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How to attain Grade A in IGCSE & A-Levels in UAE & Qatar?

How to attain Grade A in IGCSE & A-Levels in UAE & Qatar?
How to attain Grade A in IGCSE & A-Levels in UAE & Qatar?

In UAE & Qatar there are over 1000 international schools. According to most estimates over 65% of these schools offer British curriculum. These schools are assisting students for primary, secondary and sixth form.


Two of the most important stages of British education are IGCSE/GCSE and AS & A2 Levels. Students undertake a range of subjects at these stages. And the grades achieved at these stages have a direct impact on university admissions.

CIE & Edexcel

There are two main British examination boards in Cambridge CIE & Edexcel examination boards in UAE & Qatar. Although, certain small percentage of students also undertake AQA GCSE Physics, Chemistry & Biology.

Subjects in IGCSE & A-Levels

According to research, majority of students in UAE & Qatar undertake the following range of subjects:

  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • English
  • ICT
  • Computer Science
  • Geography
  • Business Studies
  • Economics
  • Accounting
  • Sociology
  • Psychology
Key Factors to consider in IGCSE & A-Levels
Examination Boards

Although, most students follow the examination board as undertaken by the relevant school. However, some students consider the Edexcel board science and mathematics subjects a bit more challenging than Cambridge CIE subjects. However, for other subjects such as business studies, accounting & economics the reverse holds true.


International schools offering IGCSE & A-Levels in UAE & Qatar can be categorized based on

  • The number of years in operation
  • Curriculum offered & fees
  • Gradient of grades for last 5 or 10 years
Tutoring assistance

In UAE & Qatar a very large percentage of students undertake after-school assistance. Online tutoring assistance is the growing segment in the overall tutoring sphere. Key factor is to utilize a special online tutoring company or resource relevant to the requirement.


Text books are endorsed by the examination boards. However, students normally utilize the text books prescribed by their schools. Utilizing more than one endorsed textbook per each subject can be productive.

Work sheets

In Year 9 & Year 10 worksheets can be effective. Tutors should be able to provide worksheets especially for Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, and Biology.


Notes preparation can be effective for examination preparation. Formulas, equations must be revised through note-making. Basic mind maps can also be helpful in this regard.

Past examination papers

Undertaking past examination papers for last 10 years has become the norm. It is important not only to work on previous past examination papers but to utilize mark schemes & examiners’ input effectively. However, a bigger challenge is when there is change in syllabus. In that case an experienced after-school tutor can guide based on relevant portions of the past examination papers.

Key elements of Success Methodology
Summer Period Study

Research shows students who utilize the summers period normally attain the highest grades. Most effective strategy is to utilize summers for covering & revising subjects such as: Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology & Sociology.


Students who undertake after-school tutoring assistance attain higher grades than those students who do not. Critical to attaining grade A is the assessment process adopted by the tutors. Utilizing past examination papers for assessment is important but to identify the gaps that need to be reinforced is more important. An effective gap analysis lays the foundation of attaining Grade A in IGCSE & A-Levels.

Iterative Process

A continuous process of course coverage, assessment, gap analysis, gap reinforcement and again assessment can lead to attainment of highest grades.

Healthy & Positive Outlook

IGCSE & A-Levels in total is 05 years of effort. To attain the highest grades, one requires a healthy body for which daily exercise, walks, games are suggested. Physical exertion also brings down the anxiety levels especially during the examination period.

A positive frame of mind leads to positive expectation which itself leads to positive results. Continuous encouragement from parents can play a key role in enabling students attain the desired grades.