Advice and Inspiration

After I finished all my exams, the biggest realisation was that it was so much easier than I expected. When you're in the middle of the IB, getting stressed because you feel like you have 20 IAs all due on the same day, you feel overwhelmed by it all. It seems like the IB is a huge, impossible task that wears away at you relentlessly, every minute of every day.

If I could only give one piece of advice, it would be to focus your energy on real problems, and not get all caught up problems you create yourself. The IB is only as hard as you make it. Any time that you spend sitting around thinking/complaining about how you're going to die/fail/explode/drown in homework is wasted time, because speaking from experience, I promise you won't.

It is ok to feel like you want to give up - everyone gets to that point. I'm certainly not saying that the IB is easy or that if you're struggling, there's something wrong with you. Everyone finds it hard. All I'm saying is that you shouldn't wind yourself up about it to the point that you feel like there's no hope left. I promise you, if you just put in small, consistent effort, the results will be greater than you think. The IB won't kill you. Your attitude might. So, remember that thousands of people have survived this before you, and you will too. If you need help, I really am here to offer it. Never forget that when you need support, it will be right there waiting for you if you just ask for it :)

1. Manage your time well - know when you will study and what you will study in that time
2. Study somewhere quiet with no distractions
3. Allow for breaks to eat and drink - if you are hungry or dehydrated, you will not be able to learn effectively
4. Break up your study into sets of half hours, allowing a short break in between each
5. Rewrite your notes from class when you get home
6. Focus on the most important areas first, then move on to the less important information.
7. Use techniques such as flash cards, quizzes or games to help you learn and memorise information.
8. Work in a group, where appropriate, to allow others to help you with topics you struggle with.

We choose to do these things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organise and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others too.

When you have a great and difficult task, something perhaps almost impossible, if you only work a little at a time, every day a little, suddenly the work will finish itself.

Don't procrastinate!!

Stick to a task
Until it sticks to you
Beginners are many
Finishers are few

I have always struggled to achieve excellence. One thing that cycling has taught me is that if you can achieve something without a struggle, it's not going to be satisfying.
- - Greg LeMond
Cyclist and 3 times winner of the Tour de France


  1. I appreciate the words of inspiration, however I'm afraid that the disdain and hopeless feelings you said to avoid have gripped me with a vice of such crippling circumstances in which I given up. I'm currently in my final year of my ib program and although having done well in my first year, I feel as though some of the gaps I have in subjects are too huge for me to fill before my November exams...

  2. Hey mate, I know how you feel. There was a point in my final year when I stopped studying because I was so ridiculously depressed about school and other factors. It's only March - you will probably continue to feel a bit like that right up until September/October. The IB is a weird thing like that... you will spend two years feeling like you know almost nothing and have no hope of getting there. Then in the last month, between mocks and finals, you will suddenly find that everything just comes together. Trust me. I promise you that if you work as hard as you possibly can for the rest of the year (and I don't mean "go flat out and exhaust yourself" - I mean, do YOUR best), then you will definitely make it. Seriously, feel free to email me with any questions you have. I promise you that despite how you feel now it will eventually get better. I know because I've been right through it all. I'm here to offer you all the support I can - that's why IB Screwed was set up! :)

  3. I just started pre-IB and I'm actually scared of IB indeed because of all these things I read on the Internet... I don't know if I will be able to deal with it, cause I get stressed very easily. I just don't want to end with a depression or something... should I give up IB?

  4. No, you shouldn't let what you hear on the internet put you off. Everything on the internet gets exaggerated and generalised. IB is difficult, but it's not to be feared. The people who do badly are the ones who spend all their time posting things on the internet about how IB is awful etc, when all they are doing is procrastinating their real work. I can assure you that you do not have to study every single day for hour on end to get great marks - I got a 43 and I studied a maximum of six days a week. You won't get depressed by doing IB, you would only get depressed by reading all the ridiculous things people say about it on the internet. So, no, don't give it up. You can do it and come out sane at the end. And if you ever find yourself struggling, you can just message me and I will be able to give you any advice that you need to get through. :)

  5. Could you by any chance put up the Syllabus notes for 1.3 and others? It's been incredibly helpful to have 1 and 2!

    1. Hi - I'm not sure which subject you are talking about? All the syllabus notes for Chemistry and Biology are available. Which subject?

    2. hey im susan i m an ib year one student i am new to ib and it would be a great help if someone could help me out!!!!!

  6. Just wanted to say that this is a great site, and I think your doing an awesome job!
    Keep it up :D

    1. Thanks! I'm glad you have found it helpful :)

  7. Thank you for these wondeful notes! I do really appreciate it. And I just have to say that I share the same feelings like a lot of other IB students. It feels like such a big thing and I don't know if I'm able to work it out. I'm in the pre-IB since August and even if I've got the really good grades in all he subjects so far, I feel like I'm not worth it. And I always have the felling that I am behind everybody else and that I study far to less. But I feel like it will be easier in the Diploma Program because I don't have to study all those subjects that I don't like. So I'm just wondering if you feel the same? Cause I think IB could me incredibly helpful in the future, so I don't want to drop out.

    Than k you once again.

    1. Hey! I'm glad you like the notes. I found IB a lot better once I was only doing the subjects I liked.
      Don't worry too much about feeling behind the others. The truth is that most people lie about how much study they've done, so odds are your friends have only done as much as you. Just focus on doing YOUR best without the comparisons and you will get there. If you are getting good grades, you are obviously very capable and as long as you continue to put in a good effort, you will do well. Feel free to email me if you ever have any questions :)

  8. ALthough it may feel rewarding at the end, I just feel so stressed and overwehlmed sometimes. Right now I'm in pre-IB since I'm in grade 10, but I'm taking Chemistry 20-IB since I got ahead in science and boy is it a challenge sometimes. I just makes me depressed when I see other people who are in the regular program relaxing and having fun while I'm spending like 3-4 hours a night on homework. Especially with finals/midterms coming up I just feel like there isn't enough time to study everything I need to know. Do you have any advice with dealing with stress or finals in general! Thanks! :)

  9. hello thanks for creating this website it is great. would you be able to put up some note for chemistry on 'modern analytical chemistry' and 'option G further organic chem'.
    thanks so much:)

  10. Hello! I'm doing IB next year and am choosing my courses. I"m in french immersion, so my courses will be:

    French A
    2nd IB Subject : Either Psychology or Chemistry.

    French immersion students do not get an elective. I'm having trouble deciding whether not to do Psychology or Chemistry. I feel as though I would be interested in Psychology; however, I think that I may pursue a career in Health Services, where I would be required to take both chemistry and physics. ( I can take physics online or during the summer). Also, I have no idea which courses to choose HL or SL in! I will not be taking HL in math, and i will likely be taking HL in Bio. Should I take English HL? It will be useful in university, but I don't know if it is for me, (i'm not a huge fan of english class lol)

    1. BTW: All i know is that I want to do a career where I get to help people, and I get a satisfying feeling out of it. MOst people would assume doctor or nurse, but I'm open to counsellor or teacher or something similar. Working with people closely.

  11. Awesome site! Thank you so much

  12. Hey just letting you know for your language blogs: DUOLINGO is the epitome of all things beautiful. You might want to post it somewhere. By the way I'm not advertising the app just trying to help :)

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  14. Hi community!
    Great notes and thanks for sharing your thoughts IBscrewed!
    I am giving study advice and tips on my blog if anyone is interested.

    Keep going people, the IB is worth it!