Undoubtedly, the IGCSE and its exams can be stressful for many students, but plenty of techniques can help one stay motivated. Schools tend to make exams scarier than they seem, and while it is crucial to keep a focused goal, it is far more important to not lose sight of one’s personal and mental health during the exam period.
Since countless students take the IGCSE exams annually, many stories about the IGCSE tend to crop up online. Although some may offer valid and helpful exam information, jumping into student chat rooms may only induce stress rather than provide anything useful. Part of this is because it only gives a false impression of what the exams are like. Thus, below is a compilation of the most common IGCSE misconceptions and why they are nothing to worry about.
1. The “Holy” IGCSE Misconception
Teachers typically preach about the extreme importance of IGCSE and how they count for a lot. As a result, many students falsely interpret the exams as the core determiner of their future success in terms of higher academics, job opportunities, and their life’s worth in general. This assumption is far from correct.
Indeed the IGCSEs are an incredible milestone in a student’s education. Still, they are not an absolute determiner of their life’s worth and will not have such a significant impact on their career. Due to the stress of having to sit for many exams, it is understandable that not all will turn out as anticipated. If your grades come out lower than expected or you are just a bit short of a passing grade, there are still many ways around that. For example, students can choose to retake their exams or go for the IGCSE Core option.
All in all, when it comes to the IGCSE, the best approach will always be to think of it as a challenge. Work hard for your desired results while keeping in mind that the IGCSE can be seen as a practice run for your future diplomas. If you plan to leave after grade 10, the IGCSEs will be significantly more important. However, even if the IGCSEs do not pan out as expected, remember that you can always redo the year or retake the exams. In short, the IGCSEs are not the end-all-be-all.
2. Students Will Not Have The Privilege of Maintaining A Social Life
For students, school life comes with its hardships. From juggling between long study hours, a social life, and activities outside school, having to take the IGCSE only further adds to the stress. Talking to friends who seem to be enjoying their time in 10th grade does no favours either. Thus, for IGCSE students, having a social life seems like a wistful dream, especially when they have difficulties staying motivated and keeping up with their studies. However, things do not have to be this way.
Because many constantly preach the importance of IGCSEs, many unwitting grade 9 students are led to believe that having a social life while taking IGCSE is nigh impossible, which is wrong. Due to the demanding nature of the curriculum, it is paramount that students find the time to destress and momentarily forget about the world around them whenever possible. So, if you find your head spinning from tackling physics formulas or math equations for hours, give yourself a break and spend some time with friends or family. Breaks are necessary to succeed; most importantly, life is much bigger than just the IGCSEs. Exams are naturally important, but taking care of yourself is even more so. Therefore, find a balance between your academic and social life and take a break from the books when necessary.
3. The IGCSE Is Extremely Difficult
Exams are undeniably important, but that does not mean the IGCSEs are an insurmountable obstacle designed to make you fail. Many students go into the IGCSE and are misled about the supposed extreme difficulty of exams and the impossibility of achieving high marks, which are untrue. In reality, the IGCSE is only difficult for those that do not put in the effort in their exams. If you prioritise working on your weaker areas during your IGCSE revisions, you will likely do so months ahead of the exams. Doing so allows you to take better care of your well-being and eventually realise that the hype around the IGCSE’s difficulty is not all that intense.
The IGCSE’s reputation for being a demanding curriculum is not unfounded, but many tend to blow it out of proportion. With its rigorous nature that aims to prepare students for the next chapter of their academic journey, it is only natural for students to have misconceptions about it. But as discussed above, that is not the case, and the IGCSE should not be perceived as intimidating as others call it to be.
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