Being an IB student can be exhausting. Juggling between the different lives that you lead is no easy task. Whether it’s CAS or studying for midterms, there’s really no time to just sit down and take a breather.
When it comes to organising your tasks for every day for the next two years of your life, it may feel like the weight of the entire world is on your shoulders. It’s not your run-of-the-mill daily routine, it’s highly demanding. But, don’t worry. We’ve created a timetable for the life of an IB student aiming to achieve a 45. Now, you can take it one day at a time.
7.30 AM – 8.30 AM
Now that the pandemic has subsided, we can’t all just wake up, log in on Zoom and go back to bed right after. You need to force yourself to become a morning person. If you could do it two years ago, you can do it again. Utilise this hour to take a nice shower, get ready and have a heavy breakfast with caffeine to give yourself a kickstart. If you’re a morning jogger, then you already have structure in your life, and you’re good to go.
8.30 AM – 3.30 PM
This is usually the duration of most school timings. Remember that this takes up a huge chunk of your day— so make the best of it. Pay attention in your classes as this could take off a huge workload in the future when doing IAs, EE and ToK, as revising for tests would become easier. But also remember to have fun. It’s been a while since we’ve seen our friends; plus it’s bad enough that IB students lack a social life.
4.00 PM – 6.00 PM
Dedicate this time to an extracurricular activity as this will not only add to CAS but also your college application. Whether it be playing a sport or learning a musical instrument, consistency is key. Besides, it’s a great way to take time off from school and pursue your hobbies and have fun. It could act as a great stress-buster, which is an absolute necessity for IB students.
6.00 PM – 7.30 PM
Wind down. Take a shower. Watch your favourite show. Do whatever it is that you would want to do after a long day to relax. Eat dinner and spend time with family.
7.30 PM – 8.30 PM
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8.30 PM – 10.30 PM
Usually, most students are highly active during these hours. Take advantage of it, now that you have relaxed and filled your belly. Study at least one subject, based on what you feel is most difficult, and try to maintain this habit every day. Complete important tasks that have early deadlines, like IA or EE drafts. Based on your priorities, you will have to utilize these three crucial hours accordingly.
10.30 PM – 11.30 PM
Now is when your battery starts to drain out. Take it easy. Perhaps watch educational videos, or try to complete less important tasks.
11.30 PM – 12.00 AM
You’re done for the day. Now you can get in bed and relax. You’ve made it.
The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be ignited. —Plutarch
Time Management and Procrastination
Managing time is what most IB students find challenging. Procrastination and cutting corners are not going to assist you to maximize the learning you get from IB. Keeping a journal of all the assignments that you’re required to do and their dates could be beneficial, this will help you keep track of things and prevent procrastination. This is going to help you meet your deadlines as deadlines are one of the most important things in IB. You will need to think forward and prioritize your work accordingly. However, if you do think that you’re going to slack off, approach and talk to the teacher of the respective subject. This is a better alternative than approaching the teacher at the last moment when they do not have leeway to give you an extension.
This may come across as a shocker as more sleep means less time to work, but more sleep actually means better quality of work produced and the potential to tackle more challenges. Sleep is a healing process and it helps your neurons fire effectively. Hence, it helps you acquire and retain information better. It is easy to slack off in IB with the plethora of information being thrown at you from every angle. Lack of sleep is the last thing you would want. Therefore, prioritise having a proper sleep schedule with at least 6-8 hours of sleep, as this is going to prevent you from the buildup of potential stress.
Extended Essay, Tok and IAs
Start discussing the topics you want to write your extended essay, Tok essay and IAs on as early as the end of your first year. You should be leaving your 11th grade with confirmed topics by your teachers. This is going to eliminate any chance of last-minute confusion because you will have the whole summer to do primary and secondary research on the topics you have chosen or even switch to a different topic. Utilize the summer vacation to put together a very rough draft for all your assignments. This is going to help you get feedback from the teachers and polish your work as much as possible. Your future self will thank you for this as the final months of IB submissions can be dreadful if not pre-planned.
Working together with other peers is your best option when it comes to learning strenuous topics efficiently. Not only is it fun to learn with your friends but more points are brought to the table this way. Always feel free to ask your peers to help you with your work/ assignments. However, know that some assignments are meant to be done individually. Ask your teacher if collaborating is allowed. Be part of group chats/ Reddit groups to get access to study materials and get tips from former IB students.
Having been an IB student and been through all that IB has to offer I can strongly recommend these tips for IB students. Know that there will be low points where you will slack off, demotivated and will need extra assistance because IB is a challenging course designed to bring the best out of the student. Make sure to have fun and make lasting relationships and friends along the way.