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Tuan Phong – Organising notes effectively to prepare for the IGCSE exam

Learning for the IGCSE exam has always been challenging because students need to know how to prepare for several tests within a short period. Tuan Phong from class KS5-N is an excellent student at BVIS Hanoi. Today, he will share his personal experience on how he prepared for the exam.

Hi, can you please introduce a bit about yourself?

Good afternoon. My name is Tuan Phong and this is my eighth year studying at BVIS Hanoi.

 

You took the IGCSE exam in May last year. Which subjects did you take?

I took the IGCSE for English Language, Literature, Maths, Triple Science, History, Business Studies and Computer Science.

Some subjects were mandatory. History, Computer Science, and Business were my additional subjects.

Business at IGCSE was a new subject, and I just wanted to see what it was like and experienced something new.

I was already interested in History although I wasn’t planning on pursuing a career in this field. I found that learning about events in the past, and analysing them were fun and interesting.

For Computer Science, that was more of a career pick. I plan to study in the engineering field at the university after taking the A-level test, so I thought Computer Science could be a good pick.

 

It must be uneasy about revising 7 subjects within a short period. How did you make it?

I prepared for the exam in pretty simple ways. The most important thing I did was re-organising the notes that I took throughout the year and notes that I found online through various academic websites. For example, there were definitions of key terms. I searched online and then organised them into either a book or an online file.

And the other thing I did mainly was doing past papers where I went online and looked for past papers of the IGCSE courses I was taking.

It was difficult at times, especially the preparation, when sometimes it could be slightly challenging to stay focused, stay disciplined, and you might not want to study. Though in the end, I managed to mostly focus and get it done.

Tuan Phong_KS5-N_BVIS Hanoi

The hard part was over and how did you feel after that?

I was pretty relieved that it was over, perhaps a bit eager to find out my results, although those wouldn’t come until a few months later.

Of course, there was the desire to find out results and share with friends and ask them how they did the exam.

 

Taking the IGCSE exam is a difficult and long journey. Have you ever felt like changing something during the preparation process so that the results could satisfy you more?

When I started IGCSE in Year 10, the idea that this would be a 2-year course hadn’t sunken until I started preparing in Year 11. I wish I would prepare earlier by organising the notes I mentioned before.

It doesn't work when you start studying on the days leading up to the exam. It would help if you revised throughout the year to remember things that you have learnt and feel less stressed.

 

What’s your plan for this term and the next school year?

I will be studying for AS-Level and A-Level, and I will take the exam by the end of the next two years.

I will also start applying to some universities I have been looking at. Moreover, I’ll participate in more school programmes, activities… things apart from studying.

 

The IGCSE Certificate Presentation Ceremony is coming after such a long delay. How is your feeling now?

I perhaps might feel excited, although that excitement is somewhat cut short because IGCSE was delayed. In a way, I think the presentation is also a reminder for me that other phases are coming; there are AS-Level, A-Level and even further.

I’m happy that it is happening. I want to share that moment with my friends; it’s also a reminder that I should continue working hard.