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Student Advice on Achieving Top Results in International Examinations

Previously, the path to achieve outstanding results in such examinations as A-Level or IGCSE was a significant challenge for most students born in the 1970s and 1980s who dreamed of studying abroad. Nowadays, young people demonstrate their confidence and high academic level successfully negotiating examination demands with flying colours.  Common features among these young people is their ability to identify passion, to master the pressure of getting high scores and their openness to receive and exchange support from teachers and family.

Cong Phu Eng

Describing himself as a very ambitious student, Cong Phu is still not satisfied with his results in the IGCSE exam recently. For him, others’ expectations and moderate pressure are good motivations for him to strive for high achievement in learning. "Looking at the positive side, it was thanks to the encouragement and expectations that I want to show myself to be better," said Cong Phu. However, he also said that students should learn how to control these pressures. Students can play games, chat, hang out with friends to relieve stress or have a straight talk with parents to create the best psychological environment for exams.

As Cong Phu pursues his passion with Computer Science and Mathematics, solving challenging problems is not a pressure, but rather a hobby. If he has not found the answer, he heads to the school library, watches video tutorials or read select materials on the Internet for reference. Only if he is unableto solve the challenges by these methods will he ask for help from teachers. 

Sharing the secret of achieving high results, he also affirmed, "When I work independently and possess the determination to solve the problem, then I am able to achieve the expected results." 

I am very fortunate that the school teachers are so well qualified.  Many teachers come from prestigious schools and I receive sufficient support at school. Truong Dinh Cong Phu, Y13 BVIS Hanoi
Quang Tien Eng

"Diamonds are made under pressure” is one of Tien's favourite statement. According to him, it is pressure can help people identify and realise their skills: "The best is the enemy of the good.  Being self-satisfied is a rather relaxing feeling. But I think this feeling of relaxation does not fit our age now”.

When asked about how to control ‘test anxiety’, Tien shared: “Motivation often comes from within, rather than from the outside. For example, if I got B in a subject, then I should definitely try and get better scores such as A or A*. I always feel that if I do not do that, I am not progressing". However, Quang Tien also said: since his family shares in his interest and passion, encourage him and does not create too much pressure, it helps him to be more active in learning and in examinations. "Actively setting and achieving goals are far more effective than trying to chase people's expectations".

Quang Tien is well-known as a violin genius and will surely pursue a professional music career. However, it was never an excuse for Quang Tien to neglect his studies at school. Not only did he achieve excellent results in Music, but his academic performance at school are also remarkable with all examinations graded A* with one A. 

Actively setting and achieving goals are far more effective than trying to chase people's expectations. Tran Le Quang Tien, Y13 BVIS Hanoi
Lee Hanol Eng

Moving to Vietnam with his family a year ago, Hanol was surprised by the environmental changes yet this did not stop him from achieving excellent results in the AS Level exam. Psychology is a complex and challenging subject in Vietnam, as it is a new curriculum area for many.. In order to solve this problem, Hanol actively devotes much of his time to talk with the Psychology teachers at school, asking them to suggest further reference books and materials for his studies. Hanol said, "Previously, when I attended in an international school in China, teachers and students did not spend much time together. However, after moving to Vietnam, the teachers in my new school are always ready to exchange ideas, share knowledge and materials for us even after school hours. This is the advantage that I think the students gain when preparing for the exams.”

Referring to the secret of managing time and varied learning strategies, Hanol states that it can be hard to excel in all four subjects, as time is pressurised limited. Therefore, Hanol chose these solution: to gain basic knowledge in all subject areas and then invest more time on the subjects that he particularly likes or is good at. Whilst his favourite subject is clearly Psychology, Hanol also attaches significant importance to following up all basic contents instead of just learning difficult topics. 

When you love a certain subject, you are more likely to concentrate on it than others. From that, you are not wasting time for nothing.  The approach spills over into other subject areas too. Lee Hanol, Y13 BVIS Hanoi

To receive one of these accolades from Cambridge Assessment International Examinations (formerly CIE) certificates such as in A Levels or IGCSE is indeed impressive. Throughout the examination, students demonstrate proficiency in acquiring and express in-depth knowledge in English. The higher the test score for A-Levels or IGCSE, the better the students’ opportunities to compete for places into the finest universities around the world.