Maja’s Study Tips – Organising

This week we’re hearing from Maja, another one of our amazing school presenters. Maja is a top IB grad who has extensive experience tutoring with us in addition to presenting at IB schools around the world. Here we’ll take you through Maja’s study tips for revision season.


Tip 1: Get organised!


You’ve probably heard this tip before, but for Maja this is key. The IB throws a wide range of tasks at you throughout the Diploma Programme. Maja found that it can be really easy to get overwhelmed and lose track of what you need to do. Keeping a to do list can help with this. 


However, not all lists are equally useful. It’s important to create a list which is actually useful and is kept up to date. Maja says that “breaking larger tasks up into smaller, more approachable, and manageable ones is” essential. 


Here’s an example she gave of a not-so-useful to do list: 

  • Study biology
  • English A homework
  • Upgrade CAS portfolio
  • External reading 


And here’s Maja’s improved list:

  • Study biology
    • Revise DNA structure, replication, transcription, translation SL (2.6, 2.7)
    • Go through syllabus and notes, make sure all points are covered
    • Read about replication HL (7.1) in textbook
    • Write down any questions to ask in class
  • English A homework
    • Read short story The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allen Poe
    • List main themes in short story
  • Upgrade CAS portfolio
    • Gather all evidence photos in one album
    • List of ideas for reflections
    • Plan next Creativity tasks
  • External reading
    • Distillations Podcast – Whatever Happened to Acid Rain?


Tip 2: Do not underestimate component grade assignments


For Maja, the coursework components were what made the IBDP so stressful. Maja says that “having to work on these assignments while simultaneously studying new material and revising… quickly become overwhelming”. 


Maja also found that she spent significantly longer working on assignments like the EE than the IBO guidelines suggest. Her lab time for her EE took 20 hours. This is half of the suggested total time for the EE. Writing it up also took longer than she expected.


Maja’s study tip for dealing with this is to plan for spending a bit longer than you think you’ll need on these assignments. This means that you’ll feel more in control of your situation, which should reduce your stress levels. It also means that you should have time to produce the high quality work that will help you meet your goal!


Tip 3: Reward yourself


As an IB grad herself, Maja knows how tough the programme is. She says that “we all need to be made to feel accomplished, and sometimes you need to be the person who acknowledges your own effort”. 


It’s vital to be proud of not only larger achievements like meeting your goal on your mock exam, but also the smaller things that you do every day. The couple of hours you’ve spent on your English homework are also an accomplishment! These ‘smaller’ tasks act as building blocks to help create success in the final exams.  


Part of rewarding yourself is taking time off. Maja emphasises the importance of scheduling time away from the IB regularly to prevent burn out. It’s much healthier to stay mentally healthy if you’re consistently taking time to look after yourself. 


Hopefully Maja’s study tips will help you create meaningful and sustainable progress with your revision. If you’re looking for content-specific support check out our online private tutoring service here. If you’re looking for other blog posts about study tips you can find them here.

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