The May 2022 International Baccalaureate (IB) exams in Singapore are just around the corner and students around the world are making their last-minute exam preparations. Nail-biting will only get you so far, so we’ve reached out to students at Overseas Family School (OFS) to give us their top studying tips for IB exam success. Because who better to advise you than students who have themselves achieved that coveted perfect score of 45 points?
In the 2021 exams, OFS had a total of five students who achieved perfect marks. Out of over 150 candidates, 34% achieved 40 points and above. Of the school’s IB candidates for the year, 33% earned prestigious IB Bilingual Diplomas.
We hear from four of the top scorers at Overseas Family School about what they did when preparing for exams.
IB studying tip by top scorer Samarth Gowda: Choose subjects you love. Or learn to love the subjects you chose.
“One of my main success factors was learning to appreciate each of the subjects that I had taken and forcing myself to intellectually engage with a particularly challenging concept or assessment. When I first started the IB diploma, I really struggled to engage with subjects such as HL Mathematics and SL French; this was often because I found them quite tedious and challenging and I wasn’t doing too well on the tests. To overcome this, I found ways to connect these subjects with things I liked.
For instance, I watched some of my favourite movies and TV shows in French instead of English. I also changed my phone’s default language to French! This forced me to constantly engage with the language to understand what I was watching or doing. In the process, it greatly helped my fluency and vocabulary. For maths, I watched videos on interesting mathematical patterns or problems from channels such as 3Blue1Brown and blackpenredpen. They showed me how powerful and fun maths can be. This helped me stay motivated and improve at maths!
I’m sure anyone can do the same if they are open to learning more and using inter-disciplinary knowledge to their advantage!”
IB studying tip from perfect scorer Miho Hamada: Plan your time ahead. Ask questions.
Effective students have planners where they record all assessments. They then work backwards to determine which assessment to prioritise and study for first.
“Since the workload in IB is a lot, I tried to tackle small portions at a time so that I wouldn’t be overwhelmed. Of course, not everything goes as planned, but at least attempting this allowed me to make sufficient time for all the assessments.
I took all the quarter tests at OFS seriously. After each test, I asked my teachers as many questions as possible to find out how I could improve.”
IB studying tip from perfect scorer Noam Segel: Condense notes and practice
“I believe that preparing for exams is an ongoing process and that it’s very important to stay on track. Studying for each assessment and understanding the topics while they’re being taught will help massively when doing the final revision. Make notes ahead of time so that when you get to the final month, you can focus on summarising and revising them. I also recommend attempting to solve past papers and revising past assessments while making sure to fully understand your mistakes.
Don’t hesitate to seek help and advice from your teachers. When I joined OFS in Grade 10, I spoke limited English! OFS helped me tremendously, teaching me useful English skills and allowing me to adjust quickly to a mainstream class and assisting with goal setting.”
IB studying tip from Miho: Don’t be afraid to take breaks
“While I didn’t have any specific goals before starting preparing for exams in IB, I had a rough idea that I wanted to keep fit and healthy both physically and mentally through it. OFS helped me achieve this through its Tigers competitive basketball team. I was initially hesitant about joining the team since I thought I wouldn’t have time. However, I realised this would be a good opportunity to push myself to plan better and make time for basketball.
In retrospect, I believe that joining the team at OFS and playing until the final IB exams in Singapore pushed me to plan and procrastinate less. Furthermore, it allowed me to destress, keep fit, and maintain good mental health not only during normal school days but also during semester and mock exams.”
IB studying tip from perfect scorer Sunaina Borkar: Be consistent
“I always strived to do my best for every piece of work, whether it was a unit test or a final Individual Assessment. In the end, all the effort added up – I built a strong foundation at OFS that I could carry with me into my IB exams in Singapore. If you try your best to start off with a solid base from the beginning of IB, revision will be a lot less stressful come exam time and you’ll get the results you’ve worked for!”
Overseas Family School
81 Pasir Ris Heights
6738 0211 | ofs.edu.sg
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