How to revise for your Maths exam…

Last month I made some suggestions for a revision plan. Now, having decided you're going to spend a 3 hour session revising Maths, how should you set about it? Since the only thing you will be asked to do in the exam is answer Maths questions, then surely the best way to revise is ... do lots of past paper questions! And you need to have the answers, or the mark scheme, to hand. But it's what you learn from answering ...

New Release: IB Economics HL Revised 3rd Edition

We are pleased to announce the publication of a new title in the OSC IB Study & Revision Guide series. Economics HL Revised 3rd Edition This guide covers the core syllabus for IBDP Economics and has been written specifically for the needs of HL students. This revised edition includes a new internal design and layout, for an even better reading experience. Stephen Holroyd has been teaching IB Economics since 1992. He is currently IB Diploma Programme Coordinator and head of Economics, Politics, and Business Studies at Malvern ...

Supporting Your Students with Revision

At the time of writing, it is only February. I’m still making my way through the course but I am already beginning to think ahead to the end of the course and revision activities for my students. One activity I recently carried out in a teacher workshop involved getting the teachers to familiarise themselves with the syllabus and their perceived strengths and weaknesses. If you like, they carried out an audit of the course. However, in order to carry this out ...

Taking your IB Diploma? Here’s a revision plan…

I don't want to be too prescriptive about how you should revise – everyone's different, everyone remembers stuff in different ways – but you should definitely prepare a revision plan. If you don't, then it will be a matter of luck whether or not you'll be ready in time for the exams. Most of you will have at least some holiday time before the exams, and it's imperative you make the most of it – you're on your own, and it's ...

New Release: IB Economics SL Revised 3rd Edition

We are pleased to announce the publication of a new title in the OSC IB Study & Revision Guide series. Economics SL Revised 3rd Edition This guide covers the core syllabus for IBDP Economics and has been written specifically for the needs of SL students. This revised edition includes a new internal design and layout, for an even better reading experience. Stephen Holroyd has been teaching IB Economics since 1992. He is currently IB Diploma Programme Coordinator and head of Economics, Politics, ...

Patterns in Pascal’s Triangle

One of the great joys in Maths is exploring something seemingly very simple and finding layers upon layers of complexity, and connections with other areas of Maths which at first sight appear to be totally separate. I'm sure you have come across Pascal's triangle; here it is: To create each new row, start and finish with 1, and then each number in between is formed by adding the two numbers immediately above. Pattern 1:   One of the most obvious patterns is the ...

Prepare Your Body and Your Mind for the Exams

This will probably be my last blog before you dive into the exams in May. I hope your revision has gone well: there's still time to go over more past papers to become as familiar as possible with the way the examiners ask questions. And don't forget that, in Maths exams, there's only one mark for the correct answer – all the other marks are for working and intermediate answers. So train yourself to write as much as you can ...

Catch up on useful Mathematics blogs…

I have been writing these blogs for IB Mathematics students for a year and a half now: this is my 36th. They divide into three types: a)    General interest and recreation. These blogs look at how mathematics impinges on everyday life and aim to give you a wider appreciation of its relevance. Examples are the probability behind backgammon; Olympic records; some thoughts about zero; a series of blogs about great mathematicians; mathematical puzzles. b)    Help with specific areas of mathematics, ...

A Human Binary Counter

At the heart of every computer, however complex, are binary numbers - that is, numbers formed only of 0's and 1's. This is because it is easy to represent just two digits electronically: a switch can be on or off; a current can flow one way or the other; a pulse can change a stored digit from one state to the other. How does the binary system work?  When we count up to 9 in the decimal system, we've run out ...

Last minute Physics revision!

Arguably, this is the most stressful time in the last 2 years for IB students.  Not only are the exams here, but they have a frequency that is quite scary, like dominoes toppling one immediately after the other. In addition of course, there are 6 subjects that all need the revision of 2 years of work in a short period of time.  If that was not enough, the Physics exams are even worse because they are so tough – they ...