What does it take to become a successful IB student? First of all, you must be both open-minded and genuinely interested in ‘learning’. By ‘learning’, I do not mean learning information, parrot fashion, with the sole intention of regurgitating it, word for word, on examination day. This is obviously not what learning is about. It should, instead, be regarded as a more personal and more exciting endeavour than just a boring but necessary period of desperate cramming. Unlike other secondary education qualifications, the IB Diploma prepares you for a lifelong process of self-discovery and positive interplay with other people’s ideas and viewpoints. Above all, your pre-IB course should provide you with the opportunity to take full responsibility for your own education.

As you already know, no one else can do your learning for you and success will only happen if YOU want it. It is always important to know one’s academic weaknesses or shall we call them,
‘limitations’. There will be ample time for you to reassess your actual knowledge of the core subjects but in this early and non examined phase of your preparation, you might as well identify the subjects you must enjoy academically and make a conscious effort to explore them as thoroughly as you can.

Bear in mind that your pre-IB course is not a race but rather a warm up lap which enables you to test the power of your intellectual engine and your ability to push that engine as far as it can go. Endurance is as much part of the ‘game’ as actual performance on the circuit itself. However, as much as you must be aware of the quality of your performance, you must also enjoy the experience and not be afraid to tackle new ideas and new ways of solving problems.

Be pro-active and do not expect your teacher(s) to provide all the answers for you. It is only by being prepared to explore a question, be it scientific or pertaining to an arts subject, that you will make significant general progress during your IB preparation. By setting yourself high goals and keeping your efforts sharply focused, you will understand the subjects better and enjoy the benefit of scoring high and hopefully, top grades.

Finally, remember that a successful IB student is someone who does not wait for their notepad to be magically filled by all-knowing teachers but who considers themselves as an intellectual magpie, constantly looking for stimulating new ideas and always keen on carrying out their own independent research, on their own accord.