The IGCSE examinations are recognised worldwide as a prerequisite to further academic study, and it looms as the largest obstacle in a student’s journey. However, the key to success essentially boils down to having a good grasp of all the material covered over their two years of study, regardless of their chosen subject combination. Nonetheless, the IGCSE exams will still pose an arduous task for everybody, prepared or otherwise. For the parents of IGCSE students, talking to your child about IGCSE and its difficulties is absolutely necessary. Moreover, preparing them for the challenges ahead is the key to laying the foundations of their success. Here are five challenges to look out for when preparing for the IGCSEs.
1. Avoiding common mistakes
With the IGCSE having little margin for errors, it is incredibly important for students to get adequate help in determining the common mistakes they tend to make and eliminating them. This could involve putting more practice into challenging subjects like Mathematics or enlisting outside help from an IGCSE math tutor in Singapore, for instance. Other difficulties could also entail English comprehension questions or conceptual confusion in various Science subjects. Hence, students must communicate with their parents or tutors about the areas they are lacking and freely express their concerns and struggles at any time.
2. Information overload
The incredible amount of content and information to absorb for the IGCSE can be highly daunting for students and their parents. One must periodically review past material over the school term to ensure no learning is lost from memory. Doing so also prevents having to review numerous topics late into the year when time is precious and short. In short, information overload is less likely to be a problem if the information is evenly spread out in manageable portions over a long period.
3. Acquiring exam skills
Absorbing and mastering the content taught in class is only the first step toward success when preparing for the IGCSE. The following step comes when students sit down for the exam and are required to apply all that they have learned. This is where having the right exam skills, such as prioritisation, time management, and knowing one’s strengths and weaknesses in assessing which questions to answer first becomes critical. With enough practice and self-assessment, such skills can be easily acquired and honed before the examinations, giving students the confidence they need to overcome obstacles.
4. Managing great expectations
Students will naturally feel the pressure to do well ahead of the IGCSE exams. Working under pressure is undoubtedly something they all need to get used to, but it can be a fine balancing act. Thus, if additional support and guidance are needed, one should not hesitate to consult their parents and tutors and seek help.
Setting achievable goals and adopting a growth mindset that learns from past mistakes is recommended. Moreover, students should gradually become proficient at learning independently on their journey towards their academic goals. Apart from their parents’ expectations, students could also struggle with the weight of their own expectations. In this case, parents must unequivocally show their love and support and help them manage these expectations.
5. The last-minute syndrome
Procrastination is an issue that all students deal with, and managing it is no easy feat, especially when they have to scramble to review for the IGCSE examinations. Children naturally neglect to look beyond the present and what they do and do not enjoy at the moment. The key here is to adopt consistent planning and work early, which requires a lot of commitment and discipline and a robust support system.
The IGCSE examinations can be an incredibly demanding undertaking for students worldwide. They must adopt a multi-faceted strategy that combines soft skills with on-paper learning to navigate all the challenges ahead.
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