By Jude Haddad
As of now, many seniors have either completed or are currently completing their final International Baccalaureate (IB) exams. If you are a current IB student, you are probably both extremely jealous of them, as well as a little wary of the stress that is to come with your exams this time next year. If you are a rising Junior who has decided to take IB classes or full diploma next year, you are possibly both nervous of what is to come, and unsure that your course selections were correct for you. Regardless of what situation you are in, the class of 2017 has kindly offered some advice that you might appreciate throughout your IB experience.
The Pawprint interviewed seven seniors:
- Alexander Veraart (AV)
- Fareeha Mahmood (F)
- Meghna Banerjee (M)
- Juan De Aranda (JA)
- Eduardo Motta (E)
- Jessica Ju (JJ)
- Ayo Ladak (AL)
On study tips:
AV: Get to know yourself and learn how you study best. Organize yourself in a way that you know works best for you and start preparing early throughout the year so that you don’t have to make your study materials right before the exams and can just study from them when the time comes.
M: “Don’t rely on question bank”
F: “Make sure you understand what you’re learning. Also, make sure to prioritize your work. Prioritize your HL’s over your SL’s, or what you want to pursue in the future”
JA: Managing your time helps so much. Work just piles up in the IB, and long term projects get more intense the further down you go – make sure you know what’s going on and when things are due. It is a very basic study tip, but really helpful.
On Exam Preparation:
AV: The biggest tip I have for exams is to not be stressed. If you’re over stressed during exams, you’ll forget everything, and that will just make you more stressed. Sleeping and eating well beforehand is also very important. You’ll be better off sleeping than cramming for four hours in the middle of the night. Also, past papers will save your life. It becomes easier to answer the questions when you’ve seen how the IB formats their questions beforehand.
On Course Selection/University Applications:
AV: Although it’s good to set goals, don’t set your mind on one specific career you want to study or one university you want to attend. I’ll guarantee that they will change throughout high school. You don’t have to know what you want to do, but what you think are the only options are not actually your only options. Research the countries and universities you are thinking of applying to early on to know what the requirements are. Regardless of what courses you take, there’s still universities that will take you if you put in effort.
M: Depending on where you want to apply, the requirements vary from region to region. I would say that the UK looks at IB predicts and personal statements while the US looks at a bunch of stuff – do your research because it depends on the university.
JA: Course selection should be what you like doing – but also taking into account what you might want to study in the future. If you don’t know, diversify your course selection as much as possible so that you can keep your options available in the future.
E: Don’t let people dictate your courses – do what you like and are willing to put time into.
JJ: You don’t have to take full IB, especially if you are going to the US. Research where you want to go and what their requirements are – chances are you don’t have to take full IB.
On Internal Assessments (IA) and Extracurricular Activities:
F: Put a lot of effort into your IA’s – they will boost your grade if you do well. Also, before you turn in your IA’s, get your teacher to provide oral feedback, before and after your first draft, because you can only get written feedback once.
AL: Start your IA’s and EE during the summer!
M: My advice is to keep your extracurricular activities at an all time low first semester of senior year, because that is when a lot of IB requirements are due – like your IA’s and your extended essay. It’s also when you are going to be applying for universities, so there isn’t a lot of free time.
Lastly, Junior Lidia Errico has some advice for rising Juniors. She says, “Don’t restrict yourself to certain courses and certain career paths in the future just because that is what everyone else is telling you to do. Pick the classes that you enjoy and the classes that you are willing to put effort into while also being aware of what universities require. It’s not bad to have an idea of what you want to do, but don’t become fixated on one path.”
Whatever you may choose to do, good luck on your IB path