Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

New to IB and freaking out already!

Recommended Posts

I just started IB this year (Australia, so my exams are November) and I'm really enjoying it so far - I love doing the CAS and TOK stuff, and I put time aside especially for it. My classes seem okay, people have told me I'm doing difficult subjects (Modern History, and Psychology for Humanities) and even though I'm passing my internal assessment, I'm getting really worried as to whether I'm doing good enough to manage to pass. My language (Japanese) is no trouble, I'm sitting on 89 - but my other subjects I'm only getting around 60, or a C. I'm finding some aspects really difficult in all of my subjects, but in other places, I'm doing really well, so I'm freaking out because I don't want to get to the end of Year 12 and fail my November exams depending on the content.

I'm really keen to finish it, its something I've set out to do for 2 years now and I've begged my parents to let me do it - I'm really working hard, and I'm just getting disappointing results. I've been told over and over that if you don't excel within your classes that you won't be able to pass, and its eating at me, particularly the last few weeks. Does anyone have any advice or opinions? :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Let me start out by saying welcome! IB is a phenomoinal program and i love being a part of it. The only advice I can give is to stay on top of your papers and such. DO NOT wait until the last minute to do anything! If you do that, you'll be absolutely fine!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have you spoken to all your teachers about what it is which is letting you down? I know that for subjects such as history, a great deal of it is to do with essay-writing technique, for instance, and that's definitely something you could get help with. Similarly if you have difficulty comprehending certain theories or concepts within subjects, you should seek out some extra help from your teacher and perhaps get them to re-explain it to you again. Everything you struggle with you should put in the extra time to practice and get yourself up to scratch until you're confident you're on top of it.

Only you are going to know where the holes in your knowledge are to be able to patch them up, and from my experience, it's about seeking the help out yourself :P You're in no way in a failing position. It's just about brushing up and making sure nothing is left out, which on the whole is more or less up to you!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Let me start out by saying welcome!!!!!!! IB is a phenomoinal program and i love being a part of it. The only advice I can give is to stay on top of your papers and such. DO NOT wait until the last minute to do anything!!!!!! If you do that, you'll be absolutely fine!!!!!!!!

Thanks so much :] Me too! I'm really enjoying it so far. I think it's so awesome. Stressful of course, but still great :P

I've learnt definitely from leaving things too late, so have alot of people in my year XD

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have you spoken to all your teachers about what it is which is letting you down? I know that for subjects such as history, a great deal of it is to do with essay-writing technique, for instance, and that's definitely something you could get help with. Similarly if you have difficulty comprehending certain theories or concepts within subjects, you should seek out some extra help from your teacher and perhaps get them to re-explain it to you again. Everything you struggle with you should put in the extra time to practice and get yourself up to scratch until you're confident you're on top of it.

Only you are going to know where the holes in your knowledge are to be able to patch them up, and from my experience, it's about seeking the help out yourself :P You're in no way in a failing position. It's just about brushing up and making sure nothing is left out, which on the whole is more or less up to you!

History is definitely my let-down - the essays in particular. I have no issue with remembering dates and all that stuff, it's just the essay part. Alot of my teachers have pointed out that my essay writing isn't as structured as it needs to be, and I've spoken to my history teachers about tutorials, and I'm getting a tutor quite soon that's hopefully gonna help. I know it sounds pretty pathetic, but sometimes it sucks asking questions directly to my current teachers, because expectations are high as and they make me feel like an idiot because I'm not at the same level that they expect. I'm definitely going to be asking more questions, despite my dignity being pushed down into the dirt whenever I don't understand something simple XD

Thanks so much :P I think I'm just going to really put in the hard yards with it. But it's good to know that I'm not at the point of failing; that was my major concern. Thanks again!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Aww that sounds tough. =/

But I do have one thing to say. You don't have to excel in school to pass the IB exams! That's a little silly. I don't know if 60s will cut it though, but they might. The thing about grades is that they're so subjective. A 60 at your school might be like a 70 at mine for one class and a 50 at my school for another class.

If you want to do IB, don't quit. IF you're starting to be nonchalant about it, well, there's no point in continuing in that case. However, I think you're passionate about doing well enough. =)

You're probably doing some of these things, but here's how I think anyone can improve...

1. Take good notes in class, and ask lots of questions when they emerge. If you think your teacher is going to think less of you for asking a question, well screw him or her. The teacher's being paid to teach, and you've paid the fees to learn! IF you still feel uncomfortable, go to the teacher before or after class and ask.

2. When memorization is required, you don't have to do it the hard way. We all come up with acronyms to remember the material for mainly biology and history. Ask your friends how they remember certain things you have trouble with.

3a. The less you procrastinate, the better, usually.

3b. Whenever you get assignments or tests back, look over them. Ask the teacher why you missed what you did if you don't understand. Don't be shy!

4. Practice! This isn't just limited to maths. My teacher insists that writing is not an art. It's a craft--it can be learned. I have trouble writing timed essays. I went and set up a date with my history teacher where he gave me a prompt and an allotted time to do the essay. He told me when I had 30, 15, and 5 minutes left. I think it helped a lot.

5. I can't think of anymore at the moment. If I do, I'll edit them in :P

So once again, I don't think you should have to quit if you don't want to. Even if you get a three in one exam, you can possibly make it up in another area. However, it won't be a walk in the park. Don't get discouraged. Try harder if possible. Talk to your teachers to see if they can help you understand the material better. Talk to your friends to ask how they study and do assignments.

Best of luck!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Aww that sounds tough. =/

But I do have one thing to say. You don't have to excel in school to pass the IB exams! That's a little silly. I don't know if 60s will cut it though, but they might. The thing about grades is that they're so subjective. A 60 at your school might be like a 70 at mine for one class and a 50 at my school for another class.

If you want to do IB, don't quit. IF you're starting to be nonchalant about it, well, there's no point in continuing in that case. However, I think you're passionate about doing well enough. =)

You're probably doing some of these things, but here's how I think anyone can improve...

1. Take good notes in class, and ask lots of questions when they emerge. If you think your teacher is going to think less of you for asking a question, well screw him or her. The teacher's being paid to teach, and you've paid the fees to learn! IF you still feel uncomfortable, go to the teacher before or after class and ask.

2. When memorization is required, you don't have to do it the hard way. We all come up with acronyms to remember the material for mainly biology and history. Ask your friends how they remember certain things you have trouble with.

3a. The less you procrastinate, the better, usually.

3b. Whenever you get assignments or tests back, look over them. Ask the teacher why you missed what you did if you don't understand. Don't be shy!

4. Practice! This isn't just limited to maths. My teacher insists that writing is not an art. It's a craft--it can be learned. I have trouble writing timed essays. I went and set up a date with my history teacher where he gave me a prompt and an allotted time to do the essay. He told me when I had 30, 15, and 5 minutes left. I think it helped a lot.

5. I can't think of anymore at the moment. If I do, I'll edit them in :P

So once again, I don't think you should have to quit if you don't want to. Even if you get a three in one exam, you can possibly make it up in another area. However, it won't be a walk in the park. Don't get discouraged. Try harder if possible. Talk to your teachers to see if they can help you understand the material better. Talk to your friends to ask how they study and do assignments.

Best of luck!

XD Thanks very much. I really, really want to do it; I've been waiting for 2 years to start it, and I'm more than committed to hard work and putting in effort in all my subjects. I get anxious when I get my results back, and some of the other IB kids that are getting 90's tell me to drop it and save myself the time and effort, which doesn't help - but to some extent, I believe them! It's really disheartening to get results like that when I put in the effort.

About the scoring in the exams, I've been trying to make an appointment with my Coordinator, but she's off on leave, so I was wondering: is it that you have to get a 4 in each class specifically, or can you get say a 7 in one subject and get a 3 in another? I'm really unsure about it. People have told me different things (students, I mean) so I'm kind of confused :P

After reading your response, I'll definitely be asking more questions. Truthfully, I always feel nervous when approaching my teachers, but I think that I don't have much choice at the moment. I'll definitely take your advice and see how things go. I'm gonna keep working at it until I drop dead - I worked far too hard to be able to get into the school that offers IB in the first place, I'm not gonna waste it! :)

Thanks very much!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know it sounds pretty pathetic, but sometimes it sucks asking questions directly to my current teachers, because expectations are high as and they make me feel like an idiot because I'm not at the same level that they expect. I'm definitely going to be asking more questions, despite my dignity being pushed down into the dirt whenever I don't understand something simple.

Awr, honestly, your grades matter way more than what your teachers think of you - and what your teachers think of you is often actually a good thing! I remember I used to ask so many questions and get so confused in maths lessons, the teacher ended up using my name as a default whenever anybody asked a question, and EVERY single answer for two years was directed at me even if I hadn't asked for it(!!). My chemistry teacher at one point actually informed me she felt "sorry for me" (!). Although this may have made me look completely and utterly stupid, it's less stupid, in my opinion, than not admitting to your own difficulties and problems. At the end of the two years, when we got our school references forwarded onto us, I had a stunning one off that Maths teacher commending me for my persistence, effort and ability to work at things :P Came out well in the end! Also, you'd be surprised how many people don't understand things and just take it lying down, or THINK they understand when actually they don't have a complete picture of what's going on. Honestly, you should count yourself lucky enough to be able to spot your own mistakes and problems, and be able to face up to them long before it actually gets to a point of no return. Just make sure you deliver on it, even if you think it makes you look dense. At least at the end it'll prove you're not!

In the teacher-student relationship, dignity has nothing to do with the "quest for knowledge" ;P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know how you grading system works, so I can't say whether 60 is enough, but you definitely seem to have self motivation and that's the key.

I think that everyone can do IB, it's just about being motivated and choosing the right subjects. I think you ought to talk to your teachers in the difficult subjects and ask if there's anything in particular you can do better.

And remember, you only need 24 to get the diploma!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

:) Thanks very much. I really, really want to do it; I've been waiting for 2 years to start it, and I'm more than committed to hard work and putting in effort in all my subjects. I get anxious when I get my results back, and some of the other IB kids that are getting 90's tell me to drop it and save myself the time and effort, which doesn't help - but to some extent, I believe them! It's really disheartening to get results like that when I put in the effort.

About the scoring in the exams, I've been trying to make an appointment with my Coordinator, but she's off on leave, so I was wondering: is it that you have to get a 4 in each class specifically, or can you get say a 7 in one subject and get a 3 in another? I'm really unsure about it. People have told me different things (students, I mean) so I'm kind of confused XD

After reading your response, I'll definitely be asking more questions. Truthfully, I always feel nervous when approaching my teachers, but I think that I don't have much choice at the moment. I'll definitely take your advice and see how things go. I'm gonna keep working at it until I drop dead - I worked far too hard to be able to get into the school that offers IB in the first place, I'm not gonna waste it! :P

Thanks very much!

I'm not sure about the exact specifics, but if you get a 3, you should be okay as long as you have a 5 or a 6 in at least one other subject. [Plus the normal requirements]. If you get a 2, I think you can pass if you get a 7 on at least one exam. I'm not sure of the specifics either, but I have a friend almost in the same position as you. She is the most dedicated, hard-working person I know, yet her grades don't reflect her effort. But her real friends don't think any less of her. She got a 3 on one exam, but she just told me that she'll work extra hard on the other exams to balance it out. She's an amazing person, and anyone can vouch for that. Just keep your head up =)

As for questions, I completely agree with Sandwich! I'm the almost obnoxious one in my class who will ask for clarification constantly. Especially in the sciences. I know that some teachers get annoyed when they think that the student is just wasting time by asking questions, but they eventually realise the student is earnest in his questions. So if you keep it up, I believe you'll develop a closer relationship with your mentors. Plus, asking questions means you're being engaged and learning through that mode [as long as you listen!]. If you ask something and the teacher just can't seem to explain it in a way that you understand, it's probably better to ask for help outside of class. That shows you appreciate the teacher's and your peers' instruction time. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

IB Passing conditions (click). It sums up to, from my memory:

- Get total of 24 points

- Get total of 12 points at HL (16 if doing 4 HLs)

- Get no grade 1 in HL subjects

- Get no more than one grade 3 in HL subjects

That's about the gist of it. There's a few more conditions for SL. So you can get a 3 in HL and still pass, granted your total HL score adds up to 12 points.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First of all, welcome to IB! Going through it may be tough but in the end, as a recent graduate, I felt it was worth every bit of effort I put in.

Going to your teachers and asking is definitely a wise choice- you can't worry about saving face when your grades are at stake. Each teacher has his or her own grading style, especially on essays. If you can tailor each essay to how your teachers like it, it will definitely help your grade.

Second, try searching the web for tips on studying. Not all studying methods are created equal, and sometimes the habits that work for your friends may not work for you. It's not only about how much you study- HOW you study is also very important (and underrated!).

It's really great to see that you have so much passion for doing IB! If you work hard and efficiently, you will succeed in your tests.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

IB Passing conditions (click). It sums up to, from my memory:

- Get total of 24 points

- Get total of 12 points at HL (16 if doing 4 HLs)

- Get no grade 1 in HL subjects

- Get no more than one grade 3 in HL subjects

That's about the gist of it. There's a few more conditions for SL. So you can get a 3 in HL and still pass, granted your total HL score adds up to 12 points.

Thanks very much, now at least I have an idea of what I need to achieve. XD

First of all, welcome to IB! Going through it may be tough but in the end, as a recent graduate, I felt it was worth every bit of effort I put in.

Going to your teachers and asking is definitely a wise choice- you can't worry about saving face when your grades are at stake. Each teacher has his or her own grading style, especially on essays. If you can tailor each essay to how your teachers like it, it will definitely help your grade.

Second, try searching the web for tips on studying. Not all studying methods are created equal, and sometimes the habits that work for your friends may not work for you. It's not only about how much you study- HOW you study is also very important (and underrated!).

It's really great to see that you have so much passion for doing IB! If you work hard and efficiently, you will succeed in your tests.

Thanks! I've heard similar things from past graduates - I'm really excited to continue doing it.

After my standard assessment period, I'm going to talk to all of my teachers; going by your advice and alot of other's, I think it's the best choice. If I can pinpoint aspects of essays that help my grades, I can focus on them.

I'm definitely going to take your advice and try out different ways of studying. I seem to work best within a group, so I'm going to try it out then keep experimenting to see what works best.

Thanks very much for the advice - I'll try my best! :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.