Suhyun or also known as Alice, is an ex-IGCSE and current IB student in VBest. She scored 8A* and 2A for her IGCSE, in this article, she shared her tips on how to study for 9 subjects. She is currently studying IB in Sri KDU International School.
Q: How does it feel to achieve such great results in your IGCSE?
A: I was so nervous that I only saw my results at 11.00pm and I was really surprised and didn’t believe that I managed to get those results. Because I thought it would never happen to me , after that I felt proud of myself.
Q: What was your motivation to achieve such amazing results?
A: There are many things that motivated me to achieve such great results. But firstly, my parents. They supported me a lot and motivated me by saying good things. And it was my goal to get a scholarship when I was young and I thought this time could be a good chance for me to get a scholarship. I think this motivates me the most, so whenever I feel like not wanting to do it, I imagine myself satisfied with my results and looking at my results. And also VBest teachers motivated me as well. Because when it comes to teaching, I can say that they are putting their effort into teaching. For instance, whenever I send messages late at night, 2 or 3am, they always respond to me very quickly.
Q: Studies tips to achieve 8A* and 2A
A: I would say it depends on the subject. For science-based subjects, it is important to know what I’m studying and I always go through all chapters and theories. Because I think that theories are the most important and to make sure that I don’t miss out on any important theories. I only start practicing past papers after I’m done with my theory revision. And I constantly revise those previous chapters because you won’t be able to solve the next chapter’s questions if you don’t know the previous topics. And as for math subjects, I think math was quite tough for me. So, I try to spend at least 30 minutes to 1 hour everyday practicing questions. And I always tried to solve some questions that I learned on that day at school. And as for language subjects, I try hard to pay attention in class, because in English I don’t have anything to revise at home except to study vocabulary by myself. But, for literature, it’s important that you understand the writer’s point of view and try to analyse it without using any resources.
Q: How would you motivate or encourage current students that are going to take their IGCSE?
A: I want to say to everybody that, everybody will understand that it is hard to be resilient at this time and don’t stress too much about it. Just do whatever you are doing right now and your hard work will pay off
Q: Did you have any obstacles while preparing for your IGCSE?
Q: What were your obstacles? Online Classes? Studying from home?
A: It was the online classes, because it is really hard to reach out for help to teachers. In order to get help, I had to email every teacher and it was a tiring process so I would rather not ask. Besides that, I wasn’t able to release my academic stress because I release it by talking to my friends at school, playing or talking about our interests and stuff like that. But I think online school also has its benefits, because you can save time going to school and you don’t really have to wake up so early. I tried to think positively instead of thinking about it as an obstacle.
Q: How did you manage to study all subjects? Any timetable or did randomly pick the subjects to study?
A: I’m a person who likes to plan everything out. So, I created a timetable where I can manage all my subjects. Because it is not easy to study all 9 or 10 subjects at once, I decided to make a monthly timetable. Before I start the specific month, I will divide all subjects into each day and I normally study 3 or 4 subjects a day and not just the subjects, I also wrote about specific chapters. If it is a theory-based revision then I wrote “Chapter 1-Revision”. I did this because it helps me a lot when it comes to balancing my subjects and I can see if I distribute equal time for each subject or not. Other than the monthly timetable, I also wrote a daily based study planner. So like I already wrote the things that I’m gonna study in the monthly-based timetable, in the daily based study planner I just wrote things in order of higher priority to lower priority so that I don’t miss out on any assignments and I know which one is important.
Q: Do you have any subjects that you dislike?
A: Honestly, I hate English literature a lot. When it comes to poems or poetry, I hate it a lot because there are not right or wrong answers and it makes me more confused and I don’t really understand what the writer is trying to say because they are using those English literary techniques. But after mocks, I realized that I still had to do it because I didn’t want to drop any of my subjects. So I try to change my mind and try to understand the writer’s mind, what are they trying to say, and then it changed my mind thinking that it’s ok and interesting because there is no right or wrong answers, you can say your opinion, and is based on how you analyse it so I think is ok at the end.
Q: How did you improve your grades?
A: By practicing, revising, setting a certain time for certain subjects and also repeating the questions on the day itself. I just focus on doing a lot of questions but not saying that practicing questions is not good but I focus more on questions that I got wrong so that I won’t make the same mistakes. So that’s like another tip. For science subjects, I didn’t make a note, I just made corrections. But for math and add math, I made notes for those questions that I got wrong. So that I can have a quick revision right before the exams.
Q: Why did you join VBest? And did you enjoy the classes taught by the teachers in VBest?
A: At the beginning, my guardian recommended me and my friends to join. Honestly, I was kinda scared when I turned year 10 because it requires deeper learning and requires answering skills. And I joined the Biology class at the end of my year 10, because my grades were really bad and I was not satisfied with my results. So I think I needed some support so I joined and obviously I enjoyed my classes because the teachers were really friendly.
Q: You were a Chem, Add Math, Bio and Phy student in VBest, how were they like when they teach?
A: They are strict when they have to be. But most of the time, they are always friendly. The teachers are very passionate in teaching and reply very fast even though it is late at night. I really appreciate that because it helps me a lot.
Q: What would you say to fellow Korean students that want to attend tuition in VBest?
A: If any Korean students are attending, I would say ask questions because asking questions is the best thing and don’t just stay at home without knowing anything.
Q: One sentences to describe your time in VBest IGCSE time.
A: Actually, I’m still with my Biology teacher in IB, however I’m not with my Add Math teacher, Mr Austin and Ms Yee Wen, my Chemistry teacher. And I’m so glad that I met those teachers in VBest. Because other than academics, I also ask Ms Yee Wen about university/college stuff, what I should do and stuff like that. So I think they are really helpful and really friendly. It was very enjoyable.
Q: Now that you’re in IB, is there a difference between studying for IGCSE and IB?
A: Actually, before I started my IB, people said it was really tough and you will not have enough sleep and all that at the beginning of IB. Like Ms Joan, Mr Chin and Mr Jack, they teach very well so I think I’m okay when it comes to classes in school so I don’t really suffer from it. And I think it is kind of similar, just at a higher level.