As a teenage student, you’ll study two rigorous programs in Russia: the IGCSEs and A Levels. These carry a significant amount of weight. IGCSE and A Level grades collectively determine which university you attend, which program you study, and which career you enjoy in the future. If you slip up and secure poor grades, you’ll inadvertently change the trajectory of your future.
As an online school, we have a razor-sharp focus on helping our students secure top grades across every homeschooling grade, especially the IGCSE and A Level stages. In this blog, we’ll focus on the former. Are you preparing for your IGCSE examinations in Russia? Do you want to improve your grades? We’ve put together a guide to help you perform better in your upcoming examinations. Keep reading, take notes, and get ready to put this action plan into practice. Let’s begin.
1. Understand Your Academic Strengths and Weaknesses
Every IGCSE student should have a good understanding of which curricular areas they excel in and which curricular areas they struggle with. Obtaining this insight is imperative. It’ll help you double down on the right facets of your curriculum.
We recommend creating a “mega syllabus”. Combine your syllabi into one, so you have the topics and subtopics for each subject neatly compiled in one place. Grab a highlighter and a pen, and start highlighting your problem areas. If you struggle with algebra, coordinate geometry, vectors and transformations, and probability, highlight these topics. If there are certain subtopics within these categories that you find difficult, highlight those too.
Make notes if you feel the need to. Repeat this process for every IGCSE subject you’re studying. You’re done with the heavy lifting. By the end of this practice, you’ll understand exactly which areas you need to double down on.
As simple as this step is, many students fail to do it. If you skip this step, your preparation will not be as rigorous and focused. Ideally, the topics and subtopics you perform poorly in should be given more time.
If this isn’t done, you’ll fail to achieve mastery in these components. The second step of this process isn’t necessary, but it’s still helpful. Grab a different-coloured highlighter and highlight the topics and subtopics you have excelled in. These are areas you need to revise, but not as much as the others. This exercise goes a long, long way in helping students improve their grades.
2. Solve as Many Past Papers as You Can
Past papers are every IGCSE student’s best friend. As you start solving past papers, you’ll become psychologically prepared for your exams. You’ll also understand the type of questions asked by examiners and the answers you’re expected to provide. Additionally, you’ll master the skill of time management.
Effective time management can help students save their grades. The last thing you want to do is skip a question because you ran out of time. Solving past papers is a great way to wrap up on time and leave a couple of minutes for revision.
3. Revise More Frequently
This is the oldest and most effective trick in the book. The more you revise, the better. For IGCSE students, revision can be a grade-saver. Many students make the mistake of starting revision too late. If you revise within the last few months leading up to your examinations, you’ll struggle to retain knowledge.
Start revising from the very first day. We recommend spending at least 50 minutes revising your lessons for the day. As stated earlier, double down on your “problem areas”. This will help make concepts more clear. If you have any questions, jot them down and ask your teacher(s) in class the following day.
The more complexities you get cleared up regularly, the better. If you fail to revise regularly, you’ll have a big chunk of questions and complexities left unaddressed. It’s very difficult to cover so much ground within a month or two. If you want to study and revise rigorously, make revision an essential part of your routine.
4. Consult Your Teachers
In recent years, we’ve noticed an increase in self-studying in Russia. More and more students are creating their study plans and taking the reins themselves. This approach works well for older students, i.e., students who are pursuing a Master’s or PhD degree. Even university students aren’t suitable for self-studying, let alone teenage students.
The IGCSE and A Level stages are critical. You must secure good grades to attend a prestigious university and achieve academic excellence at an advanced level. Unfortunately, self-studying at the IGCSE level will prevent you from improving your grades.
Many students notice a decline in their grades. Your teachers are an immensely valuable resource. They have extensive years of experience in providing an IGCSE education to students. Simply put, they possess the insight, expertise, and skills required to help you achieve your dream goals. If you’re self-studying, you’ll have to develop a different approach.
Students like the self-studying model as it offers greater flexibility. However, other schooling approaches offer similar flexibility, and online schooling is one of them. You can attend IGCSE classes from home and reap the benefits of a healthy school-life balance. At the same time, you’ll also learn from a team of MA/MSc/PhD qualified subject specialist teachers who can steer you in the right direction and help improve your grades.
Make sure you frequently consult your teachers to understand how you’re doing in the classroom, on tests, and practice papers. Teachers are adept at identifying each student’s academic strengths and weaknesses, exam-related skill deficiencies (poor time management, weak memory, etc.), and other hindrances that affect exam performance (procrastination, lack of consistency, etc.).
They’ll help you understand how you can improve your grades. They’ll also provide the support and guidance you need to stay on track and achieve your goals.
Recommended Read: Online Homeschooling in Russia
Parents can choose from 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).