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Math and Physics urgent help.

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Well hi there,

It is nice to see that most of you have got the high scores and required grades and your desired colleges. :) But back in my school, it is not at all happy environment like this one :( Back there the highest aggregate is 30 ! Could any one of you believe that? And 2 out of 5 didn't get diploma due to poor math grades. And I don't blame them at all because most of the teachers are not at all upto the required standards. Except eng, eco and bnm the rest of the teachers are truly disappointing ones. Since our school was established the highest IB score I believe is 34.

Well me and my fellow classmate was totally freaked out and he told that he will aim for IIT ( previously he was aiming for MIT and Princeton but looking at the present results of seniors are truly demoralizing. The only clue I got from my senior is that we are not studying good math and Physics course books. My Math SL is by Fabio Cirrito and Physics by Tsokos. I have decided to follow another study method and not of schools. Will you tell me which is good math and physics book? And also your study time tables?

I don't want to end up in getting seniors marks and my this strategy had worked wonders by ignoring schools study pattern ( from 60 % during the beginning of 10th grade to 90% at my board exams. I think I will have to repeat this same thing once again.)

Thanks!

Edited by akash jishnu

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For physics, Tsokos seems to be the standard, and I found it to be a good textbook.

One of my neighboring IB school uses Cirrito for Math SL and it is not a bad one. Our school used the Smedley Wiseman book for Math SL, and it focuses more on the questions and applications of math rather than the fundamentals like Cirrito.

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Learn the content from textbooks and test your knowledge against past exam papers. All you need is an IB textbook and a copy of the internet to do well, seriously.

The biggest mistake many make is not getting intimate with the style of IB questions and what they expect of you. You can finish the textbook 20+ times over and it wouldn't produce the same results as attempting 20 past papers and going over your mistakes rigorously to make sure they are not repeated.

In short, learn concepts from textbook and test your knowledge with exam papers easily accessible from the internet.

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Yeah, the textbook doesn't really matter as compared to the past papers you do. I'd advise you to start doing a few past papers every week so you become comfortable with the type of questions asked. You can always go over whatever topics you're not clear on from the textbook, but the past papers is what really counts.

Before my Maths HL exam, I did Paper 1 and Paper 2 everyday for three weeks. Then I used the last week of my study leave to tackle the Options paper. (since you wanted to know the study pattern XD)

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Yes, I agree with everything that has been said already. For physics, Tsokos is okay at explaining the material that it actually covers; however, you'll find inexcusable gaps in content that pop up all the time in the exams, and often-times the definitions are not the ones that IB are looking for.

In addition to foraging for past examination papers, it would also help to take a look at the detailed syllabus content from IB for both classes. You can find the one for Mathematics SL here (page 17), and I'm attaching the Physics one (page 49) to this post. If you treat the syllabus content as a sort of checklist and are able to do all the things that it says, then you'll be very well equipped to perform well on the examinations.

I have tried a few different IB Physics texts, and I honestly don't like a single one of them. Tsokos is good except for those random gaps in the material that I mentioned. It would help to go through past papers whilst keeping a copy of your Tsokos handy, so that you can find any places where there are discrepancies between the text and the exam papers. But I would say, the most important thing is to go through the syllabus, find example questions of each item from past papers, and make sure you can do what they are asking you to do.

Hope this helps.

Good luck!

2009_IB_Physics_Study_Guide.pdf

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I would agree that none of the IB Physics texts does a perfect job - all of them have their own gaps and idiosyncratic exclusions. Going through the syllabus really is the best way - and using past paper questions to examine all the types of questions they can ask. But don't go through IB past paper questions too early - because then, like foolish me, you will have ostensibly looked at all of the 3rd edition questionbank questions for physics and thus when you practice past paper questions nothing will be genuinely 'unknown' as in a real timed exam.

In terms of maths, practice is key. And IB past paper questions as well. Maths SL shouldn't be impossible to do well in though - it is pretty much knowing your concepts and simply applying them.

In terms of study timetabling, I'm probably not the best person to consult. Currently procrastinating now on doing productive work. :)

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In my school most people are aiming to just pass and would be more than happy with 30 I should say. In my economics, maths, chemistry and biology class, with the exception of me, the whole class failed (got 2s & 3s) and I think the highest ever for my school is 41. Also my teachers aren't really the best either English and chemistry are good but I still prefer to learn everything by myself at home- textbooks, Internet and ib survival, I don't think u need anything more to work hard. Don't let intellectually challenged people affect ur mindset. The fact that so many people in the world do well should give u the confidence that it's possible to be up there. I don't do physics but I think the key to success is to just study smart- use the syllabus and only to what's required & do questions every single day. Keep up to date on everything! The only reason IB has a benchmark of 45 is so people can achieve it.

Btw where in india do u live? I was under the impression that Indian students are quite smart and extremely serious about their studies (courtesy my parents who grew up there)...

Cheers

Simran

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Physics is a science that heavily relies on a few core concepts, and pretty much all questions stem out of these concepts. Therefore, if your theory and understanding of the fundamentals is strong then you really should not be having any troubles with answering IB style questions.

I'd really recommend viewing the BrightStorm Physics channel on YouTube. Although it isn't strictly "IB", the channel provides tutorials from pretty much basic kinetics to the more complex topics such as electromagnetism and nuclear physics. I hope you find this channel helpful - I use it all the time, this guy finds the most ingenious ways to explain concepts, often in a creative and engaging manner :)

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I used the same textbooks as you (Tsokos for physics and Fabio Cirrito for maths) and found them VERY helpful.

My math and physics teachers were terrible as well (my physics teacher spent my entire IB year 1 doting on mechanics and kinematics, while ignoring everything else... guess what a cram year 2 was) but following the textbook and doing past papers were key in getting 7's

MAKE SURE that the textbooks are printed in the latest editions. very important

tips:
math - only do problems in the textbook that are difficult. waste of time doing problems that you already know.

- past papers

- get really familiar with your graphing calculator

physics - rewrite chapter notes in your own words (worked for me)

- past papers

- make sure you understand the concepts before doing problems

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I used the same textbooks as you (Tsokos for physics and Fabio Cirrito for maths) and found them VERY helpful.

My math and physics teachers were terrible as well (my physics teacher spent my entire IB year 1 doting on mechanics and kinematics, while ignoring everything else... guess what a cram year 2 was) but following the textbook and doing past papers were key in getting 7's

MAKE SURE that the textbooks are printed in the latest editions. very important

tips:

math - only do problems in the textbook that are difficult. waste of time doing problems that you already know.

- past papers

- get really familiar with your graphing calculator

physics - rewrite chapter notes in your own words (worked for me)

- past papers

- make sure you understand the concepts before doing problems

Agree with everything except the bit about not doing "known" problems in math. I found it extremely useful to do every question in the IBID book. Right from question 1a to question 28f. This develops your... "reflex action" at doing the easy part of certain questions, and you also often improve your speed. Especially true if you're trying to study on your own. Get your walking perfect first, then try to run :)

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I used the same textbooks as you (Tsokos for physics and Fabio Cirrito for maths) and found them VERY helpful.

My math and physics teachers were terrible as well (my physics teacher spent my entire IB year 1 doting on mechanics and kinematics, while ignoring everything else... guess what a cram year 2 was) but following the textbook and doing past papers were key in getting 7's

MAKE SURE that the textbooks are printed in the latest editions. very important

tips:

math - only do problems in the textbook that are difficult. waste of time doing problems that you already know.

- past papers

- get really familiar with your graphing calculator

physics - rewrite chapter notes in your own words (worked for me)

- past papers

- make sure you understand the concepts before doing problems

Agree with everything except the bit about not doing "known" problems in math. I found it extremely useful to do every question in the IBID book. Right from question 1a to question 28f. This develops your... "reflex action" at doing the easy part of certain questions, and you also often improve your speed. Especially true if you're trying to study on your own. Get your walking perfect first, then try to run :)

Fully agree. I was one of the students who only hunted for the harder questions, and sometimes I find myself stuck on the easier questions of a unit test. I would suggest doing all the questions, as they are not a waste of time. But if you're really good at math, you might pass with a 7 if you follow KAYL's way. The bottom line here is that you shouldn't only do the easy questions or only do the hard questions, but both.

For physics, it's pretty much about practice and a good grasp on the concepts. A lot of people tend to only leaf through their notes and not do any questions for the sciences and I find this to be a key to mediocre grades. I would strongly suggest you to get your hands on a copy of IB Question bank and start solving some problems.

Edited by by.andrew
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Thanks to all Maths I had improved tremendously ( 25 out of 30, I still can't believe it, though I don't which grade it is) and I have progression test of Physics on Mon. I hope every thing goes good, but thanks for all your advice.

Depending on how hard the test was, it is either a 6+ or a 7- (by taking in account the 2013 TZ2 boundary for Math SL, it would have been a high 6).

Well done, and fingers crossed for Physics!

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Physics is a science that heavily relies on a few core concepts, and pretty much all questions stem out of these concepts. Therefore, if your theory and understanding of the fundamentals is strong then you really should not be having any troubles with answering IB style questions.

I'd really recommend viewing the BrightStorm Physics channel on YouTube. Although it isn't strictly "IB", the channel provides tutorials from pretty much basic kinetics to the more complex topics such as electromagnetism and nuclear physics. I hope you find this channel helpful - I use it all the time, this guy finds the most ingenious ways to explain concepts, often in a creative and engaging manner :)

i would beg to differ there good sir

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I use two physics books to study, both are second edition by Tom Kirk, the key difference being that one is just a study guide and the other is a full on text book. I find it extremely good having these two books because they are both specifically for the IB diploma and give you EXACTLY what you need to know. The only problem is that you only get what is required for IB HL so if you want to go on or explore topics a little more than what is required, they may not be what you want. Saying that they seem to be exactly what you would need right now. If you cant afford both I suggest getting the study guide because it is cheaper, but it will tell you exactly what you need to know so you can go to your other textbook for more explanation on that.

I have a similar problem for Maths SL, but I think that the key thing to do is simply sit down with your book and evaluate the concepts that you actually need to know. Once you go through it you will realise that it is not actually that much.

Also - get the formula sheet ASAP!! I can not stress how much they help you and they put into perspective how much you actually need to know and how much the formula sheet gives you, ie you can easily fake two point definitions for things like impulse when you read the formula.

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Well hi there,

It is nice to see that most of you have got the high scores and required grades and your desired colleges. :) But back in my school, it is not at all happy environment like this one :( Back there the highest aggregate is 30 ! Could any one of you believe that? And 2 out of 5 didn't get diploma due to poor math grades. And I don't blame them at all because most of the teachers are not at all upto the required standards. Except eng, eco and bnm the rest of the teachers are truly disappointing ones. Since our school was established the highest IB score I believe is 34.

Well me and my fellow classmate was totally freaked out and he told that he will aim for IIT ( previously he was aiming for MIT and Princeton but looking at the present results of seniors are truly demoralizing. The only clue I got from my senior is that we are not studying good math and Physics course books. My Math SL is by Fabio Cirrito and Physics by Tsokos. I have decided to follow another study method and not of schools. Will you tell me which is good math and physics book? And also your study time tables?

I don't want to end up in getting seniors marks and my this strategy had worked wonders by ignoring schools study pattern ( from 60 % during the beginning of 10th grade to 90% at my board exams. I think I will have to repeat this same thing once again.)

Thanks!

Akash, we've had students from schools like yours over the years who've been able to get 40+ by really being determined and dedicated. Even if your teachers won't help you, there is enough material and guidance on this site to get you through it and get you the grades you need.

We've putting up a testimonials page that will have a few of these students quoted and an explanation of their journey.

I don't know any good textbooks but there are some online maths blogs that I used last year that are excellent, the one I always link to is this:

http://www.mathcentre.ac.uk/

Goodluck!

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