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How to Prepare for Mocks

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Realistically most of us IB seniors are so focused on finishing IAs and handing in the TOK essay right now that we haven’t had a chance to stop and think about mocks yet, other than the occasional “oh wow yeah that’s soon whoops”. But for those of you who are starting to think of mocks, here are some quick tips on how to prepare for them: 

What you should do now: 

  • Focus on your notes

The best thing you can be doing right now is making sure all your notes are up to date and that you are going to be able to use them as they are. If you have papers everywhere for one specific unit in Bio I suggest you reorganise your notes so that when you decide to study that unit you’ll have all the information in one place ready to re-enter your brain in an effective manner. What would be even better is if you managed to group class notes, hand sheets and past exams together so that you can review them all when you start revising. 

  • Talk to your teachers

Honestly we’re incredibly lucky to have such helpful and friendly teachers but it’s not that useful if you don’t actually ask them for help when you don’t understand something. If you’re confused about a unit or a specific part of a topic go ask your teacher for help. Maybe you can’t wrap your head around that geography unit you did at the beginning of last year, well I can assure you that your teacher will help you understand it 10 times faster than you sitting there lying to yourself that you’ll suddenly have a eureka moment and get it. Not saying it’s impossible, just unlikely. 

What you can do when you start “full-on” revising: 

  • Revise with a friend

Revising with a friend CAN be one of the most successful ways of revising. This is due to the fact that it’s mutually beneficial; if you’re the one who can’t manage the maths problem then you have someone to explain it to you so you can not only manage it but understand it so you’ll be able to do it yourself in the future. If you’re the one helping your friend with the maths problem then that’s beneficial too because when you’re able to explain the concept to someone and actually make them understand it it shows that you’ve truly mastered it. 

Now the reason I have “can” written in caps above is because revising with a friend can also be a disaster. Let’s face it if you’re trying to revise with your best friend who you literally call on your way home from school just to talk then realistically the “revising” is going to be 20% actual work vs 80% chatting and that’s being generous. So if you’re going to revise with a friend make sure it’s someone you work well with and most importantly be realistic. If you’ve tried revising with certain people and it’s not working out for you then stop wasting your time; either find other people to revise with or go for it on your own. 

All in all my biggest tip for mocks is be realistic with yourself. You know how much studying you can handle before going insane and you’re also the one who knows how much going out you can do before it starts jeopardising your revision. As long as you’re honest with yourself about the work you’re putting in, and the work you’ve put in once you get your results, you’ll manage.

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