How to Prepare For the GCSE A-Level and IB Exams
Apr 23, 2013 Study Skills 1853 Views
Taking any serious examination can be an intimidating matter. No one knows exactly what to expect. Whether you are studying for the GCSE or the IB exams, knowledge is power. This is not only limited to knowledge of the material being tested, but knowledge of how the test actually functions.
The best way to accomplish your goal of passing these important tests (or any other) is to look at previous versions of the test you are aiming to pass.
Insofar as the A Level GCSE, previous versions of the A1 and A2 exams are available online. While the questions you receive will most likely be different, these prior examples will give you an idea of the type of mindset that the examiners are looking for.
English is an important, international language. It is the language of computers, and one of the three major languages of the European Union (English, French and German). Testing, and excelling in one's understanding and usage of English, is never a bad idea. Although other languages may be more advanced, it is definitely an essential part of international business, diplomacy and education.
Preparation is important. All relevant material should be read, and then grouped into logical categories that make sense to you, the student. Take any available practice tests that are available online. For example, Standard English grammar and comprehension will definitely be tested. See how well you know your material. Ideally, students should be able to complete this section in about10-15 minutes. The audio section should also be completed in less than 20 minutes. If you need much longer, you may need to go back and hit the books.
Study everyday thoroughly, with the intention of getting as much material into your brain as possible. Like any other test, half measures will get the student nowhere. The goal is to read and prepare, allowing the material to internalize not just remain surface level information. Coding material into your brain is also important. Find ways to link things together so when you are under pressure your mind won't go blank.
The night before the test, don't study. Get a good 8 hours sleep, but wake up early to cram. Sometimes last minute details in short term memory can make a vital difference between passing the test and not. A little under half hour before the test begins, stop, relax, and clear your mind. You have done all you can - now leave the rest to providence.
The International Baccalaureate Degree (commonly referred to as the IB), has a slightly different approach. Instead of a pass/fail mentality, it is designed to develop and measure a student's ability to display critical thinking.
The IB institution operates within state schools in many international locations. With a student based curriculum, their motto is "Children should be taught how to think, not what to think."
Although the IB offers a multiple choice test online, their examinations are not based on the multiple choice model. Previous tests should be used as practice material in order to mentally prepare for the tenure of questions that may be asked.