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Studying For IB Exams...

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In preparation for the May 2010 exams, I was wondering as to whether any of you who have already obtained your IB diplomas (or have sat IB exams already for that matter) have any tips/ advice for studying for these exams. As I am beginning to study for them now, and find that there is so very much to cover (especially in regards to Biology), and that my regular study pattern/ 'format', for lack of a better term, seems inadequate to cope with it all.

Thank you,

Pathos

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Do every past paper you can get your hands on for math and sciences especially. It really helps since the questions they ask you are restricted to only what's in the syllabus and there's only so many ways they can ask a question..the more past papers you do, the more familiar you become to the type of question they ask and you'll notice that it's pretty much the same year after year. I remember while sitting my IB exams that some of the questions on my paper had shown up in previous papers I had done.

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For Biology, I would go through the whole syllabus word for word and get somebody else (even if it's just your mum or something) to test you on it because the syllabus is EXTREMELY well written. Do practice long questions and practice MCQs, but don't bother doing anything else. Ultimatly Bio is the one science you can actually not really bother with past papers for because there's no possible way for the questions to really involve any working out or anything which isn't just in your face on the syllabus. Chemistry and Physics on the other hand... but you don't appear to do those in your signature :(

Maths = past papers past papers past papers until you're getting concepts right over and over again. No other way to learn it unless you're very mathematically gifted and know it all anyway.

Don't bother revising much for English, just print off and learn a page or two of quotes for that paper where you have to magically know 4 texts, but otherwise it's a waste of time revising unless you have so much spare time you can afford to go through all the past "theme" questions and brainstorm those themes for your texts. Even then, you may get some totally unrelated Q on the day, sooo that's why I'd save this for your spare time :P If you're doing plays, know basic plots, themes and characters, obviously (but I assume that's what you've done in lessons and you don't need too much detail because ultimately you choose your own level of detail in your answer!).

Same with your language really, by this point in time there's not much you can do to change the stakes in your reading paper, so you have to learn some good phrases to slot into your written paper and make sure you've got all the tenses and anything special like that off pat. How to write a letter and all that jazz.

For revision I would recommend intense chronological revision. Go through the Bio syllabus section by section starting from the very first bit and you'll find the motivation comes from how far you always seem to be from the end! :) Just make it your goal to go through every single inch of every single thing and do it chronologically so that way you know exactly how much is left.

If you have time after that, go back and make notes on your notes, or generally go over everything you've just been over. Second time's the charm! :vampire: Apart from Maths where there's no end of repetitions which can provide the "charm" you just have to hope you don't have a mindblank in the exam xP

That's my recommendation anyway! Motivate yourself with panic that you're not going to revise it all!

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Good question, first off find yourself a good way of studying that is efficient and doesn't exhauste you. It could be just reading through your notes, understanding, memorizing and doing questions on them, or, it could be re-reading your notes, making your own summary notes so that as the exam gets closer, you wouldn't have to go through the long notes again provided that your notes have everything you need to know.

I personally think making notes is one of the best ways to know something very well. To make your notes right to the point, ALWAYS have your syllabus with you. Your notes should ONLY contain what's required on the syllabus, in biology for example, take point by point on the syllabus and make notes on those. I am assuming by now you know that 'objective 1' is when you just have to memorize something as it is and that usually applies for definition. 'Obj 2' is when a brief description is required inwhich case you just have to have a slight idea about it. The most important one is 'Obj 3' and it is the one that makes up most of section B questions of Paper 2.

Something important is being familiar with the question styles in Biology. You have to know exactly what they are wanting from you when they ask the question 'analyze', or 'discuss' or even 'suggest'.

Having said that about notes, there are some subjects you just can't have notes for like Math. For Math the most improtant thing is understanding the rules and formulae used so that no matter how complicated the question on the exam may seem to be, you will know exactly what formulae and part of Maths you are dealing with. Since you still have time, go through your course, chapted by chapter, do all the exercises you can get your hands on, then go to past papers. It would be useful looking at exercises that aren't entirely IB Style, looking at an area of math from different angles enhances your understanding of it. When you go to past papers, as you do the question, understand what you are dealing with, don't just solve questions just because you have seen them before! The harder the questions you solve and get familiar with, the more confidence you'll have for the exam. Since you will be getting a data booklet, be familiar with every single equation and formula on there and know exactly when it's used. There is no such thing as 'enough past papers in maths', that is why it is important to leave the last month for past papers.

It's very important that from now you have all the past papers you can get, it may seem a bit early, but I see that you are better off starting revision now so that in the final month before the exams ALL you have to do is just go through past papers, that's the thing everyone will tell you! Past papers for every subject.

Even having said all this, I will admit that there will be times when you feel everything is going wrong and that you are becoming hopeless, most of us went through that, but do not let it take over your potential to succeed. Never ever depend on 'last minute' studying or cramming, it may work for some people but not all, so it's not garunteed.

Do not hesitate to ask your teacher or anyone else if there is something you do not understand about a subject.

Oh, and don't go one with the 'I can't cope with it all' because you are in IB, you only got to do this because you are capable! Always put this in your mind.

Good luck! :vampire:

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