Academic Group 3 Subjects

Tips for IB Psychology 

IB Psychology is as challenging as it is academically stimulating. While the subject requires a considerable amount of dedication, the information learned and the analytical skills developed by the student make all the hard work worth the pain. Therefore, find some helpful tips below that will help you ace your exams:

1. Don’t simply memorize the content! 

While it may seem like you can get by through merely memorizing the studies, it is vital that you understand each and every step of the studies and are able to explain the methodology and results in your own words. That is because you will need to analyze the studies and figure out what you would have done differently to improve them. 

2. Online resources

Secondly, refer to the website of an organization known as Themantic’s Education. The site explains difficult concepts, contains example essays, example exam questions, reviews by paper, key terms quizzes and much more. Other than that, they have also released a textbook and have a YouTube channel. The advice I received from this site improved the quality of my answers immensely. They are fairly active on their YouTube channel, and tend to respond to comments below the video. You can leave questions that they might get back to!

3. Produce a good IA

Concentrate on and put a considerable amount of effort into your IA. Psychology IA seems to be relatively easy to do, hence people may take it lightly and shift their entire focus simply towards the content of the syllabus. However, working hard on your IA can make all the difference in upgrading your 6 to a 7. Constantly ask your teacher for advice, feedback and clear your doubts with them. Ask them about areas such as your style of writing, your experiment methodology and which statistical tests to use. Do not just assume. 

4. Practice, practice and practice! 

Go through past papers and mark schemes, and try to understand exactly what the examiner expects from students. Ask for feedback on your answers from senior psychology students and your teacher. Nevertheless, do not ask too many people because psychology can be subjective to an extent. Everyone might have different opinions, and they may all be right. In my experience, all the contradicting thoughts led to confusion. Your first choice should be your teacher, but if they are unavailable, I also found it helpful to refer to a senior or graduate that achieves high marks in psychology.

5. Learn only one approach!

Focus on learning only one approach (biological, cognitive, or sociocultural) thoroughly for your Paper 1 essay answer questions. You will be given questions each from a different approach. However, you will be required to answer only one. Do not waste time in trying to learn all the approaches in depth, as it will not help you in your exams. 

6. Memorize, understand, reflect

Lastly, memorize, understand and reflect on at least two studies from each topic. You won’t know what questions will be asked in the exam, and it’s best not to take your chances and assume only the topics you studied well will come. That is to say, do not try to memorize example answers, particularly the analysis part of the studies. Rather, memorize the techniques to analyze studies, practice them, and apply them to your answers.

The key to success in IB Psychology is staying open-minded towards criticism and always leaving room for improvement. Due to the subjective nature of this subject, your answers will never be perfect. Always try to incorporate advice from teachers and seniors into your exams, and learn as much as you can in these two years. 

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