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New To IB Diploma. Struggling.

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Hey guys, I'm Jaela.

I'm from Atlanta, Georgia and last year I made the spontaneous decision to apply for IB Diploma, and actually got chosen over people who I've always felt were way smarter than I am. But anyway, I've always been an average student. In elementary school I was an average student. I was more interested in having friends than like studying but I was always able to pull-off straight A's because I was in the gifted program and our work was always pretty easy. In middle school, it was pretty much the same until my depression kicked in. Then I was failing everything and honestly didn't care. My freshman year of high school I was struggling with my anxiety and depression and ended up being in a hospital for a while because I couldn't cope. My 10th grade year was absolutely amazing. I made the honor roll with straight A's in every class, and decided to apply for IB because I needed a challenge. The only issue was my attendance record. I was missing school at least once or twice a week because I was tired or depressed. Some how, I still managed to get into IB Diploma which was really exciting.

When I started school this year I was so incredibly excited, until I actually entered my first period which is IB Physics HL. My teacher gets very distracted and doesn't exactly answer question thoroughly, so we don't really learn much. I have an A in that class because I seem to do really well on labs and test, even though I don't know much about the material. I'm really worried that I'm going to fail this exam because of this, but hopefully I wont. I plan on studying really hard.

The only class that I'm honestly struggling in is the class that was supposed to be my favorite class. IB Lang HL. I'm pretty sure my teacher hates me. He doesn't assess my work the way he does everyone else's and he's very harsh and critical when talking to me. For example, I asked him to look over a thesis statement for my oral. He responded with "It's too wordy" then proceeded to go talk to another student. One of my classmates asked about hers and he told her exactly what the issues were and how she could fix that. Language Arts has always been one of my favorite classes, especially since I'm planning on studying Journalism in the future. It's generally my strongest subject. I'm a fantastic writer and very well-spoken. My grades are honestly not reflecting that though. Without the 10 points, I have a 73 in IB Lang and I've just spent the last hour crying over it. My GPA must be dropping so low. I finished last year with a 3.9. :/ I don't really know what I can do to get my grade up before the semester ends. Does anyone have any suggestions? I really need to get my grade back up to a high A if I'm even going to have a chance at getting into one of my top 3 colleges (Yale, NYU, Colombia). Please, and thank you!

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Hi!

Is there any way you could have a conference of some sort with him and tell him that you think that he is neglecting to help you? This type of approach could confront any tensions and have them solved in a mature manner.

However, if this approach seems too awkward for you, could you go to some other language teacher, say the AP teacher, and see what he or she thinks of your work? I know that the person may not be an IB teacher, but chances are, he or she will know his or her stuff when it comes to writing great papers.

If its your writing that you are struggling with: Also, and this may not appeal to you, but I notice that when I model my writing style in papers after authors that my teachers admire, I do really well when it comes to writing. For instance, after I read "Frankenstein", which I loved, I decided that not only was Shelley's writing style fantastic, but that in combination with other factors, I could write in a similar way and eventually create my own style that my teachers love. Often English contains a lot of opinions, and when it comes to the opinions of the teacher, it will show up in their grading, so if you write in a style that he or she likes, and one that you like, then the class can become a lot smoother.

I have never been in this situation, so I am sorry if the things posted are not helpful, but I hope everything works out!

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You must have only been doing IB for one month, I pretty much underachieved in IB for my whole first year, wouldn't recommend screwing first year up as much as I did but just working very hard on revision, making sure every topic is understood (seriously, self teach and revise as far as you can. Make your own study guides, read and practice by yourself - don't rely on the teacher 100%, especially as they may not suit you, they're focusing on a whole class not you, and when you get to uni (if that's your intention) you'll certainly be better prepared for looking out for yourself proactively.)

I worked hard enough in second year on coursework and understanding to pull my subject grades up by at least one point each in my next set of mocks, that I got my predictions for, and by the end of second year I beat 5 out of my 6 subject predictions. I managed this by obsessing and dedicating my studies so I knew what I needed to learn, made sure I knew it, how I would need to apply the knowledge in exams, and practiced doing it. Dedication, organisation and enthusiasm are your must-haves. This will have you working hard, knowing what you need to know and how you show you know it, all independently.

Good luck! If I recovered from a bad year, you'll recover from a bad month ;)

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Many people go through the IB struggling at first because it seems like there is a big step between the year before and the first year of ib in terms of workload and the pressures. I'm actually in the same position as you, first year! I remember getting a 5 bio my first biology test and I think a 4 for my first hl maths test and bawled my eyes out. However, it's been getting better because marks like that don't seem that much of a big deal any more. I've learnt to get over it and study even harder for those subjects.

It is so frustrating when the teacher for your subject is essentially a poo (yes, I know, I'm lame with insults), but it really isn't your fault and I think you should stay behind after class or find him during lunch or after school to just ask 'I'm having a bit of trouble trying to understand this, could you please say it again?' Something similar, try to build a bit of a relationship because this will help you a lot in the long run.

Don't put too much pressure on yourself with your favourite subject, if you enjoy it, you are more likely to find studying it easier :) good luck!

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