Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Preparing for Term Papers and Quizzes

Throughout the two years of doing IB, school will give you many tests that will count towards your ongoing grades. We all would like to do well (and often have parents who expect us to do better still), so it means a lot to get great marks. What is the best way to prepare for these smaller tests?

Early in the IB, I think it is important to stay away from past papers. They are limited in number, and using them all up before you hit exam time is not a good idea. However, it is likely that your teachers will still use past exam questions to make your papers, hence it is important to get a good grip on the IB question style. Plus, practice makes perfect. Here is what I suggest you do:

1. Use textbook questions - these should be the first ones you use. Every textbook that I've ever seen has a series of practice questions at the end of each section or chapter. Whilst these are typically not in the IB style (nor are they as challenging), they are still an excellent way to check that you have grasped the basic concepts and actually understand what you just learnt.

2. Online Quizzes - Like textbooks, many websites will have practice questions that will offer further insight into how well you've understood the things you've learnt. They are a great way to look at new questions without using up the valuable IB papers. You need to be saving the IB papers for the last few months in the lead-up to mocks and finals.

3. IB Question Banks - Teachers will usually tell you which topics are being covered on your upcoming exams, which allows you to revise the specific content. If you've run out of questions elsewhere, purchasing the questionbank allows you to filter out past paper questions on those sections. It will also help you learn to answer according to the IB style, which will be useful as you prepare for the term papers and the actual IB papers.

The reason I say to avoid the full IB papers is so that you still have sufficient resources to practice at the end. It is very frustrating to be a few weeks away from finals and find that you've seen all the other papers before. When you are doing practice exams, you want to be able to do them under proper conditions - you won't have seen the questions on your real paper before, so doing questions you know will not give a proper indication of the areas you need to work on. However, if your finals are less than 5 months away, it is definitely time to start using past paper questions if you haven't already done so. Just don't start using them when you are still a year away from it. Good luck with you study :)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Khan Academy

I know I've mentioned this in a previous post, but I think it's worth emphasising that these videos (like the one below) are great if there are particular topics you are struggling to understand.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Exam Mistakes to Avoid

Hi everyone,

I watched this a few days before my Chemistry exams - it is a great tool for going over those little things that everyone always mixes up. There's more for HL students, too. Have a watch :)

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Helpful Links

Here is the updated list of sites I recommend to you:

Chem Team
http://www.chemteam.info/ChemTeamIndex.html

Organic Reactions
http://faculty.smu.edu/pwisian/Chem1304/Chapter24review.pdf

Organic Synthesis
http://www.chalkbored.com/lessons/chemistry-12/organic-synthesis-worksheet.pdf

Summary of Organic Reactions
http://img107.imageshack.us/img107/1699/aliphaticreactionsae6.jpg

Khan Academy
http://www.youtube.com/khanacademy

Practical Chemistry (excellent for finding ideas for IAs)
http://practicalchemistry.org/

Interactive Chemistry
http://www.rsc.org/Education/Teachers/Resources/Databook/

There's more on the sidebar to check out :)

Monday, March 21, 2011

Solution

Theoretical Yield

Percentage Yield