THE MORE PAST PAPERS THE HIGHER THE GRADE
About 40% of your exam will be problem solving and these are
best practiced through real past papers.
IS THE MARKED MOCK EXAM ENOUGH?
Ideally, no. There is a direct link between students who get high levels and how many past papers they took.
HOW MANY SHOULD I TAKE?
As many as you can! Quality (learning from them) is better than quantity, but making a conscious effort to take at least 4 is ideal.
WHY TAKE PAST PAPERS?
You’ll start to spot patterns in what questions come up.
You’ll start to understand what they want you to write.
You’ll learn to reduce your answer size to save time.
You'll memorise as you go saving time on things like flash cards.
DO YOU RECOMMEND EXTRA RESOURCES FOR REVISION?
No. I often have students ask for more worksheets or more resources books with questions. There is very little need for these. You have hundreds of practice exam questions in past papers all perfectly adapted to your exam and all free. I sometimes recommend the CGP level 8/9 practice workbooks for those aiming high, but they are not imperative.
SHOULD PAST PAPERS BE UNDER EXAM CONDITIONS?
No. Don’t treat them all like a test. They are just perfectly aligned worksheets.
Print off or answer direct from your screen. Have the revision sheets available and take all the time you need. As you spot a question you don’t know the answer to revise that topic by reading the revision sheet(s).
After at least 3 past papers you can start to complete under timed conditions.
HOW DO I SELF MARK?
I understand this is a skill.
Complete at least 3 papers open book and untimed. Have the mark scheme open to check your answers as you go. If you get an answer wrong read the revision sheet associated with that topic.
If you don’t understand
a question after analysing the mark scheme
why the mark scheme is the way it is
how it links to the course
I respond much faster via the message button on your account. Let me know the exam year, month and question. You can email email@example.com with that and a screenshot, but I might be slower to respond.
After at least 3 open book papers try one closed book in exam conditions. Mark (asking for help if you need clarification) and repeat until you get close to 100%. Repetition is good! It helps to memorise.
The first 3 papers will feel hard! The jump from content to successful exam technique is large. However, slowly you will start to feel confident in yourself and your studies.
15% of your exam will be recall questions like name or label this. This means that if you memorise the entire IGCSE content you could still be looking at a 15% score (under a level 1)!
WHO SHOULD MARK THEM?
I personally believe the student.
The student often knows the content better than a parent. They will be able to read the mark scheme and understand it better than the parent. They are the ones that need to learn their mistakes and fix them using that mark scheme.
Effective self marking is the cornerstone of getting a high grade.