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  • Clara

How to study for IGCSE’s

Studying for IGCSE’s is up to the individual from mindmaps to flash cards; it's down to personal preference. Due to this I can only speak on what works for me, the revision methods i have tried and how they affected my result. So in summary these tips and tricks may not work for you but you will never know if you don’t try.

Each subject is different meaning that for most people using the same study method consistently across all subjects seems counter productive. I like to separate subjects into knowledge based subjects and numeric subjects. Subjects like English Language, RS, History, English Literature, Biology ect. are knowledge based subjects. Whilst Math's, Geography, Further Math's, Economics ect. are numeric subjects. I find that the way I study each subject closely resembles the others in that group. For example, I study English and Biology in a similar manner.

For a rule of thumb knowledge based subjects may lean towards active recall revision methods like flash cards. Whilst numeric subjects may work best with practice questions. It's not to say that flash cards won’t work for numeric schemes but it's down to the individual.

When studying no matter how you are doing it you need a high level of organisation. You can either do your work online, on paper or a mix of both. Showing clear organisation allows you to see what to revise and how much of that subject you need to revise. Having an organised study plan can also help. Before going into the session give yourself a dead line and know what you need to complete by the end of that dead line this will help you keep on track when revising.

The most important thing is that studying quantity = time spent* intensity by increasing the intensity you can spend less time and still get the same outcome. Note that you don’t want to increase the intensity of your session too much if you do it makes it too hard to maintain.

You also need to practise exam technique. The feeling when studying vs writing in the exam are two different beasts. It's impossible to perfectly emulate how it feels to be in an exam but if you do practise questions under timed conditions you are increasing the likelihood of being more comfortable when the time comes to sit that dreaded exam or paper.

I start by looking at what subjects I need to study and my confidence scale on that subject e.g. how well I think I understand that content. If I can't tell, I do practise questions and see if I can complete them with a high level of accuracy. Once you find the subjects you need to study, go down the list, start with the ones you are least comfortable with and slowly descend until you are comfortable with all the topics. Keep in mind that our brain takes time to absorb the information so don't worry if it takes a while. Each person works and learns at their own speed.

I suggest you try to understand the core subject and then go into the details. For example, when reviewing electricity i need to understand the concept of current before i can understand ohms law. If you understand the material you will do better then if you just recite information.

After that practice, practice, practice, there is no better method than a lot of practice. It does not make perfect but it sure improves the outcome.


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