Written by: Rashi S.
Staying organized is a skill that you will need and continue to develop for and during the IB DP as it is needed in university and throughout life. It is crucial to stay organized to do well academically, use your time effectively, and for your mental health. Some benefits of staying organized are that you can ensure that you meet deadlines, increase your productivity, and reduce stress, out of many others. In this blog, we go over the three keys which will enable you to manage your workload more effectively in the IB DP: taking good notes, time management, and stress management.
It is necessary to take good notes as that is what will help you keep track of what topics you have covered, absorb and retain information, and score well on your assessments. Managing the IB DP’s workload can get challenging at times because of the several, and often, back-to-back deadlines. If you do not take notes, it is possible that you can forget what topic or concept has been covered in a particular subject and that you can start to confuse it with topics or concepts that have been covered in other subjects, as they sometimes overlap within diverse topics in the same subject and between different subjects. Hence, take notes so that you are aware of the content that has been covered in each subject and to avoid confusion. Additionally, taking good notes will enable you to absorb information faster as multiple scientific studies have demonstrated that active recall (writing notes, repeating it out loud, etc.) is more effective than passive recall (highlighting your textbook). Thus, taking good notes is essential as it will help you retain information, which will consequently enable you to score well on your assessments and review efficiently for your exams.
Next, time management will help you stay organized in the IB DP because it will help you focus better, increase the quality of your work, and give you more free time. Organize your workplace in a way that motivates you to study. For example, keep your phone out of sight during your study session so that you are not tempted to use it and so that its sound notifications do not disrupt your concentration. Planning effectively will also aid you manage your time well. For instance, plan your day the night before so that you already have a structure to your day when you wake up the next morning. This is a strategy that will enable you to get things done, leaving you with a feeling of accomplishment. Moreover, it ensures that you are investing your time and effort into activities that will contribute to your long-term goal.
Finally, stress management is vital to stay organized, healthy, and accomplish your goals. In general, adolescence years along with academic pressure can often be stressful. Nevertheless, if you constantly and consistently find yourself feeling drained, sad, anxious or any other negative feeling, try to identify the problem that is causing that negative feeling and act to combat it accordingly. For example, you can do various breathing exercises and even seek psychological help if necessary. As for academic stress, I highly recommend that you keep the option of getting a tutor open. When I was doing the DP, particularly in Y2, I often felt anxious due to the university application deadlines, the increase in difficulty of the content, and so on. Therefore, I got many tutors at different time periods of my IB DP journey to help myself with different subjects and for mentorship as well. Looking back at it today, they definitely taught me useful strategies and gave me valuable tips that contributed to the score I achieved in the IB.
To conclude, staying organized is a vital skill for the DP, university, and life. You can try to stay organized effectively by developing your skills in the three main pillars discussed in this blog and by following the suggestions that were given. Overall, staying organized will not only reduce your stress levels and help you achieve higher grades, but will enable you to become goal-oriented, aid you grow intellectually, and cultivate fulfilling relationships.