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How to self-study for your IGCSE exam

A lot of students always face the same problem. They have to revise for their school subjects but when it comes to languages they don’t know how or where to start from. If you are revising history is pretty straight forward, you revise your notes, memorize facts… but how do you revise for a language? Of course best is if you have the guidance of a tutor which can tell you what to do, fix your mistakes etc. but if you don’t have one it doesn’t mean there is not much you can do. Here we show you one good example on how to revise:

1. Choose a topic relevant to the exam, for example the daily routine, healthy eating or vacation.

2. Make a list of vocabulary relevant to the topic chosen based on the vocabulary that you have already learned at school, the books that you use and some other vocabulary that you think is easy and relevant to you.

3. Memorize the vocabulary list. Do so by making 2 lists with the same words, one in Spanish and one in English. First start with the Spanish one and see if you can remember all the meanings. Then try with the English one and see if you remember how to say all those words in Spanish when you see the word in English.

4. Put the vocabulary into use. There is no point to memorize vocabulary if you can’t use it in sentences. Try the following: First write a passage as long as you can with as many words as you can relevant to the topic you are writing. Allow yourself to look at the vocabulary list that you made in point 3 and you can check how to say a few extra words but don’t’ overcomplicate your writing. Also don’t forget to include as many adjectives (words like beautiful, new etc.), qualifiers (words like quite, really, extremely..), as well as connectors (moreover, in addition, later…) and actions. Read the passage you wrote a few times. Try to spot any mistakes, ideally a tutor should help you check the mistakes you made.

5. Finally try re-write the same/a similar passage like you did in point number 4 but this time don’t allow yourself to see any of the relevant vocabulary, try writing as much as possible without cheating. If you can write long enough, means you are well prepared! If you can’t write much, revise the vocabulary again!

If you follow this 5 steps you will be able to broaden your vocabulary and most important you will learn how use it, meaning you will improve your writing skills. You can write smaller passages and try memorize them and saying them out loud to improve your speaking too, for example something like “my house is really big and quite modern, it has 3 bedrooms and a big livingroom. In my bedroom there is a comfortable bed .I like to play computer games, read books and also listen to musing in my bedroom” so when you get asked a question like “how is your house?”, “where do you live?”, “what do you do in your bedroom’”, “what do you like about your house?” then you will be able to give a long and decent answer, not something like “my house is big”.

Good luck with your studying!

Spanish Tutors Hong Kong team.

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