With the May exams fast approaching, here at Elite IB we’re gearing up for our fifth Easter Revision Course! Our annual IBDP2, IBDP1 and MYP courses have been going from strength to strength over the past several years, as we’ve expanded to Switzerland where we’ll be hosting our third course, and Singapore, our new venture. Our primary goal is to offer students the additional push and added bit of confidence that will ensure they have an advantage when they sit down and open their papers. Once again, we’ve drawn together an outstanding team of tutors to run our workshops, and we simply can’t wait for what is the busiest, but most enjoyable, period of the year!
What’s most important to us is to ensure every student has a positive learning experience and finishes their IB Diploma and Middle Years Programme feeling thoroughly challenged, but satisfied with the knowledge they have acquired. In order to contribute to this success, we build our Easter Revision Courses around the individualised needs of our students. As Tim, our Director, explains;
Our aim is to offer a course which is designed both on what students have told us they want, and feedback tutors have given throughout the year in terms of areas of weakness or exam strategy pitfalls.
This brings together the unique aspects of our courses as they are led by our best tutors who are IB graduates and have achieved a 7 at Higher Level in the subject they are teaching, and most importantly have received excellent feedback over the previous year from their students. Not only this, they have gone on to study at some of the best universities in the world, to Masters and PhD level, and are at the cutting edge of their fields of interest. This ensures that our course tutors not only know what their students are going through, but “the tutor has spent time drilling into recent exam patterns, and can provide IB nuanced tips like picking up method marks, or those tricky bits of the syllabus called ‘assumed knowledge’”, drawing on their own studies and their vast tutoring experience. It’s a killer combination!
To ensure our students benefit from their time with our course tutors, ahead of the revision course, Charlotte, our Head of Operations in Switzerland adds, “every student is sent a questionnaire, so that they can note the areas they are struggling with”, and the classes can be built around their needs. We also place a heavy emphasis on small class sizes, of no more than 6, meaning “that for courses like Maths, we can actively split groups in level 6/7 students and 4/5 students, to ensure the pace is perfect for the individual, rather than the group”, a fact Tim is more than happy to boast about. This aspect, Charlotte continues, is very important as when she attended a revision course ahead of her IB finals;
Many of those on my course were easy 7s, whereas I was more of a 5. As such, I didn’t have the confidence to fully benefit from the course and felt more worried and self-conscious leaving the course, than when I had first arrived.
The importance placed on small class sizes comes from Tim and Charlotte’s own experiences of attending revision courses “run by classroom teachers and in a big group” ahead of their IB exams. This, as Tim explains, was not much different from the everyday school routine, and stands in stark contrast to Elite IB’s “environment where the student feels empowered to ask questions”. As Wei Hao, Head of Operations in Singapore adds, “the tutor can then remain flexible and responsive to the student’s needs, both in terms of learning and scheduling for the most effective improvement”.
Our successful formula is being rolled out in Singapore, our newest venture, and one Wei Hao is extremely excited about! Having recently run the Elite IB’s Oxbridge application workshop in Singapore, based on his own experiences of the application process and first-hand knowledge of studying at Oxford, he notes the importance of bringing students together;
Throughout the day the group of students became more comfortable with expressing their views and discussing their (sometimes differing) opinions. By the end of the day they were supporting and giving constructive feedback to each other in exercises, meaning they not only benefited from my support, but were able to show each other different ways to approach the questions – a very constructive way of working.
This open and engaging platform is the key to success and what we believe makes our IB revision courses the best. The atmosphere is “energetic”, Tim says, “where students are driving the course through questions, rather than the tutor through rote learning.” This, as Wei Hao explained, ensures “we create an environment where not only the tutor will be able to provide answers, but also where other students in the group are happy to discuss concepts and offer support.” This, of course, only adds value to the tutor’s approach, consolidating his/her bullet-proof timetable, while allowing the students time to ask further questions, broadening the teaching and learning process.
Elite IB’s Easter Revision Course is “an amazingly efficient way to revise all the material in a short period of time… to consolidate what you already understand, and finally grasp concepts that previously didn’t make sense”, Charlotte explains. This gives students the ideal exam practice, guaranteeing they can “focus their minds as actively as they will need to during exam season, just in case they are faced with 3 hours of exams back-to-back, which the IB is prone to do,” as Tim, an IB graduate himself, knows only too well.
It is certainly one of our most fulfilling weeks of the year as a company, as our students leave “exhausted, but with smiles on their faces and ready to ace their exams!” All the hard work is worth it, and as Tim puts it;
Over the years, there have been a lot of amazing memories, but the most common one that brings a smile to my face is when you hear a loud “ooooooh!” from a student in some corner of the room. You can almost hear the puzzle pieces clicking into place. This is when we know we’ve done our job and is the best feedback we can receive. It only takes a few ‘eureka!’ moments, and chances are that will result in a few essential percentage points!