I know a lot of kids all over the world doing the IB (International Baccalaureate), and as any normal IB kid, 40% of my conversations are about the IB and the exams.
Here are some tips from teachers, current students and past students:
- Do not complete over 150 hours of CAS. It is unnecessary and not required, and you will not get any extra points but will only waste your time (unless it will benefit you in the exams).
- Do your extended essay over the summer, everyone will tell you this. If not, good luck tearing your hair out.
- No one understands TOK, so you don't have to either. Make sure to quote philosophers or experts in an area, relate personal experiences as well as use all Ways of Knowing and at least three Areas of Knowledge in your essay.
- In your TOK presentation, make sure you understand the marking criteria because it is extremely easy to misunderstand them. If you are unsure, ask your teacher.
- For your English unseen commentary, prose is usually easier to do since it is harder to misunderstand. Approach the text from as many angles as possible, and explain each one. You should discuss the setting, narrative, tone, writing style, chronology, plot and imagery (in an order similar to that one) perhaps dedicating a paragraph or two to each.
- For your Biology exams, know your definitions. Sometimes you can fish a point or two simply by defining necessary terms even though you do not know the answer. For example: Describe homeostasis in relation to blood glucose concentration in humans. This question is worth 6 points, and although it does not ask to define homeostasis, you can get at least one point simply for defining homeostasis.
- For History- know your dates and order of events. Also, for essay type questions make sure to write a very good introduction- 90% of examiners say they have already decided how good the essay will be based on the introduction!
- Mathematics, memorise the formula booklet and some extra formulas. This is important as you will understand the formulas better than just recognising them, and you won't waste time looking for them in the booklet.
- When answering a math question, write down all the formulas you think you might use in answering it. If you do not know how to answer the question, identify as many variables as possible because sometimes you get a point simply for stating the variables or plugging them into an equation!
- Do not leave any question blank! However leave the ones you cannot answer to the end, where you have gotten the easy points out of the way.
- Do not answer unnecessary questions!
- For Visual Arts, your talking counts for a major part of your grade. Make sure you are extremely good at bullshitting and speaking with confidence.