Be a forward-thinking IB learner: Tips for managing yourself during IB

Being a learner at IB involves a lot of challenges and expectations. Whether you are currently pursuing DP or intend to join it in the future, here are some useful tips on exercising suitable approaches to learning skills as well as managing your time effectively.

Planning and time management go hand in hand. It is a success factor for DP students. The initial two months of the programme are not an easy transition but after getting an idea of the craft of effective time management and organizing, students can manage and cope with Internal Assignments (IA), Extended Essay (EE) and Creativity, Activity and Service (CAS).

Another tool at your disposal will be good use of a calendar app to track your time. If you are a visual or a kinaesthetic learner, post-it notes on the study table are of great help to remind yourself of the upcoming deadlines. It also proves beneficial for you to keep a track of your own routine.

One should also limit the time spent on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. You can make use of your smartphones and applications that provide the data to keep track of your screen time to curb unnecessary time spent on mindless scrolling through your feed on these platforms.

However, IB students should not completely block themselves from social networks because being part of DP requires you to be part of the learning community. Here, social media proves to be an effective tool that is used appropriately for activities like debates, current affairs, subject-specific content pages, or even YouTube channels. More importantly, learners should build self-management skills that will help them succeed in their studies and beyond.

The teachers can also ensure their learners make productive use of their summer break that begins in June. Hence, google calendar can be used for keeping records of assessments from August to December. The intention of the teacher should not be to stress but give their students a realistic and holistic idea of what they can expect and manage time more productively. Stress is inevitable; it’s present in DP, university and in life. But in the end, how and what we do to manage stress is what caters to our well-being and mental health.

"Students should be encouraged to front-load some work during summer break so they feel less stressed out when they come back."

Often at the end of the first year of DP, many students would have already begun their EE and various subject groups would have started the IA process with deadlines piling up throughout the initial few months of the programme’s second year. Students should be asked to spend a bit of time in their final week of school to map out their summer break with a weekly action plan that consists of weekly goals and rewards thereafter.

The teachers should also encourage students to front-load some work during their summer break so they feel less stressed out when they come back. Their perspective should also be changed by encouraging them and creating anticipation for the longest summer holiday without work and deadlines after completing their IB exams. Hopefully, this could lead to a more regimented schedule over summer break whilst ensuring that they meet key milestones in preparation for an extremely busy school year ahead of them.

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