In May 2021 Dulwich College Shanghai Puxi received official authorization as an IB World School for the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme.

As an IB World School offering the Diploma Programme, Dulwich College Shanghai Puxi joins:

A global community of schools committed to developing knowledgeable, caring young people who will be ready to negotiate their futures successfully and make contributions resulting in a more harmonious and peaceful world.

In this article we provide 10 tips for students about to embark on the challenging yet rewarding IB Diploma Programme;

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Transitioning from the IGCSE into IB can be overwhelming, as it is a new curriculum with many unfamiliar elements. However, with the right attitude, the IB Diploma Programme could be the most rewarding experience of your life.

In order to be successful at the IB Diploma, it is crucial to manage your time effectively, stay organised and make use of your support network. Below, see my top 10 tips for how you can be successful in the IB Diploma Programme:

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1. Complete Your CAS Requirements as Early as Possible

CAS is a fantastic part of the IB Diploma, as it enables students to take a break from academics, develop practical skills and learn outside of the classroom. However, if you don’t stay on top of your CAS requirements it can be a real source of stress. Therefore, it is a good idea to understand your CAS requirements early on and start working towards achieving them. You might even use your summer holiday to start thinking about CAS activities that you would like to undertake, so that, when the academic year starts, you are well on your way to CAS success!

2. Break Down Your Work

It can be a daunting task to do the large-scale writing projects the IB requires. Therefore, as soon as the first sign of a large project arises, get productive! The earlier your start, the more opportunities there will be to ask for help, refine your work and complete experiments (in the case of Science).

Also, rather than setting a deadline reminding you to “complete the gigantic essay,” set interim goals for completing the outline, a first draft, a second draft and a final version.

3. Use Your Summer Efficiently

The summer is the perfect time to do some pre-reading. It is not too early to start accessing the online platforms we have at Dulwich College Shanghai Puxi. 

4. Stay Organised

It is crucial to stay organised for the duration of the programme. You will have various notes and worksheets, and possibly loose papers, and keeping everything together in subject folders will enable you to revise effectively without going on a wild search for scattered subject material. Dividers in folders are also great for keeping different topics separate so if you have an end of unit test you do not have to sort through a folder full of notes.

5. Manage Your Homework

In interviews with former IB students, the message is always loud and clear. MANAGE YOUR TIME.  One way to do this is to complete homework as soon as you get it. If you tackle the work the day it was set, you will be able to do it easier and quicker, because the content will be fresh in your mind. This also means that you are more likely to retain the information if reviewed within 24 hours, and your brain will be able to store it better.

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6. Highlight Key Words

In all subjects, key words are very important. When writing definitions in your notes, it can be difficult to find them later, so use a highlighter. You can even consider using different colours for definitions, subtitles and key information. It will not only make your notes look great, but will also make it very easy to find what you’re looking for when doing revision.

7. Develop an Organisational System

Your organisational system for course work will depend somewhat on the syllabus. Even so, your focus should be on long-term planning for reading books and writing papers.

It is very likely that you will have a test or assessment after each unit, so ensure that you have a clear understanding of what you’ve been taught. Create effective revision materials that you can later use for real exams. 

8. Do Not Hesitate to Ask for Help

Your teachers are specialists in their subjects, so ask if you do not understand. They will be able to provide presentations, exam questions or simply the time you need to talk through your questions. They can not only help you understand information, but also support you through stressful times.

9. Do Not Isolate Yourself

When times get stressful, you might be tempted to work through it yourself. Don’t! Isolating yourself is not good for you, especially when you are constantly thinking about pressure, stress and exams, as it might cause a cycle of panic. When you speak to your peers, you’ll find they might have the exact pressures and you can support one another.

10. Use Your Free Periods Wisely

It is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that free periods are opportunities to hang out with your friends. Just remember, if you do that, you will end up having to catch up on the work you could have done at a different time. My advice would be to go somewhere quiet and use this time wisely, as it will prevent a build-up of work at home.

 

These ten tips really boil down to organization and good time management. Use your summer to access your online learning platforms. It will give you a flying head start and make you feel in control of your studies. 

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