Popular Content

Showing most liked content since 07/23/2017 in all areas

  1. 42 likes
    The title is pretty much self-explanatory (lol) but if not, this is a post about writing an a1 language ee, primarily focused on english obviously, and based largely on personal experience. If you have any questions about this post (turned out longer than I expected!) or the ee itself, send me a message. Also, if you have a draft and are looking for feedback, I might be able to help. Ground rules first - you need to have a good grasp of your the language you are writing your extended essay (latin and ancient greek possibly excepted) -- and this probably means a good grade in the relevant class. Choosing good supervisor, and one you are on good terms with, is also a good idea. You should download the Extended Essay guide as soon as you have decided on your subject and read the introductory bits, as well as the parts specific to Group 1 languages, several times through. You should also probably set up a folder on your computer for extended essay related files - I have for subfolders 'resources', 'example essays', 'quotes' (from the book I used), and then the various stages of the draft. Organization will eventually become key in the process - you'd be amazed at how many people send off the wrong version of their essays, year after year, and even more waste dozens of sheets of paper printing different versions. The extended essay can probably claim the dubious honor of being effectively responsible for hectares worth of deforestation. Also, there are two categories of extended essays in group 1 - involving writing in its original form, and involving a comparison between writing in translation (or from a foreign language, if you speak it well) and writing in its original form. I wrote the former, so this guide will probably be biased in that direction. Won't hurt to read it though. On to the process. I'll set it out as a list because it's easier to read in pieces (quantized form, as my physics-filled mind suggests), and because it's easier to find the place you're at for reference. Choosing the text(s). Some people will suggest choosing the literature you love best, but as this generally tends to be either Tolkien or Rowling (or, god forbid, Meyers), I wouldn't recommend it. Enthusiasm is no substitute for originality and literary value. You are best off going, I think, for a little studied and recent novel that won't have been critically exhausted but is clearly literary. Your supervisor can probably recommend some good books; (more or less) contemporary writers to look out for include Isabel Allende, Margaret Atwood, Jonathan Franzen, Ian McEwan, Mario Vargas Llosa (nobel 2010), Haruki Murakami, Zadie Smith, Philip Roth, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and David Mitchell (off the top of my head). Looking back I realize it would have been far easier to compare two books - look for a common theme, motif, etc. - and another good idea is to find a point in the critical context you can argue with. The classic example of the latter would be proving/disproving racism in Heart of Darkness, which, by the by, I seriously counsel you against doing. Classic texts have been done so many times that the examiner will be annoyed and most likely you will end up repeating something that has been said before. That said, you should try to find text(s) you like. Drama and poetry are interesting in this sense because you can achieve quite a bit of comparative depth and you won't necessarily be unable to look at the texts involved when you're done - novels are probably harder to deal with, if ultimately more rewarding. Research (i): the text(s). First thing to do is to read the novels, plays, or poems you are looking at. And then read them again. I have an odd phobia of highlighting or even breaking the spine of for that matter anything that's been printed, so I copy out entire quotes and make notes on them in a word document. Takes forever - but it helps understand the novel, and it makes writing the damn thing a lot easier. Whatever works for you - make liberal use of post-its, highlighters, or keyboards in your quest to form a complete understanding of the text(s). Understanding the text (henceforth referred to in singular) also implies understanding the critical context, which you will need to briefly outline in your introduction and probably refer to in your arguments, so try to find university documents and stuff like that. Also important to understand the literary context a little bit; intertextuality is basically in every book you read these days, to various extents. To writers like Joyce or Eliot intertextuality is not just useful, it's fundamental. Research (ii): extended essays. The other thing you should probably get familiar with is the general way extended essays work. We have a decent database; other than that, your supervisor might be able to give you some examples. Ask her also for the examiner's report, which gives invaluable feedback in terms of what to avoid. In terms of the examples, read both the really good ones and the really poor ones, and maybe make some notes on what people did right/wrong. Timing. This is somewhere between more crucial than people think and not as crucial as supervisors claim. For example, not doing it during the summer is not really a problem, unless you enjoy sleeping. If you're smart you'll do it during the summer, if you're lazy and/or otherwise preoccupied, like I was, you can get away with doing it later. More important is doing it in one bit. You can't do bits and pieces and over the courses of months end up with a good ee -- to some extent you have to be able to hold everything you have written/are going to write in your head during the process. My suggestion is to finish it in a week or two, after you have completed all the research and so on, and work on it intensively. After maybe one round of corrections, maybe giving a printed copy to your supervisor and changing it a little, set it aside for two weeks. This tip I technically learned from Stephen King, who apparently does it when he writes his books. How well it works for him is debatable; what is not is that setting the essay aside is an invaluable aid in getting a detached and objective perspective. Be heartless with your essay when you're correcting it. Ask random people you know who are good at English (this forum might be a good resource) for feedback, even if it's just so much as whether it feels like an A or a C. Redrafting and timing sort of go hand-in-hand - for example, the earlier you finish it, the more time you have to redraft. My best guess is that about 65% of your final grade is how good the first draft was, and the other 35% how well you revised. The implication, of course, is if you play the deadlines right you can get almost a third of the marks (12 points of 36) just by polishing it properly. That's more than the difference between a D and a B. Organization. As I mentioned before, it's a good idea to have a folder on your computer to organize the relevant files. A physical folder is a useful addition - first because it's a pain flipping back and forth between word documents, second because you can highlight, post-it-mark, or otherwise annotate printed notes, and third because it's nice to have a copy of it all afterwards. Depending on how the process goes you might also feel like destroying everything to do with the extended essay after it's handed in, in which case it's much more satisfying to burn a lot of physical papers than pressing the delete button. Research (iii): research question. This is probably the hardest part of the entire process. When I wrote my extended essay I had a sort of essay written without a research question at all, and then I was trying to reverse-tailor it to make it make sense. Didn't come out to well (ended up rewriting the entire thing from scratch!) so my advice is get a solid research question phrased and set in stone even before you begin your essay itself, especially considering it has to form the basis of the introduction. Freewriting (see next point) is quite useful for this stage of the process, but apart from that it's purely a question of writing down and crossing out ideas. With luck you should be able to bounce a couple off your supervisor, but mostly it's a solitary process, and here past extended essays as well as the IBO's guide will come in useful. Make sure it has a self-evidently literary focus - key words like theme, motif, lexis, etc will help you in this respect - and also that it's not too long or awkwardly phrased. Freewriting. You can probably google this and find out a fair bit about it, but the fundamental idea is to set a timer - 10 minutes at least I'd suggest, 25 at most - and write fluidly, non-stop, for the whole time. The idea is to leave behind all considerations of form, structure, elegance, eloquence... and just write. The brain is a much faster instrument than the fingers, so after a while - almost magically - you'll find that it's harder to get everything down on paper than keep writing for the set time. Freewrites can be extremely useful for brainstorming and planning essays, and when you realize that after a couple of 25 minute freewrites you basically have around the 4000 words you will need at the end, it makes the whole task seem much easier. The best way to mine freewrites, I find, is either to bold sections you might want to use, and maybe collect these arguments in a document dedicated to setting out the structure, or to use comments (i.e. in MS Word) for bringing attention to the most important ideas. The thing about freewriting is it's completely customizable to your needs - some people like using them, some people don't, and a lot of people use them in a completely different way from me. Like everything else I say in this document, take it with a grain of salt. These are my ideas, developed out of the failures of my own extended essay writing process, and in the end, they really are only mine. Writing. Getting down to the actual writing process can be a bit of a pain. I tend not to work in my collected ee document simply because it's large and messy - I copy and paste out into a "current" file which helps me work more cleanly, and also lets me keep an eye on the various word counts. Apart from that the best thing is to remove distractions, get prepared with some water and a coffee if you like, and get to writing. Turning off the internet is probably a good way to keep facebook out of the equation, but it can slow you down when you need wikipedia or google. Personally I just killed the internet because I wasn't able to control myself, but this is another area where you should find whatever works for you. Another good idea is to read what you're writing aloud to get more of a sense of the rhythm and the diction of the whole thing. You have a lot of elements to balance - tone, syntax, sentence length, literariness, conjunctions, etc - and it can get a bit lopsided sometimes. My sentences tend to come out long and complex, because I write the first half and then look at something else and then look at the last few words and keep writing and so on. It's best to keep the essay tight and flowing easily, and conjunctions are especially important here. However is useful but it sounds less clumsy if you don't start sentences with it (i.e. This point, however, must also be considered in light of...); furthermore and moreover are best used sparsely. Other good words or phrases to keep in mind, in the interests of variance: nevertheless, at the same, doubtless, regardless, in retrospect, therefore (use like however), whereas, nonetheless, similarly. Structure. If you've seen the examples you'll have realized that there's no really set pattern here (apart from what the IBO requires of you). I used subheadings to make the essay easier to read and understand, but mostly, to be honest, it was helpful for breaking down the actual writing process into bits. It's best (though not always possible) to have a clear relationship between consecutive sections, and since the essay must be structured as an argument sections can help you make the development of thought clearer. Purely technical points include having the abstract on a page of it's own, putting a page break after the contents page, etc. To make counting the words easier, I had an excel document with three columns - name of section, anticipated word count, and current word count - with autosum functions at the bottom of the latter two columns. As I changed a section in the "current" page I would keep the word count file updated, so I always knew where I was with respect to the word count - and this also helps with the writing, that is, knowing how many words you intend to 'spend' on each section. On the subject of word counts, briefly -- you should keep it under or at 4000; there's a certain symmetry to hitting the target perfectly but also consider the fact that this has absolutely no importance in the grand scheme of things. Examiners will only count the number of words if it's obvious you've given a false one (i.e. far over or far under), so high fidelity is not particularly essential. I would counsel you against, however, actually citing a word count about 4000. Examiner's get paid by the document and they are, at least in our imaginations, easily irritated. Deal with them as you would with an angry wild beast - take no risks. Introduction. The IBO criteria in this respect is quite clear: your introduction must not be the same as your conclusion. The main focus should be your research question and why you've chosen it, and the word 'significance' is best mentioned here explicitly to hit the criteria. You can give some critical context, and I'd suggest mentioning the sources you are going to be citing in your actual essay. If your text is not well known, and it's probably best if it isn't, you can also use the introduction to give a brief (brief!) summary of the novel's themes, topics, ideas, et cetera. It might be a good idea to go back to the introduction once you've written your essay, maybe mention the main points or structure of the argument in some way, but avoid implying your conclusions - the understanding of the reader should develop with the essay, and the introduction is more of an orientation marker than a summary of the essay. You already have an abstract to write for the latter. Citations and references. Again, the IBO gives you a lot of freedom in this area, partly because it's an international curriculum, and probably also because if they made it stricter people would invariably mess up. The basic idea is to choose a citation system early on, maybe indicate it near the top of your biography - standard are stuff like MLA, APA, or Chicago. There's a great website which allows you to automatically generate them and it's quite useful, but be sure to make sure the formatting is correct when you've actually pasted them in. Footnotes are probably better than endnotes, and using inline references is intelligent as well (e.g. Leavis insisted that criticism should involve the shaping of contemporary sensibility (Bilan 61)). Page numbers in your main text could be accomplished with just the number in brackets, though if you have multiple it might be a bit more complex. Using footnotes for page citations is awkward and wasteful; and since examiners aren't required to read footnotes, it would not make sense to write anything crucial to your argument there. I used mine mostly for clarification or context; some people avoid them altogether. The actual bibliography is a must, though, and avoid web pages here - especially wikipedia and sparknotes. If it looks a bit thin, you might be able to through-cite using the wikipedia bibliographies at the bottom of the page. Conclusion. Your conclusion is supposed to be neither a summary of your arguments nor a reiteration of your introduction; rather, it should be a new 'synthesis' in the light of your arguments, whatever that means. There's a fair bit of freedom in terms of the relative sizes of your essay's components - my introduction and conclusion were both fairly long - but I'd suggest having around 400 words here at least. It's a good idea to recycle some of the key words of your argument, as well as those integrated into your research question, and if possible mention a nice point that follows from your arguments but is not necessary equivalent to them -- something that's not included in your abstract and makes the essay worth reading; to give it a bit of shine, so to speak. If you're aiming for the highest grade it would be good not make a point that is too obvious, if that makes any sense. The ee is a very long process; it would be nice to come up with something original and interesting in the final part of your essay. But if that doesn't sound like you at all, don't sweat. As with IB labs, it's more about the process, the various components, than the final result. Abstract. The IB has pretty stringent requirements for the abstract, which you should follow to a T, including the word count. If you've followed my guidelines as well, this should be a fairly easy part of the essay, since all you're doing, essentially, is summarizing your ee's arguments, preferably in the order the essay presents them. Take your time here with the language and the construction of the sentences; this is like the cover of your essay in a lot of ways, and a good abstract can inject coherence into a very poorly organized essay. Your abstract, unlike your introduction, will also contain your conclusion, and for this reason it will force you to shrink down your entire essay into it's fundamental lines. Re-reviewing it after writing the abstract is recommended; it may change how you see some parts of the organization, and how the argument flows. Revision. If you time it properly, you should have a lot of time left for this (I didn't!). You will also, probably, be completely sick of anything to do with the damn document. But force yourself to come back to it, at all costs, and it's a good idea to print out copies for hand-written corrections. Ask your teacher to do this for you; ask your mother, etc. Then go back and work on the document itself. If there's a paragraph you think really doesn't work well, take it out, open a new document, rewrite it differently and put it back in. Being able to look at a small part of the essay at a time will make revising it seem like a far more manageable task. Another useful tip is to describe each paragraph in one, or at most a couple, of words. For some this will be easy; for others, almost impossible. That gives you an idea of how structurally rigid your essay is, how clearly the arguments follow each other, and how well you have paragraphed. It should also - hopefully - give you a direction in which to revise. Divide paragraphs that are made up of two distinct ideas; and, obviously, join two that are made up of one. Above all, leave yourself sufficient time for revision, and try to come back to it with new eyes. If you worked on it very intensely for a short period of time (like me: one weekend) you will basically know long passages off by heart, and your ability to look at it objectively will be completely gone. All it takes to regain that is to wait. Finalization. Eventually, in a moment of breathless, orgasmic joy, you will realize that it's time to finalize and submit your ee. Drink some champagne. Make sure the readability of the essay is good (i.e. large spacing, no weird (orange, yellow) colours, headers and footers all sorted out -- that you have your name, candidate number, page number, and various other details on each page. Read it over one last time, in a printed version, and do it very slowly. I guarantee you will find a typo. I had a really embarrassing one I only caught after I had sent it off. It didn't kill my grade, but it probably didn't help, so if you can avoid this ... do it. Then, print it off (probably a good idea not to double-side the final copy) and be done with it! PS - This post is about 3600 words long. The 4000 word target is not that bad, really!
  2. 27 likes
    Hey guys! so while i was going through the threads, i saw that none of them actually gave good pointers on how to write a very good abstract. So i've got a few notes which i'll share with everyone. They were handouts which my supervisor had given me, but i just condensed it into one. Good luck! HOW TO WRITE AN ABSTRACT An abstract is a concise, stand-alone statement that conveys the essential information contained in an article, book, research paper, or document. Written in a direct non-repetitive style, the abstract should: - Identify the problem (research question of thesis) investigated. - Describe the scope or method of investigation. - Summarize the results. - State the conclusion(s). The abstract for an EE can only be 300 words (max) long. It is usually done right at the end of the process, but it comes in after your cover page in the presentation. Writing the abstract 1. Highlight the sentences in the paper that detail the problem (objective) investigated. 2. Highlight the research question (or thesis). 3. Identify information (phrases, key words) that shows the scope and sequence of the investigation-identify but do not explain. 4. condense the conclusion into a few concise sentences. Words of advice: 1) for the first draft, don't worry about length. Just try to cover all the important components that are required in the abstract. Use all the information that highlighted and identifiedas you read through the essay (or article). 2) Take a word count before you begin to edit. 3) Begin editing by deleting words, phrases and sentences that are less important or provide more explanation than necessary. 4) Look for places where sentences can be combined to omit extra words or condense idea. 5) Delete unnecessary background information. 6) Do not use jargon, abbreviations, direct quotes or citations. 7) Avoid writing in the first person (I). Rather than saying. "In this essay I discuss...",try a more formal approach by starting your abstract with an opening simlar to: This essay discusses the effects of...Specifically, this paper investigates (restate research question)..." "This essay examines how...It attempts to answer the question..." 8) Write the required word count. If a 300 word abstract is required (this IS required for IB), get as close to the require number of words as possible. At this stage, as well planning your arguement, you need to think about the marking criteria and requirements for the presentation. THE ASSESSMENT CRITERIA FOR AN EXTENDED ESSAY Criteria (Marks Available) A- Research Question (2) B- Introduction (2) C- Investigation (4) D- Knowledge and Understanding (4) E- Reasoned argument (4) F- Application of analytical and evaluative skills (4) G- Use of language appropriate to the subject (4) H- Conclusion (2) I- Formal Presentation (4) J- Abstract (2) K- Holistic judgment (4)
  3. 25 likes
    For the Math Studies IA the student is to pick 2 variables they believe are related to each other in some way and test this using statistical analysis calculations. You can literally pick any two variables. I for example chose how many hours people play video games on average per week and the amount of words they could remember in a 1 minute interval. You want this to flow like a story, no one wants to grade something where you just throw numbers at them. Explain what they mean. Explain why you did this (I don't care if it's simply saying you simplified a fraction, do it). I'm not saying the graders suck at math, I'm saying that you don't know who's getting it so assume your grader is an idiot. Here are the criterion and for each one I'm only going to post the most points possible because you want a 7... Criterion A: Introduction 2 The student produces a title, a clear statement of the task and a clear description of the plan. - Don't make a dumb title. Make it relate to your investigation. I should be able to read your title and know 3 things. Both of your variables and your guess on if they are related or not (gives drama to a math IA sort of...on a nerdy level). - Your statement. It should be explicit. It should be clear. It should outline what you are going to do with the 200 numbers you a likely to collect. I should now know 4 things. Both of your variables, a small prediction, and the math you plan to do to it. - Now to make the grader happy (happy grader=happier grading, yes it's bias but you might as well use it for your advantage ). Make an introduction. Make it like a story. Maybe there is a reason you chose these variables? Are you interested in something about them? If they are related to sports for example, did you pick them because you love that sport? Explain these things. Also you can give a brief explanation of WHY you think they should be related. You're testing this after all, always fun to start with a guess and be proved wrong Criterion B: Information/measurement 3 The relevant information collected, or set of measurements generated by the student, is organized in a form appropriate for analysis and is sufficient in both quality and quantity. - Alright, quantity. It's vague I know. Let me say this. Chi Squared test=100 data points. Just go get 100 sets of data and you're set. - Put it in a chart for the love of god. A nice columned chart (if you are doing Pearson's/Linear Line of Regression you may also include the xy, x2, y2 and the averages/totals you will need later) - Relevant information...if you stated your variable was flight distance, don't collect how far the car traveled... Criterion C: Mathematical Processes 5 The student accurately carries out a number of relevant sophisticated processes. - Simple and EASY 5 points. Do at least 2 calculations, do 3 even! Chi-Squared, Pearson's, Linear Regression Line. If you know how to do those 3 and do them correctly, perfectly, you just got yourself a free 5 points! DO IT Criterion Interpretation of results 3 The student produces a comprehensive discussion of interpretations and conclusions that are consistent with the mathematical processes used. - Don't be dumb. If your Chi-Squared value was way under your critical value, don't say your original hypothesis was right...because it wasn't. - Draw conclusions using ALL the calculations you did. Maybe your chi-squared value says they have no relationship but just barely (just slightly below your critical value, very slightly) but your Pearson's value says there is absolutely no correlation between the points (this is a value between -0.3 and 0.3) - Explain your interpretation. Some people may think that a correlation coefficient of 0.6 is pretty good but other's might think it's terrible. Relate the value to what you collected (this is why it says discuss), are there reasons that your value could be lower than what it should be? You can discuss (if this happens, I don't know if it's even possible) why your correlation coefficient suggests a decent relationship but your chi-squared test says there is none. Which one do you trust more? Etc... - This is where math meets practicality. Be practical. Take the conclusion out of the number world and into the real world. Criterion E: Validity 2 The student has made a serious attempt to comment on both the mathematical processes used and the interpretations/conclusions made. - Why you used the math you did. How valid are the results from the math? did you do it by hand? Did you do it by a calculator? Did you do both to double check your work? Explain what you did to ensure that your math is perfect. Criterion F: Structure and Communication 3 The student has produced a project that is well structured and communicated in a coherent manner. - STORY. This needs to flow. I know it sounds weird, stories in a math class, but you can make a coherent IA. You did it for your group4 IA after all - This is grading you on how you connected the math to the real world and how you communicated the numbers but as words and sentences. Criterion G: Commitment 2 The student showed full commitment. - How do you get these 2 points? Make an IA that LOOKS like it took more than 2 hours to make (you could BS data and do this in 2 hours, but you didn't, did you?). Things that show this are the collecting of 100 data points. Taking the time to make the story flow. Adding in background information in the introduction. Spell/grammar check the dang thing. If there are errors you obviously weren't committed enough to proofread... If you have more questions or still don't understand something related to the IA itself feel free to ask. Any specific math questions (questions regarding Criterion C and involve numbers) should be asked in the Math Help Thread Edit: I've continued to get messages regarding personal cases and, as much as I'd like to help, I do not check back here often. That being said - Send me a message with the understanding that you can't rely on my reply. Apologies.
  4. 11 likes
    Okay after seeing a tonne of questions about getting into Medicine in the UK recently, I thought I'd just save everybody some time and make a questions thread with a little list of frequently asked Qs. Please read through these to see if your question is answered here! ...and if it's not been answered already, please feel free to ask it on this thread so we can keep all the information together for future students so they can more quickly access the info they need. Frequently Asked Questions! Regarding subjects and IB scores... 1.1 Do I need HL Chemistry? 1.2 What if HL Chemistry is not offered at my school? 1.3 Do I need HL Biology? 1.4 Do I need HL Maths? 1.5 How many points do I need? 1.6 Do medical schools really like IB students? 1.7 Do I have to do my Extended Essay related to Medicine? 1.8 Do I do X subject or Y subject if I want to get in for Medicine? Regarding additional exams... 2.1 Do I need to take extra exams? 2.2 What is the BMAT and how do I prepare for it? 2.3 What is the UKCAT and how do I prepare for it? Regarding picking where to apply to... 3.1 Are all Medical courses the same? 3.2 What criteria should I use to pick where to apply? Miscellaneous 4.1 What other stuff should I do to maximise my chances of getting interviewed? 4.2 How do I prepare for the interview? 4.3 Can I do a different degree and THEN apply to study Medicine? 4.4 Can start out on another degree and then transfer/convert to Medicine? 4.5 What should I expect from the course? Q: Do I need HL Chemistry? A: Yes, you do. Only one or two minor medical schools in the UK don't stipulate HL Chemistry amongst their requirements. It's not a subject which you will find hugely useful when actually studying Medicine (actually HL Biology will probably help you a lot more!), but it is widely acknowledged to be a hard scientific subject and therefore people who can do well in HL Chemistry are likely to be able to handle the course. To double check that your Uni wants HL Chemistry, look on their particular website. The broad rule? You need HL Chemistry. Q: What if HL Chemistry is not offered at my school? A: Ring the admissions departments of the Medical Schools you're looking at and explain your situation. Their phone number can generally be found on the websites for those specific Universities. Often the Medical School will have its own admissions department, so make sure you check you're ringing the right place! Q: Do I need HL Biology? A: In the past, then as a rule, no. However for 2013 onwards several Universities seem to have made it into a requirement alongside Chemistry, for the somewhat understandable reason that a grounding in basic biology is somewhat assumed when you get onto the course. You will find it extremely useful to have done HL Biology, and if you're interested in Medicine one would assume it's the kind of subject you'd enjoy anyway, so I'd suggest taking it if at all possible! If you really can't take HL Biology, you should either check around and only apply to Universities which still don't require it, OR you might also want to have a shot at ringing up the admissions department and explaining it is not offered at your school. You can only find out for definite by trying Medicine IS Biology in many ways, so if you're not doing HL Biology because you hate the subject, you may wish to think deeply about WHY you hate Biology and whether you might not end up hating medicine the same! Q: Do I need HL Maths? A: No. Does it help? Maybe, but evidence suggests probably not. If you're good at Maths then go for it - also it's a hard subject so it's a respectable HL. Nobody knows the exact answer to this question, but the safe option is to do SL Maths unless you've got a particular motive to do HL. People can get in with Maths Studies, but as I only know one person who has done this (who had many better reasons to be allowed in) then I wouldn't recommend it as (assuming the admissions department knows the difference) it is a very easy 'soft' subject. Q: How many points do I need? A: The answer to this is simple - as many points as it says you need on the website of the particular Medical Schools you're looking at. Go to their websites and look, because they will all ask for different numbers of points! You need to be predicted at least as many as their minimum requirement, and they may also have other requirements such as particular scores in particular subjects. Go investigate. Q: Do I do X subject or Y subject if I want to get in for Medicine? A: The answer is that unless it's HL Chemistry (required) or HL Biology (pretty recommended!) it probably doesn't matter. Avoid 'soft' easy subjects but more or less pick whatever you want. The world is your oyster! I know of no subject combination which will put a shiny star next to your name because the IB by nature forces you to cover a lot of bases (an essay subject, a language etc.) so you'll never be lacking. Q: Do I need to take extra exams? A: Yep, almost all Medical Schools (except for a few such as Bristol) require you to sit additional exams to help them differentiate candidates. These exams are the BMAT and the UKCAT, and they'll ask for either one or the other. More explanation in the questions relating to those exams. Q: What is the BMAT and how do I prepare for it? A: The BMAT is an entrance exam currently required by Cambridge, Oxford, Imperial and UCL. It requires problem solving skills, essay writing skills and a memory of basic (GCSE level) science. You can prepare for it best by going through past papers and reading preparation books (such as this one) AND also reviewing your GCSE science. My advice? Try and find the book in your local/school library or buy a second hand version - it's very good but also something people buy and use just once, so you can get it for cheap quite easily! Remember to book in for the BMAT early because it occurs only once every year on a particular date which you can find for your year via visiting this page. Q: What is the UKCAT and how do I prepare for it? A: The UKCAT is also an entrance exam, but unlike the BMAT it takes the form of a crazy IQ test and isn't done on paper but on computers at Pearson centres. Same as the UK driving test You book yourself in for a session whenever you like. The UKCAT is very popular with Universities (although it remains an unsubstantiated test as the first wave of people to take it are only just starting to qualify as new Doctors) and nearly all non-BMAT Universities will ask for it. You can see the full list of Universities here. Prepare for it by doing past papers is my advice. Going in blind is not a good idea! Another tip would be to make sure you finish as it's multiple choice with no negative marking, so the more you complete (even if you're just clicking at random) the better when you're running out of time. Anyway, I strongly recommend you attempt the practice test and past papers (but don't bother buying a book, it won't help you) which you can find here. Q: Do medical schools really like IB students? A: No more or less than they like other students. Being an IB student in itself doesn't give you an edge (outside of mythology), so make sure you still work jolly hard! Most people on your course will be A Level students from the UK and around the world. The IB is a definite minority. Q: Do I have to do my Extended Essay related to Medicine? A: No, you don't. It can be on anything - and it doesn't even have to be Biology or Chemistry! You'll not be penalised for doing it on an unrelated topic, so don't bend over backwards trying to make it relevant. Generally the only thing you achieve by doing that is getting a poor mark in your EE because it no longer fits perfectly into the category of pure Biology/Chemistry. On the other hand if you DO somehow manage to do your EE engineering viruses in a research lab or whatever crazy thing you might find, mention it in your personal statement and bring a copy along to your interview. If they ask you about it, you've got the ideal opportunity to impress them and it'll go down well Q: Are all Medical courses the same? A: Indeed they are not! Broadly speaking you can divide medical courses primarily by teaching method. PBL or 'problem based learning' is something all medical schools are required to do, but some medical schools are far more enthusiastic about this than others. It's important to consider because the teaching style is something which will hinder or help you massively dependent on your learning style. PBL is, more or less, that you're taught via scenarios ('problems') which you then have to solve and so simultaneously you'll study the physiology, anatomy, pharmacology etc. of that particular scenario. As I said, all medical schools have some element of PBL, it just depends on the quantity. To stereotype massively, think of it this way: Low PBL courses - heavy basic science, largely lecture based, lower patient contact in early years (Cambridge, Oxford, Imperial, UCL) High PBL courses - high patient contact throughout, low on basic science, problem based (Manchester, UEA etc.) Basic science referring to for instance the difference between having a general lecture on protein structure, as opposed to learning about protein structure as relevant to a medical topic which you are covering. It's kind of like a purist approach versus a practical approach. The majority of courses are high PBL. Personally I think it really depends on whether you're the kind of person who'd rather learn all the information and then extrapolate from your base of knowledge (low PBL) or whether you'd rather pick it up as you go along (high PBL). I suggest you go and seek people's views and opinions on Google to find out more and really decide what would suit you best. Ultimately all courses will be some mixture of both. Other academic differences between courses include the availability of dissection (some courses will offer full body dissection, others only prosections - make of this what you will, dissection is in my opinion less important than people make out, but it may be something which will help you a lot) and importantly the BSc element of a course. Many courses are 6 years instead of 5 and this is because you get to take a BSc in the middle. This means you have to study for an extra year, but it will make you more employable anddd you can also be a 'normal' student for a year and indulge any passions you may have for scientific research etc. so it's important to consider in your choice. In some places the BSc is compulsory (Imperial, UCL, Oxford, Cambridge) whereas in other Universities it's considered an optional year which a certain % will do and a certain number will just proceed without, effectively moving into the year above, passing GO and saving £9000 of tuition fees in the process... Q: What criteria should I use to pick where to apply? A: Apart from the academic ones (see question above) and league tables etc. you should probably consider the following... - How well have I done in the entrance exams? If you screwed up your BMAT/UKCAT or did especially well in one or the other, it'll maximise your chances of getting an interview or alternatively ruin them. As without an interview you have zero chance of getting on the course, it's important to consider these exams and, if you've no idea or haven't done them yet, make sure you consider Universities asking for both sorts of exam. - Where do I want to study? This goes for ANY course. Do you want to live on a campus (e.g. Nottingham)? Do you want to live in London? Small town (Cambridge), medium town (Oxford), countryside (UEA)? Big city (Manchester, Birmingham)? And so on. - How much cash do you have? London is a very expensive place to be a student, consider cutting it off the list if you're short on cash or don't fancy hefty student loans. - Do I meet the minimum requirements of all the courses I'm applying to? Check the websites of all the Medical Schools you're applying to!! - If you're into a particular sport or music or whatever, make sure you also consider the social side of Unis because you may want to consider these things if you're above amateur level. - How big is the cohort of students? Being 1 of 350 is very different from being 1 of 30. Q: What other stuff should I do to maximise my chances of getting interviewed? A: AKA what do I include in my personal statement, effectively! You'll find way more about this on other websites if you google it because this question is asked the world over, but I'll include a brief snapshot here. Medicine is a very competitive course and just meeting minimum academic requirements is not enough! Important things to look at are: - Work experience. There's no minimum or maximum amount of work experience to do, but you need to have enough that you can reflect on it in your personal statement, say what you learned, and most importantly that you've been sufficiently exposed to the world of work that you can safely say you're still interested in Medicine. They don't want to invest money in medical students who drop out! Try for at least a week of work experience. Also remember, it doesn't have to be in a hospital. Writing to your local GP is a good idea, or failing that even just volunteering in a hospital/nursing home. - Extra curricular activities. Try and do things which illustrate what an amazing person you are. Think of all the good personality traits people can have - commitment, leadership, enthusiasm, creativity etc. and then try and find activities which help you demonstrate which of those traits you have. If you're lucky, you'll be able to use these activities for CAS hours too. - Well-roundedness. This goes hand in hand with extra curricular activities, really, but they'll want to know that you're not one-dimensional and that you can cope with stress, so having some sorts of hobbies or things which make you interesting goes down well. ...and so on. Basically for the whole of the 2 IB years you'll want to bear in mind the sorts of things you can ultimately write on your personal statement and try to make sure you've done stuff like work experience in plenty of time. Work experience is vitally important! Also very hard to get hold of unless you've got a family friend willing to help you out. Apply for it early, write to the hospitals early and KEEP BUGGING THEM! Q: How do I prepare for the interview? A: If you're lucky enough to get an interview, firstly celebrate and then PRACTICE. Yes technically you should be able to go in and sit down and answer all their questions, but in situations where you get nervous such as interviews, it helps you a lot to have thought about what you'd say beforehand. A LOT. Also it stops you saying stupid things and cliches because hopefully you'll be able to bash those things out of yourself prior to going into the real thing! Generally they'll ask you some straight forward questions which you can predict quite well. Why do you want to do Medicine? Why at this University? What interests you about the course? etc., and these are all things you should think up some answers for. There are many better answers to "Why do you want to do Medicine?" than "I like helping people". Expand on it! Find a good way to express yourself in the time you have before the actual interview date. Then they are also likely to ask you some more 'off the wall' questions that you can't prepare for much, but they'll be things like current topics in the news relating to Medicine. So, read the news for a bit. You don't need scientific expertise but you DO need to be able to back up whatever you say (so if you start quoting statistics, make sure they're correct!!) and put forth an opinion. It's about being able to think critically and express yourself, effectively. Topics in the news tend to be stuff like latest discoveries, ethics regarding organ donation, abortion etc. and NHS related stuff - like how, with a finite source of money, do we decide where to allocate it? And so on. You need to be articulate and have actual reasoned opinions. Just reading the BBC website (or listening to the highly informative Today programme on Radio 4 in the morning as you get ready for school) should be enough for this, you don't need to go out and buy the student BMJ or a load of journals unless you really want to. Remember though that the BBC seriously dumb down/make a big deal/are generally not that great about science articles on their website, so try to also find the information elsewhere if a story seems interesting to you. In some interviews they might ask to discuss with you your BMAT essay which they'll produce from some hidden location and remind you of all the rubbish you speedwrote in the exam, so be prepared for this possibility. In others they'll give you data and ask you what you think of it - especially Oxford and Cambridge. Take your time, think through the basic science that you do know and if you've no idea, say it out loud. They want to hear you explain how much you do recognise/understand and then be open and honest about where you get stuck and ask them for help, because that's technically how the tutorial system (which they have at Oxford and Cambridge) will then work. Resist the IB urge to bull****! This will not go down well. Q: Can I do a different degree and THEN apply to study Medicine? A: Yes, and at certain Universities with compulsory BSc courses you can use your degree to exempt yourself from doing a BSc year (so the course goes from 6 down to 5 years). However graduate entry is extremely competitive, supposedly more so than undergraduate as there're more people per place available (there are not many places available for graduates) so you have to ace your first degree. The first degree doesn't have to be related to Medicine - it can be History, English, Biomedicine, whatever. Q: Can start out on another degree and then transfer/convert to Medicine? A: You CAN start out doing another degree and then go to study Medicine, but you can't convert or transfer. Effectively, you join the group of people who're in their last year of school who are also applying to study Medicine. Even if you do Biomedicine, there's no way to move from one course to another, you have to apply to enter in at Year 1. Most people who do this have started out doing a degree which they've realised is not for them. As a "Tactic" for getting into Medical school it doesn't really have many positives, because the net effect is wasting a year. Don't try and do this on purpose is basically what I'm saying - you'll gain nothing from it. For those who have suddenly decided that they want to change course after making a mistake initially, however, don't despair. I know somebody who got into Medicine this way after a year of Biomedicine - but as I said, they had to start from Year 1, so didn't gain anything from it. Q: What should I expect from the course? A: Obviously it depends on the Uni but by and large you're looking at a course with (relative to other Uni courses) a lot of hours and a SHEDLOAD of information to absorb and learn. It IS a demanding course and plenty of smart people struggle and either drop out or are chucked out. So I suppose what I'm trying to say with this is that you should feel in yourself like you'd be able to cope. Expect to be pretty damn stressed out If you're only just scraping your IB grades, think long and hard about whether you're really up for/capable of being academically massacred for a further 5/6 years! Especially on Low PBL courses because the quantity of science and stuff to learn will leave you reeling. EDIT: still adding to this list, please suggest questions if you have more!
  5. 11 likes
    Hi all, I just replied to a specific/topic-based EE question, and I'll repost my reply here as some of the hints/tips/advice/comments could be useful to others Ok, so it's been over a year since I did my EE, but I'll try my best to give you some help/tips. - Your topic is wayyyyyyyyyyy too broad for an EE. You should try and make it a local topic, even if it's from a broad origin. I did mine on the effect of falling economic growth (as measured by GDP) in Australia (very broad) on the residential property market of the Brisbane postal code of 4000 (extremely specific). Ultimately I didn't like my topic as there were too many variables, but I managed to still get an A because I did my best to discuss the variables, control them, use statistics/economic theory etc etc etc. I talked about this in the discussion/conclusion. Whereas if I had not made it a specific target, I probably would have gotten a C as there would be WAY too much to talk about and the essay would be too brief. So yeah, I'd recommend maybe trying to look at the effect of reinvestment/recovery act on economic growth in your region? Perhaps like the Greater Toronto Area, or just the Metropolitan area (probably better). I say metropolitan is better because you could discuss that the metropolitan area has similar characteristics, which makes the data more valid or something like that. Or even just the Downtown area! - You need to collect both primary and secondary data. Primary data is what you collect yourself first-hand. Like surveys and interviews etc. Try and survey local business owners or people who've been affected by the reinvestment/recovery etc. Perhaps hospitals, schools, and infustructure were a primary focus of the investment? Interview them if you can. Try and get lots of quantitative data as well so you can do graphs etc. This is mostly from secondary sources like government websites. This would be like employment statistics, GDP etc. I got my data from a survey I did on residents in the city and two interviews with a real estate agent from the city. That was primary data. She also gave me access to some great databanks for secondary sources You get some marks for how much effort you put into the essay, and this is evidenced from the quality of it (overall), what the supervisor says, the sources used, and the effort that's gone into getting primary data....well that's what I interpret "holistic" to be (I think it's the last criteria). I think you get 4 marks for this which is a big deal. - Don't forget that some data is lagging, leading, or coincident in economics (or something like that). So they illustrate the change BEFORE, AFTER, or WHEN it happens in the economy. You can talk heaps about this. - I think it says somewhere that data can be no-older than 3 years or something. Check this. This is important. You're allowed some data from before hand, but make sure most of it is recent! You can also talk about this in the discussion as data from the last 3 years only shows a snapshot of the economy, and hence the validity is affected because of blah blah blah... - Don't forget to use lots of economic theory and make sure that your essay is firmly in the area of economics, rather than say maths...this is the risk when using lots of data and doing graphs/statistics etc. Make sure you always bring it back to economics. - Set yourself a timeline, stick to it, and make sure you allow at least a month between your deadline and when the essay is due. Revise it heaps, and get other teachers/supervisors/tutors to look at it for comments. Make sure you always look at the markscheme. - Look at example essays from the internet/IBSurvival (pay to become a member for access to heaps of files...but don't cheat!). Your teachers should give you some samples I think? Also, the abstract is really easy and important. Good way to get some marks I put in an "acknowledgements section" to make it look more professional/I think the IB would like it. DEFINE ALL OF YOUR ECONOMICS TERMS AND THEORY!! I CANNOT STRESS THIS ENOUGH!! I think I may have forgotten to define "market" in mine. i feel so stupid as it's practically one of the most important things in the essay, but I don't think it mattered as it's pretty basic and I defined everything else -Get your EE done as soon as you can. Work on it now, do heaps!! Get it out of the way! (but don't submit it early as that's stupid because you may think of something to change later)
  6. 10 likes
    Hi!! This is my second year of IB and in order to study ESS more efficiently, I made a summary of the whole book. Let me know if you want it
  7. 9 likes
    This thread could be used for the new syllabus IA from 2016 onwards. Please note that I cannot help individual students with their IA. The choice of topic should be your own work so please do not ask for suggestions for your IA. The following information is taken from the May 2015 subject report (I'm sure it is copyrighted to the IB, but I see no harm in sharing it with IB students). Research question: Encourage students to choose a research question that has a degree of challenge, is of interest to them and one where they do not know at the outset what the outcome will be.A good research question will probably try to determine a trend or relationship. Students should avoid simple comparative analysis of supermarket brands or other systems with a non-chemistry relevant independent variable.General information: Students should include some background theory to set the context of their investigation.With a ten hour time allocation to facilitate meaningful enquiry it is expected that students will collect significantly more data than is currently the case in Design assessments.It is sensible for students to always be encouraged to make a statement related to the safety, environmental or ethical impact of their study.Encourage students to reflect on data while carrying out the research so that they can actively make the decision to modify the procedure or collect more data if needed. This is a good indicator of true engagement and candidates can record such decisions being made.Length of report: Although there is a requirement for more data and more reported detail there is a 12 page length limit. This means that students have to be intelligently concise and the current trend for hugely repetitious use of cut and paste for calculations or procedural details and the inclusion of pages of data-logged data should be avoided.Uncertainties: When analysing their data students should show appreciation of the impact of measurement uncertainties. This could be evidenced through the propagation of error using a sensible protocol through a calculation, the drawing of a graph with appropriate best fit line and quite possibly the inclusion of error bars and always the appropriate use of significant figures. Since the Individual Investigations will take many different forms the teacher will have to decide what constitutes the appropriate treatment of uncertainties applicable to that research.If the research includes the analysis of secondary data students should still show consideration the associated uncertainty.Writing the report: The Communication criterion will introduce new requirements. The students’ designed procedures should be reported in past tense and include sufficient detail for the reader to be able to reproduce the experiment in principle.Do not encourage the students to write up reports using the criterion titles as report sections. In particular Personal Engagement is a criterion to be assessed across the whole report and is not an introductory section.There will be an increased focus on the proper referencing of sources used for background theory, procedural instructions or literature vales. This is a hugely important consideration that has to be stressed clearly to the students.Conclusion/ Evaluation: When concluding, students should draw a conclusion and discuss its methodological validity but should also compare it to expect outcomes (if any) based on accepted theory.If the outcome is quantitative then the comparison to a literature value, calculation of percentage error and discussion of the impact of systematic and random errors is still the expectation.In addition to possible modifications students should also reflect on possible extensions to their research.
  8. 8 likes
    To be honest, I'm not entirely sure what you're trying to say though I get the gist. I'll tell you what I told another user who PMed us about this: The way we look at things is that there are more than one way that we can provide you with help. The purpose of this forum is to create a community of IB students where you interact with other IB students and help each other, and the downloads are just one part of that help. This isn't a download site, it's a forum. It would had been much easier for us to just set up a site where you come and download everything you need and never speak to anyone, but we didn't. We wanted to give IB students a chance to meet and talk to each other. I totally understand that from your point of view it seems unfair that the downloads are restricted, but we also hope that you can also see things from our point of view. There are people who come here just for the download the files, leave and never come back. That totally defeats the point of the forum - creating a community. Also, we put a lot of work into this forum; the essays and notes that are available for download also took a lot of time and work. We don't think it's too much to ask that you give a little something back for what you get. After all, it won't hurt you to participate in the community and talk to others. Plenty of our users have been promoted to VIP before they reached the 100 posts mark for being helpful, contributing things such as sample essays and files etc. You don't have to wait until you get to 100 posts to be added to VIP. That's just the easy way. ------------ EDIT: 29/2/2008 If you come here 4 hours before your deadline expecting to find (and get) samples to help you do the IAs that you most probably had weeks to work on, we would like to emphasise that this is not the point of this forum! We exist to help you survive your entire two years, not to help you with last minute panic. Procrastination is a big enough problem with students already (heck, even we, being done with IB, are guilty of it!), we are not about to encourage it. I don't want to sound patronising, I just want to emphasise that this isn't a place where we do the work for you. We are here to give you advice, support, help but ultimately in the end it's your diploma, you have to put in the effort and work - not come to us at the last minute expect to get help. You should get plenty of time to work on each of your IA and if you want help, by all means ask for it before the night before the deadline.
  9. 7 likes
    hey Mr. BernOnFire, so yeah, i just finished my DP-1 .. first, let me tell u that u are a brave lad for choosing the IB. let me tell u beforehand that the IB is the hardest possible course in the entire world. you'll undergo a lot of stress, and sometimes you'll feel like giving up or hanging yourself.. but i'll give u tips for sure. 1- choose your subjects wisely . you already have a wise selection. and yeah , i also advice u to take either Maths SL or HL, coz while applying for university, students doing either SL or HL maths have an edge over those who choose math studies. i specifically advice math SL, coz math HL is too tough and you'll die(not literally). 2- take breaks while studying. here's what i do: i take a 5-minute break after each hour of studying. and during the the break i watch a youtube video and then i continue studying. the thing here is that for every hour of study u get to watch a youtube video as a reward. you can try this if u want. its upto you to decide how many hours u study.(i study 4 hours per weekday) but make sure not to lose control of yourself, coz discipline is key if u really wanna succeed in the IB. 3- if u feel the urge to procrastinate, just stop what u are doing at that moment , lay on your bed, close your eyes, and think. imagine what your future is like, imagine that u achieve your dream of becoming the best "something(insert here)" in the world. visualize your dream, then work towards it, study like u mean it. and remember: there are are many other students around the world going through this. we all do this together as one world and one heart. As IB students we help each other instead of backstabbing each other. that's what IB is about: international mindedness . 4- if u really wanna do well in academics, don't take your homeworks and other stuff to study as a chore, coz that will only make it worse. and yes, make a study plan for every exam, and on weekdays, just decide what subjects u gonna study before u start studying, and keep a certain time limit for every homework, coz that will help u speed up your work process. 5- i recommend u to decide all your IA and EE topics by january to avoid trouble in the future. 6- remember, IB is not all about studies, and u don't have to be a nerd studying 24/7. do some sports too.(since you are a brazilian i assume that u are a football lover), and try getting into at least one sports team, coz that will give u CAS points, and plus u get more credits while applying to universities. 7- plz don't freak out, coz freaking out will give u nightmares for no reason, be calm . and if u ever feel overwhelmed by your studies, just stop it right there and go for a run , or go play some football!!!(trust me this helps). 8- lastly , have fun!, coz these 2 years are gonna be special, and i can assure u that once u complete the IB, u will never regret it.
  10. 6 likes
    I took the ESS exam this past May and got a 7. My main study tool was the Oxford course companion. Two weeks before the papers, I began to carefully read through the companion, taking notes on on the case studies and definitions. In these two weeks and throughout the course in general, I relied a lot on Quizlet and the YouTube channels Dan Dubay and NicheScience. Quizlet helped me a lot with definitions, which always, always show up on the papers. For example, here is a link to a Quizlet for the glossary terms found in the syllabus for the course: https://quizlet.com/_1dr29i. The YouTube videos give you break from constantly reading, but still allow you to absorb some of the material. And, be sure to do past papers! Hope this helps!
  11. 6 likes
    Apparently you don't speak IB yet, scstdnt. Don't worry, you'll learn.
  12. 5 likes
    Hi everyone! I love this question as it deals frequent complex type question. Especially the exact angle part :)! Enjoy!
  13. 4 likes
    Hi there fellow future medic! As someone who is about to finish IB 1 and has both chemistry and biology at HL,I feel like I can give some tips! Biology: Now, I like this class less than I do chemistry. It is a LOT of memorisation, but it is not as tedious as it seems once you start to link different units/concepts together. I highly recommend the Oxford textbook and Revision Guide - they're marvellous and great for revision! Most importantly, however, you should make flashcards of each unit as you go along. Don't leave it all till final exams, as that will NOT work and only make the entire thing seem "pointless". Condense the information as much as you can. For this there are two options - light flashcards with key concepts where you fill the rest of the info with the book, or (my favourite) you combine all the books, handouts, powerpoint, etc. into the flashcards, making them more lengthy but at the same time the only resource you'll need during revision sessions. Since I commute a lot, this has been a life saver! Chemistry: Oh boy, did I hear a lot of negative things about this class! "You need to be a genius to get a 5." "There's no way you'll pass the unit test with moles - it's a killer." "Taking it together with bio just shows you're suicidal." IT'S ALL RUBBISH. Chemistry, in my opinion, is the most interesting class IB offers. It's not that in-depth, but the broad range of topics you cover (together with the history of certain concepts) is really, really interesting. In chemistry you won't have to memorise as much - certain structures, angles, reactions... but the rest is application of concepts and calculations (a bit like maths or physics). What's beautiful is that once you grasp the concept you will do well in the class. For this class I do a few unit tests I can find online (which you can do with a quick Google search to be fair) and then flashcards, just like for bio. But the key is the understanding of the concepts. Unlike bio, you can't just memorise them and hope for the best, because it involves a lot more logical thinking. Well, I guess you could memorise it without understanding it, but then you wouldn't be pushing towards the 6/7 boundary. I am far from a genius, yet with hard work and the methods I mentioned above I managed to get good grades in both classes. Persistence is very important, remember that! All in all, both classes are rather interesting, and whilst they will prove to be a challenge at times, you will definitely enjoy them. With any further questions, feel free to PM me!
  14. 4 likes


    Extended essay guide. In effect for those taking their examinations in May 2018 and onward.
  15. 4 likes
    Here are the links to my website and YouTube channel. I have a full range of videos for both SL and HL topics including options A, B, C and D. Website: http://www.msjchem.com/ YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/mikesugiyamajones Option A: Option B: Option C:
  16. 3 likes
    yeeeeeee boiiiiii started out ib chemistry SL without iGCSE and averaged 3/7 for the first term. Worked towards a 7 (still in SL) by end of the year and decided to move up to HL -> had bad final exam days where things were just pretty ****ty and I didn't do enough revision - still got a 7. iGCSE is definitely not required nor necessary so long as you're willing to put in the effort.
  17. 3 likes
    Hello, I am currently entering my last year as well, and I'm in the same situation. I take SL Math and HL Computer Science but I've seen many "high tier" universities requiring Math at HL, I've contacted a couple and they all have concluded that this could be solved by taking a mathematics foundation course. Hope this helps!
  18. 3 likes
    It's up to you. I haven't read either book. One book or two books; both are good, though each has different approaches and techniques though. Do whatever you think will be easier and that you'll be able to offer better analysis on. And lastly, I know you didn't ask about this, but don't do three or more books.
  19. 3 likes
    I have to respectfully but firmly disagree with this. I was inculcated with the idea that IB only care about the effect of the studied work. IB are clear about that. Thus, I also would warn against considering any other of Orwell's writings if Animal Farm is the only work in the research question. I would also outright tell you to not waste time writing on history or inspirations of the author. Animal Farm's allegory is not subtle; you should acknowledge it the paper as you have, but don't try to link plotting to the Ukrainian famine, for example. There's a few reasons for this: IB want you to explain what the author did in his writing to convey a message/effect. Talking about real-life historical events does not do this. (short acknowledgements of allusions/allegories can be useful) Short acknowledgements of allusions/allegories should always lead to and set up for a longer analysis of yours on the their utility as literary devices/what is their literary significance. Avoid focusing on commonly-known, non-profound topics (Even people who haven't read Animal Farm usually know that that it's a critical allegory of the Bolshevik Revolution and rule. It's common knowledge and not difficult to discover. You'll do better offering you unique opinions about the effect of the work/how did the author develop the effect/what is the work's theme.) @Vinicius's concerns are justified. Don't try to define what a totalitarian regime is/isn't. That's way outside of the scope of the essay, and, to be fair, Lord of the Flies is not at all a political novel in my opinion. Even if it were, stick to literature and literary devices. Your Extended Essay might not win awards for being an intellectual masterpiece, but trust me, IB prefers students to stay in their domain. P.s. I had a similar experience but it was reversed; I focused too much on literature in a History IA and was severely moderated down for it. It's good that you realized it early and can make adjustments now to set yourself up for success. You've probably already done a lot of good work, so if you stay motivated then this shouldn't be too much of a hassle. Good luck.
  20. 3 likes
    MATH HL is a must for a great preparation in engineering. If you can't cope with MATH HL, how exactly will you be able to cope with engineering maths, further calculus etc. So for engineering Math HL, Phy Hl and Chem HL are the best choices. I only take Math HL and Chem HL, if there was comp. science hl at my school, I would have done it as well but I decided that I keep Phy at SL because I want to head into a univeristy where introduction to physics is nearly a must but I know I will struggle with physics because I dropped it from HL.
  21. 3 likes
    I think you are definitely on the right track by looking at the tone, vocab and style because your RQ talks about looking at the rhetoric (which "the art of speaking or writing efficiently"). When analyzing the speeches, ask yourself about Trump's agenda in those particular passages. Ask yourself why the language of his speeches has such an appeal to the people who support him. This is an English EE, so try to not stray into a discussion on politics too much (even though it's really tempting considering the terrible things he's said). Hope I helped a bit
  22. 3 likes
    Thought I’d create this guide because of the general lack of information on the Further Math course (hereafter referred to as Further). Suppose it’ll be useful for three more years, until Further is disbanded along with Studies. Got a 6, so if anyone who got a 7 can improve on this, please PM me, and I’ll do my best to edit in the info. Overall structure: Further consists of six topics. Four are the options in HL, and two are additional subjects. They are as below (order is of no significance): Sets, relations, and groups Statistics and probability Discrete mathematics Calculus Linear algebra Geometry Haese and Harris provides textbooks on each of the topics above. I know that most other publishers provide textbooks for each of the options, but I’m not sure about linear algebra and geometry – check the websites of the publishers. Difficulty in math is always subjective, but I personally found geometry to be the hardest one. I found the textbooks to be a bit messy in how they taught that subject. General Guidance: Further is not some sort of vague esoteric course that tests you on obscure math – it has a clearly defined structure and syllabus. Use the guide here liberally: http://www.spps.org/cms/lib010/MN01910242/Centricity/Domain/853/IBFurtherMathGuide2014.pdf Further does not test your depth of understanding – it’s your breadth that they look at, hence the large-ish variety in topics. There’s no need to go into that much depth for each topic. You also might not need the full 48 hours - I did most of the topics in under that time. Further assumes that you are familiar with the entirety of the math HL syllabus, so it is generally recommended that you take math HL along with Further, and for you to finish the syllabus early, or indeed before you begin the so you can start working through the options. However, it is possible (though usually not recommended) to take Further only, without taking math HL. For practice, do past papers and textbook questions. Keep in mind that Further only became HL in 2014, so past papers before are shorter. You can choose to either take Further as a subject in its own right (i.e. a certificate course), or have it form part of your final IB score (out of 45). Which one you choose will depend on how confident you are in your Further exams compared to other subjects. If you do choose to take it as a certificate course, then you may need to provide an extra fee (ask your school for exact amounts), so that’s also something to consider. I've noticed that the IB is starting to include some questions based on more abstract concepts, such as proofs of a few theorems (I had to prove Fermat's little theorem) and a greater use of variables. Don't just skim over the proofs in the textbooks, as you may need them in the exams (and of course this can help immensely with actually understanding the material, which is very important). For November candidates specifically: If you’re a November candidate, you can NOT take the Further exams in November (as I found out only about three months before the exams) – you MUST sit them in May. Apparently not enough people take the exam for the IB to justify providing another set of papers for November candidates. This gives you two options: Sit it in the middle of the second year, or IB2. If you get an unsatisfactory score, then you can do the next option, which is: Sit it in the year after you graduate. Check to see how soon you need to send off scores, and also with how confident you are in doing the course. How you’ll be taught: This bit really depends on your school – you may have a dedicated Further class, or you may just need to self-study the material (as I did). In terms of self-studying, here are some things that I’ve learned: Be self-motivated and manage time properly. You don’t have a teacher to set deadlines or yell at you and stuff, so this is very important. Sometimes, if you really don’t understand a theorem, concept, or problem, just set it aside and come back to it later. You may be able to understand it better then. Don’t try to rush through the material without fully understanding it. Keep in mind that your teacher may not be able to help you as much if you’re self-studying, so you need to make sure that you understand it well. Hope this helps anyone who stumbles across this.
  23. 3 likes
    Wait six months - I can tell you what I got rejected with!
  24. 2 likes
    Hey guys, I'm about to start my IB journey in the upcoming week. In preparation, I have created a sort of study schedule for myself to use as a reference during the academic year. Below I have attached the schedule I have created. I have factored in my weak subjects and my strong subjects (Strong subjects get a little less revision time). Can you IB veterans please tell me about your study routines and schedules and tell me whether if my drafted schedule is overkill? That would be great, thanks in advance. Side note: I am probably going to change the schedule once i get a feel for the course after 1-2 months into the academic year Schedule V1.docx
  25. 2 likes
    You either take a pre mathematics course designed for computer science or you have to change what you want to study because generally even if the uni accepts you with maths sl the math in computer science will kill you.
  26. 2 likes
    The school will set internal deadlines for each IA. For IAs that include submission of a written component (biology, chemistry, psychology, math), you should aim to have a completed draft 3 weeks before the deadline, and for orals in Literature and French ab initio you should prepare thoroughly for at least 2-3 weeks. .
  27. 2 likes
    Yeah, your general idea is good. I think "parallel" is a good way to phrase it. "Parallel" lets you talk about similarities, juxtapositions, metaphors, symbolism, allegory, etc. Once you've finished your essay, you can always slightly change the wording and/or ask for the opinions of others on your title.
  28. 2 likes
    I agree with Nomenclature -- I don't know what you mean. As someone who has read Of Mice and Men, I don't think "dialogue" is quite the word you are looking for.
  29. 2 likes
    I agree with @shellziess about Geography and Economics. The same holds true for Geography and Business (which I am both taking so I might be a bit biased). Economics may help you more if you're thinking about going into finance, market analysis and government policies. Economics is more of a macro-level subject, while Business focusses on the micro-level decisions that enterprises face. Business management may be more appropriate if your interests lie in marketing and entrepreneurship and you enjoy analysing the problems and opportunities a specific company faces. @SomeoneYouDon'tKnowWhether you want to or should take Psychology or not depends on what line of work you want to pursue after a business degree. Psychology is seen to be a narrower Group 3 subject by some people (I don't know whether this is true) and from what I've heard it focusses a lot on analysing different psychological studies. Take my words with a grain of salt, but I think psychology may help you in marketing topics of a business course. Though this obviously depends on the topics your school does. In conclusion, Geography may be more versatile, while Psychology may be viewed as more unique but sometimes also more restricted. If you need to make a choice, try to attend all classes of interest for the first two weeks and then make a choice (this should be possible at your school as per IB regulations).
  30. 2 likes
    I also believe you should be more than fine with the quote. Since it is literature, there should be no reason as to why you shouldn't be able to use the direct quote. After all, the author found it important in order to use it in the first place
  31. 2 likes
    It's all language. It's English. And it is a quote. It's all good. You have nothing to worry about.
  32. 2 likes
    It's in tax consultancy. And I finished the IB 4 years ago.
  33. 2 likes
    If it's ok, I'll explain the concepts and hope you can fill out the blanks (the actual calculations just to see if you understand). 1. http://www.probabilityformula.org/hypergeometric-distribution-examples.html Take a look all 4 sample problems; see if you are familiar with hypergeometric distributions. This is the hard part. 2. The actions of picking from Bag A and Bag B are independent events (multiplication). 3. There are 2 mutually exclusive cases (addition). i) blue from bag A; blue and green from bag B. We call this the favorable outcome. ii) green from bag A; blue and blue from bag B. This is essentially the complement. In terms of the conditional probability formula , i) is ; both cases combined is . The quickest approach is to not find P(A) but directly the intersection because A and B are neither independent nor mutually exclusive so it gets complicated. Notation is that upright A and B mean the bag, not the formulae above. Color is counter color. 4. Case i) blue in Bag A . Find probability of . Multiply together (see step 2) to get case i) probability. 5. Case ii) green in Bag A is . Find probability of . Multiply to find the complement probability. 6. Apply conditional probability formula (Step 3) to get 15/23. 7. In the future, you actually don't need to calculate the denominator in this of type problems because it cancels out. So you really need to count favorable events and total events only. Feel free to ask for clarification at any step.
  34. 2 likes
    Hi does anyone have any advice for someone that's new to the IB and will be starting it in a couple weeks? What should i expect and are there any tips that anyone has? Thank you!
  35. 2 likes
    Perhaps focus more on trying to develop and prove your points? Most book reviews are meant to describe/summarize/critique, etc. the book. In a research, you can do this but I think the weight of your paper needs to lean more on exploring your own arguments/points. Analysis is essential in Lit EEs- a lot of the exemplars use their secondary sources to prove their points rather than simply reinstating what's already been said. This is different from a book review in the sense that you're not evaluating the book, but rather looking for an answer to your question. If this answer is too vague, or something you already knew, you may have to provide more specifics as to what exactly makes your research sound more like a book review. Other than that, good luck!
  36. 2 likes
    Give examples of what sort of price discrimination is happening, define and express them in diagrams and use real life examples with reliable evidence from primary research if possible to expand on your point.
  37. 2 likes
    It's definitely acceptable. I'll tell you right now though that if you deny it or try to downplay it, you will score poorly, because you would be wrong. Analyzing the denialism and not supporting it would make for a very interesting essay in my opinion. It's a formidable topic though, and I—and I assume examiners—would have a lot of respect for you for taking such a difficult topic. I did a fairly unpleasant topic too, but just be prepared for some unsavory reading and details. It's definitely valid and whatever you decide, I wish you luck.
  38. 2 likes
    I would even change it into a how and why question, which I did too, because then you wouldn't drift away from analysing and evaluating the effects on the audience of certain stylistic features.
  39. 2 likes
    Hey there, I just wanna to say that I finished IB and right now I'm preparing to join my dream college. However, throughout this entire IB adventure and college application process I experienced a lot of stress and anxiety. Fortunately I managed to overcome it and that is why I'd love to use my experience to help the others. Therefore I just wanna let you know that no matter who you are, if you're feeling like you can't handle IB, life, social expectations etc. you can always write to me. I am not a psychologist, but I know what it's like to feel totally helpless. I won't ask about your identity and I won't reveal mine, total anonymity. IB often turns out to be too hard to deal with it alone.
  40. 2 likes
    For the IA, it should be OK, as long as it makes sense and conforms to accepted theory. You're not expected to analyze sources for your IA - that's more for an EE.
  41. 2 likes
    If you understand that stress comes from internally and good habits can prevent stress to accumulate, that might make your life in IB a little easier.
  42. 2 likes
    I wanted medicine for a long time even though I wasn't interested in science. It has always been my dream to be a psychiatrist. Then in the middle of the semester I realised how low my GPA was because of the science lessons. So I changed my decision and decided to study something that I always had an interest in: english literature! Even though it would be lovely to study in UK, we can't afford the universities there so I'll stay in Turkey or going to go to Germany/Austria. My advice for all of the IB students who still couldn't decide what to study: just try to know yourself and what you're interested in. Don't push yourself to do anything. Just go where your heart wants to go. You'll all be okay. We'll all be okay!
  43. 2 likes
    Hi there. I also take HL History and I've got my IA due in a few weeks. I'm not too sure if that would be a feasible History IA topic or not because of the fact you're trying to link English Literature and History. Remember, it's a History IA, not an English assignment. Focusing on the impact that the Diary had would be more of an English assignment rather than a History IA. If you want to talk about something within the boundaries of the Holocaust, then maybe, you're better off using The Diary of Anne Frank as one of the sources you are going to analyse within the IA rather than focusing your entire investigation on the book itself and the impact it had. I would ask your teacher for more clarification. Hope this helps.
  44. 2 likes
    Getting really high marks in Criterion A Knowledge and Understanding comes down to a couple things. Having a correct interpretation. Make sure your interpretation is actually reasonable and can be supported by your quotes. Find insightful ideas. Once you've got the basic interpretation, try to extend this. Try to find ideas that are non-obvious and yet able to be supported by quotes in the text. An example of this is if most people interpret a character's role to be X, but you have found that the character's role is Y in addition to X. Analyse a broad range of literary elements. You say that you are analysing characterisation. Don't just focus on who said what and who did what. Try to add in some interesting techniques, themes, as well as comparison and contrast of characters. Hope this helps!
  45. 2 likes
    Unfortunately, the IOC is 15% of the overall grade; the actual Paper 1 & Paper 2 external exams aren't worth a majority for language subjects, making up only half of the total grade. A 9/30 in the IOC is definitely grim, but you can still turn things around with a strong FOA. Remember that IOC & FOA both make up the internal assessment component, worth 30%, of your overall grade. This means if you can get a 24/30 for your FOA, your overall IA grade will be 16-17/30, which definitely puts you in a possible range for a 5, so long as your Written Task & external exam papers are also fives. Also, it's percentages that matter, so a 17/30 is still only a 4 according to the boundary, but percentage wise, it's a 55%, which is actually already a 5 in English LaL SL (the boundary for a 5 in May 2016 is 54-66). If all your other components are around 60%, you'll still have plenty of chance of getting a 5. Also as ShootingStar has said, your grades might actually be better than what you're thinking. It's actually something that happens to most people, that you always think you did worse than you actually did during the IOC. Hope for the best and don't despair!
  46. 2 likes
    It is an ok topic. A lot of marks in IA depend on how you approach the question, not just what the question is. In HL it's ideal if IA topic is talks about multiple math concepts. So you shouldn't only focus on calculus.
  47. 2 likes
    In short, PC is used for actions that have been completed, no longer being done, and happening at a certain point in time. IMP tense is used for description(describing a thing, or a place), habits(e.g. doing something every Monday) , or something that happened with no indication of it being finished. I suggest you look up an article about how and when to use both tenses; a Google search would more likely than not yield better information for you than the community. This one sums it up well I think: https://www.lawlessfrench.com/grammar/passe-compose-vs-imparfait/ Hope this helps!
  48. 2 likes
    Chocolate... specifically dark chocolate with nuts/fruit 10 different pen colours and 6 different highlighter colours Stopwatch/timer Apps to block distracting websites (including IBS, unfortunately - too much opportunity to procrastinate) Any and all things related to Sherlock Holmes
  49. 2 likes
    That when it comes to results, self respect and how you define yourself in the face those results really matters. It doesn't matter what score you achieve in IB or where you are going to university after; whether it be a 24 or 39; whether it's Open University or Oxford. Those things can never define you as a human being. What defines you is your self respect and dignity. As long as you try your best, you have succeeded. That is where I failed.
  50. 2 likes
    Question: how long has she been a vegetarian? I ask because when you first turn vegetarian, you get kind of a superior feeling. You kind of feel like you're better than everyone around you because you've made the decision to not eat meat, blah blah blah. Her point that non-vegetarians eat **** is valid since most cuts of meat in some places are bulked up or some form of steroid has been given to the animal. Take chicken for example. Halal chicken in particular. Some suppliers use proteins from four-legged animals so that the chicken will retain more water to make it look bigger. This protein could easily be from a pig, and thus the unsuspecting Muslim could be breaking one of their fundamental beliefs without actually knowing it. Then there's the issue of pollution- since animals are being reared solely for meat, think of all the waste gas being pumped into the atmosphere. Granted, some breeding farms take the precaution of a silo to separate and store the gas to produce power, but this can be expensive. Also, being a vegetarian isn't solely about 'saving lives'- some vegetarians chose to be so because they simply don't like meat (like me) but others find it easier to 'buy local' if they're a vegetarian since the local markets offer better quality produce than the EU-regulated junk in superstores. And in regards to evolution- our only ancestors ate meat when they could get it. For the most part they ate vegetation because it was easier to find and easy to grow. The Neolithic period (I think) was when early humans began to settle and build farms.