Tips for seniors to help IB testing go smoothly


Avery Porter photographed studying by Marcus Ludes.

Marcus Ludes, Staff Writer

IB testing begins next week on Tuesday, May 2, and with that comes the stress of IB exams. If you’re a junior or senior who’s testing for the first time this year, or you’re a senior who wishes they studied better last year, look no further for some tips on preparing for IB testing.

The Wolf interviewed Avery Porter, a full IB senior, about her testing experience last year. We asked her which tests she took and how she prepared for them.

“I took IB Spanish and IB Chemistry…. For Spanish, we did lots of practice tests in class and we went over how to take the test well… For chemistry, I found a lot of resources online that were really helpful, and one thing that I did a lot was using a whiteboard to write out problems.”

Porter accredited her Spanish teacher for helping the students to prepare for their exams, both the oral and written. By getting the necessary help she needed from her teacher, Porter felt that she improved her performance on the tests, therefore granting her a higher score. She also utilized her environment to study, not sticking to her computer only for studying. Studying with physical materials, even if it was just a pencil and paper, helped her be more efficient than if she had used only her computer. Making note cards is a great example of something you can do rather than using Quizlet or an online notecard source.

Location is also important. We asked Porter about where she spent time studying for her tests and how she eliminated distractions.

“I tried to get out of my room whenever I could because I cannot be productive in my room, so I would try to go to coffee shops or upstairs in my dining room – anywhere outside of my bedroom… I would usually try to leave my phone in a different room or at least on the other side of the room if I wanted to listen to music.”

Finding spaces where you can be in a quiet environment without distractions is an important factor in being able to study effectively. Porter noted coffee shops, but another great place to go to is the public library. If you have a group of a few people, the libraries have closed-off rooms you can sign up to use for one to two hours. The rooms are free to use and typically have whiteboards or other spaces to be creative with your studying. 

Managing stress is one of the most important parts of IB testing, as it can be one of the most mentally exhausting times of the year. Porter can attest to having high stress during her tests, but she found a way to help manage it.

“I play soccer, so it was really nice at the end of the day to go to soccer practice and completely take a break from the stress of everything. I really recommend getting outside, doing some exercise.”

Being in a high-stress environment, not only during the tests, but the studying you’ll do in the weeks leading up to the tests, can take a toll on your body, both physically and mentally. Getting out into the warmer May sun will be positive for your health, so it’s best to start and end a long day of stressful studying or testing by being active and doing something your body will thank you for later.