I think many students will agree that getting your IB DP diploma is not a piece of cake, or is it? How, you ask? Just have a look at the following tips:
The Cake: YOU
The cake layer is the main part of a good tasting cake. Sure you can hide it with loads of cream, but a stable base to your cake is the key to success. Don’t underestimate the role of personal well-being in academic success. For a good base, through in some sleep (but not too much), some social activities, a few spoons of ‘me’ time, a bit of exercise and a good amount of family time. Oh and don’t forget a hint of healthy stress.
The Cream: STUDY
It won’t get any simpler than this. Getting good grades requires work. The cream tastes best when it is nice and smooth, no clumps: no missing notes, lost sheets or missed deadlines. Revision time and studying works most efficiently if you have structured notes, and maybe even more important (at least to myself) is consistency. Being consistent in your note-taking and ways of writing for example workings is so important and worth emphasizing! (I will share some of my note-taking tips with you here).
Start in time with assignments and preparation to prevent late night working sessions the night before the deadline (probably the most heard line to IB students, but hey, it’s true! Not always easy, but true… and possible!). If you need help, then get the help! IB is tough and you shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help when you are struggling.
Also being organised throughout the year is a great advantage. Make sure you don’t lose handouts, keep all your notes together (preferably in a notebook, and if you forgot yours, write it on a sheet and stick it in when you’re home), and keep track of deadlines so you can start in time! Don’t procrastinate, just do it!
The Icing: REVISION
If you have been organised with your notes and kept track of what you were meant to be doing, the icing won’t need much work. Spend some time with your notes, process the information, and let your mind take it in in different formats. For example, rewrite your notes in a different format (for example a mindmap or a diagram), make summary notes of the book, etc. Even processing the same information in different formats can help you memorise all of it!
The Decoration: HABITS
Firstly, don’t look up to assignments too much. Yes, IB is not easy, but telling yourself that before or during an assignment or test you are not looking forward to is not going to make it any easier on you either (instead, tell yourself that after you have finished the assignment, as a motivational thing)!
IB students sometimes find it difficult to ask for help, however this shouldn’t be the case. Teachers are there to answer your questions so go for it! If you do need help outside the classroom or you are struggling, don’t be desperate either. Tonnes of people have rounded off the IB before and many more people know all about the content of the IB syllabus, so reach out!
Very important: IB is as good as you make it. Education is fun and high school is great (no sarcasm). Enjoy the little things because you will miss it later on. Whether it is the conversations with your teacher, the lunch room, presenting your Further Oral Activity in front of a full class or sitting behind a typical high school desk, you will miss it.
And that’s it, here is your piece of cake! Of course it is easier written than done but try and find the right balance of things. These tips will hopefully help you get there and get through the IB Diploma Programme!