In October 2014, the grade nine IB Prep students participated in a survey where they were asked about their experience in the transition into the IB Programme. They spoke of things that were going smoothly for them, areas that they were having some difficulty with, and also of their future goals. Now, we have some very useful tips and suggestions from the Laurier grade ten IB Prep students, who were going through the same challenges of adaptation to this highly demanding Programme last year.
To start off, the majority of the grade ten IB Prep students, if not all, report that they have been very successful in transition into the IB Prep Programme. Many of them said that it may feel at first somewhat tricky to cope with all the changes, especially in terms of the workload and the environment; however, as the time passes the process of adaptation becomes much more manageable.
Some of the major challenges that the grade ten’s faced in their first year were: understanding the Math topics, enhancing French speaking skills, coping with the pace of the lessons taught in class and finishing homework. These are common challenges that most students encounter in the IB Prep Programme. In order to cope with these difficulties, the Grade ten students recommend the following strategies: developing an effective schedule to manage time wisely, keeping an agenda or an electronic calendar that tracks deadlines, attending extra help sessions offered by teachers and peers as well as getting into study groups. These are simply some strategies to avoid falling behind in courses and staying on top of things. It is very important to start applying these strategies now in order to feel confident in the Programme as the level of complexity does increase in the following years.
The Grade 10’s specifically warn procrastinators that this weakness may prevent students from progressing successfully through the Programme. They feel that enhancing such personal characteristics as being goal-oriented, organized, balanced and able to manage time efficiently is the key to making the first high school year successful.
French and Math were the two core subjects the grade ten IB students found the most challenging. They say that participating and asking questions in French class is a really good way to improve your French skills. Similarly, asking questions, paying attention in class, and using math homework help online and in school are very helpful.
When it comes to finding a balance between academics and extra-curricular activities, it is very important to prioritize. It’s essential to revisit your schedule before taking on a task or joining a club or team. Leaving a little bit of time to relax is significant. Overall, time management, prioritizing and keeping a planner are again, very beneficial strategies to balance extra-curriculars and academics.
We are only just past two months into the school year, so the grade nine IB Prep students may not yet be completely habituated to the changes in high school and in the IB Prep program. However, in a short amount of time they will surely develop strategies to cope with the Program. Keeping an open and a positive outlook is very significant towards having a satisfying and successful school year. We have amazing guidance counsellors at our school to help students deal with any problems they might be facing. Most importantly, the grade ten IB Prep students would be more than happy to help and so getting a hold of our grade ten or senior IB students is also a very good idea. They are very friendly and approachable!