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What to do before IB?

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Hi! I'm new here and I would like to ask you some questions :)

Next year I'm going to start Pre-IB and I would like to be prepared. Do you know any tips? How can I improve my english? It's not my mother language and I'm a little bit nervous... Were you practicing it before the pre-IB? Is reading English books during the summer enough? I'm also going to England for 3 weekes. Should I do something else?

My subjects will be:

History HL

English HL

Polish HL

German SL

Math SL

Biology SL

What can I do to prepare myself? Should I download syllabuses? I don't want to waste time, because I would like to study History of Art in Cambridge and I know it's hard to get there.

I will be very grateful for any tips :)

Julia

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Stop. Stressing. There's no need. Read a lot of books, this can never hurt, and that's basically what I did. You can also watch TV Shows (whatever you hear about them, they're really helpful in learning English, just choose something that interests you, your English will painlessly get better). At this point, the best you can do is work on your English and enjoy a year-long holiday. ;) You will need all the motivation and energy you can get for the real IB.

(If you need any advice on how to learn English being Polish, feel free to ask, I'm this year's finalist of the English Olympiad :))

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Just as Gaby says, don't stress, you can do that in DP 2 ;)

Read books that you like, some that you already read in your mother language. I re-read all the Harry Potters in english before I started the IB, and I think it helped me a lot. If you find a word you quite don't understand, just search its definition, it's a easy way of learning (and fun). Try to speak english with friends that also will take the IB, or just your close friends.

Hope that helps, and Good Luck. Welcome to the family. :)

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Hello, Julia!

It's splendid that you have a clear idea about the direction of your future studies, and I hope that you achieve your goals. Art History at Cambridge will be challenging, and of course the earlier you start pursuing your particular interest the better.

Your trip to England should be helpful for improving your fluency in English, but as the visit is of short duration it would be even better if you can make friends with a native English speaker in Poland. For a preview of the academic work, you might find it useful to get Brad Philpot's "English Language and Literature" book, which is very readable, beautifully produced and not expensive.

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Drop out of IB.

Haha, jokes. My main advice would simply be read, read, read. This applies to English, where you can read novels, plays and other text types to improve your familiarity with the Language (note that by 'read', I don't just mean skim, actually analyse what you read to practise your skills). However, it also applies to the IB curriculum, particularly if your school (or your teacher) is somewhat inexperienced in IB. Read course outlines, curriculum documents, exemplar work - anything to improve your understanding of what the IB want from you.

Oh, and when you say "English HL" do you mean B, A Lang&Lit, or A Lit? I really wouldn't recommend doing A Lit HL unless you're really, really good at English - by 7 rate, the old English A1 course was one of the hardest in the IB diploma. By contrast, HL Bio is meant to be one of the relatively easier HLs.

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