High school presents plenty of singular academic opportunities to students in Singapore, and one of these is starting the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP). Aimed at students between 16 and 19 years of age, the IB Diploma Programme presents learners with the chance to earn an IB diploma, which is a credential that is respected and acknowledged by some of the highest-ranking universities and institutions of higher learning in the world.
On top of having a key focus on academic achievements, the IBDP curriculum is also designed to equip students with the skills and values they need to overcome challenges and adapt to the changes that they may face later in life.
Earning an IB diploma, however, is far from a walk in the park. The program is known for its demanding requirements, and it’s a challenge that students should be preparing for even before the school year officially begins.
If you are enrolled in a middle years IB Programme Singapore-based families hold in high regard, and you have the opportunity to take the IB Diploma Programme in the coming years, how do you prepare yourself?
Here are some of the basic skills and strategies that should help you hit the ground running once the program starts.
Here’s Our List of 4 Top Things To Do Before Starting
- Learn Time Management Skills
- Develop Better Research Capabilities
- Brush Up on Your Second Language
- Consider the Future You Want to Build
Learn Time Management Skills
The IB Diploma Programme is quite rigorous. There are 3 elements that make up the core course and 6 subject groups with different courses.
In addition to completing the theory of knowledge and extended essay, as well as accomplishing a project for the creativity, activity, and service components of the program, students also have to juggle courses in math, science, art, language, literature, language acquisition, and social studies.
It can be a struggle balancing all of these and then making time for all your responsibilities in and out of the classroom.
To make it much easier to manage your IBDP requirements, you need to acquire and master time management skills before the program starts. There are a few time-tested decision-making and time management techniques that you can use right from the get-go.
The Pomodoro technique is one such strategy that can help you build focus and avoid mental exhaustion. It involves focusing on a task for 25 minutes straight, then taking a 5-minute break, then repeating the cycle a few times.
If you find yourself having difficulty prioritizing your tasks, you can use the Eisenhower Matrix as a reference. This will help you decide whether a task is urgent, not urgent, important, or not important and determine the order by which you’ll do the things you need to do.
Develop Better Research Capabilities
In a world swimming with information, it can be difficult to determine fact from misinformation. This is a challenge that you’ll face head-on as you go through different IBDP courses, and it’s something you should prepare for early on by honing your research skills.
Before school starts is the best time to acquaint yourself with the best practices when doing research. Among other things, you should be able to analyze the source of information, understand exactly what it is that you’re looking for, investigate the topic thoroughly, and evaluate the elements of your research paper with balance and fairness.
Improving your research skill will not only help you during your IB years, but it’s also a skill that will serve you well in your future career.
Brush Up on Your Second Language
Singapore is a multilingual and multicultural country, and it’s not unusual here for people to acquire native-level fluency in more than one language. It’s important to note that knowing a language other than one’s mother tongue is an important aspect of the IBDP curriculum.
There are many benefits to becoming bilingual, and one of them is gaining a greater appreciation for cultures other than one’s own.
By developing better command of your second or even third language, you’ll be less worried about the language requirements of the program, plus you’ll also open yourself up to one of the most crucial aspects of global citizenship.
In addition, research shows that exposure to multiple languages makes it much easier for people to pick up other languages down the line.
Consider the Future You Want to Build
You don’t exactly have to be set on the future you want to have at the age of 16, but it’s a good time to start thinking about what you want to do later in life.
Perhaps you want to study overseas after high school or jump at the opportunity to earn real-life experiences in the workplace. Regardless, your interests and future prospects play a big role in your education, including in the IBDP courses that you are taking.
There will be opportunities for you to dive deeper into topics that interest you and connect that with the subjects that you are discussing in class.
At the same time, having a clearer understanding of what you want to achieve in the future will help you choose courses within the IBDP curriculum that can benefit you directly and help you get a step closer to your academic and career objectives.
Make the most of your time in the IB Diploma Programme by preparing yourself thoroughly for this challenging and wholly fulfilling chapter in your academic journey.
Set yourself up for success by cultivating the habits that will make an impact not just on your years as an IB student, but also as you face the bigger world outside of the classroom.