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Everything posted by Solstice

  1. I felt exactly the same as you do right now in the first year of IB. I didn't fundamentally understand TOK. I was one of the students who participated in class the least because of what I assumed to be my lack of understanding and I also felt really bad during group presentations because of that, too. To some extent, I still feel the same now. Contrary to Certified_IB_Cultist, TOK spans for both years of IB at my school, so I'm not sure how it's structured for you. However, I can say that by year 2 of IB, TOK seems to have gotten better over time? Maybe things will start connecting and clicking together down the road, I'd say to give it a bit more time and wait it out. As long as you're putting in your best effort, I don't think anybody can blame you, honestly. Everybody has their strengths and weaknesses, and it just so happens that TOK isn't one of ours. I do believe that the teacher makes all the difference, though, in how they approach teaching the TOK concepts. Even if I'm not particularly good at the subject, I do find that some of the material taught in TOK is pretty interesting to listen to. If you're faring well in your other IB classes, I don't think that you should drop the program entirely just because of TOK. You mentioned having friends in the class—maybe you could ask them for some help? I know it may seem really frustrating right now, but have faith that it'll (hopefully) get better. I'm sorry I don't have any better advice to give, but the least I can do is to wish you all the best!
  2. Time management is key! It's probably one of the most important, if not the most important thing to keep in mind to be successful. If you can, try to start your assignments as early as possible so deadlines don't pile up. For example, many people in my English Literature class definitely struggle with time management, and many of us stayed up (with a few not sleeping at all) trying to annotate a book last-minute, as it was due the next morning. The more you procrastinate, the less sleep you'll end up getting, and I really do think that pulling an all-nighter would be less than ideal (especially when it can be prevented by starting homework early). You should try to stay on top of things so you end up getting sufficient sleep each night, because it'll be even more difficult to stay focused in-class without sleep. Also, use your agenda! To be honest, I've never used an agenda to keep track of things until I got into IB, just because I know that I wouldn't be able to remember the specific dates of each and every little assignment when there are so many of them. Use it to your advantage to keep organized-- it'll be easier to see which deadlines are coming up to prioritize, and approximate how much time it'll take so you have a better idea when planning your time. Keep in mind that IB is a two year program, and that it's understandable if your marks aren't as high as you'd hoped--it takes time to adjust to the nature of the program, after all! You have plenty of time to learn and improve. Hopefully IB won't stress you out too much, and I wish you all the best!
  3. Sorry if I'm wrong, but it seems like you're using ESS as your group 4 subject? Since you have Business Management for group 3, would it actually be possible to switch into Psychology as it's also another group 3 subject rather than a group 4? I'm also about 10 weeks into year one, and one of my friends wanted to swap her subjects. She had a similar experience to you in that our IB coordinator also discouraged changing courses so late, and as of now, she hasn't changed of her courses. Maybe it's just best to see what your IB coordinator replies to your dad with, and go on from there? Anyways, good luck!
  4. I feel like the requirement of taking at least one course in every group (well, excluding group 6) is for the sake of building more well-rounded individuals. It's natural to have courses that you're strong in, and courses that you struggle with. If you really want to take three sciences, you could perhaps consider taking the third science as an elective, if time permits? Just something I wanted to mention for you to think about. Unfortunately, I don't know any university courses that match your requirements. Good luck with your search! ^^
  5. Hey, I'm another first year IB student here. Honestly, I can relate in that I've considered dropping out of the program within the first few weeks of the program, but I keep telling myself that I should stick with it longer to get a better idea of what IB really entails. I'm rooting for you guys! You can do it. :') Stress can be a good thing, but being overly stressed definitely isn't great. Thinking of the accomplishment of (hopefully) getting the diploma, as well as the challenge in the program itself is my motivation to keep going, haha. You're the best judge of whether or not you should drop out, so if there is any part of you that feels inclined to stay, I would say to just stick with IB for a while longer. Before you know it, two years might just fly by and you'll be graduating! And vice-versa, if you genuinely can't stand the program anymore, and feel nothing but misery, then do what's best for you. :'D I'm not sure how different the curriculum is in the United States, but for me in Canada, I've been told that there are some things in the Canadian curriculum that do not apply to IB, and vice-versa (since IB is an international curriculum, after all), so there may be differences when trying to catch up in the normal class. However, take my words with a grain of salt because I'm not certain to what extent the curricula differ. I think the best solution is to ask your school counselor or IB coordinator about this. As for the IOP, my English Literature teacher has stated that they are worth 15% of your overall IB grade. Even if you fail your IOP, the external exams in May 2020 are going to be worth the most. Keep in mind that you also have your IOC (Individual Oral Commentary) as a second chance to maybe bring up your mark if you didn't do so well on your IOP. At my school, the IOC is done in the second year of the program--not sure about how it works in your school! I suck at public speaking, too. I was honestly so shocked to be bombarded with the IOP, as I had to do mine a month after IB started. Yes, your presentation should include analysis of the topic you've chosen in the text you're studying, but do the best you can. I mean, it's probably your first big presentation in IB, so you still have plenty of time to learn. If you're presenting your IOP in a week, I would suggest that you should finish writing it if you haven't already, since if you're like me and need the time to fully memorize the speech, it'll be best to allow yourself a few days just for memorizing (especially when it's such a long presentation!). It'll feel a lot better once you get it over with, so look forward to that! I wish you the best of luck with your IOP and IB in general, I hope we all survive! ^^
  6. Completed! Wow, great job editing all of those photos. Admittedly, I did have trouble choosing between the pictures-- it was pretty difficult for me to decide, haha. I hope you get enough responses for your IA!
  7. Done! I think it's pretty cool that you're doing an EE on games. Good luck with your data collection!
  8. Also done! Interesting topic you have there. Good luck with the rest of your data collection!
  9. Yes, from what I've read, ESS seems to be considered one of the easier/easiest sciences to take. It's also addressed in this thread: I don't think the science you end up taking would matter too much if you're pursuing music/business, since they don't really relate to the sciences, but you could maybe double check with the universities that you're interested in to see if they have any specific science requirements for music/business. Good luck!
  10. Currently reading/will be reading... Macbeth Antigone The Reader Arcadia Chronicle of a Death Foretold One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich Personally, I find it difficult to understand the Shakespearean language and old English in general, so Macbeth and Antigone are a bit of a struggle right now. I've read a bit of The Reader and think that it's pretty good so far, however.
  11. In super simple terms, the EE (Extended Essay) is a mandatory 4,000-word research essay that can be done on any of your IB subjects. I've found that this blog written by @LangLitProf does a really great job in explaining the EE in-depth, and what you might need to know about it. (Link: https://medium.com/@drewsparkman/the-extended-essay-basic-information-and-creating-a-focused-topic-80d6b4df7468) I believe that somebody has already asked about IAs before, so I'll also leave the link here: As for the Group 4 project, I'm not entirely sure (truthfully, I have two more weeks til the IB starts), and I haven't heard all that much about it either, but all I know about it is that it's some sort of science project/investigation that you have to do for your science class(es), assuming that you're taking one.
  12. No problem, happy to hear that I could help! ^^ I realize that your question has already been answered, but I'll also vouch for Amazon, because I do think that your best bet would be buying from them if these calculators aren't as accessible where you live. And yes, the calculator-buying struggle is real! Because I live in Canada, there are a few stores where I can physically purchase and pick-up graphing calculators, so using an online store wasn't completely necessary in my case. However, when I cross-referenced the prices with Amazon (at the time, I was also considering buying mine online), I found that Amazon prices were actually a bit cheaper than the in-store price, but I just ended up buying mine in-person because I was too impatient to wait for shipping lol. So yes, I agree with Gaby-- Amazon is great! While I've never purchased any calculators from Amazon, I have bought other school supplies from them, and everything seemed to go smoothly-- I hope the same goes for your calculator purchase!
  13. Just wanted to say that your blog is fantastic! The posts are really thorough, and they provide lots of useful information that I can refer back to once I start the DP in a few weeks. Especially the post explaining EEs, though while I think it's still a bit too early for me to start worrying about it, your blog has helped me better understand how the Extended Essay works more than anything else I've read so far. I'll leave the blog bookmarked-- can't wait to see more posts in the future!
  14. I agree with kw0573 in that folders are more convenient, and while I personally prefer them over binders, I think you should just stick with whatever you used prior to the IB-- as long as it has worked for you and helped with whatever you needed to organize. Everybody is different, so just use whatever works for you! ^^ My pencil case tends to be over-stuffed with a plethora of things like lead pencils, lead, erasers, all sorts of colored pens and highlighters, white out, glue, scissors... but just the basics of having a few pens, pencils, lead (for lead pencils), an eraser, and one highlighter should be alright!
  15. Hello! I'd asked this question to my math HL teacher a while ago, and she said she recommended the TI 84 Plus, TI 84 Plus C, or TI 84 Plus CE. Personally, I ended up going with the TI 84 Plus CE, because it seems to be the newest model in the TI 84 series, but the other ones work just fine if you don't have a large enough budget to get the CE. I previously owned the TI nspire non-CAS, but I found it much more difficult to use than the TI 84 because the buttons were very unfamiliar to me and took a while to learn. I used this scientific calculator (https://education.ti.com/en/products/calculators/scientific-calculators/ti-30x-iis) in the past, and I found that the TI 84 has similar buttons and is very easy to master having had the experience of using that TI scientific calculator. While the nspire seems fancier, I think getting any one of the TI 84 calculators would be the best option-- maybe the Plus CE if you can? Teachers would generally be more familiar with the TI 83 or 84, as the nspire is still rather new. My non-IB math teachers in the past had trouble using the nspire when I had it and needed help graphing something, for instance. Hope this helps, and best of luck!
  16. I see, thank you so much for your comprehensive answer! I appreciate it a lot, and it most definitely helps. I think I'll be sticking with my HLs despite the difficulty, becuase unfortunately I'm not as interested in any of my SL classes enough to bring them up to HL instead. I guess I'll see once I start the IB in a couple of weeks though, haha. Thanks again!
  17. Hello, everyone! I'm planning on taking Math, Chemistry, and Physics for my HL courses, but I feel a bit lost as to what I want to pursue as a career after university and such. Out of the three subjects, I'm very interested in math (more so than the other two subjects), so at some point, I considered being a math teacher when I'm older, but other people have also suggested that engineering could also be a reasonable choice for me. There are so many types of engineering though, and I don't really know the difference between them. I don't know what I should be doing. So, I just wanted to ask which careers the combination of math/chemistry/physics HL would be useful for? I apologize if this question seems a bit vague, or if this is posted in the wrong section. Thank you for your time!
  18. Also done! Good luck with your IA.
  19. Since this seems like a very specific question that only applies to the secondary school you're talking about, I'm not sure if there will be anyone that can answer these questions in time for your exam. Would it be possible to ask the school about what kind of test it will be? I think it'd be more reliable to have the information directly rather than relying on others, especially when the answers seem so varied? If you're really intent on studying, and you want to feel super prepared, perhaps you can just study the subjects you aren't doing as well in? If it ends up being on the exam, great-- if not, it's good practice anyways. E is the highest rating, so I mean, that speaks for itself. Your work habits are probably fine. Maybe you can study French then, if you know that it could be on the exam. Again, I feel like it's best to ask and clarify with the school if you can. I don't think I can be of much help, but I wish you all the best! Try not to fret too much over it, I'm sure you'll do fine with all of this studying you've planned.
  20. Additionally, if you're really worried about your Physics 11 mark affecting your transcript, you can always retake the class for a better mark. I'm not sure how transcripts in Ontario work, but this is under the assumption that they're more or less the same across Canada. Many students at my school, for example, will retake courses that they didn't score too well in for the sake of bettering their transcript. However, it's your IB scores that matter the most, so I think you should (hopefully) be fine if you do well in everything else, since physics won't be a pre-requisite to whatever you're applying for. Good luck!!
  21. Yes, but keep in mind that the OP is from Italy, so presumably they wouldn't have to write a French assessment. Anyways, by now they definitely would've written their exam. Hopefully everything went well!
  22. I had to write an entrance exam to qualify for the IB Program, but this was more so something that the school arranged. For me, it was also a math and English-based test, though in my experience, the math was based on more "thinking" type of problems? As in, the mathematical calculations weren't very difficult. English was more reading comprehension, and a short timed (20-minute) paragraph piece. Oh, and critical thinking questions, but I'm not sure if that counts as English. However, my friend who also applied to the IB Program (at another school in our city) also wrote an exam, but it was different between the two schools-- probably because it's at the discretion of the school itself? For example, my test was very different from the exam that Omar described above, so there's no telling what might be on your examination. Seeing how you've already been accepted into IB, however, I think Vighnesh's answer seems a lot more plausible, to determine your skill level in those classes and such. Anyways, sorry for the long-ish answer, and I wish you all the best on the exam! No need to fret, I'm sure you'll do great!
  23. Solstice


    Also done! Good luck with your IA, I hope everything goes well.
  24. I think it's a good idea to check the universities you're interested in to see if they require HL math/chemistry for nuclear engineering. You can always sign up for math HL to gauge its difficulty, and take 4 HLs. If math HL isn't your liking, you can just drop it, and if you do end up keeping it, then you can drop one of your other HLs? Good luck with your course selection! I'm also starting the IB next year.
  25. 500 does not have 3 significant figures; it only has 1. However, 500. (with the decimal point) would have 3 sig figs. 5.00 x 10^2 would be a better answer, because it makes it clearer that the number has 3 sig figs. I can't really answer the rest as I'm not starting IB yet, but I wish you all the best for your physics exam! You can do it!
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