A summary is a shorter version of an original text that outlines the main points in a specific structure and this is exactly what we must do while writing a summary for the IGCSE exam. But in order to write a good summary, not only do we need to outline the main points but also follow some important rules. Here in this blog, we will be going through these important rules which will not only enhance your summary writing skills but also help you score better in your exams.

Understanding the question – To write a good summary, the first and foremost thing is to understand what is given in the question. Now, IGCSE summary questions can be of the following types, let us go through them to understand them better.

This is for IGCSE first language English (0500) paper:

This is for IGCSE English as second language (0510) paper:

The above summary questions for the IGCSE exam show some similarities and differences. It’s crucial for students to grasp these points. Below, we will explore the questions’ requirements and how to respond appropriately.


  1. The Passage – A particular passage will be given in the question and you will need to thoroughly follow it and answer what is asked in the question. Pay attention to the why’s and what’s in a question as they are very important. Your answer should not be a general description of the passage but instead, it should focus on specific ideas or details contained in the passage.
  2. No Bullet Points – Your summary should be written in continuous form or let us say in paragraphs. Do not write in bullet points or in note form.
  3. The Word Limit – It is fundamental that you consider the word limit given on the exam paper. Not too much or too less.  Writing too less will mean that you have not included enough information from the passage, and writing too much will mean that you have included irrelevant information.
  4. Using one’s own Words – As you can see from the above, this point is highlighted in the 0500 question paper as it is key. Using your own words does not mean that you can write anything from anywhere. Pin pointing the important points from the given passage and then writing them in your own words is what is being asked here.
  5. The Marks – Paying attention to the marks is crucial as you need to make sure that you have included at least 15 relevant points from the passage in your summary as that will help you gain marks for your content.

Now that we have understood the main points from the question, let us go through some quick tips and tricks that you should follow to score better in your IGCSE summary question.


  1. Planning and highlighting the important points

Knowing how to start, where to start and which points to include is very important. Hence, planning plays a significant role while writing a summary. Highlighting the important points in the question paper also plays an important role as there are time constraints and you cannot note down the important points first and then make them into paragraphs. Instead, underlining or highlighting the points in the question paper will make your job much easier. In this way, you will not leave out any important and relevant points from the given passage.

2. Use only relevant points from the text

You do not need to include all the points from the given passage. Only the relevant points or the main ideas from the text is what your answer needs.The points should be comprehensive and cohesive.

3. Avoid repetition

You must always refrain from using the same point/idea again and again. There may be times a point is made twice in the given passage but should always remember that while extracting it from the text you should use it only once. Repeating the same thing again will only cost you time and words.

4. The proper format and style

In summary writing, using proper Essay Vocabulary is very important. Along with that, your summary should be concise, formal, and impersonal. Avoid using the first person and do not write any slang. To write concisely, try using compound sentences which will help you to include two or three points together without making your summary lengthy.

This was it for writing a summary for the IGCSE exam. – If you still have doubts on how to write it, which relevant points to include, practice summary under the guidance of an expert teacher, or simply want to learn more then we are here to help you. At Young Scholarz we provide 1:1 online IGCSE classes to the students to help them gain specific relevant knowledge on various subjects and topics and also help then enhance their skills. Explore our website to know more.

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