At Oxford Study Courses, our aim is to help support students in revising and preparing for IB DP examinations. With that in mind, we are currently developing exam questions that will be featured in the OSC Study app.
First released in March 2021, the OSC Study app features digitised OSC revision guides, thousands of flashcards, and thousands of videos designed specifically for IB students. There are currently 11 IB Diploma subjects available, in addition to Pre-IB mathematics.
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While the OSC Study app is a valuable tool for teachers and students in order to revise subject-specific content, it is crucial to include exam questions. Students need to be able to put their learning into the specific exam context.
We are currently developing our own exam questions that are designed by experienced IB examiners and content creators. We are starting with IB Mathematics Analysis and Approaches SL and HL, and Mathematics Applications and Interpretations SL and HL. The goal is to simulate the kinds of questions that students will be asked on their diploma exams. We have meticulously kept track of all IB past exams, which topics are most common, the relative weighting of topics and subtopics, and are designing our exam materials to be the best tool that students and teachers can use.
What will be released, and when?
In September 2021, we plan to release 3 complete exams, along with a mock exam for each of Mathematics Analysis and Approaches SL and HL, Mathematics Applications and Interpretations SL and HL. Those will include Paper 1, Paper 2 and for HL, Paper 3.
In October 2021, we will release an additional 3 complete exams and another mock exam, making it a total of 6 exams, as well as 2 mock exams.
Each exam features full, detailed written solutions, in addition to a video explanation, walking students through step-by-step how to solve it. In ‘study mode’, students will be shown the marks, topic, and subtopic, as well as a gauge of how difficult the question is: straightforward, medium, or challenging.
How will they be used in the OSC Study app?
There are three main ways in which students can use the exam questions:
1. Subtopic-specific context:
Students need to be able to practice a particular skill immediately in an exam context. That’s why within a particular subtopic, a student or teacher will be able to see any relevant exam questions. For example, in Maths Analysis and Approaches SL and HL, Topic 5 (Calculus) features a section called 5.5 which is about integration. There will be a list of exam questions relating to 5.5, so that the specific skills for integration can be put into practice.
2. Topic-specific context:
As a student progresses in their learning, it is important that they can see exam questions relating to an entire topic. This ‘zooming out’ allows them to build the skills needed to think about the topic, considering the various skills they’ve learned. This is helpful for preparation for unit tests. Using the same example above, a Mathematics Analysis and Approaches SL and HL student could see all of the exam questions relating to Topic 5 (Calculus). Those would include all of the subtopics.
3. Entire exam:
In order to prepare for an entire exam, we have developed ‘exam mode’, where a student can see an entire exam, featuring all of the questions needed. They can see the Paper 1, Paper 2 (and for HL, Paper 3) that have been paired together. We design our exams holistically, considering weighting across all the topics and subtopics. This allows a student to practice putting all the knowledge together. In ‘exam mode’, students only see the question, and how many marks it is. If they get stuck, they can click to see hidden content (this can help them by telling them the topic and subtopic the question addresses).
One important feature of ‘exam mode’ is that if a student is stuck, they can easily be sent to the relevant part of the syllabus to review it, then come back to the question. Of course, questions still contain full solutions and video explanations.
Finally, we feature mock exams, which are two exams that haven’t been seen by students before in their practice. This allows them to better prepare for mock exams and real exams by having them practice dealing with unfamiliar questions.