Learning Isn’t Easy


You wake up in the morning and you realize that it’s a new day. Oh my god, do I really have to do this again? That’s probably the first thought that comes to your mind. You already did this yesterday. But now everything’s starting again. That whole cycle of going out, going downstairs, and trying your very best to make that transformation happen, whatever it is that it’s supposed to be.

Learning isn’t easy. I get it.

If everyone could do it, then maybe every single person out there would have A-stars. But they don’t. Only 10% of the population gets them. If learning were so easy, maybe everyone would be Yoyoma, Serena Williams, and Ronaldo all rolled into one. But no. Not everyone is a superstar, cellist, tennis player, or football (whoa, almost said soccer there!) aficionado, shattering records, and taking the world home on the spin of a dime and a wink of an eye. 

What? Were we supposed to study for 10 hours, 20 hours? Why is it so difficult? We need to watch TV. Do X, do Y, Z. Any number of things but this suffering that you would inflict upon me.

Look, I get it. You want to do other things. You want to tell yourself that this is a truly important part of enjoying your youth. I get it. 

The reality, though, is that sometimes you have to make a choice. And sometimes that choice is not as hard as you think. Because you do want to consider things a little more widely if you think that the most important thing that you could ever do is watch How I Met Your Mother on repeat for the 35th time and say that that was the best way that you could have spent your youth. 

Well, if that’s what you think, then I have to say this. I respect that, but I think you’re an idiot.

Because here’s the reality, friends. Once the IGCSE comes and once it goes, if you don’t get the grade that you want, then you take it again. 

There’ll be more time lost, more energy lost, and at least one scholarship opportunity missed.

Since you’re here reading this and wasting your time anyway, you may as well make it into something a little more productive than it otherwise would’ve been. If you are planning to use TikTok and scroll for 2 hours after reading this, avert that plan. 

If you wanted to spend an hour and 50 minutes looking at Instagram instead, move away from that.

I don’t want you to feel attacked by the way, because browsing social media repeatedly is something that many of us do, often without thinking, so I don’t want anyone to feel like they’re being attacked here, because this is a very, very normal behavior.

But yeah, my point remains.

Learning isn’t easy.

You may have to overcome your natural instincts. You may have to fight against your nature. Every single cell in your body might be opposing this project that you have set out for yourself and have you questioning whether the universe wants you to do this or not. Well, as the famous words of Coldplay’s The Scientist declare, nobody ever said it was easy. They’re song lyrics, but they ring as true as the first day that Chris Martin sang them. To quote a slightly different person, I’ll say this. Ask not for an easy life, but rather ask for the strength to overcome a difficult one. These were the words of Bruce Lee, and they are the words that I share to you today.

Be strong, my friends. Sometimes you have to do what you have to do, and when it comes to IGCSE success, there’s no question that what you need to do is sit down, push, and do your best work. Good luck to all of you.

Narrative Essay Composition Bank Updated! (7th May, 2024)


Dear all,

The Descriptive essay compilation has been updated!

Want to gain the exact examples you need for that A*? Sign up for a Premium membership so that you don’t miss out, today!


We hope you enjoyed these essays! If you want to join our IGCSE First Language English class or just want to know how we can help you, please feel free to fill in this form, or drop us a WhatsApp here.

Alternately, you may scan the QR code below:


Learning English is often thought of as something daunting, a chore, an annoyance maybe, especially if you’ve come from a background where your first language isn’t English, but you’ve been forced to take this accursed paper because you need it for a scholarship, a university replacement, or just because your school doesn’t offer English as a second language at all. 

It’s storytime.

Today, I’d like to share a story about how I personally learned English, and a journey of technology and its strange and wonderful influence upon my psyche. 

I remember it clear as day. 

I was 9 years old, and at that time I was your average Chinese school kid at SJK(C) Damansara – the difference? It wasn’t only my Chinese that was bad back then, because so was my English. Conversant only in broken English, and unable to form sentences longer than 10 words without the entire structure breaking apart, as shown by the red squiggly lines that appear within the first of any 10 seconds that I spent typing things out on Microsoft Word. 

On this day I was sitting in the school computer room – A treat at the time! 

It was the only air-conditioned room made available to us lowly primary school students at the time. A wonder of a place where dozens of computers were arranged in matrix seating format so all of us could sit down for a brief few minutes and imbibe in the wonders of technology that would later, though we did not know, entirely consume us. 

The day seemed like an average day. But it was not to be… Because the woman who walked in was not our teacher. 

Dressed in a coat and pants, she carried an uncommon air of professionalism at the outset that was immediately shattered as the ensuing moments took place. 

“Class, Ms. Lim cannot make it to school, and I am your substitute for today”, she declared, walking into the room. 

As she appeared into vision, it became clear that she was struggling to walk. 

You see, in her left hand, she held a book – in her right, a heavy plastic box, and as she got to her designated teacher’s table, she dropped all she was holding with a satisfying crash. 

“Students, today you will do very important work!” she declared, figure of authority as she was. 

“Take these and open the file inside,” she continued, stretching her arms out, and pulled the teacher’s chair towards her.

As she sat down, placing her red high heels in front of her as her legs splayed disgracefully onto the table, I saw that the book was not a book – it was a CLEO fashion magazine. 

Anyway, we lined up. 

Lining up, we did not question her as we took out the floppy disks that she had prepared.

When I returned to my table and put the floppy disk in, the files that I saw in the folder were not quite what I expected. Because instead of the bundles of screenshots and recordings, that we’d see in consultants’ training decks, there was something different:

A game, which flickered into force as it showed a knight, a princess, and a castle in full 8-bit Technicolor glory, portending a journey of heroism and victory, leading me away from the classroom and into the embrace of another universe. 

My destiny that fated morning was to save the princess, but by the most unconventional means possible. 

By solving fill-in-the-blanks vocabulary questions.

It was ridiculous to think about it then, and it is ridiculous to think about it now…

But there I was, fighting werewolves, punching orcs, and slaying goblins with my word-blade; question after fateful question, I fought for honor in a world of knights and joust-earned honor, finally slaying the dragon on easy mode, and well before I understood why “SAT” was listed as the hardest possible difficulty. 

When I eventually took the SAT, I received a perfect score of 800 on the verbal section, beating out 99.99% of the entire population, and a 790 for mathematics.

There are other parts of that story, but somehow that is always the most salient moment to which my mind returns: a single point that I look to when I consider what could truly be considered a formative experience of my education.

It was the point at which I began to associate education with entertainment. The beginning of that joyful association that would lead me to learn word after word and eventually achieve the perfect score. Not because I was forcing myself to do it, but because it seemed natural: 

Like breathing air.

I don’t know how many of you out there have ever had an experience like that. In all likelihood, many of you are being forced. 

You look at the printed page and you see suffering instead of the words that are supposed to congeal into sentences and eventually deliver themselves into meaning. 

This is only natural if you’ve not had the serendipity to see the language in that light. And unfortunately, it’s not all that surprising. 

The modern world, though filled with wonders, is besought by education systems administered by teachers who may not captivate our interest, and in the first place, we may not think that verbosity of the constellation of traits that could be developed by a person might be within the upper percentiles of matters to which our attention should be devoted.

If you are that person, then I hope that something will change. If this piece was the thing to cause that change, then I should be very happy. 

But if not, I hope that some alternate thing will come out of left field and bowl you over, catalyzing the magic that I felt when I saw that video game appear on the screen. 

Of course, as I learned in the CELTA, education is not entirely entertainment, and neither is entertainment education and so, a happy balance must be found. 

But what I do know is this. 

That simple moment filled with the joy of an unexpected change. If it could happen to me, then it can certainly happen to you as well. And if it could happen with a random class of primary school students in Malaysia, it can certainly happen at your schools in Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong, and the many other geographic destinations that you guys come from. Above all, this was just a fun memory that I thought to share, and you found some value in it, I’m glad! 

Have a wonderful day ahead, and happy preparation for exams!