When asked about his motivation for taking 12 IGCSE classes, Mikhail explains, "As I had already completed three IGCSE subjects by the end of year ten, there would have been a sizable amount of free time for me the following year." He viewed this as an opportunity to challenge himself and develop new skill sets, opting for subjects that expanded his academic base and altered his perspective on various scenarios.
In terms of his study routine during IGCSE preparations, Mikhail describes an initial emphasis on understanding over memorization, followed by the creation of reference materials like mind maps and notes. He highlights the importance of tackling past year questions to comprehend formatting, marking schemes, and practical application of learned concepts.
Regarding the management of his time to balance the workload across subjects, he does it by detailing a mindful effort to maintain equilibrium. He strategically allocates weekdays for schoolwork and exam preparations, reserving weekends for relaxation and social activities. Engaging in sports serves as a stress-relief mechanism, providing the motivation to persevere through the week.
He acknowledges facing challenges in English Literature, a subject outside his comfort zone. Mikhail overcame initial discomfort by dedicating extra time to research, consulting teachers, and engaging in discussions with classmates.
With his focus throughout his IGCSE studies, particularly dealing with a heavy workload, Mikhail credits his support system, stating, "I was fortunate to have a good support system from teachers to friends and family."
Taking timeouts for self-care allowed him to reset, acknowledging the importance of accepting factors beyond one's control.
Describing his exam preparation strategy, Mikhail emphasizes comprehensive content coverage and personalized study schedules. He underscores the benefits of study groups, especially for subjects like History, English Literature, and Economics. Past year papers and mock exams played a crucial role in highlighting strengths and areas requiring more focus, while also normalizing the exam day experience.
Offering advice to students considering taking more than the required subjects for IGCSE, Mikhail encourages them, saying, "If you are already considering it, I’m certain that you are more than capable." He emphasizes setting high standards while remaining realistic, attributing exceptional grades to dedication, discipline, hard work, consistency, sacrifice, and a bit of luck.
Expressing his passion for mathematics and its pivotal role in shaping his future, he’s chosen Maths, Further Maths, Physics, and Economics as his A-level subjects.