Five Things to Do the Week of the IB Exam

by Sara Vazquez Shaw

Now you're down to the wire; there's only one week to go until test time! Hopefully, you have already acquired the foundational knowledge to succeed on the exam. So, what can you do these last remaining days? Let's count down the five most productive ways to spend your time leading up to the IB exam.

1. Study Strategically

While your instinct at this point may be to cram as much information as possible, a focused effort will yield better results. The truth is that cramming can be an effective way to store information, but only in your short-term memory and if you know what type of information you must know. For best results, concentrate on formulas, facts, and figures rather than general concepts that require more time to master.

2. Clear Your Mind

Meditation may not be a technique you've considered, but research shows that mindfulness can minimise distractions and reduce stress. Set some time aside this week for breathing exercises, positive self-talk, and other practices that can have both short-term and long-term health benefits.

In fact, meditation can also come in handy during the exam. If you can't remember the answer to a question, take a moment, close your eyes, and empty your head. You may be surprised at what comes back to you!

3. Exercise

Any form of exercise is effective. The great outdoors offer a particularly calming setting, though. Physical activity revitalises your body, so even if you feel like you're running short on time this week, don't skip your fitness routine. There's no better way to clear your head and recharge than through a vigorous workout.

4. Sleep Well

Many students pull all-nighters the week leading up to the test, but this is an ill-advised practice. Think about it: have you ever struggled to remember a piece of information following a particularly late night? If so, you're not alone. In fact, there's a scientific reason for it. Researchers have determined that the region of the brain responsible for memory functions better on sufficient sleep. Lack of sleep also impedes concentration and decision-making. The less sleep you obtain, the more consequences you'll suffer. Pick a bedtime and stick with it!

5. Take Care of the Small Stuff

Do you know what time the test is or its location? Do you know whether you need any special supplies, like ID or No. 2 pencils? In the days preceding the IB exam, take the opportunity to look into these details. This will ensure that on the big day you can focus your efforts only on the test itself.