ib help

Tips for Staying Focused when Revising for Exams

I find it ridiculously difficult to get into the zone for the kind of intense study required for finals preparation, maybe more so than a couple of my friends here (@studytillblurrr @wannabeproductive). So I’ve compiled a couple of tips that really help me stay focused that I haven’t seen on studyblr yet: 

1. Use parental control apps on your own phone: Regardless of the physical location of my phone, I will always find a way to spend the whole day on social media. If you’re like me, the best way to not get distracted is to download a child control app (I use OurPact and it schedules hours where you cannot access ANYTHING: literally everything except the most basic functions disappears, including camera and safari).

2. Write the heading of your next section when you finish: When working through practice questions/making notes, I always write the heading and a line’s worth of text for the following section. the next time you open up your book, it’s less intimidating to start - kind of like lowering the barriers to entry (for econ nerds)! 

3. Break up your to-do list: I study in three/four blocks per day, so I write my to-do list in three or four segments with spacing. This also makes tasks seem more manageable than a scary looking 10+ item list. 

4. Sleep whenever you’re tired, but use a HIIT timer: So this might only be useful for polyphasic sleepers, but what I like to do is set the first timer for 20 minutes, and then do a recurring timer every 5 minutes. I guess this probably will only work for light sleepers, but it’s so good!! I can go back to sleep for “five more minutes” as many times as I like without feeling guilty, and its basically impossible to sleep for more than an hour because the noise becomes annoying.  

JUNIOR YEAR ADVICE

I’m warning you know, junior year is the hardest year of high school. Colleges look at the year the most. It’s the first year of IB/AP testing, SAT, ACT, and more. So I decided to compile a post on JUNIOR YEAR ADVICE.

Check out the links I’ve put in the post. If any don’t work, message me!!! If you want more, let me know!

1. Get good grades. This is going to sound like an obvious point but really, you need to focus on doing your best academically this year. Junior year grades are the most important to a college. Improvement from previous years counts too, so improve and do your absolute best. No slacking! Look at YouTube videos for note taking ideas and how to get good grades and study tips. Here are some more

2. Take your first SAT/ACT in the winter of your junior year. I know the SAT tested in January and the ACT should test around there too. Test early and then you’ll have time to study and retake if needed. I took my SAT in March, which was okay, but I wanted more time to study so I’m taking my second SAT in October and my first ACT in September. December is the last month to take tests for UCs. Take your ACT and SAT earlier in your junior year to get them done before senior year. Check out this video for SAT/ACT advice. It’s a simple study practice.

3. Study for the SAT/ACT/AP/IB tests.  Study. The. Material. Start early and keep on track. Get books or online tools to help. Yes you an retake the SAT/ACT but any more than one extra time may not look good, as it shows it took you 3+ tries to get that score. You can’t really retake the IB/AP tests easily, or at all. You paid good money for those tests, study! I won’t be taking the new SAT in March of course so learn about that.

4. This is your last chance to join a club or sport and have in look good on college apps. Waiting until senior year to do anything, or everything, is a bad idea. Join now so you’ll have a full year under your belt. If you’re in IB, you’ll need CAS hours. Here is a link to a site with ideas. They can also be used for regular community service.

5. Start trying to decide what you want to do in college if you haven’t already. Make spreadsheets and logs to figure out what college is best for you. Figure out what you need to do to get into that college if you haven’t already.

6. Don’t date someone for the heck of it. Don’t date someone on and off. It’s a bad idea all the way around. 

7. This is the year where you learn who smokes and drinks and all that. Don’t fall into it. It’s not cool and no one cares. Honestly.

8. While it is important to do good things for college, don’t do something JUST for college apps or to impress someone. If you  want to take 5+ AP classes because you want to, go for it. If you’re doing it ONLY because it looks good on college apps or because you want to impress someone else, you’re doing it for the wrong reason.

9. Learn about the world. Learn that feminism isn’t a joke for a meme or anything. Learn that it is about equality. Learn about the police brutality. Keep an eye on politics. You’ll be voting soon. 

10. Health comes first. Always

An RPG game or role-playing game is a game in which players assume the role of characters in a fictional setting. Here are some of the top 10 RPG horror games, that have received overwhelming positive feedback. All of these are free to play & you can play them online.

  1. Ib: The game fallows the story of Ib, a little girl who was visiting an art gallery with her parents. While observing the many exhibits, Ib suddenly realizes she is alone and trapped within a space where the exhibitions started to come back to life. Help Ib escape this horror-filled museum before the gallery traps her there forever.
  2. Mad Father: Help our protagonist, Aya Drevis to save her father from the devilish creatures crawling through the mansion. Help her face the true nature of her beloved father and find what happened with her deceased mother.
  3. The Crooked Man: There was a Crooked Man, and he walked a crooked mile. He found a crooked sixpence (hey look my username) against a crooked stile. He bought a crooked cat, which caught a crooked mouse. And they all lived together in a little crooked house.
  4. The SandmanThe Sandman doesn’t like children who stays up, so he digs their eyes with a spoon and makes them into stew!
  5. Mermaid Swamp: A simple road trip becomes a nightmare when four friends are stranded in a strange mansion by a swamp. But there’s a legend about the swamp outside the mansion.
  6. Schuld: Hear the story of Aaron a man who finds himself trapped in an hostile world filled with death and decay. Find why have you brought here and who are you.
  7. Paranoiac: A true horror adventure game with creepy atmosphere and great storyline. The story fallows Miki Takamura, a book writer, who just moved into her Aunt’s house. Her aunt died in this house three years ago and since then, the house has been empty. This game contains sudden surprises and harsh images. The weak of heart should not play.
  8. WaitAnd there I stand, fed and alone, my heart is heavy as a stone. My deeds changed nothing in the end, the inevitable truth cannot be bent.
  9. Vorlorn: Far in the distance, amid the ocean, lies a massive citadel that rises out of the water every eon. It is said that deep inside of the structure is a place of magic where any wish is possible. If the legend is true, I know my wish. To see you again, even after death
  10. The Wedding: The Wedding is a great horror adventure game with great story-line and gameplay. Fallow the story of Anima and her future brother as they adventure into the woods.

Enjoy! Some of these games may contain jumpscares & startling images as well as loud noises. Play at your own risk. Here’s a compilation of other online games I’ve mentioned on this blog

  1. The Deepest Sleep
  2. Milk for the Ugly
  3. Everyday the Same Dream
  4. Escape from the Haunted Room
  5. Perdition
  6. Joralemon
  7. Entity
  8. Coma
  9. Alter Ego
  10. Urbex
  11. The Burning Room
  12. 99 Rooms
  13. The Company of Myself
  14. Take This Lollipop
  15. Covetus
  16. Annie96 is Typing
  17. Dreams of Your Life
  18. Ellie Help Me Out Please
  19. Year Walk

Here’s a compilation of other creepy lists I have made as well!

  1. Top Rated Scary Stories
  2. Cracked on Horror
  3. Listverse Bizarre and Creepy
  4. Creepiest Gifs
  5. Reddit No Sleep
  6. Reddit Paranormal
  7. Reddit Horror
  8. Creepy Contacts
  9. Top 10 Sixpenceee Stories
  10. Top 10 Reddit Lets Not Meet Stories
  11. Top 10 Creepy Short Films
  12. Compilation of Short Creepy Stories
  13. Unsettling Things on the Internet
  14. Top 10 Terrifying YouTube Videos
  15. Top 10 Creepy Audio Recordings
  16. Creepy Dares List
  17. Creepy Facts Compilation
  18. Top 5 Disturbing Topics
  19. Top 5 Fake Documentaries
  20. 6 Terrifying Comics
  21. Common Nightmares & Their Meanings
  22. Creepy Japanese Urban Legends
  23. Creepy Lost Episodes Compilation
  24. Compilation of Horror Pranks
  25. Top 5 Mass Extinctions
  26. Glitch in the Matrix
  27. Top 10 Found Footage & Creepy Videos
  28. Top 10 Long Scary Stories
  29. Ways to Contact the Dead
  30. Creepy Meaning Behind Nursery Rhymes
  31. Creepiest Glitch Experiences
  32. Paranormal Science Resources
  33. Map of Monsters/Ghosts/Cryptids in the USA
  34. Everything on Astral Projection
  35. Everything on Terrifying Dolls
How to write a good TOK essay

Hey guys! Here are some useful tips for writing TOK essays. Enjoy!

·      Try and stick to the word limit. This is super important. You should try and write 1400-1600 words per essay, as the word limit is 1600 words. However, If you go over the limit by I don’t know, 50ish words, its okay, there is no need for you to delete anything.

·      Introduction (between 200-250 words)

Ø  DEFINITIONS, DEFINITIONS, DEFINITIONS. Whenever you get a TOK essay title the first thing that you have to do is to read it thoroughly and identify the key words. For example, if you were given the title:  - “There are only two ways in which humankind can produce knowledge: through passive observation or through active experiment.” To what extent do you agree with this statement? –What are the key words here? The key words are clearly passive observation and active experimentation. You should therefore try to come up or look up appropriate definitions for these terms. What I usually do is either get dictionary definitions or just mix different definitions for these (which I find in dictionaries, online, etc.) in order to create my own.

Ø  Knowledge questions: this part is pretty simple yet really important. You should be able to come up with at least 4 good knowledge questions that relate back to the title/topic of your essay. Example: question -> Examine the ways that empirical evidence should be used to make progress in different areas of knowledge. Knowledge questions: To what extent do the natural sciences rely on empirical evidence? Therefore, to what extent are scientific discoveries reliable? (How reliable and useful are the results of controlled experiments?) To what extent does math use empirical evidence? Do theorems use empirical evidence to exist? Can math be disproved? Have axioms been found through sense perception?

Ø  Once you have established the question with these key defitions you should try and establish and present your argument; what are you going to try and prove throughout the essay? This should be done by mentioning both your arguments and counterarguments in the introduction. I will be posting one of my TOK essays in which I got an A (6.5/7) and which I corrected and annotated so that you guys can kind of get a feel of what TOK essay introductions are about.

Ø  Also, remember to state all of your knowledge questions!!! 


·      Body paragraphs:

Ø  These should contain both your arguments and counterarguments.

Ø  P1: should be about 300 words long and should not only contain your (explained) argument but also personal and “famous” examples that refer back to and support the claim/to some extent prove the claim. These examples could be the ones that you’ve studied in class or ones that you’ve found on the internet. Also use examples from your personal life!

Ø  P2: should be about 300 words long and should contain a counterargument. Explain it and USE EXAMPLES!

Ø  P3: should be about 300 words long. set up your argument, explain it, and use examples!

Ø  P4: should be about 300 words long. set up your counterargument, explain it, and use examples!

·      Conclusion (100-200 words long)

Ø  All you have to do is sump up your arguments and refer back to the essay title. Its pretty simple!

·     References, footnotes, and bibliographies:

Ø  You MUST have references! Not everything that you write down can be taken from the top of your head/from your notes.

Ø  Footnotes: Your teacher should teach you how to footnote but in case you don’t know:

FOR BOOKS: authors name, name of book, (City, publisher, year), page number.

WEBPAGES: webpage name, link, date last accessed

Example:

Michelle Stacy, The Fasting Girl: A True Victorian Medical Mystery (New York, Putnam, 2002), 18.


Ø  Bibliographies are pretty simple. I use the Harvard referencing system. This is the link to the PDF that will show you how to add links, etc. to your bibliography https://www.staffs.ac.uk/assets/harvard_quick_guide_tcm44-47797.pdf

 

WORD COUNT AT THE END OF THE ESSAY!

Good luck!!! 

Nothing is worse than oversleeping on the morning of a huge exam, rushing out the door, and barely making it on time. Whether you have the SAT, ACT, or any other big exam coming up, here are my tips to have a smooth and stress-free morning before a big test!

1. PLAN TO LEAVE AT LEAST TEN MINUTES EARLIER THAN YOU USUALLY DO. Punctuality is critical for big exams, and if you’re late, they may not let you into the testing room. If I have an exam that starts promptly at 9:00am and it usually takes me 20 minutes to get there from my house, I’ll leave thirty minutes early. That extra ten minutes is used as a safety net for unexpected traffic, and also keeps me calm because I know that I’m in no rush. And if I get to the testing site early with time to spare, I have time to look over my notes/get familiar with the testing environment. 

2. WAKE UP WITH AMPLE TIME TO GET READY. I like to set my alarm clock for at least an hour and a half before the time that I have to leave my house for the test. This ensures that I have enough time to eat breakfast and wake myself up naturally (as opposed to suddenly and frantically). If I plan to leave at 8:30am for an exam, I’ll set multiple alarms for 7:00am, just in case I’m up late studying the night before and will likely snooze my first alarm, because don’t lie to yourself, you know you’ve done that before. 

3. TRY EXERCISING OR SOME SIMPLE STRETCHES/YOGA/MEDITATION WHEN YOU WAKE UP. This helps me a lot, especially because I get test anxiety quite frequently. If you’re not a big yoga-person, no worries. Something as simple as sitting in a cross-legged position and doing deep breathing will help calm you down and regain composure. However, if you have the motivation to go on a run in the morning, by all means! Exercising releases endorphins, so along with waking you up, morning exercise will keep you happy and energized and ready to conquer your exam.

4. STAY HYDRATED. I would not recommend caffeine on the morning of a test, because it’s a diuretic, so it will make you have to use the bathroom frequently. If you think you can hold it, then have at it. But most exams do not allow participants to leave the testing room, so I would try to avoid it. Instead, drink a glass of water right when you wake up. It’ll jump-start your metabolism and wake your brain up similar to the way coffee does, but it won’t cause you to make frequent trips to the bathroom or be jittery during the exam.

5. EAT A GOOD BREAKFAST, BUT SOMETHING YOU’RE USED TO. A huge mistake that a lot of people make is eating a huge breakfast consisting of pancakes/eggs/toast/whatever on the morning of a big exam, and then their stomach gets upset during the test. Eat a breakfast that you’re used to. If you normally eat something small, like a banana or some yogurt and granola, eat that. If you normally eat a big and hearty breakfast, do that. But don’t mess with your diet, because that could end up hurting you over helping you.

6. TRIPLE-CHECK THAT YOU HAVE ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING YOU’LL NEED. Especially for standardized tests like the SAT and the ACT, make sure you have your exam ticket and government-issued photo ID (they will not let you in with out these), a calculator with batteries, a watch, at least two #2 pencils, and a water bottle/small snack for breaks. 

7. DRESS IN WHAT MAKES YOU FEEL CONFIDENT. This is something that varies from person to person. If you find that you test better when you’re comfortable in sweatpants and a t-shirt, go right ahead. If you find that you’re the most confident in full hair and makeup and a put-together outfit, more power to you. You’re going to be sitting at a desk for at least an hour, so make sure you’re comfortable in whatever you plan on wearing, at the very least. And I would also recommend bringing layers, because it could be hot outside, but some buildings blast the air-conditioner and it will be freezing inside the testing room. Just make sure you’re prepared for all weather conditions.

8. LISTEN TO SOME UPBEAT MUSIC WHILE YOU GET READY. Your test performance is largely influenced by the attitude that you have going into it. Blast your favorite music while getting ready or while you’re walking/driving to the exam. You’ll feel energized, confident, and ready to go!

9. DON’T STRESS. If you want to briefly review your notes the morning of the exam, then by all means. I do this quite frequently just because I get test anxiety, and reviewing my notes just calms me down in the morning. But don’t try to learn anything new, because you’ll just overwhelm yourself. You’ve studied all you could for this exam, and now it’s time to show what you can do. You’ve got this! 


If you’re taking an exam or big test soon, GOOD LUCK! Try out these tips and I can almost guarantee you that you’ll walk into that testing site ready to kick some serious ass. GO FORTH AND CONQUER, MY STUDYBLR FRIENDS!  

Sydney

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Citing Help!

I know it’s pretty much the end of homework for awhile (yeah!) but here’s a nifty tip on citing sources straight off of Google!

Step 1: Google the article/book/poem title into Google scholar. 

Step 2: Click ‘cite’ at the bottom of the result

Step 3: Copy whichever form of the citing into your document

It’s that easy! :) Hope this helps for any future papers! 

 

hello, my fellow IB friends!

dear people who have just been assigned your extended essays,
who are days away from handing in your extended essays,
who are in the middle of working on them,
or who are dreading the fact that they are ever approaching,
i would like to remind you

your EE is not as important as it sometimes seems it is.

yes, it’s important; yes, you get points for it – 1.5 points. okay? one and a half. in the grand scheme of things, 1.5 points is 3.33% of the final 45 points. 

let’s put this in perspective:

  • SL history internal assessments are worth 25% of a student’s final history grade. 0.25 x 7 = 1.75. that’s more that your EE. 
  • English LangLit internals – aka your FOA and your IOC – are worth 30% of your final grade. 0.3 x 7 = 2.1. that’s more than your EE. 

so if your EE feels like an insurmountable task, just remember – it’s hardly more than a glorified lab report/paper 2/exploration/whatever the appropriate comparison for the subject you’re doing it in is.

yes, you should put effort into it, but in the end it’s only one part of a much larger program and thus you really shouldn’t spend so much time and energy on it that all of your other work is compromised

tl;dr: a lot of people stress over the EE a lot more than it’s worth. maybe it’s because they naturally stress over things – but maybe it’s because their teachers way over-emphasised the importance of it, making it sound like the most important thing you’ll do during your IB career. so if your EE seems impossible, remember, it doesn’t have to be super fancy. it’s only a high school level paper.

also, i strongly recommend reading the subject-by-subject criteria breakdown in this pdf – it can really help if you’re wondering “should i do more this?” or “do i have enough that?”. the pdf is super long, but only the stuff under the subject you’re doing your EE in is useful to you. and if you have all the stuff in the top mark bands – congrats! you’ve done enough. 

so basically what i’m trying to say is the EE isn’t the end of the world.

good luck to everyone working on theirs!

Hey everyone! After clawing my way through IB Chemistry HL for two years, I’ve decided to compile a list of resources that I found super useful while studying it and some I found after I’d taken my exams and wish I’d found earlier. While there are quite a few chem resource masterposts on tumblr (x, x, x), these are the ones I found most beneficial specifically for IB. I hope you find them useful!

General/non-IB:

Practicals/virtual simulations:

YouTube channels:

IB specific:

Good luck to all present and future IB students! My inbox is always open if you have a question.

-Kristen

IB Biology/Chemistry Lab Guide

Labs make up ~25% of your grade, and figuring out the format isn’t always straightforward. All lab reports are done using the same ‘template’, so here’s an explanation of each section.

There are tons of guides online, but I’m making a condensed version to keep it simple and get the main points across.

1. Design (D)

  • Title- Exactly what it sounds like.
  • Research Question- The aim of the investigation
  • Background information- Information on the materials/processes used (use Google)
  • Hypothesis- What you expect. Should be in an ‘if-then’ format with dependent/independent variables.
  • Variables- List and briefly explain why
    • Independent
    • Dependent
    • Control
  • Control of Variables- Explain how you’re eliminating inaccuracies
    • “Standard air/temperature was maintained in the lab”
    • “Glassware cleaned before use”
  • Materials- Not just a list. Include:
    • Concentration of solutions
    • Exact amounts in mL
    • Size of containers/glassware
  • Method- Exactly what you did (not why). Diagrams can be used.

2. Data Collection and Processing (DCP)

  • Recording Raw Data - Includes any data you got from the lab
    • Should be in a table with a title, no calculations.
  • Processing Raw Data - All calculations
    • Show full calculation, all steps. 
    • Include errors and uncertainties (±…)
    • Keep this section tidy!
  • Presenting Raw Data
    • Data is usually presented in a graph or table
    • If a graph - include best-fit lines and error bars.

3. Conclusion and Evaluation

  • Concluding
    • State a brief conclusion based on the data found in DCP
  • Evaluating
    • Evaluate the weaknesses/limitation of the lab
  • Improvements
    • Incude brief possible improvements. 

Other Points

  • You want the lab to be as short as possible. Include only important info.
  • Don’t use personal pronouns. Say “The experiment yielded….” rather than “I found”.