Exams are near, many people are doing them right now. For me, and thousands of others around Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Al Ain, Sharjah and the other Emirates – these are crucial for our career aims and college ambitions. It’s important be do well.

A big part of exam preparation is past papers. Doing past questions really helps us think like the examiners, and makes it clear what the exam boards are looking for in their students. The thing is – it’s not the past papers that are very important, it’s the mark schemes and examiners reports. A lot of times, I read past papers, come up with some answers and am dumbfounded by the mark schemes – some answers are just stupid! However, that’s not an excuse I can give to universities and future employers when they ask why I got an F in my English Literature GCSE. Just understand what they’re encouraging on the mark schemes, and try and learn some common mark scheme answers that come up (there are always some). Also read the examiners reports – this is really important. On the examiners reports, they write things candidates are weak at, have misconceptions on. This is important for two reasons – it clarifies and misconceptions you have by reading it, and it also hints at what they like to ask and which questions may be repeated in future papers. This is especially useful for Science Papers.

For Maths, it really comes down to past paper questions: I did EVERY SINGLE past paper questions EVER WRITTEN when preparing for my Maths IGCSE last year – it was amazingly helpful, because it’s almost as if the examiners copy and past questions and just change the numbers. It makes you 1. a lot more comfortable when taking the exams 2. much less likely to make stupid mistakes in the real exams (you already made them all in the past papers). Similarly, I was struggling with my Further Maths IGCSE syllabus this year because I was (cough) slacking in class for some of the time. However, the last few weeks, I have gone over every problem in the textbook, done it twice and done every past paper ever written as well. Doing problems really clarifies things, you can learn a concept but struggle to actually use it, doing past questions fixes this right up. If a moron like me can get a decent grade on his Maths IGCSE, so can you.

In these final few weeks of term (before summer! Yes!), make sure you do as many PPQs (Past Paper Questions) as you humanly can – it’ll super useful. Just look up ‘EdExcel IGCSE Maths Past Papers) or the like, and you’ll find loads online. Hope this helped.



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