Throughout the month of May, our seniors will face the final task in their International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma. They will be accompanied by 876,000 students worldwide as they will sit in the MPH to take the exams. Additionally, a group of juniors who are currently taking IB History are also taking these exams. For some students, especially those applying to European universities, a great result could allow them to attend their dream university.  

The IB is recognized worldwide as perhaps the most arduous educational program available. Apart from the final exams, candidates who embark on the IB journey must additionally complete a plethora of other tasks. Internal assessments in every subject, TOK essays and presentations, and the Extended Essay all increase the average workload of an IB student. To make matters worse, students have to also meet the CAS requirements in order to graduate. This means extra time spent on community service, sports and other extracurriculars.

When it comes to studying for the exams, IB students were recently introduced to Kognity,  a new resource which allows them to access an interactive textbook with videos and visuals. Kognity also has some additional features which allows students to take practice test and battle their teammates to test their strength. This could be especially useful for students studying for their history exams, as Kognity provides a brief overview of the topic making knowledge acquired easier to retain than when studying from a traditional textbook. While a useful tool, Kognity should not be used to completely replace the standard textbook as it contains simplified information on the topics. Students should still use their regular textbooks as they contain much more in-depth information.

When it comes to the STEM subjects, much more useful study tools for the IB exams are IB question banks. Although they come at prices ranging from 15 to 30 USD per person, they give students the ability to access a database of questions from prior exams. Alternatively, question banks can be found on Reddit, however they are often incomplete and inferior in quality when compared to the ones bought from the IB store. These question banks allow students preparing for science or math exams to practice answering questions which have appeared on previous exams.

In the end, extensive studying is crucial for students hoping to obtain the best IB results. Although this could mean missing the premiere of Avengers Endgame or the final season of Game of Thrones, in the long term, getting good results will greatly benefit the students applying to Europe.

Article by Adam Zbikowski