Getting good grades in an IB programme does not occur without getting organised. Being orderly is a trait consistently displayed among all IB students with outstanding grades. Students have to juggle many submissions, including Internal Assessments, Extended essays and TOK (Theory of Knowledge) essays and are constantly strapped for time.
If you think you’re not a naturally organised person, don’t worry. You can always pick up the skills to become more systematic such as writing to-do lists, creating personal deadlines. These are tips and tricks anyone can learn.
Below, we go over three real tips to use to help you get more efficient when studying for an IB diploma.
In the case of organisation, it’s not a matter of what you have as much as how you use it.
The important part is to select several essential items you will constantly be using and a system you will follow throughout your IB journey so you can find your notes, homework, and other necessities when you need them. The following are a few strategies to consider:
Apps are great tools for studying, but like the ‘real’ things covered previously, choosing the handful of apps you will use regularly and consistently is key to organising here. This entails purging duplicate apps and placing the most useful ones like Todoist, Evernote, Calendar, and others on the first page or home screen to keep you motivated.
After identifying the ones you need consistently, the most crucial step is to keep your phone away when you do your work as much as possible. As you may already know, despite being an excellent resource, smartphones are also one of the biggest distractions that can derail your momentum and progress when studying. Therefore, do get rid of distraction apps or keep them somewhere out of the way to discourage you from using them while working. The more distance you put between yourself and your usual distractions, the more likely you will stay focused and get work done quickly.
With the many assignments and Extended Essays to juggle in an IB programme, time management is crucial for ensuring success in the program.
Everyone knows the importance of planning our work and creating a schedule to stick to, but how do we know the right amount of time to allocate for a task without knowing how long something will take? Thankfully, the IBO provides time estimates for specific diploma subjects and how long they should take. For instance, the Extended Essay ideally takes around 40 hours of work. However, unexpected events can occur. There have been situations where fieldwork data collection for Biology Extended Essay was delayed due to poor weather conditions. There are also instances whereby the experiments for Science Internal Assessments did not work out the way that was planned. Here are some things you can try instead:
1. Start your Extended essays and Internal Assessments early. Internal Assessments and Extended Essays take up the most amount of time as a large amount of time is often dedicated to reading academic journals and planning. By starting early, you will have ample time to make changes to the research question and topics if needed.
2. Time yourself the next time you do the assignment and pause the timer whenever distractions halt your progress. Only keep track of the time you spend working.
3. Refer to exemplar pieces of Internal assessment and Extended Essays to get a good idea of the requirements for an outstanding piece of work. Read the marking rubrics to identify the structure of a good Internal assessment and Extended essay so you can organise your essays in the same way.
Being organised is one of the universal keys to success in life, school, work, and personal life. Given the challenging curriculum of the IB programme, nailing down this essential aspect is the first step toward getting closer to the good grades you are aiming for.
Once you are set and organised for the work to come, the next step is to find the most efficient way to learn the subjects under the IB programme. In that case, enrolling at IB Super, a leading IB tuition centre in Singapore offering reliable and comprehensive online tuition classes, is undoubtedly among the best ways to achieve your IB diploma. We also provide Internal Assessment and Extended Essay help to guide students throughout the IB program. Contact us today to learn more.