The Official ‘O Levels’ Thread

NighteySenpai

Girouded!
Mar 13, 2010
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Thanks for the information! My brother's the first in the family that's going the O/A-levels route, and I don't really know much about them either. This is a good starting point. Going to tell him to try to put some extra effort into extracurriculars as well. He's currently on vacation and I'm telling him to do his subjects that he's going to be appearing for in May 2017. Don't really know what else to do to give him an edge.

Also, if say he opts for a total of 9 subjects, if he gets a B in one, and A's in the rest, is that better or worse than opting for only 8 subjects and getting A's in all of them?
A's and B's are good. If he can cope with taking 9 subjects, then by all means do so. If he isn't interested in taking 9 subjects then 8 will suffice. As far as his vacations are concerned, tell him to focus on learning something productive: be it photography, painting, calligraphy, programming or whatsoever. These are important things that he should pick up. It will help him not only in his academic career but also in the real world. I would propose learning a language if he's into languages. Learning a language like French would help him greatly if he wishes to apply to Canada for university. Spanish/Mandarin would boost his prospects in the US. Things like these will not only allow him to be multilingual but also establish him as a strong candidate in his applications.
 

PCftw

┌┘
Apr 26, 2012
532
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21
Peshawar
A's and B's are good. If he can cope with taking 9 subjects, then by all means do so. If he isn't interested in taking 9 subjects then 8 will suffice. As far as his vacations are concerned, tell him to focus on learning something productive: be it photography, painting, calligraphy, programming or whatsoever. These are important things that he should pick up. It will help him not only in his academic career but also in the real world. I would propose learning a language if he's into languages. Learning a language like French would help him greatly if he wishes to apply to Canada for university. Spanish/Mandarin would boost his prospects in the US. Things like these will not only allow him to be multilingual but also establish him as a strong candidate in his applications.
Great advice, thanks :)
 

KatieBell

New member
Jul 18, 2018
1
0
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hey guys!....can anyone tell me that should we learn the (b) pats of questions for olevel's from redspot or either from the marksceme...........will it help me in cambridge or not?.......i'm bloody confused....if u have some other stuff about olevel's islamiat please tell it.
 
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Fluorescent

Beginner
Mar 23, 2017
45
0
1
Salam guys,

I am not an O/A levels student, but I've come here to ask for help for my nephew.

He's been a good student thus far, and recently enrolled into Beacon house to study for O levels. However, he is very much an introvert, which means he hasn't gotten a lot of information about O levels that he should have by now.

I was under the impression that all one has to do is read the school recommended books, and thats enough for straight As. But it seems like it isn't so. My understanding now is that theres a "course outline", and that one needs to know everything in it. Eg my nephew has told me that some topics are missing in his books. He realizes this when his teacher teaches them in school, and when he's back home, he's unable to find them in his books.

So, my questions are, considering a student wants to score straight As:
1.Whats the best "combination" of books to study?
i. School recommended ones?
ii. Or are there books on each subject that are considered the "gold standard" and he should just switch to those?
iii.Should he go with a school recommended books + class notes combo?
iv. Or a school recommended books + fill in the gaps (according to the course outline) with different books combo?
2.I've heard and read online that a lot of students make notes. Is this the key to doing well? How are these notes composed? Are they a combination of their school recommended books + teacher/class notes + self-made notes on uncovered topics? Do people write notes on every topic, or only on those that are insufficient/incomplete or missing from their books? Furthermore, how does one decide if a topic is covered poorly, and needs to be supplemented by another book?
3.Is purchasing notes online a good idea? Or is it best to make ones own notes?

If there is any other information you could give me to get a good understanding of how to go about studying for O levels, I will be very grateful. Like I said earlier, my nephew is very introverted, and he is unable to socialiaze and find out this information on his own.

Thank you!
 

shayan010

Newbie
Jan 2, 2013
14
3
4
Islamabad
Salam guys,

I am not an O/A levels student, but I've come here to ask for help for my nephew.

He's been a good student thus far, and recently enrolled into Beacon house to study for O levels. However, he is very much an introvert, which means he hasn't gotten a lot of information about O levels that he should have by now.

I was under the impression that all one has to do is read the school recommended books, and thats enough for straight As. But it seems like it isn't so. My understanding now is that theres a "course outline", and that one needs to know everything in it. Eg my nephew has told me that some topics are missing in his books. He realizes this when his teacher teaches them in school, and when he's back home, he's unable to find them in his books.

So, my questions are, considering a student wants to score straight As:
1.Whats the best "combination" of books to study?
i. School recommended ones?
ii. Or are there books on each subject that are considered the "gold standard" and he should just switch to those?
iii.Should he go with a school recommended books + class notes combo?
iv. Or a school recommended books + fill in the gaps (according to the course outline) with different books combo?
2.I've heard and read online that a lot of students make notes. Is this the key to doing well? How are these notes composed? Are they a combination of their school recommended books + teacher/class notes + self-made notes on uncovered topics? Do people write notes on every topic, or only on those that are insufficient/incomplete or missing from their books? Furthermore, how does one decide if a topic is covered poorly, and needs to be supplemented by another book?
3.Is purchasing notes online a good idea? Or is it best to make ones own notes?

If there is any other information you could give me to get a good understanding of how to go about studying for O levels, I will be very grateful. Like I said earlier, my nephew is very introverted, and he is unable to socialiaze and find out this information on his own.

Thank you!
Hello,

it's been a few years since I did O/A levels but ill do my best to guide you as much as i can. So if you're going with o levels it's a great decision(especially if the kid loves learning). I was thankful my parents chose the O/A level stream for me since it really made learning and studying something I could enjoy instead of a chor and a burden which I presume id very much have felt if i pursued matric/fsc. The only real downsides are high fees; that University entry tests taht are based of FSC not Alevels; and the equivalence system that converts your grades into marks in an utterly unfair manner( the most you can get, THE MOST no matter how hard a child studies is 90% whereas in matric fsc nowadays everyones getting above 90% these days). But i still think the benefit of actually getting to learn and enjoy what you study and the type of learning the child has to go through is far greater than these drawbacks.

Now whereas studying for o levels is concerned well it varies. Pstd/islamiat are a whole different thing to tackle compared to maths, physics...sciences etc. which are equally different to urdu/english. Now unlike matric/fsc there arent specific questions that you know will come, or a single course book that has all the answers, anything can come from the syllabus targeted in any way but theyre are questions that come often because of their significance. Additionally the massive part of olevels is not just finishing your syllabus its also about developing the skill to answer, YOU NEED TO KNOW WHAT A QUESTION IS ASKING FOR and YOU NEED TO KNOW HOW TO ANSWER IT.This is why past paper practice is a massive part of o/a levels that kids do in the last 2 months after finishing up their syllabus to hone their skill of understanding and answering the question since just knowing the syllabus content wont cut it.

Now onto covering the syllabus…
the place multiple books will benefit the kid most is in Pstd/isl. The key in Both of these involve sheer information ratta and absorbing as much as you can and all types of information that you can and then having the ability to choose points from the information in your mind to answer the given question(u also need to have the skill to know what the question is asking for). So having multiple books will be highly beneficial, the more the information the better, and it's also important to cover the entire syllabus( the one cambridge releases on their website). That's the crux. And from then onwards is past paper practice. That's it.


For sciences the kid needs to understand the concepts. It's a whole different ball game. Where you get those concepts is important. If you kid learns better through teachers vs books (which means the teacher delivers the concepts) then paying attention in class is immensely important(pstd/isl mein to bache teacher ke beghair bhi grades marlete hein cz it dosent involve concept, the only place they need a teachers help is in how to answer the question). In this case going for academy would also be beneficial. If the teacher gives plentiful notes and teaches the subject matter well, then a single book will do. The book will cover the majority of the syllabus, anything left can be easily found from the internet. But if the kid prefers and likes to understand from books (the case where the book delivers the concepts) then having multiple books will help, cz agar aik book se concept na samajh aye to they can turn to the other(unlike pstd/isl the delivery of the concept is the most important here). Once the kid gains a good understanding of the concept they can head over to doing past paper practice and that's it.

For the languages you don't need a book at all. I used 0 books other than the mandatory ones the teachers wanted me to have. The kid just needs a teacher who can tell them where they lack in their language, along with practice and general ways to improve language i.e increasing vocabulary, and just spending time writing. Past paper practice is perhaps the most important here.

Whereas note making is concerned, that's something that extends farther than O/A level into anything you want to learn. Writing something down in your own words will make any sort of concept stronger in your mind. I made my own notes before my CIEs when I was completing the syllabus. Anything important, anything that I wanted to further ingrain in my mind, I'd write it down in my notes and that not only made me remember the idea better but I also had my own notes right there serving as a great revision guide.
 
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