Some of you may have heard some news lately of some tutor who did the IGCSE First Language English exam even though he had been teaching IGCSE English for the longest time. Well, it was true. Why do I know? Because that tutor was me!

In case you’re wondering why I did that in the first place, the reason is that I wanted to just show that I was actually capable of doing the exam that I was teaching my students about. And indeed, I guess I was. But it was something that I had wanted to see with my own eyes whether the methods that I was teaching would really stand the test of time under actual exam conditions, and therefore allowing me to move beyond theory into a domain of practice which I hadn’t gone through in a while.

I think it is important to do this once in a while, and I heartily recommend it to everyone. Go out and test yourself. Try yourself in something that challenges you. Own up to what you are teaching, and actually take ownership for having the skill that you’re supposed to impart unto people… And remember that at the end of the day, you cannot give what you do not have – a phrase that’s very commonly said both in the church that I attend, as well as by the Singaporean Ministry of Education.

It was all this and many other thoughts that were swirling around in my head in when I registered for the exam.

I also did this in March, by the way, so you know that I was pretty serious about it.

It was the very same thought that was in my mind when I paid RM1,308 just to register for this exam.

Eventually, the feeling of righteousness I had in my soul remained until May, when I finally took the exam after rushing home from Singapore with a driver who had no hands.

At this time, it’s worthwhile for me to note that the guidance on a Cambridge Statement of Entry indicates that you have to arrive 30 minutes before the exam starts.

They are absolutely serious about this, and if you do not, you can quickly encounter some pretty serious problems, as I discovered after rushing from home after failing to get a GrabCar at the last moment, which caused me to be delayed until the point that I came into the exam hall with only 10 minutes to spare, which left me only the choice of having my bags left outside of secure exam storage with some of my valuables inside a bag as I took the exam filled with a sense of stress and trepidation that I suppose manifested in a sort of measured calm as I took the papers one after another while thinking about the nightmares that could be transpiring outside the exam hall as I wondered whether I would still have my wallet at the end of it.

Anyway, I’m pretty glad that that went well.

I won’t be disclosing exactly how high above 90 I reached, but I’ll simply assure you that it was a high 90 and leave it at that, leaving the charge for you guys to go right ahead and aim for the 100, which is what I had intended to do at the outset and was honestly a little disappointed about not getting, but that I am secure enough in to leave as a task to the reader.

Anyway, that was my strange little experience, which I just felt like sharing, and which I hope that you enjoyed 😉

We will get back to regular First Language English tips and tricks in the week ahead and I hope that you’re ready for what is to come! Hope that everyone reading this has an incredible week ahead!


P.S. I’ll be opening up a Tuesday slot in addition to my standard issue Thursday slot. Contact me if you’re interested to hear more!

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