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How to Prepare for IB

oolonnoolonn Registered User Posts: 58 New Member
edited October 2010 in High School Life
I'm planning on taking IB in 11th and 12th grade, which I have heard is extremely difficult. Currently, I am a freshman with too much free time and breezing through my classes. I know when I'm going to have a tough time transitioning from my easy classes to IB when the time comes.

How can I prepare for my difficult IB classes? I was thinking of self-learning subjects by using books from wikiBooks, but I don't really the see point. Plus, all the information that I would learn through the wikiBooks would just be memorization, and have very little application.


Post edited by oolonn on

Replies to: How to Prepare for IB

  • MIThopeful16MIThopeful16 Registered User Posts: 7,539 Senior Member
    Do what I did. Wait for it to come. It's not as difficult as everyone says. It's not the content of the work, it's the volume of it. You have to MANAGE your time.
  • oolonnoolonn Registered User Posts: 58 New Member
    Should I try to learn some other subjects on my own, or is it not worth it?
  • kenzie1992kenzie1992 Registered User Posts: 1,003 Senior Member
    ^^what he said. I'm an IB senior and it's all about time management.

    My one suggestion would be to try to put yourself in a position to take two of your SL tests your junior year, I made sure I was in Spanish 4 and IB SL Mathematics as a junior so now I only have to worry about 4 IB tests this year. This is an especially good idea if you plan to take 4 HL classes (which I'm not doing, but I wish I could). And this isn't necessarily an "easy way out" - you can still take APs or additional IB classes as a senior for a rigorous courseload, but that way come May you only have to worry about four tests actually affecting your IB diploma instead of 5 or 6. Plus you have a chance to re-take any tests you do poorly on.

    Also, this isn't really a way to make IB easier, but I STRONGLY suggest self studying the AP classes that correspond to your IB SLs. I'm going to do that for art history this year and I wish I had done it for spanish and math last year. That way you actually get college credit, and it looks great on apps.

    For time management: Get an easy-to-carry laptop, bring it to school every day. Use it to take notes in class if you can, use it during any free time to work on whatever papers you're writing at the moment. Use all available time during school to work. My macbook pro has been my best friend for a year now, but plenty of people seem to be perfectly happy with the super cheap little netbooks.
  • oolonnoolonn Registered User Posts: 58 New Member
    kenzie, sorry I'm new to the IB system. Does this mean that SL courses are only 1 year? If so, my school doesn't offer AP courses, so what would I do senior year? Due to having a limited course selection, my IB classes it looks like I will be taking are:

    Math HL
    History HL
    Economics HL
    Literature HL
    Spanish SL

    Undecided on Science

    Would this mean that I would have to take an SL Science?

    I was considering self-studying AP classes, but are you sure I should only do it for my SL subjects because of college credits? Also, when is the right time to self-study a.k.a. is freshman year too early? And, do I need to buy a textbook or could I just get some AP test review books and use online textbooks from wikiBooks (although they're mainly summaries).

    On the note of laptops, I'm trying to save up for a Mac, and will definitely have a laptop at the very least by my junior year for IB.

    Thanks for all your help!
  • kenzie1992kenzie1992 Registered User Posts: 1,003 Senior Member
    I'm pretty sure you would have to/want to take an SL science because at least at my school we don't allow 5 HLs unless the student proves to be some sort of godly supergenius. Which maybe you are, in which case talk to your IB coordinator.

    If your school doesn't offer APs, you could take an additional IB course without testing in it. Like, if you decide to take chemistry SL and test as a junior, you could take a year of bio as a senior without actually testing. Or you could take an additional IB test without worrying the stress of your overall diploma score.

    I've never self studied an AP before this year, and it's something I regret not doing. I don't see a point in taking an AP test corresponding to your HL courses because those give college credit, and SLs don't. But you could self study additional subjects that you're not taking at all, I'm just not in a good position to give advice for that with my lack of experience. Ask around on the AP boards. Idk if freshman year is too early, but I have friends who self studied AP Euro as sophomores.
  • sleepless2009sleepless2009 Registered User Posts: 79 Junior Member
    DD went through IB so I know a few things. First don't take Math HL unless you love math and is very good at it. D's school is a public school with gifted program. Last year nobody got 7 on math HL, this year only two got 7. Also you can take most AP tests along with IB, but IB physics SL will not prepare you for AP physics.
  • AnythingToSayAnythingToSay Registered User Posts: 560 Member
    My school allows a limit of 4 HLs, no exceptions :c.

    But the difficulty is REALLY overrated. It's not as hard as you think.
  • oolonnoolonn Registered User Posts: 58 New Member
    Thanks kenzie for responding! Actually, I would definitely take an SL science now that I think of it. Also, my school is actually thinking about limiting this year's juniors to only only 3 HL classes, which would mean I would probably take History SL, unless some new courses are offers.

    For taking the IB test as a junior, wouldn't I know only half of the information? If I do take it junior year and get a bad score, will I be able to continue the course and retake the exam my senior year and not worry about the score of the junior year? Suppose I take the AP exam. If I do bad, will it be sent to colleges or do I have the option to not?

    sleepless - Thanks for the advice! Currently I am in an extra-accelerated Algebra II class and not really trying. But, for me it really depends on the teacher. Even though the teacher hasn't really taught us last year, most of this stuff is pretty self-explanatory. I did have a tough time last year though in 8th grade which is surprising. My PreCal teacher next year is the one that teacher Math HL so that will make my decision, but I'll mostly go with Math HL because I'm pretty sure I'm going to major in something business related. If I were to take the AP exam for the History I take, would it be AP World History? I am probably not going to take AP Physics, but I'm not 100% sure.
  • MIThopeful16MIThopeful16 Registered User Posts: 7,539 Senior Member
    SLs teach you all the information you need in one year.

    Math HL is like for the Big time math people. Math SL is like for Business math.

    And it would be AP USH depending on the option. Is it History of the Americas?

    And Math HL has a 7% 7 rate. Not many get one.

    Math HL is a joke though.

    I'll take 5 HLs next year.
  • hananahanana Registered User Posts: 2,312 Senior Member
    How many HLs do people usually take?
  • ericajadeericajade Registered User Posts: 51 New Member
    the maximum is 4 HL courses, at least at my school.

    i took my two SLs, math studies and environmental systems, last year so thank god this year i have my better courses. i have HL english, psych, history, and SL spanish. that's 3 SLs and 3 HLs. senior year history is history of the americas.

    IB is all about time management. i never have homework unless it's a typed project.
  • MIThopeful16MIThopeful16 Registered User Posts: 7,539 Senior Member
    Most people take 3-4.

    Because I desired to take Computer Science HL, and have my SL requirements done this year.. my IB coordinator said I could take it.
  • oolonnoolonn Registered User Posts: 58 New Member
    MIThopeful16 - So SL courses are only one year long? I would my consider myself big on math, and I'm not fully decided on business so I would pick Math HL. Oh, so History focuses on the region? Then yes, it should be US History. How exactly is it a joke? Is it that easy? I will still probably take it though.
  • MIThopeful16MIThopeful16 Registered User Posts: 7,539 Senior Member
    To me, the material is a joke. It's not hard, it's the volume that it comes in.

    Except SL math at some schools, SL courses are 1 year or should be one year.

    My school makes SL physics 2 year.

    Math HL material I breeze through. The HL exam however, that's a different story. That will require effort.
  • FlMathMomFlMathMom Registered User Posts: 1,307 Senior Member
    My son is a senior in an IB program. In grade 9 & 10, he was in MYP which is pre-IB. His school offers many AP classes. I think he will have taken 15 by the time he graduates. You can take the AP exam even tho you did not take an AP class. For example, if you take World History, you can take the AP exam in May as well as the SAT II in May or June in the year you finish the class. If you go to the College Board web site, the exams given are explained there.

    If you are bored, I suggest you take the most rigorous courses your school offers. Perhaps you can dual enroll in a local community college or virtual school. Speak to your GC, a few teachers you admire and upperclassmen. You don't have to decide yet which IB exams you will take SL or HL. You may want to talk to the IB coordinator to get more details about the community service and other requirements.

    Don't forget to make friends, enjoy school and get involved in ECs. You can use any extra time to help others or get a job. You can also start prepping for the SAT and ACT.
This discussion has been closed.