Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
ibfederer

General advice/tips for IB Exams?

Hey guys,

These are my courses, and I am taking the IB exams this semester:

- IB Psychology SL

- IB Math SL

- IB Biology HL

- IB History HL

- IB English HL

- IB Spanish ab initio SL

What is some general advice you can give me and what is the best way I can start preparing from now for the exams?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Past papers, past papers, past papers. This seems to be the best way to review, but I would also go over your notes and topics; make sure you know each objective. But PAST PAPERS will save you! I would dedicate a certain amount of time each day or so to work on them and then figure out which subjects you are weakest/strongest in.

All the best!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As stated above: PAST PAPERS! I would maybe recommend doing them under time pressure (to get into the exam mood :P)

and just go through your notes again.

What i have also heard is that for the exams (esp. the sciences + math), there are specific types of questions that they are going to ask you. So just do past papers and maybe you'll understand how they ask/ layout the questions-

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, (past papers) especially for History HL! Like you need to write so much and so quickly its crazy you will need to practice loads for that.. and same for English but not as much. For History, make sure you have really good notes that will make quick refreshers of your topic easier. Same for English, all your notes about poetry/prose and the works for Part 4 are easy to look through and make you feel confident about the material. Sorry, I dont have any advise for maths (im awful) and I dont do your other subjects.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks a lot everyone! Really helpful, I will remember past papers for sure :)

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For English, it helps to read a lot of books :)

I also do not like the IB exam format for the maths. The mark allocations are quite weird so I actually prefer doing textbook rather than solving past exams. But generally for Language Bs, Sciences, and social sciences, past papers/Questionbank is extremely useful.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For English, it helps to read a lot of books :)

I also do not like the IB exam format for the maths. The mark allocations are quite weird so I actually prefer doing textbook rather than solving past exams. But generally for Language Bs, Sciences, and social sciences, past papers/Questionbank is extremely useful.

OK, thanks. We have hardly read any books this year so far; 1984, some of Shakespeare's works and Oedipus the Rex. Could you recommend any books that are must-reads before taking the IB English HL Exam?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think there are a set book books that you "must read", but you (your class) should read a variety of texts such as poetry, plays, prose, novels, and short stories.

I guess Shakespeare could be considered as a "must-read" because of his influence on the English language, but you seemed to have already read his works.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For history, make sure you memorise quite a bit of specific evidence (dates, primary quotes, statistics etc) and a little bit of historiography too for all the topics you might have to write on. And for history, instead of doing a whole paper 3 for revision, just do single essays but still under time conditions-it's less daunting and you're more likely to actually to do than if you tell yourself to do a whole P3. Also, for history do lots of thorough plans for all the possible topics you could do that are in past papers, then pick one or two to write essays on. Even if you don't get to write essays on every type of question at least you will know the sort of arguments you could make.

I don't know about biology but for physics and chemistry we were sometimes asked to define terms or concepts, and the IB always had very specific definitions in the mark schemes. In the subject guide it says all the words that you need to be able to define, so I made a list of all those terms and wrote next to them the definitions that I'd got from past papers and learnt most of them. It helped me stop losing potentially quite easy marks.

And as everyone else has said: Past Papers!

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@by.andrew - OK, well we've read most of Shakespeare's works so I'll read the others too.

@khimberleigh - Alright, sounds good. Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Which English HL are you doing? Lit or Lang&Lit? For Lit, do multiple close readings of the texts. At least for me, I gained something new each time I read the book. Close reading helps a lot with remembering details, which is criterion A. I didn't write that many essays for Lit, I mainly wrote the outline. Saves a lot of time and effort, and my teacher thinks writing essay after essay is unnecessary. And have you had your IOC? If not, do prepare for it! I did not do anything much to prepare for paper 1. If you're doing Lang&Lit, this still applies, except for paper 1. I have no clue how much preparation is needed for Lang&Lit paper 1.

A very valuable resource I found was the subject report. You can ask your teachers to show it to you. The value of the subject report applies for most if not all subjects, including TOK and EE.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I thought seeing as no one who'd actually sat the IB exams had answered yet, I'd throw in my two cents.

As mentioned above, PAST PAPERS. However, these are only useful if you note what you consistently get wrong. For instance, in Biology I kept getting gene transfer wrong in most past papers, so began to focus my revision on that.

Learn techniques. For you science data response, it's mostly about technique more than anything else. You need to know how to answer the question and interoperate the data and graphs presented to you.

Stay calm in the exams. Especially the ones where time is really of the essence, namely History Papers 2, and 3, but paper 1 can too be pushed for time. Manage your time effectively.

For the science multi-choice, really take your time. It may seem easy, but they do try and trip you up.

For English lit HL, spend 30-45 minutes planning. You need a good plan of what you're going to say before you start writing.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Which English HL are you doing? Lit or Lang&Lit? For Lit, do multiple close readings of the texts. At least for me, I gained something new each time I read the book. Close reading helps a lot with remembering details, which is criterion A. I didn't write that many essays for Lit, I mainly wrote the outline. Saves a lot of time and effort, and my teacher thinks writing essay after essay is unnecessary. And have you had your IOC? If not, do prepare for it! I did not do anything much to prepare for paper 1. If you're doing Lang&Lit, this still applies, except for paper 1. I have no clue how much preparation is needed for Lang&Lit paper 1.

A very valuable resource I found was the subject report. You can ask your teachers to show it to you. The value of the subject report applies for most if not all subjects, including TOK and EE.

I am doing Lit. Thanks for the advice, I'm sure that I probably wouldn't do so great on the exam right now, so I'll re-read the texts I've read. I did my IOC in 11th grade actually. I'll ask about the subject reports too.

I thought seeing as no one who'd actually sat the IB exams had answered yet, I'd throw in my two cents.

As mentioned above, PAST PAPERS. However, these are only useful if you note what you consistently get wrong. For instance, in Biology I kept getting gene transfer wrong in most past papers, so began to focus my revision on that.

Learn techniques. For you science data response, it's mostly about technique more than anything else. You need to know how to answer the question and interoperate the data and graphs presented to you.

Stay calm in the exams. Especially the ones where time is really of the essence, namely History Papers 2, and 3, but paper 1 can too be pushed for time. Manage your time effectively.

For the science multi-choice, really take your time. It may seem easy, but they do try and trip you up.

For English lit HL, spend 30-45 minutes planning. You need a good plan of what you're going to say before you start writing.

Thanks for the advice! Really helps especially from someone who has taken the exams.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0