Path To The A* : The 4Ps Study Model that Will Help You Do Well in (I)GCSE/ A-Level


In Kung Fu Panda, Po inquired into why his father’s noodle soup was the most famous in town. He said:

“There is no secret ingredient. It’s just you.”

There are no secrets to success; only determination, hard work, and talents. Similarly, if you can master the strategic study and exam skills with a positive mindset, you can prepare well for the (I)GCSE and A-Level exams. The following model may change your mentality in equipping yourself for the exams. The 4Ps Model is as follows:

Plan- Practise- Prepare- Perform

Plan : “It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan.”

--Eleanor Roosevelt

  • Use study apps to enhance your studies. Flashcard apps such as Memrise and Quizlet are helpful for memorizing Biology terminology. You can also use the apps with a “buddy” to study with. Gojimo and Seneca also cover the materials from different exam boards. Listening to podcasts in subjects such as History and Sciences may be another strategy to learn better.

  • Start early to research and plan your study plans and routes out. Set your daily and weekly learning goals. You may feel stressed at some point but if you plan early you will feel more secure and prepared. Review work that you have done before, and always evaluate if you have achieved the goals you have set for yourself, and reflect what you have done well and could have done better.

Practise: “Science is the captain, and practice the soldiers.” ---Leonardo da Vinci

  • The more you practise, the more comfortable you are in the face of examinations. Taking past papers under exam conditions are essential: the more confident you feel in doing the papers, the better you will be able to perform. Reflection and feedback on the mock exams will let you know how you will grow academically.

  • Reading the reports written by the examiners will give you ideas on how you could improve your academic capabilities in handling the exams. Learn from both top and lower marks to know what to achieve and what to avoid.

Prepare: “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”

---Benjamin Franklin

  • Keep your notes organised throughout the year: you can revisit the materials according to your study schedule. You will need to review your schedule six weeks before the exams, and you will have a clear picture of what topics you should spend more time on.

  • Pay attention to your well-being: be healthy, do exercises regularly, and even have some plants surrounded your desk or house. Moving your body will stimulate your brain, and taking breaks will energize you and make you focus for long- hours studies.

Perform: “To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.” ---Steve Prefontaine

  • Be focused. You will need to devote time to study to succeed in your exams. Time should be well-managed, especially during long holidays like the summer.

  • No pulling off an all-nighter: sleeping 2-3 hours the night before the exam will not get you anywhere. Sleep well and you can at least take some time to study the headings of unrevised topics which will get you from a “fail” to “pass”.

Interested in learning more about exam strategies and techniques, as well as good health and mental well-being? Please contact our in-house Education Consultant Dr. K Li Foster. You can find our Easter Revision programme here:

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