Updated: Sep 23, 2019
How long does it take to help IB students and what does its take?
There are around 80,000 candidates enrolled in the final IB examination in November or May every year. While preparing for the final IB exam, IB students also need to work hard on their Internal Assessment (IA) for each course, Extended Essay (EE), Theory of Knowledge (TOK) essay and so on in order to get a complete grade for their IB diploma. Considering such huge workload, many students in Hong Kong would actually choose IB tutorial at different IB tuition centres for help to strive for better academic results. IB tutors at the tuition centres are ready and willing to help students in any aspect to equip them with skills and knowledge to complete the IB Diploma Programme with an outstanding result.
What are the assessments in IB?
The IB uses both external and internal assessments in the Diploma Programme. The external assessments mainly consist of examinations due to its high level of objectivity and reliability. IB candidates are tested in various forms of questions, including essays, short-response questions, data-response questions, text-response questions, structured problems, case-study questions and multiple choice questions. Internal assessments are mostly assessed by teachers in each school, including oral work in language courses, laboratory work in science courses, investigation in mathematics, artistic performances and so on. Besides, IB candidates need to complete an Extended Essay on one subject, as well as Theory of Knowledge essay in order to achieve the full diploma.
Different assessments are examined by different parties. Examinations, extended essays, written assignments and theory of knowledge essays are sent to IBO to be marked by the examiners. However, assessments such as oral work, portfolio and projects are marked by teachers in school and moderated by examiners from IBO. All work will be assessed mainly during the second year, therefore, IB candidates are suggested to finish all internal assessments as soon as possible to seek for advice and strive for improvement with the help of their teachers or tutors.
About IB exam
IB final exams take place in November and May every year. Depending on which country the IB candidates are in, they will be tested with exam papers in different time zones in order to avoid any leakage of the questions. The whole examination period usually lasts for one whole month, with a fixed schedule assigned to the IB candidates all over the world.
There are normally 2 to 3 papers for each subject, depending on which level of the course that the IB candidates are taking. For example, for IB mathematics HL, there will be 3 papers which are tested on different days. Therefore, a whole month is reserved only for IB examinations as there are too many papers to be tested on.
IB candidates are provided with syllabus for most subjects in order for them to prepare for the final examination. It is important that only key points mentioned in the syllabus would be tested in the examinations. As a result, IB candidates are suggested to go through the syllabus and make sure he or she understands every point so as to improve their performance in the final IB examinations.
Although syllabus does not provide detailed content for each key point, it serves as a general guideline for IB candidates to follow and learn throughout the process. During the preparation process, IB students can seek help from IB tutors so as to achieve better results for their IB Diploma.
What can IB tutors help?
Although more and more students and parents choose to attend IB tutorials to get more help from IB tutors. Many still do not know what IB tutors can help their students with, and how long it takes for an IB tutor to help the students.
It is not just about exams in IBDP, there is much more work to be completed by IB students. Therefore, IB tutors are not only experienced in helping students with their exam preparation, but also confident in assisting internal assessments and essays.
To help students prepare for the final exams, IB tutors first go through all the key concepts in each chapter, then highlight all the main points to memorize or pay attention to, and end with more practices to show students how to apply the knowledge to examination questions.
After going through all topics, IB tutors can also test students by asking them to complete past year papers in order to see how the student’s overall performance is like. It also helps student to get used to the format of exam papers so as not to be too nervous for the final IB exam.
To help students with their internal assessments and essays, IB tutors can provide his or her opinion to the essay drafts of a student. For example, candidates who are taking IB Chemistry need to design and conduct several experiments and complete lab reports as their internal assessments for IB Chemistry. IB Chemistry tutors can help with inspiring students with possible experiment topics, as well as pondering the strengths and weaknesses of the experiment for conclusion and evaluation.
How long does it take to help IB students?
Many students and parents might ask: how long does it take to help IB students. Well, it really depends. It depends on what your goal is. It depends on how much time is left. It depends on how much you want your improvement to be.
What is your goal?
The reasons why students and parents would go for IB tutorial are different. Some may want to start from the beginning and learn everything to have a solid foundation. Some may want to boost their grades from 6 to 7 in a short time in order for a better result. Some may want to catch up what has been taught in class and do more exercises on the topic. Some seek for self development and always strive for improvement at all times.
If your goal is to establish a solid foundation for a subject, then it would definitely take longer time for an IB tutor to help the students. It requires IB tutors more time to teach all concepts and go through a lot of exercises in order to let students fully understand the concept. As IBDP is a two-year programme, it is almost impossible to squeeze all knowledge to just, for example, one month, and expect the students to excel in everything. Therefore, it takes longer time if the IB students want to have a solid and comprehensive foundation.
If your goal is to boost your grade from 6 to 7, then it would normally take less time than building a solid foundation. IB students with grade 6 in the subject are already equipped with adequate knowledge. Since the foundation is well built, what the students need is skills and tactics to fully understand and show the examiners what he or she has learnt. In this case, IB tutors can help students with grasping the main points, and teach some useful and practical skills for exams in a short time.
How much time do you have left?
Depending on how much time an IB student has left, IB tutors are able to create a customized study plan for each student, taking his or her goal into account as well.
If an IB student is still one year away from the final IB exam, he or she still has time to seek help from IB tutors to start from the basics to advanced. In this case, IB tutors would usually have a long-term plan with the students, broken down to months or even weeks. IB tutors are able to teach the students topic by topic, followed by comprehensive exercises for the students to fully understand the chapter.
After covering all topics, there will even be time for students to take some mock tests and do final revision for better academic performance. IB students are able to learn systematically and comprehensively, together with theories, examples and exercises in the long run. As more time is allowed, IB tutors are able to help students with everything, and students can even choose what topics to work on more after the general revision of all topics, so as to improve his or her weakest parts.
However, if an IB student has only a few months left, IB tutors have to set up a short term plan to help the students. IB tutors, in this case, would focus more on finding out students’ weakest parts, go through key chapters and points, and would also choose relevant questions from past year papers for the students to grasp the idea in a short time. It is more challenging to help IB students in short time as students need to absorb and apply more knowledge than usual. Therefore, it is IB tutors’ responsibility to make things easier and concise so that students can learn it efficiently and effectively.
It can be only a few weeks
IB tutors can help students even just a few weeks before their final exams. Key chapters would be highlighted by the tutors. Together with the students, they both work together very hard for an intense session to learn and improve selected chapters in a short time. Tutors can also give confidence to students during the last few weeks so that he or she can hold a positive attitude to prepare and welcome the final exam. It is important for IB students to always keep a positive mindset and not to stress too much before the final exam.
It can be a few months or a year
It is never too late to start learning with an IB tutor. IB tutors are always there to assist you with anything you think you need help with. Students usually start to draft their internal assessments starting from the second year in IB, which is also the best time to look for an IB tutor for assistance in IAs.
It can be two years
Some students choose to go for IB tuition even when they just start their classes in IB. With the help of an IB tutor, the students are able to immediately review what they have learnt in class, do more exercise to strengthen their skills, as well as preview the course content for the coming school lessons. In this way, students are able to both fully understand the knowledge that they have just learnt, and also preview the lessons so that he or she can learn faster in class.
It can even be more than two years.
Even if the student is not enrolled in the IBDP, he or she can still go for IB tuition in order to be fully prepared for the final IB diploma. Many students who are now in the IB Middle Years Programme, or IGCSE, attend classes at IB tuition centres as well, so that they can have a solid foundation for each subject and be prepared for their coming IB programme.
It is never too early or too late to seek help from an IB tutor at IB tuition centres. They are always prepared and ready to help IB students with both their internal assessments and IB final exams. IB tutors are either experienced in the IB curriculum, and/or underwent the curriculum himself or herself. IB tutors believe and hope that IB students can improve their performance with their help, regardless of the time he or she spent helping the students.