IB exams come up quick.
One minute you’re minding your business, editing your extended essay for the eighteenth time, and the next thing you know… BAM. It’s two weeks until exams. Sometimes they can seem impossible to tackle, but as the old English proverb goes, “Where there is a will, there is a way.” Here are some sure ways to beat IB exams this year, with a little inspiration from some greats.
1. Plan Ahead
“Failing to plan is planning to fail.” – Alan Lakein
The best way to be prepared for IB exams is to have an idea of the tasks you need to accomplish over time. Put important dates on a calendar where you can see it, and create a study schedule using ExamTime’s Study Planner Tool. Plan ahead and you’ll be well prepared for the exams long before they arrive. Get started creating your own study planner tool here.
2. Rest When You Need To
“Rest when you’re weary… Then get back to work.” – Ralph Marston
Be sure to make time for small breaks in your never-ending study fest; short rests will help your brain retain information better. Everyone needs a break from time to time! So rest, collect yourself, and then get back to work!
3. Stay Organized
“The five separate fingers are five independent units. Close them and the fist multiplies strength. This is organization.” – James Cash Penney
Make sure your study space is clean, and that you have everything you need when you get started. Sit down to study when you are in your most productive mindset, and stay focused on the task at hand. Color code study materials, and store them in the same place each time you finish, so they’re easy to find. Organize both your thoughts and your physical study materials, and it will be easier to focus.
ExamTime is an amazing way to keep all your study tools in one place, so you can access them anywhere with ease on your laptop, tablet, or smart phone.
Flip through these Flashcards for some more tips on staying organized and managing time:
4. Eat and Sleep Well
“One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating.” – Luciano Pavarotti
That sounds like common sense, but often students forget that eating and resting are critical to remembering information. No matter how busy you are studying, don’t forget to sleep well, and eat a healthy breakfast before the IB exams!
5. Don’t Procrastinate
“Procrastination is opportunity’s assassin.” – Victor Kiam
Procrastinating can have a serious negative effect on your grades. All too often, students put off doing their work until the last second, and they find themselves pulling all nighters to get everything done. Make sure you get started early! If you finish everything early, you have plenty of time to revise your work, or ask a teacher about something you don’t understand. Review content weekly or bi-weekly to stay on top of your learning. Keep to that study schedule you made yourself!
6. Study in Groups
“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” – Helen Keller
Study groups are a good way to ask others about information you might not have known about otherwise. Maybe one of your friends can help you with something you don’t understand. Explaining things to a friend in need might clarify a certain point. It is always a good idea to bounce ideas off of others. All of ExamTime’s resources can be shared with friends who have ExamTime accounts. Sharing is caring!
7. Find What Works For You
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” – Dr. Seuss
Study using flashcards, quiz yourself, write outlines for possible essay questions, and read things out loud. Testing yourself via Quizzes and Flashcards is a great way to determine how much you understand. Find what study tactic works for you, and stick to it!
8. Teach Someone What You Know
“In learning you will teach, and in teaching you will learn.” – Phil Collins
Talking about the information with someone you know is a good way to remember important information. If you can clearly lay out your ideas in a conversation, you can do it for your exam as well. Getting feedback on how clear you are when presenting information is a good way to predict how your essays will sound to the reader. Teaching something proves you know it!
9. Ask For Help
“You are never strong enough that you don’t need help.” – César Chávez
Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it! Ask teachers or friends, or consult forums when you start to feel discouraged. Remember IB exams can be overwhelming, and all your fellow IB takers are going through them with you. You’re not alone! If one of your teachers has an ExamTime account, you can log into the Group and ask questions there.
10. Have Fun
“Never ever underestimate the importance of having fun.” – Andy Pausch
Save some time for fun! Go for a run, watch some TV, or just hang out with friends. Whatever makes you happiest, do it. Fun is a definite necessity for success.
Here’s a summary Mind Map of the main points. Click the play button to watch it come to life:
You Can Do This!
Whether you’re taking your IB exams in November or May, remember these ten tips, and you will achieve greatness. One last reminder from A.A. Milne: “You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” If you need some extra pointers, check out all the ways ExamTime can help you throughout the entirety of your IB course load here. Good luck!
ExamTime is an online resource that will help you get 7s through all of your subjects. Start now, and stay two steps ahead on the journey to acing to your IB exams!