physical. Over time, you may get tired of self-studying and self-revision after school. Routines can be extremely effective; however, they can also turn into a rut if you’re not careful. If monotony kicks in, you’ll develop a strong dislike for your schedule. Prevent this from happening by switching up your study and revision style.

As you meet with your friends and plan study cycles, you’ll manage to keep the learning process going, especially when you feel that there’s a hint of complacency settling in. If you can’t prepare with your peers, keep them in the loop at the very least. Share your progress with them on WhatsApp and request them to do the same.

When you’re struggling to stay on track, hearing about how your friends are performing will inspire and encourage you to catch up. When they’re struggling, you can lend some much-needed motivation. This is a great way to transition from independent learning to community learning. You can still retain the self-study structure. However, make sure you incorporate community-based learning into the mix as well.

4. Practice Past Papers

a student preparing for his IGCSE examinations

The IGCSE exam pattern is very specific. There’s a certain style of questions that are asked. Moreover, there’s a certain type of answer that examiners expect. The standard is high. As a student, you must understand these nuances.

Not only will they help you perform better, but they’ll also help you feel more confident in your preparation. This is imperative. Students who don’t feel good about their progress often get anxiety mid-exam. If you feel doubtful, overwhelmed, or stressed, you may struggle to attempt your examination properly despite being well-prepared.

We strongly recommend reviewing and practicing past papers to gain confidence and become aware of the Q&A dynamic. Attempt at least 8–10 previous past papers. At Cambridge Home School Online, we equip each student with solved past papers. These are often solved by our MA/PhD qualified subject specialist teachers.

Students are taught to emulate the style of answers when it comes to the content, structuring, and emphasis. There are many specific details that must be observed. These vary from subject to subject.

5. Remain Attentive in Class

a student attending online school

While this may sound like a no-brainer, it’s often the biggest reason why students end up underperforming on their IGCSE examinations. Your classes carry immense value. They’re critical, to say the least. If you zone out, you’ll lose a bulk of knowledge and valuable time that you cannot gain back.

The IGCSE academic year passes by quickly. It’s fast-paced, rigorous, and demanding. If you slip up in between, you’ll only get a handful of chances to catch up. If these chances aren’t taken, the academic burden will pile up until there’s simply too much ground to be covered and not enough time. Make sure you pay close attention in class. You should be alert, attentive, and interactive.

If you’re going off track, your teachers will reel you back in. At Cambridge Home School Online, our teachers are trained in detecting instances of attention loss and promptly helping students get back on track. However, in some cases, students seemingly pay attention but turn their mind off. While they’re nodding in class and following along (or so it seems), they have actually zoned out.

In this case, you’re self-sabotaging. Your preparation will be affected, which will reduce your chances of performing well in class. Make sure you follow your teacher’s train of thought at all times. Take notes so you’re not just listening in class, but also understanding the lessons actively.

We also suggest taking another look at your curriculum. In many cases, IGCSE students underperform because of curricular shortcomings. You may work hard and do the best that you can. However, you could still secure poor grades because your curriculum simply wasn’t comprehensive, rigorous, and complete.

Take some time to determine whether you’re receiving quality knowledge that can help you succeed in your examinations. We take special care to maintain curricular breadth and depth. Our teachers use a well-rounded, well-developed, independent, and interdisciplinary curriculum. This helps students cover more ground and perform better.

Are you ready to secure top grades in your upcoming IGCSE examinations? At Cambridge Home School Online, we provide a quality British online education to students across the globe. As an IGCSE student, you will be taught by a team of MA/PhD qualified subject specialist teachers with extensive experience.

As you learn from some of the best teachers in the world, use quality educational resources, receive one-on-one attention from your teachers, and meet with our school counsellors, your academic, personal, and social growth will stay on track. We help students succeed, enjoy a healthy school-life balance, and develop a range of essential soft and hard skills.

We have a strong focus on student mental health. As an institution, we believe that students can only succeed when they feel content, motivated, and inspired. Our teachers work hard to plan engaging, stimulating, and balanced lessons that don’t leave students feeling overwhelmed. We also provide one-on-one success coaching and pastoral support to every student. If they’re struggling with any academic or non-academic problems, these hurdles are promptly identified and addressed.

At Cambridge Home School Online, each pupil receives access to a vast online library of educational resources. Students can download past papers, videos, previous lessons, presentations, study guides, and a range of other tools. These help our students study and revise better. Our track record shows that our approach has been working remarkably well over the years. In June 2021, 86% of our IGCSE students secured A*s and As in their target subjects. 83% of our A Level students secured two As and a B or higher, as requested by top universities. Moreover, all students who applied received offers from some of the best universities across the globe.

If you’re considering making the switch to online learning, explore the following links to get started:

We offer four homeschooling programs: Primary Prep/Key Stage 2 (ages 7 to 10), Lower School/Key Stage 3 (ages 11 to 13), Upper School/IGCSEs (ages 14 to 16), and Sixth Form/AS & A-Levels (ages 17 to 19). While all of our programs are competitive, the IGCSE and A Level programs are particularly difficult to get into.

We have a limited number of seats available. Students are advised to get a head start and apply in advance. This will increase your chances of getting accepted. As one of the top online schools across the globe, we’re committed to shaping the minds and lives of future leads. Let’s take the first few steps towards helping you achieve immense academic excellence and enjoy a successful professional life.