Being lazy means not wanting to work hard when you don’t have. It means not wanting to do things the hard way and spend hours on something that you can get away with doing in minutes – or not doing at all. If you’re lazy, I like you, and you can still be awesome at the IB. But only if you follow these four steps.

  1. How do you eat an elephant?

Beat laziness in the IB

Lazy people are smart, because they know that if they try to cram too much into their brains, it will melt and come out of their ears. OK, not quite, but you will find that if you try to memorise too much information in one go you will really struggle to recall it later (after 72 hours or more). This is because the brain is much better at absorbing information it is exposed to repeatedly. The rule of threes is a good guide. Don’t try to force more than 3 pieces of information into your brain at once. Instead, learn 3 new things, then go and browse the textbook / check out your notes, then come back and learn the next 3 things. And remember….

Elephants never forget - you shouldn't either whilst in the IB

  1. Multiple Sources

In some Chinese schools, staff attach students to IV medical drips, so they can study and take tests without going to get drinks, food etc. Students sit at desks doing the same intense studying all the time. They’re mad.

Often textbooks are terrible and homework assignments are boring. It’s no surprise that when things are terrible and boring we don’t remember them! In fact the best way to remember things is to learn them from lots of different interesting sources.

When you find out the next topic is on Roman history, start watching documentaries on it. Start browsing different websites about Rome. Watch the TV show The Romans. Play total war Rome 2 on your PC. Listen to podcasts Immersion is the number one way to quickly absorb massive amounts of information. So if you’re going to be learning about magnets in physics check out some awesome super-cooled magnet videos on youtube and get ahead in the IB too!

How to Wrap Up your First Year of IB Work

  1. Empty your desk!

One massive advantage you can give yourself is to set up your desk so that it’s similar to the desk you will be using in the exams. This means having a clear desk with no distractions. Working in a quiet space. Having a clock always visible. The idea here is that you’re creating an environment similar to that of the exam. You should always make sure your desk is completely empty at the end of each day. That way when you start in the morning you won’t be worried about yesterday’s work and you can start fresh.

When studying in the IB...

(this guy is doing it so, so wrong.)

Setting up a good environment is super important to being successful and it isn’t that hard. It’ll take you a few minutes to clear your desk, then you’re done. Well the IB is taught all over the world so some of you might struggle more than others to find a good working environment.

Dedicated students at work

  1. Sketch!

You spend so long in school writing down ideas that you know you’ll never remember. Writing out the same notes a billion times is for people who work hard and don’t get results. But you want to work smart and lazy…so get drawing!

Doodling isn't necassarily a bad thing when studying IB maths

It turns out sketching or doodling while you listen in classes can help concentration. Even more useful is sketching out concepts. Learning about the cold war? Sketch out the different characters, events and situations. Learning about cell biology? Make a comic strip explaining what happens. Human beings are very good at remembering images and sketching is easy.

Smashing the IB exams

Now go forth, lazy champion, and vanquish the IB! Bon courage!


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