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The best tips for IBDP preparation:

At present, there are almost 140 educational institutes across the country, and they provide an IB education. There are nearly 350 institutes which will help you prepare for the upcoming CIE exams. The common question that is asked for IBDP preparation is whether it's worth the money you invest.

The IB courses and curriculum have more prominence, and it is significantly more practical than other boards like HSC, CBSE, or ICSE. Students who study the IBDP syllabus have a chance to explore challenging subjects, concepts, and topics. This is a great learning process because it enables the student to understand the material, rather than to encourage rote learning. The process of studying for an IB diploma certificate will also allow the student to enhance their communication skills and create independent thinkers, as well. The education board for IB courses enables student-faculty interaction, especially if they are from different countries and cultures.

So, you have decided to study for an IB diploma, but have no idea where to start because the information and instructions can seem overwhelming at first. The main point that will help you ace your exams is to start preparing for them in advance. In this article, we will go through the syllabus, exam pattern, opportunities, and study preparation tips that will help you ace your IBDP exams.

What opportunities can an IB diploma offer you?

There are many IB diploma benefits when you opt for the curriculum. You will quickly notice opportunities like advanced study material, interesting topics, the ability to enhance your communication skills, a faculty that is there to help you every step of the way, and the excellent opportunities to study abroad and soak in various cultures and customs.

If you have taken IB courses in the 12th grade, then you're eligible for college credits if you have decided to take up higher studies abroad; especially, if it's in universities in the United States of America. So, if you score well in the IBDP exams, especially in physics and math, then you can complete the Bachelor course in 3.5 years instead of the usual four years. For example, if you want to study at the University of Massachusetts, and you have received a 7 in your IBDP physics or math papers, then you can opt for Physics or Calculus 1.

Even though there are universities in the UK and USA who take in students who have completed their 12th grade from local Indian Boards, special preference is given to students who have studied the IB courses online. The reason for the special preference is that institutes look for students who have already gone through a rigorous syllabus.

Recently, most students have expressed a desire to pursue their 11th and 12th grades through international education boards. This is because they can choose higher studies abroad; right now, there are almost 5000 students across India who want to opt for IB courses online.

Core components of the IBDP online diploma program:

IBDP students need to study three subjects at a Higher Level, and three of them at a Standard Level. The higher subject is studied for more hours – 240 teaching hours- and the Standard level subjects are studied for 159 teaching hours. This way, the IBDP study curriculum tends to combine broad education with detailed study patterns.

The two-year program includes the following:

>> You can study six subjects that can be chosen from six subject groups

>>Complete an extended essay

>> Complete theory of knowledge course

>> Active participation in creativity, activity, and service

The three core requirements of the IBDP curriculum include:

  • Writing an extended essay – the word limit is 4000 words, and it offers the student a chance to write on a topic that is of personal interest. This will teach them the process of autonomous research and enhance their writing skills.
  • Creativity, activity, and service – This includes active participation in the school's CAS programs, and it encourages the students to be more involved in extracurricular activities.
  • Theory of Knowledge- This course is interdisciplinary, and it provides consistency by examining the information across disciplines and cultures.

These are the choice of subjects that are offered for the diploma program:

Group 1:

  • Language A – English Literature
  • Self-taught Language A

Group 2:

  • Language B – Hindi
  • Language Ab Initio- Spanish
  • Language Ab Initio – French
  • Language B- French
  • Language B – Spanish
  • Language B – English

Group 3:

  • Business Management
  • Economics
  • Geography
  • History
  • Environmental societies and systems

Group 4:

  • Physics
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Computer Science
  • Environmental societies and systems

Group 5:

  • Mathematics HL
  • Mathematics SL
  • Mathematical Studies SL

Group 6:

  • Visual Arts
  • Music

You can always refer to AspireBuzz and their comprehensive mock tests online; these papers will give you a detailed insight on what to expect from the upcoming IB exams and provide you with a practical take on the exams as well.

What are the advantages of switching from CBSE to IB?

If you want to take up the IBDP exams, then you will have to opt for the IB curriculum. The International Baccalaureate program provides students with a standard educational model, which also offers a variety of concepts and topics. Listed below are some of the main advantages of switching from a CBSE curriculum to IB curriculum:

Suitable educational understanding:

One of the significant benefits of pursuing the IB diploma is the balanced approach it provides students. Students will have to take up a subset of the courses that are provided in each group. This is an excellent choice because it allows the student to choose the subjects they want to study while learning about other topics as well.

The primary subjects are split into various groups like mathematics, science, creative studies, languages, social studies, and humanities.

Enables a focused approach to education:

IB curriculums are designed in such a way that they discourage rote learning. They don't have a predefined set of textbooks, as well. The IB course encourages you to understand and learn the concepts that are taught in class, and it believes that students tend to grasp topics better when they know what they are studying. Since there is no set of textbooks, you are free to research and gain access to the suitable resources that will help you in your upcoming exams.

International recognition:

Schools that provide the IB curriculum tend to have international recognition, and the diploma is valid for most foreign and domestic universities. IB courses are designed in such a way that it suits the various requirements of the student. If you're a parent, and you wish to send your child off for further studies to a foreign university, then you can opt for IB courses.

How can you prepare for IBDP 2020?

So, you have your priorities in order, and your goal is gaining that IBDP diploma. This objective will require a score of 45 marks, which is not impossible to achieve, but it requires plenty of hard work. You have to start preparing early on, and you need to be mentally healthy to take on the stress and pressure that comes with taking this exam; this also includes building confidence and self-esteem, that will come with the right amount of preparation.

Below are some tips to help you study for IBDP exams:

Manage your study time:

It's quite important that you learn to manage your study time in a realistic and practical manner. You can start effective time management by setting up a study schedule. The schedule should be feasible. This means that it should include the study timings along with breaks. Creating a study time table with little to no breaks is impractical and harmful to your physical and mental health. IB students tend to find it hard to juggle their course and exam prep, and time management can be a challenge. However, you can create numerous study schedules and alarms, but if you don't know your strength and weaknesses, then all your efforts go in vain.

The IB certificate course requires hard work and early preparation. So, you will have to put in some work during your holidays and utilize your free time wisely, and this will help you during your final year revisions too. Prepping early will mean you will understand your topics well, and you have covered most concepts; it also means that you have sharpened your skills in practical subjects like math and science.

Study the concepts correctly:

The IB certificate program focuses on important aspects of education, especially ones that encourage an oriented approach towards studying. Even if you start preparing early, it will mean nothing if the studying method is inconsistent and superfluous.

If your study methods include grazing through subjects, slacking off, and only focusing on topics that are your strong points, then there is no point in preparing early. In order to study your curriculum properly, you will have to prepare notes, conduct research, and memorizing the concepts; you have to note that memorizing your material is not the same as rote studying because it means you understand what you're studying.

Maintaining side notes will help you keep track of what you're studying; it will help you organize your thoughts, too.

Monitor and streamline the learning process:

When it comes to a perfect score in English, it can be next to impossible to achieve this target. This will require guidance, monitoring your progress, and a streamlines process. You may find that the IB level mathematics can get challenging, but once you grasp the basics, then you can take a step by step approach and see the results you want.

If you want to benefit your long term goal of studying abroad, then you have to answer the IBDP exam. You will have to ensure that your study plan is flexible and covers all the topics, you can also make some changes to your study plan if you have an important project due. Keep your study time streamlined and manageable, with the hourly break (for the sake of your mental health).

Be aware of your external environment:

If you want success, then you need to be prepared for anything, and this means being proactive as well. So, your IB diploma exams require you to excel by staying ahead of the material that is taught in class and being more aware of current affairs. You will have to start preparing early because it will reduce stress and will help you understand the topic better.

You can use your free time or the holidays to conduct some research on current affairs. You can apply the newfound information during the new semester, and it will give you the chance to clear any doubts you may have, during class hours.

Look at your final exams like a race:

When you ace your exams, you will receive many IBDP diploma advantages, but to gain these benefits, you will have to study two years' worth of information and attempt the final exams as well. So, to start off your preparation you have to ensure that you have enough time to study before you register for the exams; also, don't forget to get a healthy amount of sleep as well.

Monitor the syllabus changes:

IB courses offer subjects like IBDP physics, and they tend to change their syllabus frequently as well. So, you have to monitor these changes and keep yourself updated as well. When you are aware of the consistent changes and updates, mean that you have to be attentive about the textbooks and research papers that you refer to. If you find an update in the syllabus, you'll have to take some time out of your schedule and look up the latest research papers and versions of textbooks that will hold the information you are looking for.

Be open to learning new stuff:

Whether you want to refer to an IB physics guide or mathematics guide, it's important that you are open to learning new concepts and formulas. Procrastination and laziness can hinder your study schedule, and the best way to avoid it is by facing your issues head-on. Refer to various books and credible online sources when solving a problem or formula, instead of putting it off. In case of any concerns, you can talk to your professors or look up education websites like AspireBuzz, for answers.

Look up question banks to create a good exam strategy:

When pursuing the IB diploma, you can start practising your exam strategy by referring to mock tests and question papers of the past. You can visit AspireBuzz and take mock tests to hone your skills, and settle on a practical exam strategy.

Learn to take a strategic approach:

The IBDP syllabus demands an organized and consistent approach, but you will have to come up with a good strategy that will help you gain a high score. For instance, you can start studying the subjects that are your weak points, early on. This way, you will grasp the concepts better, and you'll have more time to revise the topics as well. When you have a strategy in place, it will help you create a structured study plan that will help you meet your deadlines. Nonetheless, remember to keep a good amount of time to revise your strong subjects, as well.

You don't have to follow the technique mentioned above, it all comes down to the study plan that is most comfortable for you and will help you focus the best.

Practice is vital:

Once you get the hang of your study process, and if you have had an early start, then you will have enough time to practice challenging math and physics formulae and equations. Practice your weak topics first because you will have ample time to refine your skills.

Organize the syllabus:

Even though the exam is a year away, you have to organize your IBDP curriculum so that you are aware of your study progress and if you're closer to your end goal as well. Planning is important because syllabus involves six main subjects, and you will have limited time to study. Your exam is worth fifty per cent of your total grade. So, start prepping your plan on paper rather than your laptop, look at your subjects and analyze the topics which will need more understanding and time; think about the weak and strong subjects, and plan accordingly.

Also, don't forget to time your breaks in a mindful manner, for example, you can time your breaks every ninety minutes or two hours; this schedule will help keep you sane through the study prep process.

Effective time management:

As mentioned before, organizing your study schedule is quite essential, and this means managing your time in an effective manner as well.  Ensure that you take a brief break before the exam season; this will help you de-stress and clear your mind. Use the break in an effective manner, go for a walk or read a book. However, try not to waste your time and utilize your breaks in a way that you feel mentally and physically refreshed. This will help you focus better, as well.

Go offline:

It's very easy to get distracted today than it was twenty years ago. So, you will have to switch off your phones, tablets, laptop, TV, and absolutely no social media when you're studying. This process is vital if you want to focus on your curriculum. You can go offline until you are done with the exams or you can use the gadgets for short spurts of time like during your breaks.

Enjoy the preparation experience:

There is no point in studying for a course you want to excel at if you don't enjoy it. It's easy to get overwhelmed by the pressure and the constant need to study, but you have to know that IB exams are an opportunity that not many students can access. So, enjoy the process, be present in it because it is one of the most important phases in your life, and it will help you determine many decisions in the future as well.

The best time to start prepping:

The IB exams require intense study prep, and you can start a year before the finals. This will help you fine-tune your skills, especially vocabulary and problem-solving; It's essential that you maintain a calm, organized, and composed personality. When you're starting with your study preparations, place special emphasis on the following subjects-

HL: Chemistry, Physics. Geography

SL: Math, English, and other languages

Pro study tips:

The pros at AspireBuzz can provide you with the best tips that will help you trust yourself and your capabilities. Obviously, you have been answering exams for most of your academic life, and this exam may not be vastly different from the rest, but if you ace this one, you will gain entrance to your preferred university. However, no matter the result, you have to be proud of the goals you have achieved because IB curriculums are created to teach you life's challenges and how to face them while possessing independent thinking.

Don't forget to look out for yourself:

You have to take care of yourself when studying for the upcoming IB exams. Your physical and mental health is important. It's easy to cave to exam pressures and fall sick a few days before the exam, but you have to remember to pace yourself mentally and physically. Health should be your highest priority, and meditating during your breaks, or taking a long walk, will help you deal with stress.


If you want a helping hand, while preparing for the IB diploma certificate exams, then you can refer to AspireBuzz and take up their online mock tests and papers. The papers will show you what to expect in your upcoming test and also instil a sense of confidence. Hopefully, the study tips mentioned above will help you with your exam preparation and if you ever feel overwhelmed, ensure that you consult your teacher or friend and ask their help. Be prepared, focused, calm, and confident while answering your exams, and you will surely get a high score.