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Starting IB advice

For those like me who are starting full IB courses in the coming year, does anyone have tips to thrive in the IB program? Best study tools, strategies etc?

Thanks in advance!

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What subjects are you doing? If you're doing HL Maths, I would recommend doing as much practice as possible before you start the IBDP. HL Maths was really difficult for me at the start of the year, almost impossible, and that's because I was 'rusty' as I didn't practise much over summer, which I regret massively. Thankfully I'm back in shape and it's not too bad now.

Here's what I think is key to success in the IBDP:

Enjoy what you do, do what you enjoy

Work consistently

Know yourself, master yourself

Rest well!

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1. Procrastinating and leaving things last minute is your worst enemy and it is really important to pace yourself! Having good time management skills will take away some of the stress and allow you to allot enough times to focus and study for different subjects.

2. Make sure you understand what you're learning! Don't dismiss little things that you may not think is important and leave it to figure it out at a later time. I can guarantee you will not have a good time playing catch up, especially close to the exams.

3. Don't be afraid to ask questions, regardless of how silly or "stupid" it may sound to you! Again, it's a a terrible feeling walking into an assignment or exam without fully understanding how to approach it.

4. Make study notes and cue cards! Don't just rewrite everything, try to reword to make sure you actually remember and understand the content.

5. When studying for exams, completing past papers with a timer will really help you get a feel of the actual exam and helps you identify your weaknesses and strengths.

6. Internet is a great resource! Even though not every website is legitimate, there are some pretty useful websites, such as BioNinja for Biology, Greenfield Geography for Geography or DineshBackshi for Economics.

7. Talk to past or current IB students and listen/learn about their experiences! The nice thing about IB is that we have a large international community and we're all here to support and help out each other!

8. Don't obsess about the conversions and marks! It is obviously important for you to study hard and make sure you are achieving at the level you are aiming for, but worrying about the technicalities of every mark will stress you out! At the end of the day, exams are worth a ton, so as much as internal work should matter, a lot of your mark should be based on the performance of your exam (Correct me if I'm wrong). And if you've prepared and studied well, you shouldn't worry too much about it!

9. Take a deep breath and relax! Stress comes naturally to candidates of the program, especially with high stakes exams, but as long as you work hard , pace yourself and take a break once in a while, you should be fine. Certainly easier said than done, but just give in your all for these two years and it will pass by quickly... hopefully, haha.

The tips above are based on my personal experience of my first year in the IB program. I hope that you will find some of them useful. Best of luck!

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Start making proper, accurate and helpful revision notes from day one of the programme. Keep a folder for each subject of your revision notes. It's basically not about being amazingly creative and making wild posters.. it's about making resources that will really help you.

Pick subjects that play at your strengths... don't pick a language at Higher level (other than your native language). Don't pick maths, chem or physics at HL if you're not sciency and have a natural flare.

Do as much CAS and TOK in the first year as you can! Year 2 is allllll about the revision.

Do as well as you can on your IA's so you have a great starting point for exams.

Never lose sight of the fact that you will have 15 exams in about two weeks at the end of the 2 years... stay focused.

But have fun!! The people you meet on the IB can become people who are in your life for a very long time :)

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Make sure that you familiarise yourself with the courses that you are taking and be sure that you have the syllabuses for all subjects and that you take the right subjects. For instance, if you don't like maths, you shouldn't take maths HL. If you don't know what to take, start with 4 HL's and then drop down one you don't like that much. Otherwise, it is still possible to change your subjects in year 1, but don't procrastinate. If you feel that you cannot do Chemistry HL and want to do bio HL instead, you have to choose quickly, or you could take them both for a few weeks to be sure.

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One thing that is really useful is date every piece of work you do. It makes it so much easier when it comes to revision so you can easily lay out all of your work in the syllabus order

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  1. Don't wait til the last minute on IAs or your EE

See if you can get a headstart on your EE in the summer between your 1st and 2nd year

Work the IB to your strengths and make your strong subjects your HLs

Get advice from graduated IB students on different teachers/coursework/IB assessments

Balance your work and spread it out so you're not doing everything in one night

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i think what you should do is after coming from school, instead of taking a break, you should revise what you have learnt in class. Especially HL subjects because they are more difficult to score. So, by revising, it will help keep the topics fresh in your mind. This is very important for IB especially because its easy to procrastinate and your work to pile up very quickly, resulting in higher levels of stress. IB will already put stress throughout the years and it best to keep stress as low as possible.

Try to get as much sleep as possible. It's not true that you have to go to sleep late every night. Maybe some nights sure but not all. Start your work early, even if you don't want to. Trust me you will thank me later. This way you will get more free time to do your own things, even catch up on some extra class work. So set a time limit like (11pm or 12pm). It's important that you get enough rest otherwise you won't have enough energy to stay awake in class. Please PLEASE pay attention in class because sometimes what the teachers say in class are not on your textbooks and may appear in tests. -- This will also help you stay ahead of the class because sometimes people don't pay attention lol

It would also help that the subjects that you're taking are actually the ones you like. So that you will actually want to learn, and revise.

OH and make sure that you don't eat too much snacks. seriously because they will slow you down and make you not want to study. eat loads of brain food like nuts and fish and stuff. It will help you work faster as well.

In IB its easy to get depressed and feel alone. So taking some time out of your study is also advised, you will feel better as well :)

IB is difficult but not difficult if you make it to be! Don't be negative and you'll be fine I promise :) Good luck!

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