A Guide on How To Start Studying For Your IB Exams

08 Aug 2022

IB exams can terrify the best of us. With the finals just a few months off, you may be starting to feel a sense of dread. How do you maximise the use you’ll get out of this crucial period of time? Do you pore over your notes yet again? Or is going through past papers to try and internalise as much as possible enough? This article details what you can do to ensure you know exactly how to start studying for your upcoming examinations.

1. Find out what you don’t know  

It can be a singularly terrifying experience, drawing a blank when you open your question paper. Even the most studious and diligent students can have gaps in their revision. You might think that since you’ve covered most of the syllabus, the likelihood of the topic you’ve left out appearing in your exams is quite slim. But the point is, it could still happen. And if it does, you are liable to lose marks pointlessly.

Don’t let that happen to you. Find the syllabus for all your subjects. For example, if you’re taking IB chemistry, look through the content outline for that subject and organise the points according to the topics you feel the most and least confident about. Now you not only know what you need to study more for, but you also don’t have to waste the time you don’t have studying for content you’re already familiar with.

2. Learn what you don’t know

Now that you know what you don’t know, you get to learn. How you go about this differs from person to person. The great thing about IB subjects is that you can easily find resources to fill in any knowledge gaps. You just need the initiative to search for them. If you’re a visual learner, there are plenty of video resources out there that will discuss your weak points in great detail. It’s vital to be able to work on your weaknesses instead of avoiding them and hoping they won’t come up. Be proactive and see the results for yourself!

3. Summarise your notes

Now that you’ve familiarised yourself with everything on your syllabus, it’s time to condense the content.

This revision method is incredibly efficient and allows you to create another more effective set of notes for your perusal. But how do you go about this?

The first thing you need to do is read and have a good grasp of  all your class notes and textbooks. This can be tedious, but the results speak for themselves.

The next step is to summarise these notes. Shorten paragraphs, and remove content that you feel is unnecessary.

Now that you’ve summarised these notes, you will have to repeat this process. You can do this as many times as you need to condense the important concepts. At the end of this process, you’ll have a successful and efficient study guide you can refer to whenever you want. You’ll also avoid being overwhelmed by too much content while retaining the most critical parts.

4. Attempt topical practice questions

Finally, it’s time to attempt topical practice questions to ensure that you’ve retained and can apply all the information. Have faith in your prior study methods and just do a brief review of the content before attempting the questions. As much as possible, use this practice test as a gauge for how you would do on a real exam. When you’re done, take note of all the areas you need to improve and spend more time revising those topics. You can also use this as an opportunity to practice efficient time management by finishing it within the allotted time,


Studying for your IB exams can be a long, arduous process. But with the right tips and proper guidance, you’ll be able to ace them without a hitch. IB Super can provide the supplementary help you need with our comprehensive materials and IB-trained and educated tutors. We help students to speed up their learning by identifying knowledge gaps and targeted practices to close those gaps. So whether you’re in need of IB Maths tuition or everything in between, contact us today and learn more about us!

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