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Is there such a thing as too prepared?

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I'm going into IB1 next year. I've heard about how procrastinating leaves everyone screwed, and how time management is key to sucess in IB.

I've heard of people reading their IB1 English A1 novels and making notes a summer before. So I talked to the teacher and got the list and bought the books.

Then I heard that annotating your syllabus copies for IB sciences is really important, so I printed a copy out for each of those.

So I skipped grade 10 pre-IB math, so when we started our functions semester I was a bit behind. So I really need to work through a textbook this summer.

I was so worried about doing FrenchB because I only started learning french in grade 9. So I got a tutor for the summer.

I thought this is great! I'll be where I need to be for getting those 7's next semester...... that is until I started working out a schedule.

I'll need to:

-Read half a huge english novel and make notes on each chapter

-Go through 4 units of syllabus for the sciences making notes on each of the points

-Have a lesson with my french tutor, read and write afterwords with that

-Independantly do 3 units of the SL math text I found

IN EACH WEEK!

My future classmates seem to be doing nothing to prepare... am I too prepared? I don't know if I can keep this schedule, its just too much for a summer that's supposed to be relaxing. If I don't do this stuff though, I might be behind!! and who wants to be behind in IB. I heard that's how you get into allnighters. I want IB to be enjoyable, thats why I thought I should prepare.

Am I too prepared? If you think yes... what do you think I should drop?

If you think no... then what can you do to prepare for IB geography HL, because I know nothing about that and can't find a syllabus.

Thanks a bunch in advance! Sorry this is reeeeeallly long. I'm just kinda freaking/exited. : S

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It's good that you're making an effort to prepare yourself but you can cut down on some things.

In my opinion you don't really need to make notes on each chapter of your novels if you're reading them over the summer. You don't even have to read the books over the summer. However, if you do, I would just read the book and get a general idea of the plot, characters, etc. Your teacher will probably go into more detail and analysis so leave that for school.

You'll learn how to use the syllabus when you actually start IB. It just basically states everything you are expected to know for the IB exam, it doesn't actually teach you anything. If you want to get a head start and start learning stuff, go ahead, but don't stress yourself out trying to learn everything.

Don't try to finish your whole math SL text. You'll have time to learn it when you go back to school. Some people at my school took the math textbook over the summer and it was a waste of time because they didn't even touch it. The best thing to do is to review what you learned over the past year. If you're behind, catch up on what you missed.

Most teachers will understand that you haven't done homework in a while and they will go a bit slower at the beginning.

Good luck. Have fun this summer and enjoy it because you will get homework that you actually have to do next summer.

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What the poster above said. There is very little to no point in preparing for the IB in this manner; the only thing I did personally was reading three of my A language works. Other than that I just tried to have, as much as possible, a relaxing summer. As you said, your classmates aren't preparing, so your teachers will move in a pace that is suited for the unprepared - there's no way you will be behind in your first few months in the programme even with no prior work done, as it's only when the IAs start piling up when things start getting interesting. Doing those on time will be a hundred times more important than random summer homework - in any case, since it's two years until your finals, it's likely that any work you do will be of very little marginal benefit.

So yes, you can try to build some foundation, but try to do it in a more relaxed, casual manner with no schedules. Suitable activities might be reading (but not taking notes on) some works for your A language but trying to enjoy them now that you've got the time to; this enjoyment will probably also make it easier for you to discuss the work and memorise it.

That and your B language are the only things where, I feel, doing work now will be of any benefit as language learning isn't really about memorisation and it is impossible to get a good grade by cramming (unlike for, for example, Biology). For your B language it actually might be really useful to do some things if you genuinely enjoy it and don't see it as too stressful. Some suggestions are reading books aimed for a younger audience in French (eg. the Harry Potter series is really brilliant for this, I read the 5th one after only three or so years of learning English with little problems), watching TV shows or movies, reading newspapers (usually the more tabloid ones have a simpler vocab... keep it as your browser front page or something and you should learn some new stuff every day, this was one of my techniques when I was revising Swedish), or chatting to a native speaker. You can also practice French vocabulary on eg. http://freerice.com/ which makes it kind of fun :D

So yeah don't stress, honestly I'd say no preparation at all is needed and trying to relax as much as possible is much more beneficial than any hardcore revision you might aim to do.

Edited by Cynthia

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Thanks so much you guys for replying!

Yeah I don't think I will make notes on my books, just read them. It doesn't sound that important anymore. I like to read in the summer anyways so I still want to read those. Maybe I'll just go through my worst units for math? ^.- I don't know yet. I did an IB physics certificate in grade 10 though and I didn't realise the whole "syllabus" thing and was just going through random notes all the time, it really didn't go over so well. So my syllabi (if that's a word) and I will be best buddies for the next two years : P

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how many hours do you spend for this per day?

too much of anything is never good.

if you like doing this, just do it. I'd say it's always good to be prepared for a big thing, like this thing (IB)! especially if you like doing it.

don't spend too much time for it though. a couple of hours per day will do..

if I could be honest, the most important thing that you should be doing right now is thinking about your EE. think about one subject that you like and enjoy the most, do some research and think about some topics you could possibly do for your EE. why is this so? because for some subjects it's just very difficult to find a good topic. it would take a lot of time. and when you are in IB, it's like there are just so many things you have to finish that you don't have a lot of time anymore to think about your EE.

one really important thing to do also: get a lot of sleep

^ one of the things you'll miss the most when you are in IB.

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It's great to be motivated to study. With the workload in IB you'll definitely need a lot of self-motivation to get through the work. It starts piling up and then it never disappears...

HOWEVER, I do think that you need to give yourself some time to rest and unwind. This summer is probably the last summer you'll get to laze around and just have fun. You should try to enjoy the most of it before IB starts, because you won't get this enjoyment in the next two years. The IB course is loaded with content and you'll be studying non-stop once the course starts (well, okay, the first few months are deceivingly easy). You don't want get too serious before the IB course even starts, or you might burn yourself out halfway through the course!

All I did in preparation for IB was self-study a few topics from the HL Maths syllabus and read one of the set texts for Part 1 of English A1. Oh, and I also did some work on the first topic from the HL Physics and SL Chemistry syllabi (it was summer work from teachers). I see that you're going to do SL Maths - honestly, I don't think SL Maths should be too much to worry about, so don't spend too much time on it ;)

Also, about all-nighters: a lot of people do have all-nighters but really it's all down to time management. If you can plan your time effectively and then use it productively, there's absolutely no reason why you'll need to pull an all-nighter to finish off work. You'll see that a lot of people who pull all-nighters are usually the ones who procrastinate a lot ;)

Hope this helps!

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chill and have fun while it lasts, it is perfectly easy to get all 7's if you work at a consistent level once it starts you just need to focus and have a balanced lifestyle have some fun, the IB isnt made to make your life hell. they make it definitely achievable. You can do it. Enjoy your holidays

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Don't do anything!

Even reading your A1 texts is something I'd never do :blink: You're going to go through them at some ridiculously slow pace in lessons anyway, at least those lessons will seem more interesting if you're encountering it for the first time. I think if I'd touched a single one of my A1 texts in advance, I might've had to descend into a shallow coma to cope with the boredom of English lessons. It's not that we did boring books, but you're about to spend 2 years reading them extremely, extremely slowly. It is a tedium which may well be enhanced if you also go in knowing exactly what they're about to say!

It's good to be prepared in terms of knowing what sort of stuff to do so you can cope with IB, but IB1 is actually a relatively easy year. It's IB2 which is hard - and you will feel stressed. Whether you choose to do all-nighters or not is up to you :P You could equally choose to just not do all your homework (sleep is more important? XD). So time management is important, but equally you can ditch time management for a bit of priority management and still make it through okay.

The only thing I think would be useful to do is what Cynthia said. Look at your B language and just do some casual brushing up on it - watch foreign language news channels (you can stream a lot of them online), read books in that language (simple ones - or simultaneous translations are also excellently useful!) and try to practice speaking it. After all, you can only learn more of a B language and you're not going to repeat yourself unlike with A1, so go for it.

With your tutor I'd think about trying to master conjugations (unless you already have) - if you can get to the point where you can conjugate verbs without thinking it through, you'll be way up on other people. By not thinking, I mean that you want to say "they will go" and you just know which word to pick rather than doing the whole "okay, 'to go' is blah, then they is 3rd person plural, so the ending is blah, so if you fit them together..." <-- that kind of process! Practising speaking will do you a lot of good because it makes your language come very quickly, and you then have 2 years to master writing.

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Well...I do think you are over-preparing. I guess you are doing it out of excitement but really you don't need to do any of this!

Just try to enjoy this summer before IB as much as you can!! These will be two years of hard work so you need it ;)

Also, be careful of starting out really motivated and excited and working really hard at the beginning and then having your curve go down (this happened to me to an extent). You want to stay charged so don't empty your battery too early.

If you really want to do something maybe as others mentioned you can start thinking about your EE. Starting and finishing the EE early is one of the best things you can do to make things easier for yourself ;)

As for allnighters and the stress throughout IB believe me this won't save you from it . As you said its all about time management. If you work consistently over the two years and if you don't postpone your IA and EE (like I did :S) then you really have nothing to worry about! The top student in my class never pulled an allnighter in his life and probably had more fun during IB2 than any of us. His secret, he simply did everything he was given straight away. He studied things after we took them (& not before exams), he finished his EE early (in other words he met the deadlines which really none of us did), he finished his IA on time full stop.

Procrastinators like myself who had lots of IA and other stuff piling up were really the ones who suffered a lot in the sleep-department and were super stressed in IB2 so just be careful of that :)

As for dropping a subject, I personally think its better unless you have a good reason to be taking them all. Just drop the subject you don't need or the one you like the least. Maybe you can wait until you start and see which one you're finding the most difficult or wtv ;)

Anyway, just try to chill and do not freak out! There is absolutely no reason to and you seem like a hard worker so you shouldn't have any problems!

GOOD LUCK & make sure to just have fun this summer :D

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I will be honest, IB is tough and I think you should enjoy your summer. I commend your efforts at trying to get ahead but RELAX! If you are really worried I suggest you just read your English books. Make minimal notes (maybe just in your book) on characters, symbols, themes, and settings. Your teacher will go into more detail. For math it is important that you catch-up but it is not easy to learn on your own. You can do the basics but don't worry so much. For science do not go detailed, you will be learning everything in detail in class and you should learn that and math at a brisk but fair pace depending on your teacher. The outcomes are all things you will learn in class and it's just a list of what you will need to know before IB exams. Let's be honest, how much of it will you remember after summer?Also French is not that bad, you don't need to be as fluent as you think, it is in grade 12 that you need to start worrying about it. You are going to have a tough course load and you should just enjoy while you can. Next summer you will be doing your EE and worrying about CAS so take a breather and have some fun! Not doing your whole list will not make you fall behind, I did nothing in my summer going into grade 11 and it was fine.

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You should relax on the summer!

But you could probably revise some things and such.. The summer before IB1 i solved past Physics papers (Data and graph analysis), and got some textbooks, but i didn't touch them! XD

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