Nord Anglia Education
Nord Anglia
03 February, 2022

Supporting Success! Student Reflections and Advice

Supporting Success! Student Reflections and Advice Continuing from last week's success stories and reflections, this week we have two students.

Continuing from last week's success stories and reflections, this week we have two students.

Thank you Xudong and Anna for your contribution and support

Paul Mitchell

Year 9 Form Tutor


Xudong (Year 12)

During the pandemic, I believe almost everyone found school difficult online, as one of the students that had pretty much the whole of year 10 and 11 online, I still managed to achieve good results for my IGCSE. In my opinion, the desire to learn and the curiosity to explore new knowledge is ever more important than learning itself, many people in the world desires knowledge without the ability to access them. You may be wondering why after hours of studying you still could not achieve the grade you desire, it’s all about Here are some of the things I did to keep me from studying consistently and motivated to learning: 


  • Have a doable plan and stick to it: one problem during my course is that at times I wasn’t sure of what to study or what to revise until a test shows up. To solve this problem, I assigned each subject with a target and goal with clear measurable improvements. A good way to do this could be assigning each topic with a time span of when you want to have it complete and work towards it, it’s all about being consistent rather than learning all the topics at once just before an exam. This is a really good way to also feel less stressful with revising up to an exam. 
  • Do past papers: this is a very good way to assess your knowledge and to understand what the exam board is looking for. It also assures that you don’t have any gap or misunderstanding in certain topics 


Anna (Year 12)

 What can you reflect on during this time? 

Overall I am quite satisfied with how I spent y10 and 11; despite its many challenges, I am pleased with my academic journey. Thinking back on the time before the exams, I regret having started my revision so intensely. I think it is prudent to start revision 2 months before the deadlines; however, in my experience, I overworked myself very quickly because the intensity I chose was unrealistic. Unfortunately, this led me to burn out quite quickly and I had to regain my motivation. I would recommend to start revising lightly and then increase the intensity as you approach your exams. On the week before the exams, it is crucial to get enough sleep. I know that it is quite challenging to fall asleep when you are stressed, but getting more sleep is more worthwhile than forcing yourself to work for three more hours.  

What did you do to stay focused? 

The only thing that maintained my focus was having a timetable that I would follow day to day. 2 weeks before the exams I created a time table which accompanied for the revision I wanted to complete for each subject as well as for free time that I used to exercise and rest. At times I did procrastinate revision, but I would regain my focus by reminding myself of how much time there was left. 

 What advice would you share with the current yr 11 and yr 10s about your IGCSEs? 

Dear y11, the key to success is past papers. It is the most useful resource you can have for revision, because it allows you to determine the gaps in your knowledge. Moreover, looking at past papers helps you determine the most common topics that appear on exams and they guide you on answering questions. This is the best website for past papers: When you do past papers, I recommend to physically write your answers instead of online, because that helps you consolidate information better. Do not skip difficult questions; focus on them and if you fail at first, redo those questions until you get it right. Also, don’t be too arrogant, I know a lot of the smartest students underestimate questions that they think are easy and then lose marks on those questions, because they didn’t revise them.  

The only advice I can give to y10s is to make sure that they are confident about the material they already know, so that they do not have to relearn it for y11. If you are unsure about some material, work on it during the summer holidays before y11. You can start looking at past papers then, to ease yourself into the revision process and get used to the format of your future exams.