So you’ve just begun your first year in an IB Diploma Programme, or you’re still preparing to get into one. Either way, we know there is a mix of emotions that you’re engulfed in – the end of the relaxing vacations coupled with the excitement to start a new year with better learning opportunities and a memorable journey with your fellow batchmates.
As an IB student, you may want to prepare for the challenges ahead, and you probably need some sense of direction for the same. We have listed a few quick pointers to help ease you through the journey as you work towards achieving your IB Diploma.
- Read, Read, Read
We can’t stress this enough. The more you read, the more you’ll know. It’s simple. Whatever your subject is, you must be well-versed with it. And if it’s IB Literature that you’ve chosen, then this point is far too obvious. We often forget the things that are right in front of us. For subjects like Business & Management, Global Politics, Economics – you need to read the newspaper every day. Knowing global issues is crucial to you at this point. It not only helps you add personal value and depth to your understanding but also helps you gain confidence and a sense of awareness of what’s happening around you.
Listen to Littlefinger just this once – Knowledge is Power!
2. Identify your Strengths and Weaknesses
Preparing for the IB might sound scary to you at the onset, but you have to face the storm now and one way is to be mindful about the things you’re good at and the ones you’re not. Do you sail smoothly through your assignments and essays? There is nothing to be embarrassed about – seek guidance from someone who has been through the experience, or approach a teacher. You will reach your goal if you identify your challenges and equip yourself with the right tools. Are you fluent in English or in the languages you intend to learn? If not, then work on strengthening this by watching movies – persuade your parents that Netflix definitely has its uses in helping you improve your language skills and your pronunciation. Are you the type of student who usually opens their books a day before their exam? Then you need to start working on changing this habit by enjoying your subject and immersing yourself in it from the get-go!
3. Get Organised
Another thing that you’ve most definitely heard everybody nag you about is – set yourself a timetable. A disciplined routine and pacing yourself to avoid last-minute panic and cramming will definitely help towards acing your IB Diploma. IB is a long, arduous path, don’t burn out but do efficiently set aside time for compiling and organizing your notes. Don’t let tasks pile up, hit grade 11 steadily, and keep up a consistent pace through the 2 years.
Set sensible study goals for the week, or on a particular date where you feel you can complete your task or study for a subject. Make sure you build in time to relax, rather than unrealistic goals which leave you disappointed and discouraged.
Given the standard of expectations that each question demands and the limited time you’re given to answer them, it’s often a herculean task just to complete the paper on time. But if you want to complete the paper and perform exceptionally well, the only way out is to practice! How much time to devote to each answer depends on its weightage, so make sure you answer each question accordingly. There’s nothing as heartbreaking as being unable to complete a paper on time—especially when you’re well prepared. That’s why we mentioned planning your answers well in advance. During the planning, do a mental analysis of the time needed for each question so you have a good judgement of speed. Practice tests are the most effective means to help you master the art of timing yourself.
5. Clear your Doubts
Don’t let molehills become mountains – you know the feeling of having sat through an entire lecture on Analytics and Approaches with everything bouncing right off your head. Before things get out of hand, clear doubts as they arise. Building knowledge is like a house of cards; if your foundation is weak your structure will crumble down every time you try and place a card on top.
Approach your teacher, fellow students, or a tutor with any questions you have, no matter how silly you feel they might be. Don’t dwell on a question for too long – it will only become more of a tangled web and stop you from moving ahead.
… And lastly…practice papers, and have them marked, seeking detailed feedback!
That’s right. Practice Maketh Perfect. Say that with us again – Practice Maketh Perfect. However, understanding mark schemes and writing answers in the correct format will help you score but how do you get better? Self-marking is fine, for certain subjects like maths, but for essay-based subjects, you need comprehensive, critical feedback. Don’t limit your grade by marking using a limited mark scheme. Let’s recap … Practice – Seek Feedback, Apply Feedback – Maketh Perfect.
IB is just the beginning of the long, adventurous, and fruitful journey towards your chosen career and personal growth. Keeping these handy tips in mind while working towards your IB Program will ensure you pass your diploma with flying colours.