by IGians

Interview with Mr. Loay Khalil

After The IG Club juniors team was launched earlier a month ago and with a huge amount of enthusiasm, we decided to meet everyone and anyone who would make a big difference in our lives as students.

We started with the teacher who students referred to as “Newton of this generation”, Mr. Loay Khalil, who is an IG graduate, high achiever, engineering graduate and previously a teaching associate in a faculty of engineering.

Earlier this week our Jr. Counsellor Akram Badr conducted an interview with mr. Loay Khalil to ask him

Q: At which Schools are you teaching at right now?

Currently I’m only teaching in two schools. One that’s called Al Bashaer and a new school in El Shorouk City called Gheriany International School.

Q:What do you recommend for fresh IG Students to do?

I recommend them taking 4 subjects (Maximum 5) excluding ICT and I prefer this fifth subject to be Arabic especially for those who were in Edadeya. Maths, English and Chemistry are the main 3 subjects to be taken. The fourth can be Biology or you can even drop this subject if you were in Pre IG. Otherwise, I prefer only 4 subjects and Arabic should be taken if you want a fifth one or even Physics if possible but not ICT as its exam date is too early as year 10 students would panic which would disturb their time management skills so they leave all the main subjects and focus on ICT. They only focus on the practical exam and forget about the other main subjects which is a plan for complete failure.

Q:Is an A* in Physics IGCSE achievable? And what are your tips and tricks for it?

A* in IGCSE and A level are achievable with a 60% for the A level and 80% for the IGCSE. Physics requires common sense. Unfortunately, a large number of students who are seeking to study anything, like memorising for Biology, Physics is the exact opposite of the Biology. Physics’ studying style is similar to that of Maths , you can’t the study the notes for 3 hours. You just study the equations and the answering technique and you understand the concept then solving and exercising will do the rest. Same for Physics but the difference is that Physics is more theoretical plus that you must understand what are you doing and its relation of what you’re studying with the real life. Sadly, the students fail to link what they get from class with what happens on daily basis. Once that link is created, it becomes like a piece of cake. The student gains a huge confidence while using his common sense. The exam contains 40% of observations. It becomes scary for some students that they panic about that common sense is not found in the notes! As long as this ice is broken, it becomes so easy. Physics has a low curve of an A* from (60-70)% so it’s very achievable. With exercising and common sense it becomes great. It’s not tragic. This is an advice for any physics student. Once you have common sense with any notes it’ll do. Make sure your study time doesn’t exceed 30% and you solving time is 70% or more as the examiner is seeking. The examiner in physics asks for 30% knowledge (including your studying, equations, the things you memorised) and 70% of other skills (including mathematical, graphs and interpersonal).

What does qualify a student to take Physics A Level?

When a student of mine (even from the past A level students) I don’t tell them what do you have to have to take this subject. The student needs to have pure commitment. Some students take the subject as a gap year subject and they’re supposed to take it or other ones who take it to fulfil their requirements for a major like Medicine abroad and they’ve underestimated the IGCSE so they’ll just underestimate the A Level. This kind of attitude leads to a massive failure as they seek for an A level similar to its IGCSE which can be taken by luck and pass easily. As I’ve mentioned the IGCSE contains 40% of common sense. However, A level physics contains actual knowledge. For example, the A2 contains a large cut of knowledge of 70% at least. It requires someone who studies the same number of hours as in class. Otherwise the panic, mathematical manipulations, which brings me back to the question of what do you want from the subject where I ask why do you want to study A level if you are going to study medicine? If you want to join the Engineering faculty then you have some mathematical skills. The ones who are weak in Maths IGCSE won’t pass the AS Physics. These mathematical basic skills with a hand of commitment with the right approach specially for engineering with the right teacher will bring you the desired grade plus the hard work you will hand as this subject is all about pure engineering. The knowledge you’ll get from this subject will be definitely used in your Bachelor of engineering in computer science for example or even till Masters. Leaving this subject studying for later like some do in the IGCSE may lead to a terrible grade that may reach even for something worse than C.

What do you think is the outcome of studying Physics?

First of all, it’s about knowledge you gain. Engineering is not only about maths but also about physics. In IGCSE and A Level, you have 5 main units. Mechanics comes first where it’s about Mechanical engineering. The second one the electricity where it’s about Electrical engineering. The third one is about Thermal physics and materials where some are about Mechanical engineering and some are about Construction engineering or Architecture engineering. Then you have some grey areas like Communication engineering where the waves unit is used. Chemical engineering includes the nuclear physics unit or Nuclear engineering. Engineering is all about outcomes of physics. Secondly, you learn skills like independent thinking. Like for engineers, your main task is seeking a problem no one has seen before and try to fix it immediately with restrictions like deadlines, time, money, marketing or anything else. To do so you have to practice for several years. A level keeps you up to a training similar to that of engineering. You use your whole knowledge of physics to solve problems you’ve never seen before after uploading new information from the IGCSE till the A2. In the class, we discuss several ways to solve the same problem. A problem can have a mechanical solution or even a chemical one based on each person desire of how to solve this question. I keep telling my students that what I teach may not give you a benefit if you are going to study business but I can give you skills that you can think independently.

An advice for fresh IG students?

We all have resistance to change. We all like comfort zone. We only like to do the same thing over and over again. IG is the first step to break that ice. In Edadeya, we were told that the more you memorise the better score you’ll get, which is completely wrong. As long as the time taken to break the resistance decreases, the more time you’ll have to train for the new system. The system in Egypt including the national and international to memorise more. In IG, if you memorise you fall,the exact opposite. It’s required from the IG teachers to try to make the students adapt to the new system in the first 6-9 months accompanied by uploading knowledge and give you right practice for the exams. It’s not as easy. It would increase the load if you insist on resisting to the change from the same old technique may lead to your fatigue and some terrible grades. If you let yourself adapt to the system, the easier it can go on you by the end of the first semester. The teacher is always trying to make you do your best so don’t be treating him like a devil. It’s not easy to be honest but as early as it comes, the easier it can go on.

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