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Kili-ng Me Softly

This is mainly to the IB Alumnis.

I really want to achieve:

7s in

ITGS (HL)

Business (HL)

English (HL)

Chemistry (SL).

and 6s in

Math (SL)

French (SL).

I'm at the end of IB1 and I feel so down because my grades are just so all over the place. Could you tell me general tips on what I should do to achieve this particular grades? IS it even possible?

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Achieving 6s and 7s isn't hard at all if you put your mind to it and don't slack off.

For English HL just read the texts and make sure you know literary devices– this will help you greatly for paper 2! For paper 1, you can't really revise for it, but go through random poems/prose selections and analyse those for practise.

French SL is incredibly easy (at least it was for me), all I did was make sure I knew all of the verb tenses and more complicated phrasings, such as si clauses. I think the most difficult part of the exam is putting the connector words into the paragraphs. For this, just go through as many connector words as you can and study those. Usually they have things like 'quand', 'aussitôt que' and 'grâce à'– memorise these and that section will be simple. Make sure you know your text types as well, like blogs versus newspaper articles, etc.!

For Maths SL, just do as many previous exams as possible. The only way to get really really comfortable with maths if you're not naturally good at it is to do as many problems as possible. Become familiar with all the exams before you take them so that nothing is a surprise to you when the exam day comes.

For Chemistry SL, like Maths SL, do as many previous exams as possible. Chemistry isn't so much about memorisation like Biology is than simply the theory. If you understand the theory behind it all, it's quite easy.

Best of luck!!

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As was mentioned, the key to mathematics and chemistry is getting as many past papers under you belt as possible. This applies even more so to mathematics, because chemistry does have a fairly large theory component. Study the topics from your textbooks, and practice the past papers which can be accessed through a quick Google search if you haven't got any. Correct your mistakes and don't make them ever again; therefore, every day you should be progressing and moving forward.

With those aims, if you haven't already dedicated the large majority of your life/time to studies, I strongly suggest you make that change immediately; there needs to be no idle wasting of time.

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Alright thank you you guys.

I also wanted to ask, how should I study this holiday? Should I strive to cove all my content again in revision or past papers or any thing else that would help? How did you spend your IB1 holiday? Like did you have a timetable?

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I think firstly try to do your EE or any coursework you've been set over the summer if you can because it'll take the pressure off you next year.

Secondly, if you've got the time and inclination I think that going over everything you've done so far and making a decent set of notes/becoming confident with what you learnt is probably the best thing to do. If you can consolidate everything so far and also have a good set of notes to come back to and revise from later, it'll stand you in good stead.

Personally I'd leave past papers until coming up to the exams when you've covered a lot more as right now I think doing them having only covered part of the syllabus is a bit confusing and de-moralising not knowing whether you don't know something because you've not covered it - or because you have covered it and you're ignorant! :P

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Alright thank you you guys.

I also wanted to ask, how should I study this holiday? Should I strive to cove all my content again in revision or past papers or any thing else that would help? How did you spend your IB1 holiday? Like did you have a timetable?

For math and chemistry you should first revise the entire syllabus content and ensure you have a decent grasp before you jump straight into the deep end and risk getting demoralized as Sandwich indicated. If you are taking your exams in Nov 14 then it is far too early to look into past papers anyway.

My IB1 holiday was spent finishing as many internal assessments as possible and doing final touch ups on my EE (yes, I had the large part of it done very early). Often I would revise content covered earlier in the year and for subjects such as biology, chemistry and mathematics I would do further reading and going ahead on the syllabus. You have all the tools you need, the syllabi, the course companions, the study guides, the past papers; you are a young adult, an independent learner.

Even when you do attempt your first past papers in the future, be prepared to get 4's and maybe a 5 if you are reaaaaaally well prepared. It's a lengthy process and you will make many mistakes on the way. But, in the end, no type of study will replicate or produce proven results like past paper practice. Finish all of your internal assessments and EE/ToK as soon as possible so you can invest the last 2 months or more preferably on dedicated exam revision.

How far into the chemistry syllabus are you by the way? I am of the opinion that the chemistry SL syllabus is really quite small if tackled correctly and consistently.

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At the risk of sounding like a parrot, make sure you do all possible coursework during your holiday. This means outstanding IAs, EE, ToK work, CAS stuff, etc. However, do set deadlines for yourself. Otherwise, you run the risk of "meh, I've got the entire holiday to complete it, I'll do some tomorrow".

I set deadlines during holidays like: "Okay, Econs IA, I will finish one by today evening, and then I will do Chemistry IA. Tomorrow, I will think for two hours about my ToK presentation, and then resume doing my chemistry IA". The key is that if I don't complete my task by the deadline that I set, I move on to the next thing anyway. This creates the actual pressure of an imminent deadline on you, forcing you to work quickly and efficiently.

I also separated my holidays into coursework and study. Half was for coursework, the other half was for catching up on my studies (I had fallen a bit behind).

Also make sure you actually set aside time to do whatever you want. I've mentioned in an earlier post - it's okay to blow off work one day and grab a beer with some friends, or just have a quiet saturday afternoon reading a book. Just make sure it isn't an everyday thing. Make it your reward for three or four days of constant hard work.

Your grades are very possible. A 7 is not a magical enlightenment that only a select few can ever attain. People get it all the time. Make sure your coursework is all top notch. The exams can be tackled easily if you follow a couple of steps:

1) Go home and re-study what you learnt in class. This means doing some practice questions, making notes, trying out complex problems, etc.

2) At the end of each week, review whatever you have learnt over the week. This is just to remind your brain.

3) Review at the end of each month. Do as many practice questions from the textbook or other resources. Re-read your notes. Make sure you "get" the content, and are not simply carrying out some operations without knowing the reasoning behind it. Ask for help if needed.

4) 3 months before the exam, hit the practice papers. You should know the entire syllabus by now, so all you need is old fashioned practice. SInce you've been a good student and finished all your coursework + learnt all your content, there should be no other IB distractions.

5) You will **** each paper up big time at the start. Do not panic. This is normal. Learn from your mistakes and redo the papers. Try and notice general patterns.

6) Soon enough you will be hitting your stride. At this point, just do as many papers as possible, and try to get full marks. Never aim for anything less.

Some subjects will be harder for you than others. Focus on those more, but don't neglect your "easy" subjects.

Also, don't get discouraged if you find that you are not improving. Learn from your mistakes, and try again. There is no way you can not improve. All IB subjects are doable if you put in the work.

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