One of the most effective ways to prepare for exams is for students to work with a fellow classmate who has the same commitment to do well as they have.  Effective collaboration is also a healthy friendly rivalry in order to do well. The two persons collaborating need to set a schedule and targets for the process and strictly adhere to it. Otherwise, valuable time is lost.

Although the article “Two twins and over twenty languages: introducing the Super Polyglot Brothers!” is not directed to studying ITGS, the technique that these two brothers used certainly applies to preparing for the ITGS examinations and in fact to all IB examinations.

Important considerations for students raised by the article:

1. ‘By learning together, you essentially double your resources. Not only do you have someone who can help you with any queries, but you gain an extra person with whom you can [work and exchange ideas] … on a daily or weekly basis.’ At the onset of the collaboration/friendly rivalry it is important to define on what parts of the revision you will collaborate, what you have to have done before you meet, what you will achieve during your meeting, long long the meeting will be and how you will record the outcomes for later study. A study schedule is important to setup and follow.

2. ‘That’s the thing about a good rivalry; it requires balance. Well-matched rivals are actually partners because they need each other in order to achieve their own personal bests.’ Teaming with a classmate that does not have the same commitment or has not worked to the same extent is unlikely to be a suitable person to collaborate with during the revision for the ITGS examination.

3. ‘Even the mere presence of your “rival” can give you an extra motivational boost: you’re more likely to keep studying if you can see the progress they are making, and you both serve as reminders to each other of your obligations and the choices you’ve made.’ Meeting at agreed times that you have set together on your schedule and discussing the particular task (i.e. How to respond to parts A, B, C and D on Paper 2 using the guidelines published at the top of Paper 2 webpage on ITGSopedia and reviewing responses for two papers M13 and M14. Other past Paper 2 exams can be considered later on the schedule. Specific articles focused on Paper 2-type issues that have been discussed in class can also be scheduled for review as well. )

4. ‘Of course, the rivalry always has to stay professional, clean, and above all, healthy.’ It is important that there is a friendly collaborative ‘rivalry’ to do well on the ITGS exam. The collaboration is in supporting one another’s efforts and challenge and question any outcomes along the way that do not seem consistent with the information that has been presented in the ITGS course. For example, the ITGS Triangle is the basis for all ITGS questions on papers. The scenario and stakeholders are the starting point. If in analyzing an article a different approach is used, the scenario may not be approached with the same success.

5. ‘Having a competitive partner/friendly rival by your side can make learning lots of fun.’ Not only is it fun, but most certainly if each of the persons who are collaborating invest the same commitment, the learning and exchange of ideas is not only fun, but most beneficial to both. It not only solidifies your own learning, but challenges and questions the learning of the other.

The most important addition that I can make is approach to reviewing for the ITGS examinations is that I know this strategy works. In my final two years of university.  a very dedicated fellow student and I decided to collaborate throughout our mathematics courses and for preparing for the examinations. It was exactly as this article describes – a climate of collaborative friendly rivalry. This article is a thank you to Barbara Jordan, wherever you are, and an appreciation of the time we spent studying and achieving success together.