Preparing for exams in the IB program is a continual process. Students often begin on the first day of class and stick to strict revision schedules in order to master all of the syllabus content in time for the exams. In fact, students who wait and cram before exams do measurably worse than their peers who are well-prepared. Here are some tips for preparing for the IB math AI HL exams.
Use the Syllabus
The first thing that students should do is familiarize themselves with the course syllabus. The questions on each paper will be based on the content outlined in the syllabus so this document is the perfect framework for structuring study sessions. It’s not uncommon for students to spend an additional two hours daily on revision work to prepare for their exams.
Continually Assess Strengths and Weaknesses
Make sure that each revision session includes a variety of content. You should be practising different types of problems so that you can get a feel for your strengths and weaknesses. The key is to make sure that you’re spending more time developing your weaknesses than you are putting into your strengths, but that you also are not neglecting your stronger areas. You need well-rounded practise to keep your skills sharp.
Seek Out Supplemental Instruction
And when it comes to developing your weaknesses, this specifically means finding high-quality instructional videos or tutoring to help you master the content that you’re a little shaky on. Students should spend time daily practising their weaknesses. For example, question banks provide a great resource to get extra practice in.
Study Past Papers
In addition to studying the content and getting enough time in on practice problems, students should also be keenly interested in preparing for the exam environment. This means that you should spend time learning how to read questions and ensuring that you are truly understanding the directions. You should also spend time working on problems with a timer to develop good pacing.
Join a Peer Study Group
One of the best things that students can do for their own success is to join a peer study group that meets regularly to prepare for the exams. The benefit of peer-to-peer learning can be helpful in many ways, including a unique ability to teach each other.
Final Thoughts on Preparing for Math AI HL Exams
Preparing for exams in IB mathematics is fairly similar from one course to another. Mastering the content on the syllabus is only half the battle. Students also need to spend time developing their test-taking skills including the ability to read and understand instructions and to manage their time effectively as they work through problems. All in all, the process of preparing for these exams spans the entire semester. Students who wait until the week before the exam to cram will often perform poorly and will set themselves up for additional struggles in future mathematics courses due to poor mastery of the content.