With the IB mocks drawing nearer, revisions for it are at the forefront of all students minds.

Needing to juggle between revisions and their regular school load, it is not uncommon for most IB students to become overwhelmed or stressed. Whether it’s the first time sitting for a test or their umpteenth, the mocks can be a stressful time.

However, it is important to remember that mock exams are merely a gauge of skill and not something to panic over!

All the same, here are 5 foolproof tips to revise for the mock exams that are backed up by scientific research.

1. Keep the revision set-up uncluttered

Cluttered desk, cluttered mind. There is nothing worse than a messy desktop to put anyone out of the mood to study!

In 2011, researchers at the Princeton University Neuroscience Institute published a study investigating the impact clutter has on individuals. Their study reveals that clutter and disorganisation can inhibit one’s ability to remain focus and process information. Individuals whose work stations are messy are significantly less productive than those whose work stations are kept tidy and organised.

Before getting down to revise for the mocks, take time to organise the study desk. Resist the urge to push things aside. Instead, put them away into folders and drawers.

Clearing up the study space helps to set the tone, mood and right frame of mind to start studying.

2. Keep study spaces distraction-free

Revising for the IB mocks requires a lot of focus. Psychological studies have shown time and time again that minimising distractions and interruptions can dramatically boost productivity. After all, there’s nothing that puts a drain on the quality of work then being constantly disrupted.

To encourage productive studying, students can set their phones to ‘Do Not Disturb’, or turn it off while they are going through their notes and study materials. Alternative study spaces can also be set up around the house. These study spaces should be conducive for studying and free from irrelevant technology like computers, tablets or any other distractions.

Creating a distraction-free space at home can greatly improve the quality of time spent revising. If that can’t be achieved, at least invest in a good pair of quality noise cancelling headphones.

3. Keep revision for the IB mocks fresh

Sitting still and studying for hours at a time can get immensely draining, especially for the young and active mind.

Studying doesn’t have to be so static – it would be beneficial for students to bring flash cards for a walk, this allows them to get fresh air and memorise key terms. Better yet, they could pop on a study-related podcast during evening runs, to kill two birds with one stone. 

Just getting outside will bring oxygen to the brain, refreshing and elevating a stressed-out teenager tremendously. Not only that, but studying in new environments has been shown to boost memory as your brain is trained to associate terms with the environment or surrounding stimulus.

4. Keep the study sessions for the mocks short

Not only is focusing on any one task for hours on end extremely mentally draining but toward the end, students lose focus entirely or are not effective at all. A method students can use to cope with this is the Pomodoro Technique.

This study method involves breaking a study task into smaller, more manageable sections of study. Between each session, there is a short break. Usually, most students follow a pattern of twenty-five minutes of studying and five minutes of rest.

The short rest between each revision session briefly diverts the student’s brain away from the task. This mental break, according to a research study conducted by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, is critical for productivity. Without it, the brain becomes ‘habituated’ and the stimulus stops registering it as something meaningful. This diminishes focus, performance, and productivity.

Also, planning for shorter durations of study deters students from procrastinating, encouraging them to be more efficient with their time.

5. Keep Calm to Carry On

The final and most important tip we can recommend is to improve stress management skills. Exams can be a very stressful time for all of us, so do remember to keep stress and other negative emotions in check. Nothing is less productive than panicking!

When students spend too much time studying, stress can get the better of them. It is important to take a break when necessary as during this period! Whilst grades matter, mental health is more important.

Hanging out with friends or doing something active whenever possible works best for most students. All these activities boosts endorphins, relieving stress, and ensuring one returns to work refreshed, rejuvenated and ready to continue.

Finally, remember that these mocks are merely a gauge of one’s ability. Regardless of performance, there is always room for improvement and the chance to get better! However, if it becomes too much of a struggle, don’t be afraid to get help by contacting us! All the best for the IB mock revisions!