The Finishing Touches

By Friday, February 3, 2017 , , , 0

All students should now be aware of just how tough the IB Physics course is. This is not meant to be a negative statement – I am not trying to suggest that students have never thought about this or blindly gone through the course without thinking too deeply about what they are doing. The point is that by now, you will have finished (SL?) or nearly finished (HL) the course and be thinking about just how much there is to revise before the exams. And the exam will seem very close now.

If you are like my students you will be about to take the mock exams and then there is one more topic to go.  The aim is to finish as soon as possible and give yourself the maximum amount of time to revise.  To get this right, you need to help your teacher as much as you can – stay focused in class, ask questions when unsure, but keep the pace high. By now, after four terms of work, most students know what is meant by the term … a ‘high pace’. The aim should be to try to complete the course by half term.  If you can help do this, you will give yourself half a term of work, the Easter break and the few weeks after Easter – this should be enough to prepare, as long as you work hard.

And don’t forget that you can help yourself through the revision process – look for support courses (like those run by OSC), organise work groups with other students, time yourself to see how fast you can do a paper 1, look into software support like IB Question Bank.

But before all of this, make sure the lasts stages of the actual teacher go as well as they can. This last stage of the teaching is the last big moment when your teacher is presenting new material and you will have to get a grip of it – it is going to be the work that should be most recent in your mind and so, you need to try to ensure it is as well understood as possible.

And beyond helping your teacher make good progress, you need to help yourself.  As you go through this last phase, make sure you are using your data booklet as much as possible – always have a copy in your lessons.  For most teachers, the last part of the course will be the Option.  There are only four and everyone has to cover one of them.  For all of them, there is some aspect of revision as part of the workload. They all make use of previous material you have covered as you went through the course.  As such, they form a good way of learning new material but revising at the same time. Every time you meet a formula, check it out in the data booklet – make sure that for every formula you ask yourself …

  • What do the symbols stand for?
  • What are the units of each quantity?

And finally, when revision does actually start, make sure you work through it yourself – you must try the question, do not expect or ask your teacher to do them for you.  Ding it yourself and learning from your mistakes is the best way of revising.

And good luck.

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