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How to start studying for May IB exams?

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I am curious on how and when you should be studying for IB exams?

I take HL english, global politics and biology and SL math studies, chemistry and spanish ab initio. I'm not worried about english or global politics that much although tips for studying those subjects would be nice, my weaker subjects are bio, chem and spanish. How would you study for these subjects? Notecards? Memorizing? Rereading again and again?

Thank you!


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I won't give you too much advice on bio and chemistry since they aren't my strong suit but reading never hurts. Also reading (or watching a video) from even just a second source on the same topic is helpful.

Regarding Spanish, the best thing to do is find what you like because there are tons of ways to study a language. Obviously, it might be a little tougher at the ab initio level if you've never really seen Spanish. You could benefit from some structured study. A lot of people like Duolingo, but I'm not a fan. I really like EasySpanish (and they also make Super Easy Spanish which would be good for you as a beginner) which are just Youtube videos of natives speaking in street interviews with subtitles.

If you're using an Apple device, install the default bilingual Spanish dictionary (it's so good; I never used a bilingual dictionary for years, just unilingual, but after I tried I realized it's wonderful). You can also install the unilingual Spanish dictionary as well but when your starting you'll use the bilingual one more I imagine. If you're not using an apple device then the online dictionary I recommend is Wordreference. It's not as great as the aforementioned dictionaries, but it's pretty good and the best online one.

You'll want to study basic vocabulary and quiz yourself on it. It should be easy enough to find lists online. Lastly, don't hesitate to learn grammar. I never understand why it gets a bad rap. It will help you to communicate better than anything and give you a real advantage over your classmates.

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For bio and chem, you should probably look for rewrite your notes. You should focus on re-writing the parts where you struggle to understand/remember. Memorizing is probably fine for bio but often in chemistry you have to know the concepts/calculations so probably after rewriting few pages of notes just do some corresponding sample problems. It's really up to you if you want to do more note rewriting or problems, but you should do both. I suggest for all the calculation or concepts of knowing "how-to" (eg balancing half cell reactions or finding bond enthalpy) do at least 5 practice problems in the first run through of everything. Once you covered everything at least once you can look to focus on weak spots and do some past IB questions. 

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