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What is the best way to spend the holidays preceding Year 1?

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Dear all,

Most of my teachers have told me to rest and do 'NO' studying during the holidays preceding year 1 of the IB Diploma.

However, I cannot help thinking that there must be something I can do to make the most of my break and give me a headstart or some extra knowledge etc. that will make the upcoming year easier and more enjoyable.

I have borrowed three of the five Language A books + a general physics and chemistry book from the library, and I have already planned to read these Language A books if only for pleasure. See my signature for other subjects undertaken.

What do YOU think is the best way to spend these holidays?

Forget about studying totally?

Write up summary sheets for Language A books?

Practise mathematics?

Read entire textbooks?

Other?

All sensible answers, experience-based or not, are welcome, as long as you give reasons for your answers. :balloon:

Thank you! :blowkiss:

Edited by deidara

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Relax. You have 2 years to learn all this information much more effectively than you can teach it to yourself, and it's the last really enjoyable summer you're going to get as the following summer will be spent doing work. I didn't prepare in the pre-IB summer and it didn't hurt me one bit. Actually I have fond memories of being able to do nothing. So I would advise you to do the same. Why read a textbook now in your spare time when you're going to spend the next 2 years reading through it very slowly and thoroughly in class time? I can't think of a reason.

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I would definitely suggest you do as your teachers are telling you; relax and enjoy your break. It will make you better off and maybe even more relaxed and ready to start working real hard when you actually start the IB. However, if you really want to do something in order to get a head start I suggest that you don't overdo it. In your post you said that you were considering reading Language A books. This is not really necessary as you don't know if those books are actually going to be on your reading list for your Language A at all.

A suggestion that I would strongly encourage you to do is to think about what you want to achieve by doing the IB. Then think of how you are going to achieve it and plan out what you are actually going to do in order to achieve the goals that you want to achieve. This is a very good way of structuring yourself later on.

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Relax. You have 2 years to learn all this information much more effectively than you can teach it to yourself, and it's the last really enjoyable summer you're going to get as the following summer will be spent doing work. I didn't prepare in the pre-IB summer and it didn't hurt me one bit. Actually I have fond memories of being able to do nothing. So I would advise you to do the same. Why read a textbook now in your spare time when you're going to spend the next 2 years reading through it very slowly and thoroughly in class time? I can't think of a reason.

Dear Sandwich,

Thank you so much for your prompt and astute reply! It means a lot as I joined this forum only about an hour ago. :)

I know my teacher well and she likes to work at a fast pace. In our non IB lessons in previous years she would never read through it aloud/let us read slowly in class. She gave as about one week to read it individually and then she would launch straight into analysis. :P

I would definitely suggest you do as your teachers are telling you; relax and enjoy your break. It will make you better off and maybe even more relaxed and ready to start working real hard when you actually start the IB. However, if you really want to do something in order to get a head start I suggest that you don't overdo it. In your post you said that you were considering reading Language A books. This is not really necessary as you don't know if those books are actually going to be on your reading list for your Language A at all.

A suggestion that I would strongly encourage you to do is to think about what you want to achieve by doing the IB. Then think of how you are going to achieve it and plan out what you are actually going to do in order to achieve the goals that you want to achieve. This is a very good way of structuring yourself later on.

I know exactly what books are on my reading list as my teacher has told me which books and when we will study them. :) That second paragraph is an excellent idea. Any ideas on specific goals and plan structures that would be particularly useful/recommended? I was never very good at planning.

I will let you know how that goes in any case. Thank you very much dniviE. :)

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Umm... I'm in the same condition at the moment because I'm starting my year 1 of ib in Jan next year and was in confusion whether i want to work during my 'last' holiday. But, after thinking about it, i think it's reasonable to start because we are in year 11 once we finish this school year. Read the books and make some summary notes or just probably find some resources for help in the future. Practise maths and probably get some textbooks. Just make sure you do enough so that you dont blame yourself for not utlising time next year.

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Umm... I'm in the same condition at the moment because I'm starting my year 1 of ib in Jan next year and was in confusion whether i want to work during my 'last' holiday. But, after thinking about it, i think it's reasonable to start because we are in year 11 once we finish this school year. Read the books and make some summary notes or just probably find some resources for help in the future. Practise maths and probably get some textbooks. Just make sure you do enough so that you dont blame yourself for not utlising time next year.

Thank you cricket for your reply. I will try to keep a good balance between relaxing and practising.

So, since we are in the same boat, what are your other thoughts about beginning IB? Do you have any doubts? Things you are looking forward to? Plans? What do you plan to do after school? I would love to know. :)

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I know my teacher well and she likes to work at a fast pace. In our non IB lessons in previous years she would never read through it aloud/let us read slowly in class. She gave as about one week to read it individually and then she would launch straight into analysis. :P

No problem. And also - arguably the analysis is the only worthwhile bit! That's actually what I meant XD You're going to analyse texts to death, especially for English Lit. for the next two years. You can read these books easily in your own time - or even just as you're analysing it in class. Basically unless you're feeling super-keen, there's no reason why you should need to read them now. To be honest, you'll probably end up just having to read them again later because you read them too far in advance to really remember what happened. At least, I find that with things - if you put the work in too early, then it's almost like you never did it at all because you don't recall it!

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Umm... I'm in the same condition at the moment because I'm starting my year 1 of ib in Jan next year and was in confusion whether i want to work during my 'last' holiday. But, after thinking about it, i think it's reasonable to start because we are in year 11 once we finish this school year. Read the books and make some summary notes or just probably find some resources for help in the future. Practise maths and probably get some textbooks. Just make sure you do enough so that you dont blame yourself for not utlising time next year.

Thank you cricket for your reply. I will try to keep a good balance between relaxing and practising.

So, since we are in the same boat, what are your other thoughts about beginning IB? Do you have any doubts? Things you are looking forward to? Plans? What do you plan to do after school? I would love to know. :)

I want to be a doctor, so I'm aiming for a pretty high IB score (for a high ATAR- Aussie system). So yeah I'm kinda scared. The thing is that although I've heard it's really tough and there's loads of work to be done, i still have this feeling tell me it isnt gonna be that bad coz im not much of a procrastinator ... I'm probably gonna get a big shock next year. Anyways, since we dont have to do pe next year, I'm pumped about all my subjects (with the exception of French) and I"m actually looking forward to the 'dreadful' ib experience :) I think you should as well :)

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I know my teacher well and she likes to work at a fast pace. In our non IB lessons in previous years she would never read through it aloud/let us read slowly in class. She gave as about one week to read it individually and then she would launch straight into analysis. :P

No problem. And also - arguably the analysis is the only worthwhile bit! That's actually what I meant. You're going to analyse texts to death, especially for English Lit. for the next two years. You can read these books easily in your own time - or even just as you're analysing it in class. Basically unless you're feeling super-keen, there's no reason why you should need to read them now. To be honest, you'll probably end up just having to read them again later because you read them too far in advance to really remember what happened. At least, I find that with things - if you put the work in too early, then it's almost like you never did it at all because you don't recall it!

That is very interesting, Sandwich, but my experience seems to be the opposite. Things always work out better when I read them before we study them.

My teacher always says one should read a book at least three times: for pleasure, for noticing points and then for close analysis. I think my plan is to get the pleasure part done with rather than doing it during the school term while I could be reading it the second two times! :)

What texts did you do for Language A?

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I'd suggest go and sleep for a very long time, because you will miss it. However, if you really do want to prepare, it can't hurt to practise maths if you are undertaking Maths HL, which I think I saw you were. Otherwise, reading the books you need for English won't hurt either. Doing some general physics reading might also stimulate your interest in that area, or it might just really bore you.

There's definitely no point starting any of your IAs, so don't worry about them now.

Good luck - you seem very focused, so I'm sure you'll be fine :)

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I'm in a similar position to deidara and I'm not sure what I should be doing.

Basically, I think that we should generally take it easy. Possibaly read the 1 english text that I know of. Also do a bit of maths 'background knowledge' we were given, but haven't covered (essentially trying to prolong the inevitable of dropping Maths HL). Maybe flick through some of the textbooks, if I can end up being bothered.

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Dear all,

Most of my teachers have told me to rest and do 'NO' studying during the holidays preceding year 1 of the IB Diploma.

However, I cannot help thinking that there must be something I can do to make the most of my break and give me a headstart or some extra knowledge etc. that will make the upcoming year easier and more enjoyable.

I have borrowed three of the five Language A books + a general physics and chemistry book from the library, and I have already planned to read these Language A books if only for pleasure. See my signature for other subjects undertaken.

What do YOU think is the best way to spend these holidays?

Forget about studying totally?

Write up summary sheets for Language A books?

Practise mathematics?

Read entire textbooks?

Other?

All sensible answers, experience-based or not, are welcome, as long as you give reasons for your answers. :balloon:

Thank you! :blowkiss:

I personally did not prepare for IB the summer before it began. I regret it and probably always will. I revised almost everything (except I only did a few chapters in math) plus I read all the material for the second year of IB during the summer between the first year of IB and the last year.

I believe using that summer to my advantage is the best decision I have made thus far in the IB.

Sometimes I don't think people realize that the final exams are cumulative. E.g 15 chapters for paper 1 in Biology HL. The only way to get a 7 is by knowing absolutely everything by heart. Memorizing is the only way to do it, and obviously people with photographic memories won't have to study as much, but from my experience that is a rare advantage to have.

This is my experience; I memorized the first few chapters of Biology for my first final exam during my first semester of IB. It was perfect, I knew everything I needed to know. However, three semesters later I am unable to recite those chapters in the same way as I used to. When I read over the chapters during the summer I was astonished by how much material there really was, and how quickly it faded from my memory.

Revising over the summer was amazing, now I feel so much more prepared and I didn't suffer nearly as much during my mock exams as my classmates did. Furthermore, doing the majority of my EE during the summer was my second best decision, next to revising over the holidays.

I can't stress enough the difference it made for me this semester (I don't know how it is in other schools but in my school the third semester is considered a nightmare that people just have to survive, and during it we finish the ToK presentation and essay, our EE's, plenty of IA's and a few mock exams, along with learning new chapters and theories that are more advanced in the syllabus compared to previous semesters).

All of the students in my class are doing worse than they have before. All of them. I'm the only one who has excelled, and I have had the highest average over the entire semester - Nobody comes close. Now, of course I don't in anyway think my success is solely due to the fact that I studied during the summer, but that is besides the point.

My point is, enjoy your summer (it's vital). Enjoy sleeping in, do not study all day. However, I promise you that you will not regret spending a few hours each week familiarizing yourself with the material. In my opinion I wouldn't do much for your language based subjects but I would definitely get cracking on Math, Geography and Chemistry.

I feel like I self-taught myself everything I know in Biology, Economics and even Math and Psychology too, to a large extent. Postponing studying now won't change how you learn the material later, you will only have less time to learn it.

I feel like my advice is the opposite of what other people here are telling you to do. Admittedly I feel as though I didn't suffer as much by not studying the summer before IB as I would have done if I had skipped the summer between IB years. If anything, I urge you to study during that summer unless you have a comfortable background in all of your subjects.

The reason why I am suggesting this, contrary to what everyone else seems to think, is because I have friends who are taking Chemistry and Biology in different schools - Some of them had a solid background in Chemistry and Biology before they started IB and others were starting from complete scratch. The people with the background are excelling - No problem. The people who started from scratch are failing, depressed and stressed. You have Math HL and it is going to take up most of your time.

I think you are being smart to want to get ahead early, and believe me, all the nights this semester where I relaxed guilt-free with my boyfriend whilst everyone else was freaking out writing their EE's or studying for an exam, really saved me.

EDIT: Please note, that you should not start long term projects before receiving confirmation from your supervisors (This includes CAS projects, your EE, your ToK Essay, IA's..) There's nothing as discouraging as thinking you have a research question ready and spending months (or the summer) working on your EE only to hear from your supervisor that your RQ is too broad or inappropriate. I even know people who have spent their summer doing tons for CAS but it didn't count towards their CAS portfolio because they should have sent in the application form before they completed the activity. Do things you would have to do on your own anyway, practice math, read in your textbooks etc.. Brainstorm for ideas for your EE, read the ToK textbook.

Edited by Babydolleyes
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There's a reason most people relax this summer though and spend the next 'freaking out' - they know the stuff! You're a lot smarter after that first year, and rushing your EE and ToK presentation before you've covered ANY information about it is frankly, stupid. If the IB could be easily taught over one summer by reading some books, why don't teachers just tell their students to read their textbooks in class and at home? The answer, my friend, is obvious.

Hell, if you want to do something, take up a martial art or go to the gym, volunteer at a pharmacy, learn the guitar - get your CAS done. At least you won't do your CAS and thinnk in a year 'damn, i should rewrite it because I'd write it better now.' Plus, you fail the IB without it, and there are plenty of people in my school who suddenly have to rush off their CAS activities and CAS portfolio while they're in the more demanding part of the IB course - year two.

EDIT: I see you're doing Japanese HL. Is this Japanese B HL? What is your background in Japanese? I warn you just in case, because I only do SL and it is incredibly difficult - and it's not like I'm poor at the language. Languages have ridiculously high grade boundaries. I took Japanese GCSE, did it a year early and got an easy A*. I find SL challenging - I'm on a 5 hoping for a 6. So just a word of warning!

Edited by TykeDragon
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You should really relax over summer. I don't think I've ever worked during any break from school or university. There's a reason it's called a 'break' after all. If you concentrate in school and work hard when you're supposed to, you will have nothing to catch up to. Besides, the IB is pretty manageable if you have subjects you really enjoy. It doesn't feel like work then and you fly through it.

I did very well in the IB personally and am doing well at uni, I never would dream of working over a break, especially summer break. ENJOY! SLEEP! EAT JUNK FOOD! You will still become a doctor, no worries!

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