Best IGCSE Science prep

Starting a IGCSE in science September? This ones for you.

We start with grand intentions, but as the going gets tough what prevents those mid-course struggles?

Prep, prep, prep.

Independent learning Is not easy. There’s a reason it’s considered a CV worthy skill. But, when a subject becomes overwhelming it can be hard to keep motivation levels high. I think it’s easy, especially in the world of home education, to be star struck by the barrage of claims thrown around in groups.

‘My child achieved 6 A* only working 10 minutes a day for 4 months’.

‘We just read the book and came out with level 9’.

‘My daughter found IGCSE physics very ‘doable’ at age 12.’

It’s too easy to get stuck in a comparison rut. But, the reality is, for the majority, adults and children alike, GCSEs are not pushovers and maybe we’re just hearing the glory stories and not the majority who don’t want to admit they found them hard.

Even amongst the growing cohort of unschoolers, for parents of 11-16 year olds there is extraordinary pressure to get their kids through GCSEs. Getting this age to brush their teeth consistently is a challenge … but teaching at least 5 GCSEs in subjects you’re not familiar with? That can be a Valium inducing chore for any parent.

As a teacher, my best advice is to relax, plan to complete over a longer period (cramming a GCSE in 1 year is tough, never mind 4 months) and make sure your foundation skills are solid. The latter, I can help you with.

So, without further ado, I’ve collated a list of my top ‘pre – IGCSE essentials’ to tackle before starting a science (I)GCSE. Learn these with your child and hopefully you won't be reaching for that wine as much as you thought.

PRE-IGCSE PREP

It doesn’t matter what science you’re aiming for, checking off this list will do wonders.

  • Drawing (plotting) and reading line graphs.

  • Understanding variables (dependant, independent and control variables).

  • Reading and writing basic experiments (i’m talking method, apparatus, results and conclusions).

  • Percentages.

  • Ratios.

  • Using formulas.

  • Standard form.

  • Decimal places.

  • Significant figures.

  • Fractions.

  • Averages (mean, median and mode).

  • Square roots.

  • Powers.

  • Area (circles, rectangles, squares and surface area).

Physicists will also benefit HUGELY from:

  • Converting metric units (cm to m, for example).

  • Rearranging equations.

The good news is, this is all covered in Key Stage 3 science and maths, but you're not alone if you haven't covered or remembered it. Stay tuned for more on this prep as we approach Summer. In the meantime KS3 websites and books are a fantastic place to start.

Happy sciencing!

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