Workload in DP1 – Managing It


When I started the IB, I worried that I would not manage to do everything in time. My school dumped all this new information on me; I had to think about the EE, and my IA’s, learn new subjects, get to know new people and learn what TOK and CAS are. If any of that sounds familiar, you might appreciate this blog post, in which I will give you my tips on distributing the workload throughout the first year. Don’t worry, DP2 students; we’ll let you know how to prepare for the upcoming year in next week’s article. 

Understand the Workload a Subject Will Require

Scouting your subject is perhaps the best thing you can do for yourself right as you start. Look at your textbook and figure out what topics you will cover. Writing all the sub-topics out, structured by chapter, might be a good idea. See the photo for an example. 

List of Chemistry Subjects
A list of chemistry subjects that have been colour coded according to comprehension.

When you scope out your subject, you know what’s coming and where what you are learning right now fits in. This way, you get a bigger picture of the class you’re taking, and it might be easier for you to appreciate where you are in the syllabus.

Another bonus with this is that you can, as you learn, colour code the sub-topics by how well you understand them. Let’s say you’re struggling with 5.2 Hess’ Law in chemistry (and I mean, who isn’t), so you colour that red. 5.3 Bond Enthalpies, on the other hand, is easy peasy, so that’s green. Now you know that, when you revise, you should prioritise Hess’ Law and not spend so much time on Bond Enthalpies.

Knowing your strengths and weaknesses is a bit of a superpower in the IB. This way, you can practice that easily!

I also suggest that you check out IBO’s official website to understand what papers constitute your exams.

Get CAS Done, Quickly

While DP1 might already seem stressful, DP2 is generally considered a lot worse. So, do your future self a huge favour and get CAS done pronto. Don’t know what CAS is and how to get started with it? Lucky for you, we have a guide ready for your eyes right here!

Thinking About Your EE and IA’s

The EE and IA’s are about working on something that interests you. If there is something in class that you find particularly fun, write it down in a document called “Potential IA/EE Ideas.” I wish I had done something like this, as it would have saved me so many hours of scratching my head and thinking, “what do I want to write about?” 

So, next time you think, “huh, this poem isn’t that bad,” in English, write down the author’s name and poem, and maybe it’s something for your IO! 

If you want a better idea of the EE, check our articles on the matter here.

Lightening the Workload with a Tutor

The best person to ask for advice on how to get through the first year smoothly is to ask someone who has recently done it. Well, look no further! We at Lanterna have a team of expert tutors who have graduated the IB with excellent results (40+, with many 45’s). Let them be your helping hand in tackling this tricky first year. There is also a satisfaction guarantee, so you can try it out risk-free. 

I have personally seen my students become a lot more comfortable after just a few hours of tuition, so I can, with good conscience, say that this is an effective method for making the IB manageable. 

You can, of course, also check out our publicly accessible blog posts, to which we add articles like this one weekly. 

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