Written By : Rashi S.
To understand what to expect in IB DP Y2, we first need to understand what the purpose of IB DP Y1 is. Therefore, let us discuss the nature and purpose of IB DP Y1 before outlining what to expect in IB DP Y2 and how you can prepare for it.
Purpose of IB DP Y1:
The aim of Y1 is to familiarize students with the DP overall and its particularities. For instance, the IB core points, grading system, and so on, as several students often only do the DP and not the earlier programs of the IB. Next, your school will teach you most of the content in all of your subjects in DP Y1 (around 70%). This will allow you to cover the remaining content in Y2 and focus on the IAs, MOCK Exams, and revision for the final DP Exams. Covering most of the content in Y1 is useful as you will consequently have a wide range of topics that you can choose from in Y2 to do your IAs and EE on, depending on your school’s internal deadlines calendar. In essence, Y1 will familiarize you with the DP, enabling you to understand the educational system better and setting you up for Y2.
Now that you understand what the purpose of Y1 is, I focus on these three main points in the blog post.
- IA, EE, and CAS Deadlines
- University Application Deadlines
- Preparing for MOCKS and Final Exams
After discussing each point, I write a subsequent paragraph advising you how you can prepare for it starting now.
IA, EE, and CAS Deadlines
Get prepared to have a back-to-back and a multitude of deadlines. Your school-based coordinator is often the one that submits the students’ IAs and EE, for example, to the IB. The IB Guide mentions that it is recommended that schools create their own internal deadlines calendar to meet the official IB deadlines. Therefore, almost surely, your school will have an internal deadlines calendar that they will share with you at the beginning of Grade 12. You will receive updated versions of it from the school as the school year passes, circumstances change, and things progress. The deadline calendars will contain various IA and EE deadlines, the TOK essay, the CAS Project, and so on. The TOK Essay titles will be released in September. Hence, your TOK class time will solely be dedicated to writing the essay as the official IB deadline for its submission is in March. Good news: after the TOK Essay submission, you will be done with that subject and therefore you will not have to attend it anymore (the course is finished). Overall, although in Y2 you will feel some pressure, you will continue to learn to develop significant skills such as finding and employing good study techniques, staying organized, and time and stress management.
- How you can Prepare
I would like to recommend you do as many CAS activities as you can in the first year to fulfill its requirements (the outcomes that you need to meet) and complete the CAS Project in Y1 as well. Although you will need to continue to do CAS in Y2 (it is supposed to be an ongoing component until the completion of the DP), it is valuable to get it done in Y1, because Y2 will truly be packed. I completed my CAS Project in the Y1 summer break and it certainly helped ease the workload for Y2. As for how you can prepare for your IAs and EE, check out our detailed webinar on it.
University Application Deadlines
Y2 will have most of the university application deadlines that you need to meet. Most students will apply to more than one university and therefore you need to be aware of the different university application deadlines as they differ from country to country. It is crucial to prioritize the applications because if you miss the deadline, you will not have a second chance. You will have to wait for the upcoming year to apply.
- How you can Prepare
The best way to start preparing for it now is to think about the course that you would like to study and the place that you would like to go for further education. For example, would you like to stay closer to home and apply to universities in the same country or do you want to go abroad and experience living by yourself? If you already have a good idea of what course you would like to pursue in the future, take a step further and shortlist universities that you would like to apply to. Check the university’s requirements on their websites (e.g. 7 in HL Chemistry) and try to meet its requirements if you do not yet. Nevertheless, if you find yourself completely puzzled about which path you would like to pursue in the future, I recommend that you get career counseling. I was unsure about what I wanted to do in the future and thus my parents recommended to me that I get career counseling. I did it online, and it was helpful in making my choice. I currently study International Relations and Organizations at Leiden University–The Hague. After you take these steps and have a decent idea of what you would like to study, do activities that will help you in application building. Many universities will ask you to make a CV and all universities like candidates that are all-rounded. Although having good grades is essential, it is not enough. Thus, the sooner you have an idea of what you would like to pursue in the future, the sooner you can try and meet its requirements if you do not yet and start application building, increasing your chances of being accepted into your dream university.
Preparing for MOCKS and Final Exams
Your DP Y1 Winter Break will mostly be dedicated to studying for your MOCKS and editing some of your IAs. After the MOCK Exams, deadlines for other IAs and the TOK Essay will be present as they need to be submitted by the school to the IB.
- How you can Prepare:
You can do simple things to prepare for Y2 now, which will go a long way in helping you succeed in Y2. For example, organize your notes in DP Y1. I did this in my Summer Break of Y1; it enabled me to start studying my notes and retain the content better. Next, genuinely prepare for the MOCK Exams and treat them like the Final IB DP Exams. Although they do not have a direct impact on your predicted grades or university applications, treating the MOCK Exams like the final DP Exams is beneficial. This is because it will give you a better idea of your strong and weak subjects, which of your study techniques work and which do not, and so on. In short, taking the MOCK Exams seriously will allow you to use what you learned when preparing for them and their results to prepare accordingly for your Final IB DP Exams. Use this to practice now when you can, for the MOCK and Final Exams (tip: download some Past Papers in advance as the website does not work sometimes). The more you are familiar and habituated to the IB style questions, the easier the exams will be for you (doing past papers for Language B SL reading comprehension was particularly helpful for me). Overall, organize your notes so that you can efficiently and effectively study them, prepare well for the MOCK Exams, and continue doing past papers to prepare for Y2.
To conclude, although Y2 can seem overwhelming at first glance, with the right techniques and mindset, you can undoubtedly excel in it. Try harder to develop good habits from now on, such as fixing your sleeping schedule and staying organized. Start your DP Y2 with a positive attitude, and stay motivated by reminding yourself of the required DP score you need to get into your dream university. Doing these things will set you up for a successful Y2 and IB Score!