It is quite challenging to go from these fun science experiments you have done in the lab, the exciting science fairs and extravagant fascination with science and literature. Back in grade 9, everything was fun.
There never used to be a struggle; everything is smooth. You were pretty sure that nothing is worth to be taken too seriously. But well, once you move the first year of GCSE, or IGCSE you have taken a whole huge step.
You are about to join university.. but which one? Well, on the first year of GCSE (or again, IGCSE), you know that something will be changing. Everything you do throughout these years will determine you future career, and perhaps everything you might face in life later on.
Don’t be stressed though, you can do well in these years. It can be challenging though.
Take these five rules of GCSE / IGCSE:
1- You don’t have to worry too much about attendance, homeworks or anything during the academic year: Only the exams will matter.
2- You can study the way you like, not the teacher’s way. Because at the end, you are the one sitting the exam. A good example is that you can choose the exam board you’d like; whether it was Edexcel, OCR, or any possible exam board.
3- Past papers, internet, books will be your best weapons. These, if used correctly, can either land you on an A* or a D.
4- You can repeat the course, so do not worry too much. In the worst case scenario you will repeat the exam you sat. So don’t be stressed, it is not the end of the world.
5- You will grow up. During this period you are going to develop physiologically, and socially. You will no longer be that youngster that goes to elementary schools. You are a mature man / woman now.
The plan? Study to score.
You need to know that your priority is solving well on the exam. Don’t get into details of each subjects. I remember when I was studying IGCSE physics; I used to google the essence behind every rule or formula in the book. But guess what? I should have spent that time solving past paper questions. D0 not waste your time fooling around the books, just ask yourself a question: Is this part going to be in the exam? If yes, go on. Else, close the book.
Solve Past Exams, all of them!
Guess what? The exam questions almost repeat themselves every year. So to be honest, if you memorized every single question in the exam paper, you will get the best possible grade. Beware of the over complicated questions that come in books; you are better off solving past papers.
Use the internet.
If you are struggling with a subject, and you are beyond messed up. You can find almost anything on any subject explained on the web. Examples of useful sites would be Khan Academy, BBC Bite Size, IGCSE World and ExamSolutions.
Do well on the mocks.
Believe me, what you score in the mock will probably be what you do in the actual final exam. First year, I got 3 A*s and 2 As. These were exactly like the mock exam results.
Do not listen to your friends.
Guess what? That subject Ron was telling you that it’s the most devilish and extraordinarily difficult, might turn out to be your the subject you score the best at. Believe me, people are different. So do not take what your friends tell you for granted.
Let your parents know.
Do not convince them that ‘Yay, everything is going smooth’, while in fact you are in big trouble. They deserve to know; whether they help or not, they should know. Tell them which subjects you are doing well at and the subjects which you probably will drop before the exams.
Well, you might end up loving a subject you never thought you will. Try different fields, whether it was biology, maths or psychology. To not judge that you will fail at a subject you did not even take.
To be continued..