Studying is something that we all hate, but it is necessary to our success in this intimidating program they call the IB. Over the years, I have learned some study tips that help me a lot and now, I will share them with you :)
1. The first tip I have is to use external websites, especially in the DP/CP program. There are so many websites out there that have notes for each syllabus point which I use whenever I hear a teacher utter that daunting word: “test”. Though most of the sites you’ll find only briefly discuss and explain each point, they are a good starting place if you’re really freaking out.
2. This is less of a study tip, more of a suggestion but don’t forget that your teachers have been through the syllabus with so many other year groups, so they know what they're talking about. If you don’t understand something they said during the lesson, just ask! Send them an email or approach them after class, it’s their job to see you succeed, so make them work! :)
3. The next tip I have is to use cue cards for revision. I know that not everyone uses cue cards, but if you haven’t tried them out, do! You can buy them at any stationary store and even make them yourself. I write the syllabus point, or statement one side and then explain, define, discuss on the other side. Cue cards are perfect for last minute revision as you can quiz yourself with them right before you go to class.
4. The fourth tip is is for those of you who don’t like using cue cards. Instead, you can fashion a sort of booklet titled with each section, for example 1.1, 1.2, 1.3 and so on. These booklets allow you to re-write all your notes, or take pages from your notebook and include them here. These booklets will help you so much when it comes time for any exams at the end of the year.
5. This tip is pretty self-explanatory and it is to use any resources that the teacher uses during class, whether it be the textbook, worksheets, presentations etc. Especially for years 7-11 when the teacher writes (or should write) the questions that you’ll see on the test.
6. Find out what kind of learner you are, there are plenty of online tests that you can do to discover whether you are a visual, auditory, etc. learner. Once you know this information, adjust your studying style, just try it out.
7. Find some friends who are in your class and study together! Nevertheless, as test day draws nearer, I study better alone. But in the first stages of studying, learning with some friends could help you pool your knowledge and understand things you didn’t before.
8. Now, right before the test, if you tend to get extremely nervous, don’t worry, everyone is feeling the same way. A method I use to de-stress a little, is the night before, or even the morning of, visualize yourself receiving the test. I know how this sounds, but trust, it works. Anyway, visualize yourself getting the test and seeing the dreaded first question. But in this scenario, you read it, and you know exactly how to answer, you think to yourself “this easy, I can do this, I’ve studied and now I can prove that I know the material”. Imaging this situation takes so much pressure off the final moments before you get the test and when you first read the questions on the exam.
9. Watching videos or animations, especially for biology, helps me so much. Sometimes I simply can’t picture a sodium-potassium pump, but after I’ve seen an animation, it becomes so much clearer and I understand how it works! Especially if you’re a visual or auditory learner, this technique will help so much and make once difficult concepts seem easy.
10. The last tip for studying is to always pay attention in class! If you miss something important, chances are, later in the revision stages, you’ll find this concept hard (especially applicable to Math!). So listen to what the teacher has to say and take good notes. I always use differently colored pens to help me color coordinate my notes and make important things stand out. Additionally, colored notes don’t seem so boring!
I hope these tips will help you ace your next test, good luck!