Keystone Tutors Blog

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GCSE & IGCSE

Keystone’s Managing Director, Ed Richardson, was joined by Jenny McGowan, Keystone's Director of Asia, to discuss the similarities and differences between IGCSEs and GCSEs as well as A Levels and the IB. They also covered how students might choose subjects to study at the different levels.

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Shakespeare’s influence is everywhere. In fact, it’s so embedded in the English speaking world that it’s hard to see where it begins or ends. Firstly, there are the words, all 1,700 of them. And not just words like ‘congreeted’ and ‘coppernose’. Some of the most common words in English were first used by Shakespeare: ‘bedroom’, for instance, and ‘eyeball’. Then there are the phrases.

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Non-fiction essay writing is a skill that can sometimes evoke powerful feelings dread in students. This article hopes to provide all students with a solid base of essay writing knowledge to help improve student confidence and skills.The advice in this article has been written to be as applicable to as many subjects as possible. When using this article, be sure to check your Exam Board’s specification for each subject.

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How hard is it to get a 9 in GCSE Chemistry?   GCSE Chemistry can be a nerve-wracking subject as it not only involves learning the content, but being able to apply it to experiments and the use of equations. But, getting a 9 is definitely not impossible! Around 15% of students get awarded a 9 at GCSE, with grade boundaries varying each year, fluctuating between requiring around 70-80%. In papers you should be aiming for at least 80%.

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GCSE Results Day 2023 is almost upon us (Thursday 24th August) so we thought it might be helpful to share some top tips to help you to navigate the day.

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How hard is it to get a 9 in GCSE Geography?  Geography is often misperceived as an “easier”, less academic subject.  I think one of the main reasons for this is that it is an interdisciplinary subject. Geography touches on lots of different subject areas (science, economics, politics, sociology etc.) so the depth on knowledge required in each aspect is not to the same level as if you were studying each component subject individually. However, beware of complacency.

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Key findings from past examiners reports for GCSE Latin Examiners release reports talking about how well students got on in that year’s exams and highlighting common mistakes that were made. Given these examiners are the ones who make the exams, we should probably pay attention to what they have to say! We trawled through these examiners’ reports, as well as past exams, to put together a list of the top 5 areas that students often stumble on in GCSE Latin.

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How should I create a timetable for my GCSEs? Creating a comprehensive timetable is one of the most helpful things you can do to ensure success in your GCSEs. While this timetable may vary depending on other commitments, there are of course some aspects that are helpful to remember. The first is to ensure that you dedicate time to the areas you find more complex.

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How hard is it to get a 9 in GCSE French? French continues to be the most popular modern language subject at GCSE, with 126,185 provisional entries in 2022, but it saw a fall in the top grades: 31.4 per cent achieved a grade 7/A or above compared with 32.9 per cent in 2021 and 23.7 per cent in 2019. The pass rate fell by 5 percentage points to 78.1 per cent compared with 83.1 per cent in 2021 and 69.7 per cent in 2019.

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How hard is it to get a 9 in GCSE History? The grade boundaries for a 9 in History vary year on year, as well as between boards and papers, however, the 2022 exams indicate that a mark of around 75 per cent or higher will receive a 9 in the History GCSE.

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How hard is it to get a 9 in GCSE Physics?  Physics is quite often considered the most daunting Science for GCSE pupils, since concepts are challenging and there is a high mathematical element. But do not be perturbed! We will look closely at what is required to get top grades below, and hopefully shed some light on any concerns. On average, AQA award grade 9 to candidates scoring 70% and Edexcel to those achieving 75%. These grade boundaries vary annually.

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Deciding whether to study Double Award (Combined Science) or Triple Award GCSE Science can be a difficult decision and one which might influence future A Level and degree choices.In this article we discuss the differences between Double Award and Triple Award Science, the pros and cons of each and how to decide between these two GCSE qualifications.

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Are you taking your GCSE Biology exam this summer and looking for guidance on how to achieve a top grade? In this article, Keystone Tutors have compiled the best advice for acing the GCSE Biology exam, including how best to prepare, top tips for achieving a Grade 9, and key findings from examiner reports.

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Keystone's Homeschooling and Courses Manager, Poppy Dundas, was joined by Professional Tutors Jon Gale and Lara Isaac. Lara is also a trained nutritionist and together they discussed how best to get your child prepared for the upcoming exams. Topics included keeping motivation strong, the best foods to eat, how to structure revision days, how to calm nerves and general revision tips and tricks.

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Are you taking your GCSE English exam this summer and looking for advice on how to achieve a top grade?  In this article Michael has compiled some useful insights, tips and guidance on how best to prepare for the GCSE English exam and his top tips for achieving a Grade 9.

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Are you taking your GCSE Maths exam this summer and looking for advice on how to achieve a top grade?  In this article, Keystone Tutors have compiled some useful insights, tips and guidance on how best to prepare for the GCSE Maths exam, top tips for achieving a Grade 9 and some interesting findings from the examiners reports.

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What are GCSEs and IGCSEs? The General Certificate in Secondary Education or GCSE is a subject-based academic qualification taken by students in the UK at the end of their compulsory education in Year 11 (age 16). They are typically studied over a 2 or 3 year period, starting in either Year 9 or 10 depending on the subject, exam board or school and finish with a set of examinations at the end of the course.

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In the press

Knight Frank
Ed Richardson
Times Educational Supplement
The West Journal