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How to get all A's in high school IB courses?

IB programmes are immersive and require the learner’s complete dedication and absolute participation. It gives learners flexibility by letting them choose the courses and activities. Learners can explore topics and issues in the subjects they find interesting. However, there is a lot of work involved and one must adhere to a strict schedule for self-study, assignments, activities, and projects. The IB Diploma Programme (IBDP) is a pre-university course which is designed to teach learners essential skills and subjects for college programmes. We are sharing some tips on how you can achieve all As in high school IB courses.

Understand IB’s Course Structure

If you want to be a straight-A student, then you must first understand IBDP course outcomes. IBDP is a two-year high school course where the learner chooses one course each from six academic subject groups and completes the mandatory DP core, which includes -

  • Theory of Knowledge (ToK) - a reflective essay on the nature of knowledge
  • Extended Essay (EE) - independent research project consisting of a 4000-word research paper
  • Creativity, Action, and Service (CAS) - learners have to complete 150 hours in creative activities, sports, and community services. They have the alternative to blend the activities. They have to submit a report on the same.

Of the six academic subjects, the learner has to choose at least 3 subjects in Higher Level (HL) and 3 subjects in Standard Level (SL). Which courses you choose in HL will depend on-

  • The academic requirement for college application
  • Learner’s aptitude
  • Availability in the school
  • Learner’s interest

Some courses are deemed easier than others in IBDP, but the course must be relevant to the college programme one applies to as well

Understand IB’s Grading and Assessments

In the 6 IBDP academic courses, the highest score one can get is 7. The DP core courses are assigned letter grades between A to E. CAS has a pass/fail requirement and ToK and EE are assigned 1 to 3 points. So, the total score in IBDP is 45 points. IB does not have a GPA or letter grades. So, if you want all As, you have to score 7 out of 7 in all academic subjects, an A in CAS and 3 points in EE and ToK. Thus, you will get 45 out of 45 in IBDP. IBDP learners appear for internal and external assessments. Internal assessments include long-term projects which include research papers, reports, and presentations. These usually comprise 15-25% of the final IB score for that subject. External assessments are done for the final examinations at the end of the second year of the IBDP.

Preparing to get all As in IBDP

IBDP pedagogy design ensures the learner’s complete involvement in the course. To get straight As, firstly, you must have perfect attendance for all subjects. Everything has to be perfectly strategised with an end goal in mind. Since IBDP is a pre-university course, the main objective is to teach the learner essential skills that will be applied in the university and to complete the pre-university course requirements for college admissions. So, shortlist the college programmes and the colleges that you wish to apply to. Next, understand the course requirements at the pre-university level and choose the courses that will be relevant to your programme. Choosing the right HL courses matters because HL is more in-depth and tougher to score in. Here are a few pointers on how to score high in IBDP.

Understand the course curriculum

Every course has individual requirements and course objectives, study and understand them perfectly. Discuss assignments and projects with the course coordinators to understand what they expect from the learner.

Time management

It is important to create a proper timetable and follow a schedule with time assigned for assignments, projects, and personal study time. The learner must create space for time-offs and breaks too.

Apply study techniques that work for you

Everyone has a unique learning technique. Create a study schedule where you learn the theories and concepts, solve past question papers, and revise what you have learned. You can create easy-to-recall summaries for everything you learn.

Stay ahead of schedule

There are deadlines for projects, group presentations, EE, ToK, and CAS. start thinking about it and working on it from the earliest so that you don’t pile on a lot of work at the last moment.

It is important to not lose focus on one’s self-care as mental and physical well-being are as important as doing well in high school. Hone your multi-tasking and organisation skills with discipline as the IBDP course requires sincere efforts towards learning and self-improvement. Most importantly, set realistic and achievable goals that will lead you towards your ultimate aim.

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