It seems a bit mean, maybe. You have the festive run-up to the Christmas holiday, but as soon as the the new year rolls around, you are thinking about IGCSE exams – that’s if you haven’t thought about them already (hopefully, you will have had a break while devouring your Christmas dinner).
The January exams are soon to be upon us, then, but, fear not – it will be okay. I am hoping you’re reading this with time to spare (that is, not as you run for the bus to the exam centre, skidding and sliding on the ice – it will be January, remember!) Planning ahead is important – so don’t leave revising until the last minute. I know this is easier said than done but having some sort of exam timetable is really useful – and helps to avoid unnecessary panic and stress.
Perhaps you have English Language IGCSE exams in January? If so, make sure you know the anthology texts well (non-fiction for Paper 1, and fiction/poetry for Paper 2). Set yourself the challenge of reading one a day – there are only 20 in total, so it’s a bit like a reading advent calendar, albeit one that runs late in the festive period. Think about the literary devices you know. Read up on the difference between alliteration and assonance – and check you know how a metaphor is different to a simile. And don’t forget to get some writing practice done, too. Spending time, little and often, will help you with examination skills, even if you’d rather be eating (yet another) Toblerone* and binging on Stranger Things*.
You might also have your English Literature IGCSE coming up. Remember: you might be able to take in some prescribed copies of texts, depending, so make sure you check. Knowing quotations is important – as is the context in which books were written. Maybe you’ll need to write about Alabama in the 1930s, or Dickens’ Victorian London. Shakespeare, too – so check out when he was writing and what society was like at the time.
Ultimately, the old adage still applies today as much as it did back in the dim and distant past: failing to prepare is akin to preparing to fail. So, don’t put yourself in that position. Settle down with your highlighter, your texts, your paper – and revise – it will all be worth it in the end.
*Other chocolate/boxsets are available.