During the past few months, the seniors have been busy as they devoted time to preparing for their IB mock-exams, a series of tests that cover their DP subjects. It is designed like the final IB exams with similar questions and aims to prepare students for the final stretch of the IB program. Their mocks were run from February 28-March 7, making it a full week of exams! After a packed week of mocks, we interviewed some of the seniors to give the DP1 students an insight into preparing and taking the mock exams.
How did you prepare and study for the exams? What are some study tips that helped you a lot?
Deandra: I studied for mocks by first going through the syllabus of each of my classes and identifying which ones I wasn’t so confident in and required revision. I went over the concepts by reading the subject textbooks and watching some Youtube videos to refresh my knowledge. Then I tried solving previous exams and exercises for each subject to make sure I know how to apply my knowledge. A major tip is to study past papers because it allows you to see how the exam will be like (in terms of formatting, questions, and time limit). Sometimes even though I feel confident in a concept, I struggle when it comes to applying that knowledge in a question I haven’t come across. Also, I suggest that you time yourself while solving these papers because time passes by really quickly during the exams, and you need to get used to it before the final thing.
Jenny: I first started by reading the notes that I’ve taken since 11th grade. If there were missing parts or details in my notes, I read the textbook to make sure I understood the concept entirely. And for subjects like chemistry, biology, and math, I answered past papers to practice my skills. I did paper 1 and paper 2 alternatively just so I can get used to the exam structure and practice how to balance my time during the exam. For mandarin, I decided on a topic I wanted to focus on in advance, and I arranged all the related vocabulary to the topic. I then wrote them again and again until I memorized the character itself and the meaning to practice for our writing exam. For English, I read the past paper 1 exam examples, and for business, I read the case study until I got used to it and really focused on the finance chapter since I was least confident with it.
Kyoungmin: I studied for the exams by reminding myself of basic knowledge of each topic as I skimmed through my notes. I feel that the most helpful way to prepare for the exam was to solve several past papers. If I was unsure of a problem while solving the paper, I read the whole unit again and solved another problem related to that unit again.
Are there any challenges you have encountered while preparing for the exam? How did you overcome them? How do you feel overall post-exams?
Jenny: When I got stuck on answering a question in a past paper, I got scared because it means I may have to review the entire chapter all over again. Especially since I take double science, chemistry, and biology, the paper 2 questions were very challenging. but I kept answering more and more past papers and studied the concept while answering them. With questions I didn’t know how to answer, I would mark it in red and after studying my notes, I would get back to them the next day. I was so excited for the mocks to be over, but little did I know we would have mocks 2.0 for all our subjects :))) Still feeling stressed!
Kyoungmin: To be honest, I had a lack of motivation while preparing for the exam for whatever reason. And I couldn’t focus solely on my studies and exams maybe because I was outside of Cebu and back in my hometown. So I just decided to study in an unfamiliar place rather than at home, and it definitely feels like it has worked. Just study without thinking about anything else. After the exam, I was just so excited… but until I heard that we will be having mocks 2.0 in a few weeks.
Sakura S.: There were times where I forgot about the topic I was studying for so I asked my teachers and friends for clarifications. After exams, I feel a little bit less stressed but there is still a lot to do so I am not able to feel relaxed and stress-free yet.
Do you look forward to accomplishing the IB? What advice would you give to the DP1 students who will be taking their mocks next year?
Pristina: Of course! I think the DP1 students should spend a part of their summer reviewing everything they went over in their first year of the IB. It might sound like a drag, but it will help them maintain their grades and even score higher for their anticipated and predicted grades.
Deandra: Yes, I do! I look forward to knowing that all my work from the past two years will finally pay off. I advise DP1 students to organize their files by topic and year so that when they review for mocks, they’ll know where everything is located. Best wishes!
Jaschia: YES! To DP1 students, try to finalize your IA’s as well as get all your other assignments done ASAP since you should probably start studying for mocks in December. This was my plan but Odette happened. Hopefully, you guys don’t have to go through the same circumstance.
Jenny: Yes. One piece of advice I can give to the DP1 students would be to answer past papers as much as you can while measuring the time you take. Answering past papers alone would help you get used to the concepts and question types, but finishing in time, especially paper 2s, takes a lot of practice.
Article by Sean, K., Akeisha, M. (Grade 11) & Kyoungmin, S.; Feature image by Naoki, K. (Grade 11)
The views expressed in this article represent the personal views of the author and should not be taken to represent the views of Dragon’s Print and Cebu International School.