Private Candidate Tips

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TomCADON
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#1
Report Thread starter 1 year ago
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I have decided to take my IGCSEs as a private candidate due to the mayhem that is going on around the world. Does anyone have any tips for self-studying IGCSEs? I am taking the following exams:
History, English, English Literature, Maths (Extended), Geography, Sociology, Russian (First Language), French (Second Language), and biology.
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bunnyc-p
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Report 1 year ago
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I self studied my GCSEs - by this do you mean at home? If so, here are a few tips:

- Encourage yourself, and be kind to yourself. You're gonna have bad days where you don't want to do anything, that's okay, that's normal. Just do what you can.
- Make sure you take breaks. It can go one of two ways - you overwork yourself, or you become too unmotivated to do anything. Have time for yourself, and remember you have chosen to do this (right?). I found it helped to remember that I actually wanted to do this.
- Switch it up - if you can (ik it's a hard time to do this but maybe in the future)- go to libraries, cafés, work out where you work best.
- Make yourself a timetable, set some aims for every day. Look at your specifications of the GCSEs and divide your time according to each topic. Be realistic.
- Be organised, have folders for each subject. It's so hard getting to revision time and you realise you have to sort out all your notes.
- Think in advance, make sure you leave enough time to cover each section of the subject, and time to revise. Aim to start revising 2 months before exams. Work out early on how you best revise - e.g. visual etc. Best way for me was writing down everything (long, but effective). If you find it daunting revising from the text books, buy the little revision guides if you can from ebay or something (I found this useful for the sciences). If not, use websites for their revision resources. Test yourself lots.
- Use Youtube, use website - honestly there are soooo many resources out there. Youtube is especially good for memorising experiments and stuff, and also I found it useful for Maths.
- Have a base textbook for each subject that follows the spec and that you actually like. You can always email the exam boards etc. to see which they would recommend.
- Past papers and examiner reports are your best friend. Only attempt these after you've covered some of the content though, otherwise you'll get disheartened. They can also be useful to predict your overall grade, and therefore can be a motivator. I taught myself Sociology GCSE, and past papers and the text book (plus revision cards) were the key for me. Remember, to go through the mark scheme and mark your own papers. I also studied IGCSE Bio and Physics (Edexcel), and you get used to the way they write the questions and what they actually want. For English, practice writing essays in the necessary time frame.
- Exam day might be a bit daunting - it was for me anyway, because I didn't know anyone. If you're entering as a private candidate chances are a lot of people are too, and they're going to be feeling as you're feeling. At the end of the day this is your exam, your experience. Own it, you got this. I used Rescue Remedy for nerves (keep in mind it does contain a small amount of alcohol, but no way near enough for it to have a negative effect on you lol).


Best of luck, hope it goes well for you x
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TomCADON
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#3
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#3
Thank you so much for the well constructed reply!!! You really lifted my spirits up.
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