IB Exams – History preparation

IB exams officially began last Thursday with school-based syllabi and Business Management and Global Politics last Friday.  And today, with Biology there are even more students involved in the examinations.  Critical mass with Diploma Candidates will occur Wednesday afternoon through Friday morning when English and Mathematics take place.  As a result, few students are focused on studying for their history exams right now - but some have begun their revisions and next weekend will be when they are focused on ...

Revision for IB History students

For those of you who are Diploma Candidates you are probably focused on Math, English and Biology at the moment, which is perfectly understandable. On Friday afternoon there will be a flurry of activity as you scramble to revise your notes, organize your thoughts and attempt to memorize hundreds of details.  However, one weekend of studying cannot replace 240 hours of class time and numerous assignments.  You should use some time over the course of the next week to go over the demands of ...

Misfortunate misdirections: Literature in Translation

IB Examiners of components that involve works in translation become familiar with the most frequently included works.  And those works, among a few others, are Ibsen's A Doll's House, Camus' The Outsider, Kafka's The Metamorphosis and Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.  What follows are some of the most common ways in which students head in less than productive directions as they choose to develop topics or responses involving these works. A Doll's House:  One of the most ...

Introduction to History Paper 2 SL/HL: the Cold War

This blog was written by Sam Olofsson, an experienced IB teacher and author of History: Route 2 - The Cold War. I have had the pleasure of teaching IB history for over 20 years, mainly at Malmö Borgarskola in Sweden but also on revision courses in England and in the United States. It is my hope that this guide will give students the best possible help when preparing for exams. My main aim is to encourage students to practise structuring essays. Each section ...

Introductions (Part 3): Nailing it in Paper 2

Having looked at techniques for introductions for Commentaries and Written Assignments (Parts 1 and 2 of this series), it's time to look at what you can do to provide winning introductions to your Paper 2 essays. Here again, as with the Commentary, we're working with a timed exam.  That means you need to have some strategies in place so you don't have to agonize too much over the preliminaries to this portion of your essay and can instead spend the fast-disappearing  ...

DT Exam Review – May 2013 / May 2016 Specimen Papers Available

Well those exams are long over - and there is only one more May examination based off the old syllabus to go. So what were your thoughts on the exam papers? Here is a quick selection of mine without giving the game away for any students listening in :- Paper 1 - Nothing specific to comment about - and thought the case study questions to the end were very fair Paper 2 - iPAD Question - good solid question that should work well for ...

Paper 2 20th century world history

  Paper 2 is an examination that is required for both HL and SL students. The exam is the same and the students are graded using the same markbands – the only difference is in the weighting of the exam for the final IB grade – it consists of 25% for HL students and 45% for SL students. Paper 2 is an essay test that examines students’ knowledge of 20th century world history.  Students are required to have knowledge of 2 of ...

Tips from IB Examiners 4 – How to Improve Student Response of Long Answer Questions

As discussed before the examiners focused mostly in the subject report on the long answer questions of Paper 2 and Paper 3 with comments such as :- " but few gained more than 6 marks due to lack of structure 'explaining' three advantages rather than just describing them." "As usual with extended response questions relating to three distinct issues, candidates who planned their answer carefully and set out the issues gained most marks." "Only a small number of candidates organised their response into ...

Chasing a News Item – Google Glass

ITGS is a dynamic subject and this is evident in news-breaking stories everyday. News items seem fall into several categories some of which evolve over time. News items can be: one off occurrences that are interesting with an immediate impact but no unexpected long range effects part of a bigger puzzle of related issues stories that keep unfolding, become increasing complex and are of value to follow over a longer period of time Google Glass is one of those topics that ...

Paper 2: questions and crucial reminders

Reading the Subject Report on the OCC (either for one zone or both for May 2013) will remind experienced teachers of this course about the recurring difficulties encountered by each new group of candidates.   Newer teachers will find it useful to highlight some points they can discuss with their students as they get ready to sit Paper 2. QUESTIONS  on Paper 2 represent a major initial hurdle that we as teachers sometimes do not anticipate. The first challenge that needs to be ...