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IB Study Guides vs. IB Course Companions

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All of my IB teachers have heavily recommended studying from the IB Study Guides so I am getting ready to purchase a bunch in preparation for a head-start on studying over the upcoming breaks. I realized that for some subjects there are also Course Companions. Some courses also just have Course Companions and no Study Guides.

So I just want to know: what's the difference? Is it really necessary to have one or the other?

Thanks!

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Study guides are designed to train you for the exam and Course Companions to teach you the subject. Technically. However, for some subjects you can learn everything from the study guide without ever needing to touch a course companion (Biology, for instance) whereas for others you really need either both or if you have to prioritise, the course companion (Chemistry).

The Bio study guide is amazing :D The study guides basically condense the syllabus into small boxes with just the key information (and they don't miss anything out, or over-simplify, but obviously it's not so good for concepts/calculations/explanations, which is why the Chem one doesn't cut the mustard by itself). If you know the study guide inside out, you can pass the exams with flying colours, and they're exceedingly useful for getting all the info you need into the smallest format possible.

My advice would be to tell us which ones you want to invest in and then people who've used them will be able to tell you whether it's worth having both or just one or the other. Although they're published in the same format, different subjects have different qualities about them, and the guides all have different authors, so there's some variation between them in terms of usefulness.

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I have to disagree - for chemistry too the study guide is excellent, while the course companion is pretty much a waste of money (many of the chapters are exact copies from the study guide - just bigger font). For the sciences go for the study guide. The economics course companion, on the contrary, is amazing!

Edited by master135

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The study guide basically summarizes what you need to know in quick points while the course companion is basically a textbook.

I bought the CC for econ HL because my teachers sucked (I was in the pilot year of econ at my school), so I taught myself econ from the course companion, it was quite useful. If you don't need to teach yourself the subject, get the study guide.

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I agree with Sandwich, the biology study guide is amazing! I don't know what I would have done without it. I have a hard time understanding (and remembering) hyper pedagogical explanations and the course companion for biology.. well, I hardly understand that one at all. The study guide has been my life line, I use it to:

* Read what we're supposed to do in class beforehand.

* During class if I don't really get what the teacher says.

* When revising, especially when I read through my notes and there is something I don't remember/understand.

When I asked the teacher if I could get one (we have a class worth of those but they're not used) she said 'fine, but it's not that great. The course companion is a lot better. But if you like it, sure, whatever.' :P The complete reverse of what I think..

Edited by Sparkling

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What do you think of 'IB Biology Study guide' for both HL and SL written by Andrew Allot and published by Oxford. I think it's a great resources to fall back onto but it doesn't cover the whole syllabus, in fact it misses chunks out so I refer to the syllabus as much as possible including http://click4biology.info/. Biology is literally knowing the syllabus off by heart. (BTW please tell what revision guides you guys have for Biology in rather interested. :P

As for Chemistry I totally agree with Sandwich you need the revision guide as well as a textbook. I personally don't like the course companion that much so I bought the Person Baccalaureate Higher Chemistry textbook which I think is really nice.

Edited by Bishup

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The study guides are pretty good, but because IB doesn't make official study guides, many of them are not exactly the expectations of IB. I think they are really good when cramming, but they seem to fail at providing specific examples of topics, they just give you everything (especially IB Physics study guides).

Our school library has AP Study guides by Princeton and Ib study guides by oxford that you can check out and renew each day as reference books. That was pretty cool, Ir emember using it extensively when cramming last year :P

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Hi. I'm a Junior, and this year I am taking two SL courses: IB Math Studies, and IB Geography. I have the study guides for both and find them really helpful. Does anyone know if it necessary or worth it to get the course companions additionally?

I am also taking four HL courses: IB English, IB History of the Americas, IB Biology and IB French (actually SL but I'm taking the exam next year). There is only a course companion for English and History, so I'm assuming those are the books to go with, but English says A1. What does that mean? And History says it only covers 7 of 12 topics, is it still worth it? My teacher for English is great, but my history teacher apparently doesn't cover everything he's supposed to.

My IB biology teacher is awesome, plus I have the AP book, so I'm thinking the study guide for that class. But my French teacher is one of the dumbest people I've ever known (the last teacher was the best teacher I've ever had, but she passed away last year). She cannot teach for the life of her. Should I get both the study guide and course companion for that class?

Thanks to anyone that can help.

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My friend was selling her course companion and study guide for chem and my other friend told me that she had both and the course companion is absolute crap.

I've never looked inside the course companion but the study guide is fantastic.

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where can I purchase the study guides at? can someone share a link. thx

 

I couldn't locate a history of Americas on amazon but I found a study companion can someone show me a study guide  link. I did locate a couple options for biology though.

Edited by beatles123

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