With IB exams, end of semester exams, and assessments approaching, it’s important to maintain a proper study schedule and take care of your health! Here are some tips on how to be successful during this stressful time.
1. Use a planner or calendar
Most of you in the IB diploma program take up to 6 subjects. You have a limited amount of time, a lot of topics that you need to review, and an exam worth 50% of your final grade. Grab a pen and paper, planner or paper calendar and start brainstorming your study schedule ahead of time.
Pro tip: Avoid planning on your computer, or else you may start to procrastinate! Writing by hand also helps you absorb the information better.
2. Allocate time to study
Plan out how many hours you will spend reviewing content and how many hours you will spend studying past papers. If you only review past papers, chances are you will not fully understand the concepts you had studied in class. Revising the content will help you confirm that you have an in-depth understanding of the course concepts.
3. Coordinate study sessions
Setting up video calls on Google Meets, Google Hangouts, or Zoom can really help you stay productive and hold yourself accountable. If you keep your videos on but stay on mute, you are still likely to feel motivated to work if others are doing the same. Be sure to surround yourself with people equally as (or more) studious as you!
Pro tip: Meet on the call and ask every friend to share what they will work on for the next 30 minutes, so you can hold each other accountable. After 30 minutes, check in with each other to see how much of that work you have accomplished, and then begin another round of 30 minutes! As long as study calls are not distracting, they can be super helpful!
4. Turn off all distractions
Keep your phone in a separate room and block all distracting websites from your laptop until your study session for that day is over. If you truly can’t part with your phone, put it on silent and hide it behind your computer: “out of sight, out of mind.” You might think it’s no harm to just set up a catch-up call with your friend or watch one more episode of your favorite TV show, but this can lead to many wasted hours. Reward yourself after your exam preparation session!
5. Take it one exam at a time
Give every exam its own focus, and be ready to move on from one to the other. If you did not do well in your Physics exam, and you have an English exam the next day, focus your energy on doing your best in the English exam. Try not to let disappointment consume your time and effort. Stay motivated and give your best. Remember that your final score does not solely depend on your externals, but also your internal exams!
6. Active recall is key
Although clean and ~aesthetic~ notes keep your IB study life organized, active recall is known to be an effective way of moving information from short term to long term memory! (A must, since we need to recall two years worth of topics.)
7. Stay hydrated
Remember to have your favorite tea/ water right beside you while you study as it boosts your concentration!
Note: A study showed that those drinking water while studying scored an average of 5% higher than those without, so bring out your favorite hydro-flask and sksksksk with some water as we save the turtles! If you can, also bring a clear water bottle to drink from during exams! It will help keep you refreshed and lower your anxiety level.
8. Keep some snacks with you
It’s important to have some dee-lish snacks while you integrate those functions, so make a bowl of chips, peanuts, or carrots to munch on! Eating will help you stay alert; you won’t have to get up from your workspace as much, which helps retain your concentration!
9. Pomodoro Technique
Although you need to focus on your problem sets or your biology book, take a break every once in a while. This technique is known to increase your productivity and focus! You can download a Pomodoro Timer, or you can follow the guidelines below:
- Every 25 minutes of study time, you get 5 minutes of a “break”
- After 4 “pomodoros” (aka after four times of you repeating the aforementioned step) take a 30 minute break!