Here are our top 10 tips which you can do in the last weeks of the summer holidays to help you prepare for the IB Diploma!
Make sure you are happy with your subject choices
You likely made your subject choices a few months ago so now is the time to look over them and make sure you are happy with your decision. Will you enjoy them? Are they the correct level (SL or HL) for you? Do they fit with your aspirations for when you leave school? If you are having second thoughts or seriously considering changing one of your subjects, speak to your parents and teachers, and IB Coordinator. They will be able to work through your thoughts with you and support you to make a decision that is right for you.
Refresh your knowledge
Often schools provide work over the summer so you can keep up to date with your studies and ensure you feel comfortable and confident when you head back to school in the new year. By doing a small amount of studying each week over the holidays, it allows you to recognise your strengths in each subject but also where you might need a bit of extra support. Realising your knowledge gaps early on means you can get the support you need from your teachers early enough so you don’t feel behind when your classes begin. OSC offers student webinars all year round giving you tips on how to prepare for your exams or key dates in your IB calendar, so stay tuned!
Get familiar with the syllabi
If you’re about to start a subject you haven’t learnt before it’s beneficial to get familiar with the syllabus. You can find all syllabi on the IB website but it’s also a good idea to prepare in your own way as well. For example, if you are taking Economics, why don’t you read some articles by The Economist? Or if you are taking Global Politics make sure you are up to date with current affairs by looking at various newsrooms such as the BBC or CNN. If you need help with IB Mathematics or Physics , we have a YouTube channel with hundreds of videos, going through the entire syllabus with you. See the sections below for each of the subjects: https://www.youtube.com/c/OSC1990
Refresh your English if it’s not your first language
If you don’t speak English at home, the holidays are the perfect time to polish your English skills. Your IB Diploma requires a lot of written work so feeling confident in your English skills is important. There are many fun ways to strengthen your English including practicing with your friends! Whether it’s on the phone or in person, speak to and text your friends in English. Watch films in English but without the subtitles. If you are feeling a bit rusty, pick a film you know well and as you get more confident watch films you haven’t seen before. The same advice goes for reading a book; read your favourite book in English and once you get more confident read one you haven’t read before. And our last tip is to keep a diary. This will help with your written skills, particularly for your Extended Essay. Plus it’s a great way to document your memories of an amazing summer!
Keep up with Language B
Similar to the last tip, it’s easy to forget a language when you have a break in your practice. If you have friends who are learning the same language, make sure you have some of your conversations in your chosen language and help correct and encourage each other. Watch films and read books in that language throughout the holidays; you might even learn some new phrases which you can incorporate into your work!
Take advice from your teachers and DP Coordinators
Your teachers are there to help you so make sure you take advantage of that! Their advice to you before the summer and for the next year or two will benefit you immensely. They only want you to do well and achieve your best. If you need extra support or advice, or feel nervous about a particular subject or topic, talk to them so they can provide you with the guidance you need.
Explore your extra-curricular activities
CAS is a vital part of your IB experience, and gives you a break from your academic learning! Choosing an extracurricular activity which you enjoy, makes you feel happy and relaxed is important for your wellbeing. Maybe you want to try something new? This is the time to think about your interests and choose an extracurricular activity which you think you’ll love.
Every person has got into a situation when they start getting ready for the first day of school and they can’t find their notes! Use this time to hunt down all those important files and notebooks and get them into an order which suits you. We recommend you file (on a computer or in a ring binder) by subject, topic and in chronological order for ease. You’ll be thankful when you get to school and you have everything in place ready to start a great year!
Starting a new school year or attending a new school can be nerve-wracking for a lot of students. If you feel like this and what to make sure you are prepared for your first day, speak to your teachers and get advice from them on how to improve your studies or how to make the most out of your first few weeks. A conversation with your teachers (or your parents) to calm your nerves can make all the difference.
Stay calm, relaxed and mostly importantly enjoy yourself!
Our most important tip…enjoy yourself! The IB Diploma is an enriching experience to develop your knowledge and skills, allowing you to become a well-rounded individual. Enjoy the experience, put in all your effort and you’ll be rewarded. Good luck!