Blog

Preparing for Your IGCSE Exams in India: How Can I Get A*s and As?

As an IGCSE student, you should have a strong focus on securing excellent grades. When combined with strong A-Levels grades, strong IGCSE grades can help you get into your dream university. As the hard work, commitment, consistency, and perseverance pay off, you’ll feel grateful for going the extra mile to ace these two rites of passage.

In this blog, we’ll focus on the first rite of passage: your IGCSE examinations. If you’re preparing from India, make sure you use the right strategy to secure top grades. You may feel that students living in the UK have a leg up on you. Many international students feel unsettled about their own preparation because they lack the right resources, guidance, support, tools, and counselling provided to students living in the UK.

In some cases, this is true. If you choose a local institution, they may not have a well-rounded curriculum, low student-teacher ratio, quality resources, and qualified teachers on board. These aspects can, indubitably, affect a student’s educational journey.

For starters, we always encourage students living in India to enrol in a British institution. Cambridge Home School should be your top consideration. As one of the leading British online schools in India, we teach the following IGCSE subjects:

  • Art & Design
  • Biology
  • Business Studies
  • Chemistry
  • Computer Science
  • English Language
  • English Literature
  • French
  • Geography
  • History
  • Maths
  • Music
  • Physics
  • Psychology
  • Spanish

By keeping the classroom size small (8 to 10 pupils per group), our MA/Ph.D. qualified subject specialist teachers can easily provide individualised attention to each student. This goes a long way in helping IGCSE students work on their weaknesses, receive prompt and comprehensive answers to their questions, and stay on track through and through. We also use a well-rounded curriculum to maximise your chances of securing top grades.

In this blog, we’ll focus on IGCSE grades. As you start preparing for your exams, your ultimate goal should be securing the best grades possible. How can you actualise this goal? Continue reading for a closer look at six ways to secure A*s and As in your upcoming IGCSE examinations.

1. Create a Game Plan

a student creating a schedule

As a young student, you may not be too fond of planning. Understandably so. Planning can be time-consuming and complex. However, it’s vital. When done correctly, it won’t take you long, and the payoff will be worth it. Creating a game plan is imperative for numerous reasons. For starters, it will help you avoid procrastination. It will also serve as a form of self-accountability on days when you let complacency take over.

Start by creating a streamlined schedule for a week. Avoid planning ahead; you may end up wasting time if you have to revisit your schedule and make lots of changes. If you’re just starting, your schedule shouldn’t cover more than ten days. Allocate a good portion of your time for studying and revision. In addition, make room for non-academic interests and explorations. As your exams draw close, these activities should gradually decrease (albeit not completely).

A good school-life balance is imperative for strong academic performance and good mental health. If you overburden yourself with studying and/or revision, you’ll feel burned out. If you experience this in the days leading up to your exams, the outcome can be critical. As you stop revising, the critical days of your revision process will slip by, affecting your chances of securing top grades. Instead of going “all out,” opt for consistency and stability.

A schedule will help you retain a good balance, stay on track, and overcome common obstacles without feeling frazzled. We recommend sharing your schedule with your parents, older siblings, or friends for an added layer of accountability. They can check your schedule and confirm that your activities correspond with what you have planned for the day.

Recommended Read: The Importance of Online Mock Exams for IGCSE and A-Levels Students

2. Rely on Your Teachers

a teacher delivering a lesson 1

We’re sure you’ve heard this one before. Unfortunately, students often dismiss the significance of this suggestion. As you prepare for your IGCSEs, you need all the help you can get. Qualified and individualised help will go a long way in improving your grades. We strongly recommend relying on your teachers and utilising their help every step of the way.

At Cambridge Home School, our teachers work closely with each student to resolve their unique queries and concerns. Based on each student’s performance in class and on tests, our teachers further individualise their approach. This helps each student prepare and revise more meticulously.

Start reaching out to your teachers for additional assistance from the get-go. We recommend requesting help if you’re having trouble with certain subjects, themes, topics, subtopics, and even your mental health. It’s possible that you can’t seem to grasp a concept no matter how hard you try. It’s also possible that you’ve understood something incorrectly. Perhaps you’re struggling with your mental health and can’t seem to focus on your studies. Either way, reach out to your teachers promptly.

At Cambridge Home School, we provide one-on-one success coaching and pastoral support to help address each student’s unique concerns. If there’s any stumbling block, it will be carefully and thoroughly overcome to help you get back on track.

Help is always available; make full use of it. Your IGCSE examinations are a critical juncture in your life. If you’re experiencing any difficulties, don’t let them snowball and serve as roadblocks in your academic journey. The sooner you consult your teachers, the better.

3. Record Your Notes

While this may sound odd at first, it’s one of the most effective ways to recall information. As you take notes during class, you’ve already partially committed them to memory. When we write something down, we increase its retentive capacity. You’re more likely to remember handwritten notes.

This can be taken a step further by verbally reading notes. As you take, process, speak, and listen to your notes, you’ll recall them better in the long run. They’ll also become clearer to you as you listen to them in your own voice after class.

Make this a habit. Start recording your notes (or at least the most important points) on a regular basis. Listen to your notes as you revise for the day. Avoid listening to them absent-mindedly as you complete routine tasks. Pay close attention to maximise comprehension and retention. You’ll start recalling your notes better, and your concepts will also crystallise.

Recommended Read: Acing Your IGCSEs in 2021: Are Online Classes the Way to Go?

4. Find Your Revision Style

a student revising for his exams

 

If you want to ace your exams, make sure you discover your revision style. This is imperative. Before we explore different revision styles, let’s understand the importance of revision. While ensuring thorough preparation is important, it’s not enough.

Strong preparation is ultimately just the first step to securing excellent grades. You should also have a razor-sharp focus on beginning the revision process at least two months before your exams. This will help you clarify any unresolved complexities and queries promptly.

In many cases, students are blindsided by unexpected questions that they struggle to answer correctly. The phrasing may throw you off. You may also struggle to recall complex concepts that need to be addressed in the answer.

As you address these issues in a streamlined and structured manner before you sit your exams, you’ll ensure a successful outcome. Start by finding your revision style. Many students prefer revising individually, while others achieve better results with group revision.

You’ll also require different tools for revision based on your learning preferences. If you revise better-using flashcards, mind maps, post-it notes, and graphic organisers, feel free to leverage these add-ons.

At the very least, however, you should create a revision journal and keep tabs on your progress. Find your revision style roughly a month before you start revising. Once you get started, continue to consult your teachers to streamline the process.

At Cambridge Home School, we offer a vast online library of educational resources. Students can access videos, presentations, audios, journals, study guides, exam tips, past papers, and so much more. Utilise these resources to polish your skills and gain valuable insights leading up to your exams.

5. Identify and Eliminate Distractions From Your Space

a student studying in a distraction free space

At a time when internet use is at an all-time high, social distractions are just about everywhere. Unfortunately, they can take a toll on your preparation journey. As you start studying and preparing for your IGCSE examinations, make a conscious effort to remove physical and social distractions from your space. By physical distractions, we mean video games, distractive clutter on your study desk, etc.

For social distractions, you’ll have to be a tad more persistent. Social media can be extremely addictive. Start by downloading a restrictive app that controls the number of hours you spend on social media each day. You can set a certain limit for apps like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, Pinterest, Tumblr, and TikTok. If and when you reach this limit, you’ll lose access to the app for the rest of the day.

This is a great way to hold yourself accountable and stay off social media as much as possible during your IGCSE preparation journey. We also recommend turning notifications off for social media apps to avoid getting distracted. You’ll stay focused and present-minded as you study and/or revise. If restricting social media doesn’t work for you, consider deleting the app(s) altogether. You may feel tempted to re-download them.

To prevent this from happening, request a friend or sibling to help you out. If you’re active on social media again, they can intervene and help you get back on track. Self-accountability works exceptionally well at times, but it also backfires. Feel free to ask others to step in to help you stick to your schedule and avoid getting distracted. As you stay focused and maintain consistency, you’ll manage to prepare exceptionally well for your upcoming exams.

6. Take Healthy Breaks

 

a student taking a healthy break between studying

 

As an IGCSE student, prioritising your exams is imperative. However, this doesn’t mean that you sacrifice your own mental health and well-being. As stated earlier, finding the right balance is imperative. If you overwork yourself, you’ll self-sabotage. As your mental and/or physical health declines, you’ll struggle to perform well on your exams. Take healthy breaks when you study/revise. In addition, continue to explore your interests and hobbies after school.

While you should reduce the number of non-academic activities in the weeks and months leading up to your exams, you shouldn’t eliminate them entirely. Continue to play your favourite sports (especially if you play competitive sports) and make time for your favourite activities and explorations. The right balance will keep your mental health on track, which is imperative for excellent exam performance.

In addition, keep your diet on track. Consume nutrient-rich foods to “feed” your brain. According to research, food significantly improves exam performance. A study posted in 2017 revealed that high levels of omega-3s increase blood flow to the brain, increasing cognitive abilities. As brain function is boosted, the ability to comprehend and retain information significantly increases. There’s also less risk of experiencing a mind-blank mid-exam. By making these changes, you’ll train your body to perform well leading up to and during your exams.

Recommended Read: How to Enrich Your Online Learning Experience as a Teenager

Prepare for Your IGCSE Exams by Enrolling in Cambridge Home School

As you get ready to prepare for your upcoming exams, make sure you give yourself the head start you need. At Cambridge Home School, we’re considered one of the top IGCSE schools in the UK and India. Our MA/Ph.D. qualified subject specialist teachers are committed to helping students prepare exceptionally well, secure top grades, and get accepted by their dream university.

In June 2021, 86% of our IGCSE students secured A*s and As in their target subjects. 83% of our A-Levels students secured two As and a B or higher as required by top universities. Moreover, all students who applied received offers from top universities. Our track record reflects the commitment of our students, teachers, and parents.

Explore the following resources to kick-start your journey to securing excellent grades in your upcoming IGCSE exams:

  • Admissions Process
  • Term Dates
  • Application Form
  • Scholarships & Bursaries
  • Grades & Fees
  • Online Reviews

Feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions about Virtual international school or concerns; we’re always happy to help!