OSHCstudents – The International Baccalaureate (IB) exams assess three advanced academic skills: the abilities to analyze and present information; evaluate and construct arguments; and solve problems creatively. These exams also assess the retention of knowledge, an understanding of key concepts and the application of standard methods.
While the last two skills are largely developed in class, via homework and on practice tests, the first four skills aren’t as restricted. Certain everyday activities – such as the three detailed below – can draw upon skills like those required for success on IB exams
[Review the types of IB assessments before your first course.]
1. Assessing arguments on social media: Debates abound on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Whether these debates are related to politics or pop culture, it does not take more than a moment of scrolling on your device to locate a controversial post.
This is an excellent opportunity to practice your ability to analyze and present information, using critical thinking and logic skills, as well as your ability to evaluate arguments.
For example, you might come across a comment along the lines of, “Opponents of (subject) are opponents of democracy.” Can you spot the logical fallacy in this statement? This line of thinking exemplifies the false dilemma, which suggests that there are only two possibilities – in this instance, for or against – when there are in fact other alternatives, like a neutral stance on the issue.
You do not need to directly comment on the social media post, but can instead analyze the debate from a distance. The idea is to identify shortcomings in the argument or gaps in the logic used, which can help you with analytical writing and reading comprehension.
Ask yourself, “What assumptions does the argument rest on? How can the argument be improved?” By dissecting debates on social media, you can sharpen skills that can be applied to various types of IB assessments.
[See four common questions about IB assessments.]
2. Participating in relevant extracurricular activities: In addition to analytical skills, IB exams require creativity, problem-solving and recall. Certain extracurricular activities, such as debate, music and Academic Decathlon or similar competitions, do as well.
Academic Decathlon includes a Super Quiz, which covers every subject you’ve studied; two speeches; multiple-choice exams; an interview; and an essay. The exams cover several distinct areas, such as music, math, literature and economics, and there’s a different central theme to the Academic Decathlon each year.
Participating in Academic Decathlon provides high school students with the chance to apply knowledge across a broad range of topics and to recall what they have already studied. Due to the lengthy nature of this extracurricular activity, students can also train themselves in test-taking stamina and concentration.
With activities like debate and music, students can similarly fine-tune their ability to accurately remember and recall knowledge and develop creative solutions to problems. These skills are key on every IB test.
[Build on AP, IB exams to prepare for college.]
3. Completing puzzles: Puzzles are accessible and affordable, and they satisfy both academic and leisure purposes. Crossword puzzles, for instance, can improve your problem-solving faculties – a must for IB assessments.
Sudoku, for example, is a game of logic based on numbers. You must identify the pattern in each square of nine boxes and fill in the missing numbers. Sudoku only uses the numbers 1 through 9 and requires logic rather than mathematical calculations. Analytical skills are a necessity.
Step outside the box and seek engaging, dynamic ways to prepare for IB exams. While taking practice tests is essential to IB success, other stimulating activities can also ready your brain for test day.
Emma (OSHCstudents) – According to USnews.com