As an IB graduate, I always empathize with the struggles of current IB students – especially around IB exam season. This week I’ve decided to share my top tips on how best to prepare and get through IB exams; strategies and techniques which I used religiously in the lead up to my own examinations.
Make a plan!
Planning may be the oldest trick in the book of IB success, but a life-changing if done correctly. The thought of revising and understanding two years of work can be nauseating, however making a plan which includes exactly what you are going to revise, for how long, at what time and on what days will make it seem far less daunting. Knowing exactly what you need to study will enable you to estimate how much time you should spend on different topics.
Additionally, I found that reflecting about which parts of the day I felt most alert was a great way to maximise my learning. Personally, I found I was more focused in the morning, so I’d schedule my hardest subjects then (English SL and Biology HL). In the afternoon I would switch to subjects I found more enjoyable, (History HL and Psychology SL). For guidance on how to make revision timetable, head over to this post which will advise you exactly on how to organize your revision sessions.
Take care of yourself!
As revision gets underway, chances are that you may be feeling very stressed. In fact, you might have had a couple of IB meltdowns already. In fact, one of the jokes me and my friends made constantly in the run-up to our exams was ‘IB Breaking Down’. However, as my mom used to tell me, “you can’t stop being a human being just because you have exams.”
At the end of the day, your health and happiness should always be your #1 priority. One of the best things I did was to use an app called the Quiet Place. Quiet Place encourages you to do breathing exercises and do some mindfulness. The best part about is that you can adapt it to your needs; if you have 2 minutes of time at a bus stop or 20 minutes before going to bed, the Quiet Place will work. Other great ‘keep calm and carry on strategies’ can be found here.
Trying out different strategies!
Revision is difficult, but it doesn’t have to be boring. You can spice up revision with different strategies. Being dyslexic, it was incredibly important for me to associate different learning strategies with different subjects. For example, I loved making posters for Biology. However, I found that flashcards were a great way for me to revise History. For 4 great and unique revision strategies, click here.
Use your computer and phone to your advantage!
Are you constantly distracted by your phone or computer? How about turning your biggest source of distraction into your new source of motivation? You can actually use your phone/computer to stay focused and productive! Your computer can help you find past exam papers and notes for particularly tricky parts of the syllabus. However, your computer can also help you improve your concentration, learn vocabulary for your Language B, and create amazing notes of your own. Find my favorite apps here!
Remember no matter how stressed and anxious you may feel, try and remember how much you do know, as opposed to what you don’t (yet!). Keep calm, eat well, sleep lots and stay focused. You got this!