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Physics before the IB?

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Hi, as I've said in other posts I'm moving from Italy to Poland this year, and I'm starting my first year in the IB.
In Italy I had three hours of Physics a week, and we sometimes would go to the lab and do some veerrry basic experiments, e.g. (parabolic) free fall of a small metal sphere, boiling point for oil and water.
Theory lessons were pretty tough, actually. I only had a 7/10 because I honestly didn't see how physics would help me if I wanted to do "Informatic Engineering" (that's the italian correspondant for Computer Science). The IB came later, and my ambition for the UK, too.
We covered a very wide range of topics I've seen in the IB Syllabi. However, we never really did much practice. My class was terrible at Physics, so my teacher thought it would be better if we sticked to multiple-choice tests, easy problems and very seldom she would also assign us open questions, (very much in the IB style, if I'm not wrong).

On 26th August I'll sit the Entry Exam: you have to pass this in order to be admitted to the IB at my school! I really really hope I won't fail.

Do you have any suggestions about what I should do meanwhile to prepare a little? And what was your knowledge in Physics before you started the IB? If any of you had the entry exam as well, how difficult was it?
Next week I'm taking my enrollment form to my soon-to-be school, and when I'm there I'll also ask for some info on the exam, obviously.
It's just that I can't sit with my arms crossed, doing nothing all day when I'm so anxious!

Edited by vals

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I had a rather strong background and consequently I cruised through year 1. Year 2 could have been better though, but still managed to get a 7 in the end. However, the very interesting thing is that some people in my class had poor to none background in the subject and still managed 6s and 7s.

In your 3 (?) years of High School in Italy you probably covered all the mechanics which is covered in the IB, which is what you will do in the first half of your first year. This should give you a considerable advantage over whoever has had little to no knowledge of Physics before, so you should be fine (and you will start Physics from scratch again, so don't worry if you are not 100% confident with your current knowledge!).

For what concerns lab work: you will have to follow very specific IB criteria, and you will learn this through practice, so don't freak out, it all comes with experience ;)
I prefer theory as well (and had a meh background), but in the end my IA grade was very high and I was pleased with it :)

Edited by Zarathustra

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Thank you Zarathustra (lol'd at your nickname!) :)
Yes, I attended three years (of a total of five years!) of what in Italy is called "liceo scientifico". The education system in Italy is rather different from the other European ones. In short, you start school at 5-6 and progressively attend five years of primary school (scuola elementare), then three years of middle school (English for scuola media primaria), and at last five years of high school (scuola media secondaria: in my case it was a liceum, but some might choose technical or professional schools), meaning you come out of the whole process at the age of 19.

I think I'll revise all the theory I've studied so far, and maybe do some problems. Do teachers give many problems to solve for homework/classwork in the IB?

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If you have covered some of the stuff before, I don't think it would be too much of a problem. A 7/10 seems to suggest you did have a decent understanding of the concepts after all, even if you consider it to be low. Can't comment on the entrance exam since I didn't have one, but that alone should be enough as a prerequisite, I personally started with a fairly shaky foundation but am coping well. That isn't to say it's an easy subject though, the HL components especially are hard and to require quite a bit practice (well, at least for me).

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I wouldn't even worry; as the other posters suggested, IB physics requires almost no prerequisite knowledge. Basic math like solving linear/quadratic equations, or computer skills (Using Word, using graphing software) would help for the IA, but I presume that you already know this xP

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