February 9, 2018



If you have any questions that you want answered, submit them via the link below:


  • ​​I don’t know what to choose 😫

“Well if you’re like me and you like to do a lot of different subjects like sciences and arts, I guess you can start by elimination, like what you don’t want to do. For example, I didn’t want to do Business or Psychology or Geography and I felt that I narrowed it down to what I liked. And from there I chose the subjects that I was more interested in because the interest itself so that you feel motivated and you have that dedication to stay on for the 2 years and that you won’t drop out” - Raegel (Year 13)


“You should definitely go over the syllabus because you should know what to expect before choosing that subject” - Sharn Min (Year 10)


“For my suggestion, you work on your strength. You list out which subjects that you’re good in, and then narrow it down to what you want to do. For me personally, I spent about 2 to 3 months trying to figure out what I actually want to become in life, and see which subjects are useful to me” - Ren Yii (Year 11)


  • Which 2 science would you recommend?

"Observing University entry requirements (in terms of sciences) biology is becoming increasingly uncommon, physics and chemistry tend to be more in demand.

However, I strongly advise you choose based on what you want to do in future or what you find the easiest. Like if you want to do arts 100% just take one science.

Although I must say, I personally recommend chemistry, despite it being the most difficult, and then pairing it with either biology or physics. I find many of my classmates get frustrated because bio and physics have no overlap unlike chemistry which compliments them both." - Erin (Year 11)


  • What are the specific needs for IGCSE?

"At Tenby you need to do English literature, English language, Maths, one science, and BM if you're Malaysian. The rest are up to you." - Erin (Year 11)


  • Coursework: It probably differs for different subjects but how long do we get to complete it? Are any courseworks allocated and due in Year 10 or only in year 11?

"It does vary from subject to subject, but usually teachers will try to finish all or at least a majority of the coursework element before year 11 as to prevent students from getting stressed or overwhelmed and to provide them with the time to study for their written exams leading up to May." - Amanda (Year 11)


  • What advice would you give to struggling students?

“Just focus in class and pay attention to what you’re studying. If you make a mistake, reflect on your mistake and figure out what went wrong, and improve on that in the future.” - Ren Yii (Year 11)


“If you have any, problems with understanding,  you should ask your teacher so that they can clear it up” -Sharn Min (Year 11)


“It’s most important to understand the basics first and then work from there. Sometimes any subjects that you pick can seem overwhelming if you feel like you're behind. It's easiest to just focus on the basics and just work on that so you don't feel like its too much work and I promise in the end it will feel like nothing. You will feel more confident if you work on it slowly rather than rush all of it in the end." - Raegel (Year 13)


"Never think that it is too late to study. If you are in the position where you are very close to an exam but still feel as though you are struggling, keep working hard. During those last few months, weeks or days, do as many past papers as you can, go through the syllabus and approach your teachers about anything and everything you don’t understand. The amount of progress you may still be able to make during that span of time will make you feel glad that you never ever gave up." - Amanda (Year 11)


"Focus in class. Study frequently. Rest. Oh and- PAST YEAR PAPERS AND SYLLABUS CONTENT!! That's your bread and butter." - Erin (Year 11)





  • I have heard that it is quite a big jump from maths to additional mathematics from year 10 to year 11. How would you prepare for this transition so that it’s not as difficult?

"I personally don’t  think it’s necessary to do anything before Y11. Once you’ve finished a topic, DO TOPICAL PAST PAPER QUESTIONS and ask your teacher/a friend about the questions you don’t know how to answer. Also make sure you understand matrices, functions, trigonometry and sets from maths because those topics come up again and it makes it a lot easier if you have a strong understanding of that." - Xing Ann (Year 11)



  • If I chose art for IGCSE, will equipment be provided?



  • How often will we do experiments?

"In syllabus and textbook are listed experiments that you will need to know, particularly for your alternative to practical exam. You will be doing many of those experiments in class so that you get an understanding of them and lab procedure, however the frequency of which you do experiments will vary depending on which chapter you are studying at that moment. In my experience,for an entire chapter, you will not have more than 1-2 lessons dedicated to experiments." - Amanda (Year 11)


"It's really up to your teacher, but I've never actually done any experiments for IGCSE biology. You just need to know the set experiments and their results, it's all in your textbook and syllabus. Plus you can just watch them on YouTube! It's been a great help for me." - Erin (Year 11)



  • Will everyone be taking BM in Year 10? If so, which term?

"If you chose Malay/have a Malaysian passport, yes. You will be doing malay until you take your exam, which may be in Y10 or Y11 depending on your mock results." - Erin (Year 11)



  • Will we learn to manage a business?

"In a way, yes, because we learn about motivation and the role of managers but that is only a very small aspect of business studies in terms of content for IGCSE. I would say rather than learning to manage a business, we learn about businesses in general such as how they function, what kind of businesses there are, the way that they are impacted as a result of economic changes and etc. Business studies exists for IGCSE to expand your knowledge on business operations rather than specifically own and manage a business. But in the future, of course, you could take what you learn from business studies and take courses that allow you to learn about the management of businesses if that is what you are interested in." - Pearl (Year 11)





  • I’m pretty bad at mandarin but my parents say it’ll be useful in the future, is this true?

"Yes.  Whereas it really depends on what you want to do and where you want to work, Chinese is useful because it is a very globalised language (just like English) and so learning it will allow you to be able to communicate with many people in the future." - Pearl (Year 11)



  • Is computer science as important as our parents say it is?

"In this day and age with a technological revolution, I’d say yes it is important because it's shaping the world around us. Although if you're not interested in that sort of field for a career, you really should take a different subject because it's something you want to do. But hands down, if you have a degree in computer science or something similar, you will get a job. That's just where the trend is headed so there's always going to a demand." - Erin (Year 11)



  • Will we be required to partake in production as well as other drama-related activities and competitions if we take drama?

"You are encouraged to, but it is not compulsory. However, getting as much performance experience as possible will help you a lot with every aspect of the course. Participating in productions introduces you to the process of learning and analysing a script, working in a group and vocal control (ie. articulation and making sure you are loud enough!) which are all things you are graded on. Equally, taking part in competitions such as Music & Drama Festival allows you to become more comfortable with what many people think is the most intimidating part of drama coursework: monologues. With monologues, you are assessed on how independently you interpret and characterise your performance, so if you already have a handle on that aspect, you’re putting yourself in a really good position be successful in IGCSE."  - Amanda (Year 11)


"I know productions and everything are a lot of commitment but as much experience as you can.

There's also an annual workshop for year 10 drama students in the international school community which is a must do. You learn so much from the other teachers, other students, and yourself about what dramatic conventions and ideas work well and how these all can contribute to an amazing piece of coursework. I honestly wish I could to again." - Erin (Year 11)



  • What resources outside of class can help with economics?

"Economics is everywhere, so you can easily learn and be in contact with economics outside the lessons themselves. For example, you could read about current financial affairs on the news (some of my friends even keep up with the stock market and share prices) and you will find understanding the topics that you see a lot easier because it is not as strange or new. You could also watch youtube videos about economics such as crash course, or as Mr. Aru recommends, ACDC, and learn before the lesson or try to fill up the gaps in your knowledge after learning them to consolidate your knowledge better." - Pearl (Year 11)


  • Since there is no option to take economics in year 9, isn’t taking economics and learning it from scratch pretty difficult?


"Some find it difficult to grasp the new concepts, but generally the transition is not as hard as you would think because the earlier chapters that we learn during the start of year 10 are only basic ideas and so it is not that hard to assimilate into your knowledge without prior understanding of the subject. Especially if you have prior knowledge about economics (not by studying it specifically but if you have been exposed to world news and etc.), it is not that difficult." - Pearl (Year 11)



  • Will we be switching between Literature and Language (eg. Term 1 - Lit, Term 2 - Lang) or will there be classes specifically for Literature and Language so that we're learning them simultaneously?

"We switch between them much like in KS3. They are done in one class (‘English’) but there is no concrete term assigned to each subject - but the teachers plan out the year so that for one part of the year you would be doing a component of literature, whereas on one part of the year you would be doing a component of language." - Xing Ann (Year 11)



  • Will we be switching between Literature and Language (eg. Term 1 - Lit, Term 2 - Lang) or will there be classes specifically for Literature and Language so that we're learning them simultaneously?

"We switch between them much like in KS3. They are done in one class (‘English’) but there is no concrete term assigned to each subject - but the teachers plan out the year so that for one part of the year you would be doing a component of literature, whereas on one part of the year you would be doing a component of language." - Xing Ann (Year 11)



  • Should you still take food tech even without understanding the basic skills of cooking or ‘health and safety’ aspect of the subject if you enjoy it?

"Yes, absolutely. The whole point is you learn,you'll improve and you’ll enjoy it. But make sure you read the syllabus, speak to your teacher and understand what you're getting into before making a decision." - Erin (Year 11)


“Yeah. If you enjoy it you should definitely do it” - Zi Dan (Year 11)







  • How much will the students entering the subject in year 10 be expected to know when starting the subject?

"When starting off history from year 10 for IGCSE, you are not expected to know about the content so the way that everything is taught is as though the student has no prior knowledge about the content. However, it is very useful for you to know at least the very basic knowledge of what will be included in the course such as Adolf Hitler, the Vietnam War, etc. Some of the content that we learn in IGCSE also overlaps with the previous things that we did, so you would have also built up a little bit of content before year 10 lessons actually start." - Pearl (Year 11)





  • Can you take IGCSE music if you are below grade 5 theory?

“I would advise you not to because as like most subjects you should have some sort of base knowledge and I think it would take too long to get to that level unless you were around grade 4-ish, but nobody is stopping you if you want to take igcse music” - Nicole (Year 11)


“Well I was below grade 5 theory, and I did find it difficult and had to seek help outside of school, not because the teachers were not capable, but just that it took a lot of time to learn it, so I wouldn't recommend it. Do you need to have a professional grade 5 slip? No, but it would help you a lot if you would like an A or A*” - Alyssa (Year 13)


  • If you wanted to be a vocalist or artist in music would it be better than learning about how we can improve on our music abilities with instruments or just learn as a vocalist or artist?

“I think that learning about different instruments is very important because as a vocalist you’re not just singing by yourself (unless maybe you want to be an acapella star), but you’re working in an ensemble or a band with drum, bass guitar, etc. So learning different instruments and working with other people in a group is very important” - Alyssa (Year 13)



  • Tips for struggling students?

“Practice. Once you do more physics and past years you see a pattern between questions and once you see the pattern it is easy to answer. For example, in paper 6 (alternative to practical), the answers always repeat. You always have to draw a graph and write an experiment. It’s very straightforward and you just need to learn how to write it. Follow what the teachers say and you’ll be fine” - Daffa (Year 12)

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