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Hi, all. With September drawing near, I am scrambling to mentally prepare myself as much as possible for the full diploma program. Truth be told, I am not accustomed to constantly revising my subjects throughout the school year. For some time, I've studied passively rather than actively. I let upcoming tests and exams dictate when I would study.  It's a nasty habit and I am aware that this will have to change since I am going into the IB program. I was wondering if any of you have developed daily study schedules that work for you? If so, would you be willing to share?

Additionally, I would appreciate some advice as to how to approach my courses in terms of studying. 

My subjects are as follows: 

English Literature HL 

Biology HL

Chemistry HL 

Psychology HL 

German Ab Initio SL

Math SL 

 

Thank you. :)

Edited by imperialbee
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Guest TheMagical7

Do n o t d o 4 H L u n l e s s your life depends on it. You may find that your life depends on dropping one of those HLs :P

Easiest thing to do is get the e-textbooks for all your subjects and just read through them whenever you have time. You will obviously want to find practice test papers and worksheets, perhaps from your school, when you finish reading a chapter. search up "150 ib massive textbooks database reddit". Go through the templar knights URL.

Math SL is ridiculously straightforward to prepare for I believe, just go through the Haese textbook/

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@TheMagical7  Haha, I'm just a bit over the top with my courses. :rolleyes: Most people say that 4HLs is feasible, but not recommended. To be honest, I wanted to do 3HLs but my English teacher urged me to do English Lit HL and I caved. I really like English and I have an aptitude for it. If I can't handle it, I'm planning to drop it to SL. Additionally, I chose 4HLs so I had a 'greater chance' at meeting the 776 requirement at Oxford and Cambridge and now I'm not sure I even want to study there anymore. :huh:

Thank you for your counsel :)

 

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Adding on to what @TheMagical7 said, I really think you should drop one of those HL's, especially if you're unsure about Oxford and Cambridge. If you're certain you're applying for Ivy League, then I think the workload will be worth being able to apply. However, all of your HL courses require a substantial amount of work, and I really don't think you should put that much pressure on yourself if you're not even entirely sure that it will be worth it. Once you sign up for those exams, it's done. I also advise dropping chem or psych HL to SL instead of English, since the class will eventually help with your EE in some way.

But, really, it's all up to you :) I'm not exactly sure if the school system in Canada affects the IB program there, so what I'm saying might only make sense for me living in America. Honestly, if you're up to it, the sky's the limit. Just don't put more work on yourself than you need to... That's IB's job (LOL).

 

Also, sorry I can't really give much studying advice, I'm in the same year as you, so I've also just jumped into the IB program straight outta Pre-IB (that IH whatever)

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In my opinion, if you have an aptitude for Lit HL it's not really more work than SL, though I'm sure this varies school to school. In my case all I have to do is concentrate on annotations in class, get my assignment drafts done early, and make summaries of feedback on my exams, but I've always done well in English without putting much effort in. Probably for IOC it's a bit harder as there is more content to analyse but I still know a lot of people who hardly studied until the end and got 24-26/30. Of course if you have had to work for the grades you've achieved in English so far, this might not be the case so you should just see how the beginning of IB treats you :)

In terms of general study advice, there are a few things I thought of that might help you. Firstly, one of my good friends did middle school in Canada and found that the content taught did NOT prepare her for IB, so she eventually had to drop to Maths Studies. If you want to stay in SL I would be prioritising Maths, particularly in trying to make sure you've covered all the prior learning topics covered in the syllabus.

Secondly, I have tried so many different methods of studying and found that the best way to do it is just to have one 'focus' subject per day - for example my schedule is

Monday - Chem
Tuesday - Maths
Wednesday - Lit
Thursday - Econ
Friday - EE
Saturday - Physics
Sunday - TOK/French

That's not to say I don't do other subject's work on these days, but I find that having a focus helps me keep things balanced and that none of my subjects get too far behind. I study every day, with no holidays or breaks, though some days I don't do much at all. This might seem intense but it's really not as I often don't study for more than half an hour or so, but I find that staying in the habit is very important.

The main area where I feel like IB students slack off is that they don't recognise the value of actually paying attention in class. Just because all the notes are online doesn't mean your teacher doesn't have something to add - and at the very least it should be obvious that since you spend most of your day in class, you should be doing something while you're there!

The best way to make the most of this time is to make your notes before class, and according to the syllabus points as closely as you can. I use Onenote to do this - I make a section for each part of the syllabus and then a page for each subtopic. This varies between subjects how I organise it, but for all of my subjects I use Onenote's tagging system to organise and highlight my notes as I go. These tags include: things to research further, questions I need to ask my teacher, key definitions/graphs/equations, common mistakes in the exam, notes on common questions on a topic that comes out in the exam, and finally a red-yellow-green method for traffic lighting each syllabus point so I know what I need to work on. Then, in the week before my exams, I just click 'find tags' and everything is collated for me in a summary page. If you don't use onenote I don't know how you could recreate this except by hand, but let me tell you this method is INCREDIBLY helpful.

Once you've made your preliminary notes (and you should do some research on what resources are the best for each subject - don't rely on your teacher for this), then you can go through and work out what you need to understand in class and what questions you need to ask your teacher. Teachers are here to help you, so make the most of it! And add whatever new understandings you have to your original notes. If you do this throughout the term, and complete whatever homework and practice questions are set for you, then by the time you get to exams you should be ready to just throw yourself into practice questions (questionbank is good for this) while referring to the notes you've made. Mark all of them, and make a list of 'silly mistakes' and things you need to remember to look over immediately before the exam. When you get your marked exams back, make sure you really go through them and understand where you are making mistakes, and if you have a holiday immediately after then this is a great opportunity to revise those topics.

Believe in your ability, stay committed and you will achieve a lot!

If you have any more questions feel free to PM :)

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1 hour ago, George said:

In my opinion, if you have an aptitude for Lit HL it's not really more work than SL, though I'm sure this varies school to school. In my case all I have to do is concentrate on annotations in class, get my assignment drafts done early, and make summaries of feedback on my exams, but I've always done well in English without putting much effort in. Probably for IOC it's a bit harder as there is more content to analyse but I still know a lot of people who hardly studied until the end and got 24-26/30. Of course if you have had to work for the grades you've achieved in English so far, this might not be the case so you should just see how the beginning of IB treats you

In terms of general study advice, there are a few things I thought of that might help you. Firstly, one of my good friends did middle school in Canada and found that the content taught did NOT prepare her for IB, so she eventually had to drop to Maths Studies. If you want to stay in SL I would be prioritising Maths, particularly in trying to make sure you've covered all the prior learning topics covered in the syllabus.

Secondly, I have tried so many different methods of studying and found that the best way to do it is just to have one 'focus' subject per day - for example my schedule is

Monday - Chem
Tuesday - Maths
Wednesday - Lit
Thursday - Econ
Friday - EE
Saturday - Physics
Sunday - TOK/French

That's not to say I don't do other subject's work on these days, but I find that having a focus helps me keep things balanced and that none of my subjects get too far behind. I study every day, with no holidays or breaks, though some days I don't do much at all. This might seem intense but it's really not as I often don't study for more than half an hour or so, but I find that staying in the habit is very important.

The main area where I feel like IB students slack off is that they don't recognise the value of actually paying attention in class. Just because all the notes are online doesn't mean your teacher doesn't have something to add - and at the very least it should be obvious that since you spend most of your day in class, you should be doing something while you're there!

The best way to make the most of this time is to make your notes before class, and according to the syllabus points as closely as you can. I use Onenote to do this - I make a section for each part of the syllabus and then a page for each subtopic. This varies between subjects how I organise it, but for all of my subjects I use Onenote's tagging system to organise and highlight my notes as I go. These tags include: things to research further, questions I need to ask my teacher, key definitions/graphs/equations, common mistakes in the exam, notes on common questions on a topic that comes out in the exam, and finally a red-yellow-green method for traffic lighting each syllabus point so I know what I need to work on. Then, in the week before my exams, I just click 'find tags' and everything is collated for me in a summary page. If you don't use onenote I don't know how you could recreate this except by hand, but let me tell you this method is INCREDIBLY helpful.

Once you've made your preliminary notes (and you should do some research on what resources are the best for each subject - don't rely on your teacher for this), then you can go through and work out what you need to understand in class and what questions you need to ask your teacher. Teachers are here to help you, so make the most of it! And add whatever new understandings you have to your original notes. If you do this throughout the term, and complete whatever homework and practice questions are set for you, then by the time you get to exams you should be ready to just throw yourself into practice questions (questionbank is good for this) while referring to the notes you've made. Mark all of them, and make a list of 'silly mistakes' and things you need to remember to look over immediately before the exam. When you get your marked exams back, make sure you really go through them and understand where you are making mistakes, and if you have a holiday immediately after then this is a great opportunity to revise those topics.

Believe in your ability, stay committed and you will achieve a lot!

If you have any more questions feel free to PM

Okay, first of all, I would just like to thank you for responding with this post. Honestly, this is probably one of the most positive responses  I've received in regards to this topic. Many people have questioned why I decided to choose 4HLs and have even advised me not to when it was my decision to take these subjects at HL.  

I do agree wth you that there is not much difference between English Lit HL and SL and the same thing can be said for Psychology. I just chose English Lit at HL because English has been a relatively easy subject for me in past years and I would like to challenge myself (my Pre-IB English teacher even advised me to). I also chose Psychology so that I could learn as much as I could about the topic (I believe Psychology HL includes human relationships and abnormal psychology - which are subject areas that interest me). 

I'm in my first week of the diploma program and this weekend I'm planning on creating a study plan for myself. I never thought of studying one subject per day. I have some questions about that that I will ask later. I'm not particularly OneNote savvy, but I'm willing to learn. It seems to be fairly popular among IBDP students and I really like your method. 

Thank you so much for your input.  It was a real confidence booster and it motivates me to want to be better.

One question - If you study one subject a day, do you review what you learned on one day the next day? 

Scientists say that you retain more information if your studying is spanned out over many days. 

So, my concern is that if I spend one day in the week studying one subject and I never revisit what I learned in the subject later in the week, I will forget. 

Another question - do you rotate between subjects? For example, you said that each day in a week is designated to one subject. Do you switch things up like this: 

Week 1: 

monday: chemistry 

tuesday: math

wednesday: Lit 

thursday: Econ 

etc. 

And Week 2 looks like this:

Monday: Math

Tuesday: Lit 

Wednesday: Econ 

etc. 

Then Chemistry would be on Sunday instead of Monday. 

 

Once again, thank you! 

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34 minutes ago, imperialbee said:

One question - If you study one subject a day, do you review what you learned on one day the next day? 

Another question - do you rotate between subjects?

Hi there,

I'm really glad I could help you, I've made so many mistakes with studying since starting IB and I'd like to help others not make the same ones!

Anyway, the answer to both your questions is no, but that's only my personal preference based on a couple of things.

Firstly, I have a class for my HL subjects 4 days out of 5 in the week. I have put my study days for each of these subjects on the day that I don't have that class during the week, and as I said earlier I really try to get all my notes/prereading done well before it is taught in class. I have been known to get an entire term's worth of notes done on the holidays, though that hasn't happened in a while >.< The upshot of this is that by the time I really try to concentrate and engage in class, and I am well ahead in terms of understanding, I am pretty much revising these subjects 5/7 days a week. For SLs it's a similar situation, although only 4 times a week as I have lessons 3 times a week. While scientifically repetitive practice is probably better, I find that this is the best way for me to still be interested and not burn out, as I have pretty bad anxiety and can get completely overwhelmed with a study schedule with 3-4 subjects per day (especially if I 'miss' a time slot - because I have a demanding family life and get exhausted if I'm not in bed by 9.30 so it's hard to make up for it). Even so I know a lot of people do this and it works for them, so maybe give it a try. I'll just give you an example of my studying to do lists for a typical day (this was yesterday's):

Thursday (Econ):

- Notes on 3.1 Free trade and protectionism

- Print and annotate article for International Trade IA

- Outline and graphs for IA

- Practice questions for 2.2 AD and AS (we're up to 2.2 in class but i'm already up to 3.1 in notes lol)

- Update physics IA method and materials 

- Standardisation calculations for Chem IA

- Email EE supervisor about change of topic.

 

So I mean as you can see, I do work for other subjects as well but generally more admin stuff/the kind of thing that doesn't require me to learn anything new. I do the main 'focus' first while my brain is still functioning, and move onto easier stuff later in the day. However, as I get closer to final exams I will probably start incorporating daily quizlets for some of my subjects like Chem and French, but at the moment I can cram a term's definitions before the exam with no trouble, so it's not at the top of my priority list. Hope that clarifies things a bit! You should definitely do what works for you as I know I have a pretty unique method specific to my own needs.

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