June 22, 2015 - style="text-align: center;">Congratulations on finishing IBDP1! You are now halfway there…
Your mid-IB summer is a great time to prepare for what is going to be a very full year ahead of your actual exams in 2016. Here are a few suggestions for what you can do to keep yourself ahead of it all over the summer. A little work now will seriously pay off. Set up everything for next year – it will be a lot easier to carry out tasks now rather than in October when you’re back at school and all the deadlines start looming!
BACK WHEN YOU THOUGHT THERE WAS A LIMIT TO THE AMOUNT OF STRESS YOU COULD FEEL IN IBDP2
Organize work experience for whichever career path you choose. If you haven’t chosen a career path yet, this is a great way of helping you decide!
Work experience is especially important for those wanting to pursue a career in medicine – not only are medicine admissions officers looking for work experience in hospital/surgery/with a GP, they’re also looking for commitment. Volunteering in a hospice or an old people’s home over the summer and continuing this through your IB shows that you have whatit takes to commit to 5/6 years of studies. Shadowing a doctor doesn’t take up much energy or time – volunteering 1hr a week over the course of a year does! Moreover, maybe you can count this in your CAS hours…
Personal statement – the most frustrating 4000 characters of your life! How can you possibly get an admissions officer to pick you with only 47 lines?! Summer is the ideal time to draft your personal statement a million times. Start by bullet-pointing your achievements and reasons for wanting to study your given course. Now write draft after draft. Give it to your friends, parents, aunts & uncles, anybody who will look at it. You’ll inevitably have to cut some sentences out and it’s much easier to do that when you haven’t written it yourself.
Work on your EE and TOK essay – anything to help reduce your workload next year is a good idea… Maximise your bonus points by doing well on these two essays. Set yourself a target of completing a full draft of your EE by the end of the summer, it will be a weight off your shoulders for the start of next year.
Consolidate your learning. Look over and tidy up your notes, sort out your folders, revise and make sure you know the material well. You still have a lot left to learn next year, so take a little time this summer to look over your notes to ensure you know your material before learning even more! It is also advisable to print off each syllabus and cross off what you have studied so far, so that you’re aware of what is left to learn next year, so that you can plan ahead.
Research the universities you are thinking of applying to. Do you have the required points? If not, do you have the time/ability to work hard to achieve them? Bear in mind that if you’re applying for medicine, Oxbridge, dental or veterinary science your UCAS deadline is the 15th October. I increased my chemistry grade from a 6 to a 7 over the summer, which essentially guaranteed my place at university.
With that all said, summer holidays are also for relaxing. Spend time with your family & friends and enjoy the freedom you now have … Go on holiday. Binge watch all the series on Netflix. You’re not alone. You have until September before it all starts again!