Grade 11 and 12 IB is an exciting time as you delve deeper into the subjects you are passionate about (despite the couple of SL’s you are not so keen on!) and move closer towards your journey to university. However, the transition from IGCSE is a daunting one, not only because of the sheer volume of course content but for English in particular, the in-year assessments amounting to 50-55% of the final grade can be very stressful. At Young Scholarz, our aim is to guide you through the IB English courses smoothly, as we have done for the last 13 years. Shared below are responses to frequently asked questions with some pointers on how to succeed and an idea of my approach to teaching IB English.
Will I benefit from IB English tuition and what will I be taught?
- Yes – you will definitely benefit. May 2020 results were excellent with 99% of our students scoring grade 6 and above
- We have consistently improved predicted grade by as many as 2 points
- You will learn strategies and techniques for effective reading and writing
- You will learn how to approach the assessments and score well, assuring yourself of a higher-end grade
- You will be taught exam strategy and given timed exam practice
- You will receive detailed feedback on essays
- You will learn how to effectively make literature notes from the start of the course, which will save last-minute panic for exams
The final exams are in May 2022, do I need to start studying now?
- Yes – In order to minimise last-minute panic and regret, students need to strike a good balance between post- IGCSE cruising and committed hard work to achieve the desired grades.
- Students taking English at SL, in particular, tend to cruise through the first part of grade 11 and score poorly in the first set of exams and assessments
- APRIL 2021 exams are VERY IMPORTANT as they form part of your predicted grades for university
- Many students underperform for these exams as they have taken the course too lightly
- Assessments for English form a minimum of 50% of your final grade – you need to ensure you score highly throughout the course. Aiming for high grades only at the end of grade 12 is stressful and also not always achievable as assessments already form a base level grade
Do I need to come to class every week?
- No – IB is a very intense course with many associated activities and commitments. Attending any class for weekly tuition is probably not required and unsustainable
- IB classes for English language and literature will be conducted as 4-week blocks, which will ensure that you have the appropriate skill set to tackle assessments
- Workshops will be spread throughout grades 11 and 12, bearing in mind that grade 12 is particularly demanding with EE’s, TOK, final Internal Assessments (IA’s), SAT/ ACT/ LNAT. UKCAT, university applications and of course final exams
Should I focus on my Higher Level subjects and come back to English before the exams?
- No – Keep working at English (and other languages) steadily as these are difficult to revise close to exams
- Practicing languages through essay writing is time-consuming and difficult to achieve near exams when you are under pressure
- It’s important to receive on-going feedback to improve with each assessment
Will IB English classes help to improve my SAT/ ACT score?
- Yes – Reading and analysing well will help to understand passages quickly
- Brainstorming and essay planning skills will help you to write well if you choose that option
- However, to score well in SAT/ACT exams, effective strategy and techniques are essential
- You will need to attend 4-6 specific strategy classes to see a marked improvement in English reading and writing scores
I am doing English as a Standard Level subject- is the SL English grade important if I don’t plan to study English at university?
- Yes-Being articulate in your writing will help you to write better university essays and personal statements that will support university applications
- All IB grades contribute to your final score, which is important for entry to UK universities; you should aim to achieve well in all subjects to maximise your score
- Writing well will contribute to your Theory of Knowledge (TOK) and Extended Essay (EE) grades and hence your overall grade
Are classes solo or Group?
- Language and literature strategy and exam practice classes for IB are held in small groups
- Specific literature texts are studied solo or in small groups, depending on the range of texts being studied
When should I start attending classes?
- Blocks of 4-week classes for IB English will start mid-October 2020
- SAT/ACT classes have already started for the October and December sittings