You’re about to start IB next year, you’ve got some time on your hands, you must be wondering, ‘how can I make the best of this situation to ensure that I become one of the top scorers?’. Keep reading this article to find out.
Knowing how to tackle the 2 demanding years of IB can give you the most bang for your buck and make learning the course more efficient. As a former IB student myself I have curated the top 10 tips that you can follow to prep for the IB board on your own before the term begins.
1. Explore the subject options
Now is your time to think about what you see yourself doing for the rest of your life. If you have an idea of what might interest you, you can pick subjects accordingly. If not, you can take your time and get to know the subjects and try out different ones until you figure out what interests you the most.
However, you must also try to be realistic. The IB programme is highly rigorous and demanding. Try not to increase your workload by picking the most difficult subjects. Assess your capabilities and try to pick out the subjects you truly enjoy.
2. Do some reading in advance
Once you’ve figured out your interests and have an idea of what subjects you will be taking, try to delve deeper into them. Pick up some IB prescribed textbooks, articles, library books and do some background reading on each subject. This will help you gain a lot of insight and be way ahead of your class.
3. 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 where they do not have leeway to give you an extension.
If you can dream it, you can do it. – Walt Disney
4. Start early.
Students tend to procrastinate prep for the IB board until their final IB examinations arrive. This can cause an immense amount of stress and panic, leading to poor performance in the final IB examinations.
So, starting before the IB begins gives you a big plus. Practising past papers is one of the most important ways to ace the final IB examinations. It provides you with the structure and type of questions that appear in the exams, helping students be thoroughly prep for the IB board.
It also helps students be more organised in terms of finding out which section takes up most of their time and thus, provides an ideal way of timing yourself and becoming self aware of your strengths and weaknesses. Get familiarised.
5. Equip yourself with efficient studying habits
It is up to you to take notes in handwriting or on your laptop. However, note-taking is a must. When you’re sitting in class, note down things that you may have more questions regarding or something you don’t understand.
Taking notes on things you already know/ familiar with may not be favorable as you will always come back to things that you do not know rather than the things you do. Note-taking on a laptop is preferred as it is easier to search up things you need to find quickly by pressing ctrl+f/ cmd+f. You can also use google docs to work collaboratively and share notes.
Also Read: What You Need To Know To Ace The IB Exams
6. Explore extra-curricular activities
Creativity, Activity, Service. It is easy to get carried away with academics but getting CAS out of the way in your first year is the best thing you can do. It comes in handy if you already have an idea of what you will be partaking in before you start.
The second-year is going to require a lot more of your time such as Extended Essay, TOK essays and Internal Assessments. Focusing on getting your CAS hours is really going to help you free up time for those other academic assignments later on.
Moreover, prioritizing the service part of CAS more than the creativity and activity is also going to aid your IB journey more so as it can be the most tedious out of the 3. Volunteering and doing projects giving back to the community is going to be your best bet at completing your service hours.
7. Get your routine on track
Health should be your priority. Ensure that you do exercise, eat well and most important, sleep well. 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.
8. Have fun with your second language
The best way to learn a language, is to be surrounded by it. Watch movies, listen to music and podcasts, eat food from their culture. Make it fun. Find ways to get yourself amped up! Learning a language goes way beyond a book and so take the time and effort to indulge yourself in it.
9. Discover your strengths and weaknesses
If there is a particular subject that you struggle with, don’t hesitate to ask for help. Start tutoring in advance and get familiar with the subject. Try to find a way in which you can be interested in it, so that when you prep for the IB board it won’t seem that terrible.
10. Get Excited
While the next two years can be daunting, it will be filled with emotion, you will make new friends, you will be challenged to be the best version of yourself. So avoid the IB rumours, keep a positive attitude and do your best.