7 Secrets IGCSE Study Techniques Top Students Don’t Want You to Know! 

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While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to studying, specific study techniques have proven more effective than others. One such technique is the secret study technique that top IGCSE students use to excel in their exams. 

This technique involves a combination of effective study habits and skills that help students retain information better and improve their overall performance.

A crucial element of this study technique is crafting a personalized study schedule. This means prioritizing weaker subjects and dividing study time into manageable sessions with regular breaks to prevent burnout.

Another important aspect of this technique is active studying. This means engaging with the material actively rather than passively reading through it. 

Active studying techniques include taking notes, creating flashcards, and summarizing information in your own words. This helps to reinforce the information in your mind and makes it easier to recall during exams.

Additionally, the secret study technique involves utilizing a variety of study methods. This includes using visual aids like diagrams and charts to help understand complex concepts and mnemonic devices to remember critical information. 

It also involves practicing past exam papers to get a sense of the types of questions that may be asked and to improve time management skills.

Preparation and Planning

According to StudentsInside.com, Preparing for the IGCSE exam can be overwhelming, but it can be made easier with the proper techniques. Top students know that preparation and planning are vital to achieving success. 

Time Management

Effective time management is essential for IGCSE exam preparation. Students should allocate sufficient time for each subject and monitor their progress. A recommended strategy is to create a revision timetable.

This timetable should include all the subjects covered in the exam and allocate enough time for each subject. Students should also be realistic when creating their timetable and ensure enough time for breaks and leisure activities.

Another time management technique is to break down the syllabus into manageable chunks. This will help students focus on one topic at a time and ensure that they are making progress in their studies.

Organizing Your Study Space

Organizing your study space is another important factor when preparing for the IGCSE exam. Students should ensure that their study space is clean, tidy, and free from distractions. This will help them focus on their studies and avoid unnecessary interruptions.

Top students also use a variety of study aids to help them organize their study space. This can include colored pens, highlighters, and sticky notes. They also use tables and charts to summarise critical information and help them to revise more efficiently.

Note-Taking Strategies

Effective note-taking is essential for IGCSE students to enhance retention, comprehension, and revision.

Reading and Understanding

Before taking notes, reading and understanding the material is essential. Skimming through the material will result in complete and accurate notes. Therefore, reading the material carefully and highlighting the key points is recommended.

Writing in Your Own Words

One of the most critical note-taking strategies is to write in your own words. This helps in understanding the material better and retaining the information for longer. When taking notes, avoid copying the material word for word. Instead, try to summarize the information in your own words.

To effectively take notes in your own words, follow these tips:

  • Use abbreviations and symbols to save time and space.
  • Break down complex information using bullet points to create smaller, digestible segments.
  • Use tables and diagrams to visualize information and make it easier to understand.
  • Use different colors to highlight important information.

Memory and Retention Techniques

When studying for IGCSE exams, it is essential to have effective memory and retention techniques. This section will explore two popular methods: memorization and recitation and using flashcards.

Memorization and Recitation

One of the most effective ways to remember information is through memorization and recitation. This technique involves reading and repeating information until it is committed to memory. Here are some tips to make this technique more effective:

  • Break information into smaller sections and memorize one section at a time.
  • Use mnemonic devices to aid memorization. For example, creating an acronym or a rhyme to remember a list of items.
  • Recite the information out loud to reinforce memory retention.

Using Flashcards

Flashcards are a popular tool for memorization and retention. They are simple to create and can be used to study anywhere. Here are some guidelines for maximizing the benefits of flashcards:

  • Create flashcards with one question or concept per card.
  • Use different colors to categorize information and make it easier to remember.
  • Shuffle the deck to avoid memorizing the order of the cards.
  • Use the Leitner system, which involves separating the cards into piles based on how well you know the information.

It is important to note that while memorization recitation and flashcards can be effective techniques, they should not be the only study methods. 

Effective Revision Methods

Effective revision is critical to achieving success in IGCSE exams. Here are some tried-and-tested revision methods that can help students prepare for their exams.

Review and Testing

One of the most effective revision methods is reviewing and testing. This method involves reviewing the material covered in class and testing oneself to see how much of it has been retained. This can be done through various methods, such as flashcards, quizzes, and self-tests.

Flashcards are convenient for reviewing key concepts and ideal for quick study sessions. Quizzes and self-tests further pinpoint areas for focused revision.

Using Past Papers

Using past papers is an effective revision method. These are previous exam papers from the board, helping students understand potential exam questions and the format. By practicing with them, students can pinpoint areas for improvement and tailor their study strategies.

Subject-Specific Approaches


When studying for IGCSE sciences, it is crucial to have a strong foundation of knowledge. This can be achieved through reading textbooks, taking notes, and practicing past papers. 

In addition, students should use visual aids such as diagrams and flowcharts to help them understand complex concepts.

Students should also study in groups, which can help them learn from each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Finally, students should be bold and ask their teachers for help if they struggle with a topic.


To excel in mathematics, students should practice daily and utilize online tools like Khan Academy and Mathway for complex concepts.

In addition, students should be familiar with the formulas and theorems covered in the IGCSE mathematics syllabus. They should also practice past papers to understand the questions that may be asked in the exam.


To effectively learn a language, students should immerse themselves by reading, watching movies, listening to music, and regularly practicing speaking and writing in that language.

In addition, students should be familiar with the grammar rules and vocabulary covered in the IGCSE language syllabus. They should also practice past papers to understand the questions that may be asked in the exam.

Social Sciences

Studying for IGCSE social sciences requires a combination of memorization and critical thinking skills. Students should make a habit of taking notes and summarizing the key points of each topic. They should also use mnemonic devices to help them remember important information.

In addition, students should be familiar with the theories and concepts covered in the IGCSE social sciences syllabus. They should also practice past papers to understand the questions that may be asked in the exam.


IGCSE humanities subjects like literature and history demand thorough comprehension of the studied materials. Students should regularly review texts, noting main themes and ideas, and understand their historical and cultural contexts. Practicing past papers also helps anticipate exam questions.

Managing Distractions and Multitasking

Distractions and multitasking can be significant obstacles to effective studying. While some students may believe they can multitask and retain information, research shows that multitasking can slow down the brain and negatively impact learning and performance.

It’s crucial to create a conducive environment to manage distractions while studying. Some students need complete silence to study, while others may prefer some background noise. Students must determine what works best for them and create a study space that minimizes distractions.

Another way to manage distractions is to set specific study goals and timelines. By breaking down study sessions into smaller, focused sessions with clear goals, students can stay on track and avoid getting sidetracked by distractions.

Multitasking doesn’t mean the brain works on multiple tasks simultaneously; it shifts attention quickly between them, often reducing performance. Students should prioritize completing one task at a time.

In addition, students should avoid using electronic devices that may distract them from their studies. This includes turning off notifications on phones and computers and avoiding social media and other non-study-related websites.

The Role of Practice and Effort

Effort and practice are two crucial elements of succeeding in IGCSE examinations. Top students know that there is no substitute for hard work and dedication. They invest significant time and effort into their studies to achieve their academic goals.

Practice is an essential component of exam preparation. By practicing past papers, students can better understand the exam format, types of questions, and marking schemes. It helps them to identify their weaknesses and work on them. It also builds their confidence and reduces anxiety on exam day.

Effort is equally essential. It is the amount of time and energy that students put into their studies. Top students know they can only achieve their academic goals if they put in the effort. 

They set realistic study goals, manage their time effectively, and stay focused. They also seek help from their teachers, peers, or tutors when needed.

It is important to note that practice and effort alone cannot guarantee success. Students must also clearly understand the exam syllabus, concepts, and theories. 

They need to develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills. They also need to be able to apply their knowledge to real-life situations.

The Importance of Last-Minute Review

Last-minute review is a crucial part of preparing for IGCSE exams, and it can make all the difference in achieving the desired grades. 

While cramming for exams is not recommended, reviewing the material one last time is essential to ensure that the information is fresh in the mind.

Last-minute review helps to consolidate the knowledge gained during the months of preparation. It allows students to identify any gaps in their understanding and fill them before the exam. 

It also helps to refresh the memory of important concepts, formulas, and key points that might have been forgotten during the preparation.

Moreover, last-minute review helps to reduce anxiety and stress levels before the exam. When students review the material, they feel more confident about their understanding of the subject, which helps reduce the fear of the unknown. This can positively impact their mental state during the exam, leading to better performance.

However, it is essential to note that last-minute reviews should not be used as a substitute for proper preparation. 

Students should not rely solely on last-minute reviews to pass their exams. It should only be used as a supplement to existing knowledge and as a means to reinforce critical concepts and ideas.


In conclusion, top IGCSE students excel by managing their time, taking practical notes, practicing with past papers, and seeking help when needed. 

Success in IGCSE is about more than innate intelligence and proper study habits. Each student’s learning style is unique, so finding the most effective study techniques for oneself is essential.