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How to Survive the IB Program ( Written by Joie Lomugdang)

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The International Baccalaureate is a globally recognized educational institution which caters competitive and holistic programmes with the intention to mold students into inquiring, knowledgeable, and caring individuals. Students who intend to earn an IB diploma must undergo a two – year programme provided by any IB school. This programme is composed of Extended Essay, Theory of Knowledge (TOK), Creativity, Action and Service (CAS), and six subjects which belong to six subject groups: Studies in Language and Literature, Language Acquisition, Individuals and Societies, Sciences, Mathematics, and the Arts. These subjects are taken as either Standard Level (SL) or High Level (HL).

Although both the Standard and High Level subjects are graded using similar indicators and descriptors, they vary in terms of the range of topics being covered. High Level can be more rigorous than Standard Level since students are expected to possess greater knowledge, deeper understanding, and wide assimilation of each topic. Due to greater expectations, some HL students may find it hard to cope with the humongous demands leading to frustrations and stress! To help lessen your stress and cope with your school work, here are some helpful tips and tidbits of wisdom that will surely help you survive and thrive in IB HL:

1. Develop a good study habit. As your lessons progress in HL subjects, lessons become more challenging. In order to follow your lessons and help you easily acquire new knowledge, it is extremely important to establish a good study habit.

  • Advance Reading. Before learning a new topic, allot some time to read your lessons in advance. Take note all the major and minor sections being covered. This will help you get the scope of each lesson and allow you to take good notes during the lecture. You do not have to force yourself to understand all the concepts right away.
  • Take Down Notes and Concentrate. Having good listening and taking down notes skills allow you to understand a topic and keep good record of your teacher’s lecture. In order to do this, listen carefully to your professor and ask questions whenever a concept is not clear to you. This way, you won’t have to spend so much time in reviewing or understanding a lesson. Take down notes all the concepts and skills which are emphasized by your teacher, as well.
  • Review Lecture Notes. At the end of the day, reread your notes together with your book. This allows you to add necessary information and applications which you may have missed during a lecture.
  • Do Chapter Exercises. Sometimes, reading is simply not enough to absorb lessons and tough concepts. You have to learn how to work around each topic by practice and application. Work on exercises and past papers in order to recall and understand each topic. Besides, working on past papers gives you an idea on how IB constructs questions and which topic needs more of your attention.

2. Break bigger projects into small and manageable tasks. Working on bigger projects such as scientific papers and essays which require long hours may seem daunting at times. To avoid feeling discouraged by the huge amount of work that you need to put through, break each project into small and manageable tasks. Afterwards, make a time table by allotting appropriate amount of time each task would require and strictly follow the plan to avoid the piling up of your work.

Table 1. An Example of a Time Table for a Scientific Paper



Designated Date

Researching for the Topic

4 hours

November 3

Writing an Introduction, Hypothesis, Variables, Materials and Methodology

4 hours

November 5


1 hour

November 6


4 hours

November 8

Tabulation of Results and Data Analysis

5 hours

November 11

Constructing a Conclusion

1 hours

November 12


2 hour

November 12



November 20







3. Look for Immediate Remedy. Like a wound or a disease, allowing a problem to pester you puts you in a bad situation and it will only get worse when you make procrastination as your way of life. The sooner you tackle a problem or question, the easier it will be to learn another new concept. So, when you encounter a hurdle like not understanding a concept or when you find it hard to learn a skill, don’t hesitate to ask help from your teachers, classmates, or tutors. Also, there is tremendous amount of information available in the internet at your disposal.

4. Delaying gratification. We always hear the adage, “good things come to those who wait”. Whether it is skipping a good night’s rest or missing out on parties in exchange for a good grade, delayed gratification can bring successful results. Let’s face it. There really is no shortcut to success. If you want to succeed in IB HL, you have to sacrifice so many things but sometimes it can be disheartening. Having an average of 3 hours of sleep every night with your goal so out of your reach could make you feel depressed and discouraged. That is why you also need to reward yourself from time to time. Just bear in mind: plan, prioritize, and reward yourself for a job well done!

Choose only two items you want to prioritize:

Good Grades

Good night’s rest

Social Life



5. Make Eureka! your study partner! Eureka! Tutorials and Learning Center has top – notch tutors and educators who are equipped to teach IB HL subjects such as mathematics, sciences (physics, chemistry, biology), and literature. Our teaching techniques and materials (IB – based) have been proven helpful as indicated by the number of IB students we’ve helped graduate with honors and earn their diplomas! At Eureka! your tutors will not only help you plan out your course work according to your needs but also prepare you for the May External Exams. To help you cope with your lessons, we can help you do advance studying, review your past lessons, and guide you in working with past papers. We can help address your needs and questions in a more personal way (which a typical large class cannot address) since our classes are offered one – on – one. Our educators may also help you in brainstorming ideas for your extended essays and other papers allowing you to save your resources and time and allot them for other major projects or exams. At Eureka! you will not only get the most out of your IB lessons, but also gain helpful insights about society and life, in general. So, if you want to join the ranks of our excellent students, then, come and be a Eurekan today!


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