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  • Writer's pictureSyed Imran Ali

5 Tips on How I got 3A*s in A level, 8A*s in IGCSE.

I will be discussing how I got exceptional grades throughout my academic journey, and you can too! These rules are not only for IAL/IGCSE but can be applied to any curriculum as well.

Tip #1: Start from Day 1:

Start your learning from Day 1. This would create a strong foundation. Don't leave your academic preparation just before the final exams.

If you are late, no worries! However, you may need to compromise and sacrifice some aspects of life to priorities your education. You would now be prepared to work harder and make up for the time lost.

Tip #2: Get yourself Organized:

Invest time in creating a digital timetable to follow. Keep all your education and social activities in one calendar and follow it. You would need to plan all your educational, social and other activities at least a month ahead. Keep the calendar time bound. However, you need to be flexible and update the calendar daily when an event arises like: Exam Prep or even a Party.

Tip #3: Track your Progress:

You don't need to be perfect, but you must work to improve.

Create a spreadsheet and track your progress. Mention your scores of every past paper and

mock exams you gave. Compare how near you are towards your goal. Overtime, you may then compare these progress charts (Ex: how your IGCSE exam went based on Progress report; to then calculate how much work you need to put in for your IAL exams).

Have a margin of safety (MOS) calculated. Ex: Your goal is to get 80% in your Physics exam, aim for a +ve MOS. We can calculated the MOS by: (% Scored - % Needed)/% Scored.

Tip #4: Know your Resources:

Know where to find resources and whom to reach out for guidance. This may include your teachers and websites. You should talk to your teachers, parents, classmates if you feel that you lack resources to complete your course.

Tip #5: Work Smart not Hard:

Copying down the entire textbook and presentation notes into your notebook may not be that helpful. There is no point in memorizing the entire textbook. Instead use techniques like:

  • Having a clear concept - that you can teach a child.

  • Active Recall

  • Spaced Interval Repetition

  • Analyze Past Papers and their Marking Schemes

  • Research & Reading online

Many students ask me how long I study. Instead, they should ask What, How and Where from I study. I study from my textbook and concise notes which I make during lectured. I apply my concepts via past papers and mentioned techniques. I study at a quiet place where I feel comfortable. And, I follow my Agenda. Ex: If I am supposed to study and master a chapter, I shall do that regardless of the time. Whether it takes me 10 minutes or 10 hours; it doesn't matter as long as I master it.

Bonus: Give time for yourself

Don't Burnout. Academic grades are not everything. Enjoy your experience at school and make time for your physical, social and emotional health.

All the Best & Have a nice day!

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