Top 5 Tasks You NEED to Do This Summer

As IB students we often get lulled into a false sense of security. Since the IB Diploma is a 2-year program, it’s easy to think deadlines are miles away and that you have all the time in the world. You enter year 2 and suddenly that time doesn’t exist anymore. Deadlines loom over you, stress kicks in, and the dreaded exams come closer and closer. How do we avoid this scenario? Believe it or not, the summer leading into your second year in the IB can be crucial to your IB success. Here are our top 5 tips for tasks to complete before your second year!

1. Finish the Extended Essay

No, we don’t mean that it has to be perfect, but we recommend that you have a full draft by the time you come back from summer break that you can then put finishing touches on throughout the fall. Why? Throughout the research, planning, and writing stages of your essay you’ll certainly experience some hiccups. Perhaps the experiment didn’t turn out the way you planned, or the source that you thought would be a goldmine just didn’t deliver. If you do your research, planning, and writing stages nice and early you still have many months to rethink and rework your essay. If you, on the other hand, leave the bulk of the EE to the last few weeks (or even the last few months), you’re guaranteed to run into last-minute problems that just won’t be able to be fixed. Trust us – get the EE out of the way early.

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2. Start Researching Universities

Most IB students pursue further education directly after finishing their IB. If you are planning to go to university right away, summer is a great time to do the bulk of your research, as many university application deadlines start popping up throughout the fall. We recommend that you start narrowing down a list of universities and a list of degrees that you may be interested in applying for, and gather basic information regarding those degrees! 

  1. What are the entry requirements (and do I meet them?)
  2. When are the application deadlines
  3. What do I need in order to apply (additional tests such as SATs?)

This means that as your IB work piles up throughout your second year you don’t also need to worry about doing university research! Get this out of the way during your summer.

3. Finish Your CAS Project

Every student in the IB Diploma needs to do a CAS project. Remember that this is a large-scale project, taking at least a month from planning to completion, and combining at least 2 of the 3 CAS strands. This is a perfect project to accomplish during your first year in the IB! We don’t want you to end up in a situation where you’re thinking about IAs, Mocks, EE, and also having to create an entire CAS project at the same time! If you can, do your CAS project in your first year, over summer, or as soon as you get back to school.

4. Get Some Work Experience / Internship

This isn’t for everyone, so don’t worry if you haven’t thought about this already, but getting an internship between your first and second year of the IB is a wonderful usage of your time. It does 2 main things!

  1. Allows you to find out if you would enjoy working in a specific industry. If, for example, you intern at a hospital but you end up hating it, you may steer clear from applying to a career within medicine! 
  2. Sets you apart from other university applicants. If, for example, you choose to apply for a business management degree at university then having interned in a corporate environment can give you a leg up on the other applicants!


5. Relax

OK, we know this sounds hypocritical because we just wrote 4 other tips of things that you NEED to do during summer. However, one of the most important things you can do ahead of your final year is recharge your batteries. Though there is a lot of work in the tasks that we listed above, make sure to take at least 2-3 weeks to relax before you get going with any of them – you deserve it.

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