On Wednesday May 14th your IB History exams commence and at the moment, you are probably trying to organize yourself for the IB exams generally, and determining what you really need to know about history to meet your own personal goal for you final IB grade.  The IAs were completed a long time ago and are currently in the hands of a moderator who, it is hoped, will confirm the grades awarded by your teacher.  Since the IA can be moderated teachers don’t share these grades with the students, but most of you know how well you did with those investigations.

You also know how you’ve performed on in-class tests, and so you should have a pretty good idea of how you can perform when you know the specific subject matter on which you’ve been tested.  However, you might be a bit concerned about the lottery element of the exam: will there be a question on Stalin?  Will the question on World War I concern causes or outcomes or – gasp – the dreaded practices used in the war?  Will the Arab-Israeli paper be on something well known like the Suez Crisis or will it be on the Palestinian diaspora – the subject you promised to learn better than you knew it when it was covered in class.  Which Paper 3 sections did you cover?  What happens if you answer a question that was not covered in class?

Your teachers will guide you through this and they will do their best to help you make your personal best on this exam.  As long as you do not overestimate your abilities, you should be able to maximize your potential.  Remember:

Paper 1 – 1 prescribed subject that you know; answer all 4 questions on that subject; 1 hour

Paper 2 – 2 topics that you covered in class; answer 2 questions from 2 different topic areas; 90 minutes

Paper 3 – 3 sections from the HL syllabus; answer any 3 questions; 2 ½ hours

After 5 hours of exams, you HL students will be done.   You SL students only have 2 ½ hours of exams.  Then, you move on to your next subject – Math HL is on the 15th in the afternoon, along with German A.  Some of you will be waiting for Chemistry on May 19th and be happy of the weekend you have to study.  Or Maybe you won’t be done until the last day as you have Spanish B – or Music – or both.  One way or another, you will be done by Friday May 23rd and can put the exams out of your head until results come out in July, and you move on to the next stage of your life.  But for now, you really need to revise alone, in a group or with your class.  This is your opportunity to realize your potential.  Good luck!