Going into Grade 11: Advice from the Students

The end of the school year fast approaching, it’s a time of joy and relaxation, you’ve made it through the School Year. However, for Grade 10s that means that next year is the first year of DP and where new challenges and expectations await. I’ve gone around and asked my classmates in Grade 11 to give their advice on what to do in order to make it through Grade 11.

Advice #1: From Dylan

Start CAS Early. I mean really early, CAS is supposed to be a ongoing commitment for 18 months and if you fall behind, it’s really hard to catch up and it’s almost entirely self managed so you’re responsible for keeping a consistent log of your CAS activities.

Advice #2: From Ben and Nikolai

If you need tutors for classes you struggle in, don’t hesitate. There’s a lot of content to get through especially if it’s an HL class, if you need a tutor to help you keep on top of things, don’t hesitate.

Advice #3: From Russell

Understanding the marking schemes for all your courses is VERY important. Some assignments are weighed more heavily than others depending on which courses you take. Check Managebac regularly after your finish your assessments to see your grade and see how each assessment matches up to the marking scheme.

Advice #4: From Lalia

Choose HLs that you actually care about. HL courses are very time consuming and some require extensive knowledge in order to succeed in it. Choose your HLs not only according to which ones that will help you the most but also the ones you actually care about so you can do even better.

Advice #5: From Vip

Be Organised/Have a system. In class you’re going to be taking a lot of notes depending on which courses you take whether it is handwritten or electronic. Keeping your notes or files organise is very important especially during exam time when you have to review everything you learned throughout the year. The easier you make your notes, the easier you can study from them. Also don’t do half and half, pick one system of note taking and stick with it, it will make your life so much easier.

Advice #6: From Marissa and Anindita

Don’t run away from your teachers, if you didn’t do your work, be honest and tell them ASAP instead of ignoring the problem. They know, and you’ll just look stupid. The more you run away from your problems, the harder it will be for your teachers to trust you doing your work. Lower your ego, just because you didn’t do well in something doesn’t mean that the teacher is constantly thinking about you and your failure, they have more things to worry about. Nevertheless, just ask if you need help.

Make sure to keep up with the ‘little’ things that your teachers won’t be on top of you for, such as CAS (proposals, reflections, evidence) and TOK journals and notes.

In regards to self-care: Keep in mind that you are trying to keep up with 6 different subjects, so it is impossible to do amazing in all of them. Don’t be so hard on yourself and understand that you did the best work you could in the given circumstances, and move on, don’t get hung up on past grades, just keep looking forward. Also don’t forget important things that are non-academic, like your family, keeping up with long-distance friendships, physical health, and mental health. Know when you need to take a step back, and analyse what’s up with you and your life.

Advice #7: From Chloe

Make sure you have good writing skills. In courses like English, Language Acquisition, History and especially EE, you’re going to be writing a lot. Make sure that you have good writing skills especially when it comes to writing essays is essential if you want to pass your exams as most of them are timed essays.

Advice #8: From Rachel

Finish your assignments early. If you can, finish them early especially your IAs early so you can get out of the way and focus on other stuff. Once you get into the middle of the year, the workpile will just keep getting bigger and the more you delay the harder it is to stay on top of all of it.

Advice #9: From Benye

Be prepared to sleep less and maybe pull an nighter once in awhile. Chances are you won’t have enough time to finish everything and will have less sleep as a result. Plan ahead and allocate your time accordingly, if you need to stay up late or pull an all nighter on a certain day, mark it for reference ann what you’ll be doing.

Advice #10: From Christian

Don’t believe the hype that the IB is so hard. Even though there’s a lot of memes and jokes about how the IB is so hard and that it’s going to be torture. Sure some of it is true, but for the most part, as long as you do your work and take good notes, IB won’t seem be that hard. It’s only ‘hard’ because of the higher expectations and bigger workload.

Advice #11: From Brittney

Prepare yourself for failure, prepare for the possibility that you won’t do good on every exam. As cliche as this sounds, failure is the road to success. Don’t think it’s the end of the world just because you got one bad mark, ask the teacher where you went wrong and to explain how you can improve. This way you show the teacher that you are trying and in turn you can do better the next time around.

Advice #12: From Everyone

DO YOUR WORK. Even if its not required or if the teacher doesn’t check if you done it or not. It’s still important to do all your homework because it helps you better understand the topic you’re studying and get you familiar to the style of questions that will appear on your exams.

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