In an article from the IB World magazine, International Baccalaureate educators offered tips to parents for how they can support their students as they go through the IB Diploma Programme exams.
As an IB World School, Montessori High School at University circle offers students the choice to sit for subject-specific certificates or to sit for the entire diploma.
Exams at any level can be stressful, and the IB exams can feel particularly so as they are a culminating and comprehensive examination for students. As IB World notes, “parents are eager to see their child succeed but are also concerned about their levels of anxiety. How can they tread the thin line of motivating their children, without exerting more pressure on them?” IB World asked IB parents from around the world, and MHS shares their answers here.
Help Them Find Balance
The majority of IB parents reported that their students knew how to self-regulate. The students were aware of what types of learners they were, what their needs were, and how to incorporate intensive study into their daily routines.
MHS students work with their teachers to learn these skills over their four years of high school. They practice implementing self-regulation each day during work time. This means that parents can focus on providing what IB World calls “background support:”
- Make sure your student eats regular meals
- Encourage your student to exercise (and take regular breaks)
- Make sure your student gets enough sleep
Observe and Remind
It can be helpful for parents to observe their student’s study habits as they prepare for IB exams. Studying can be a long process, and students will benefit from gentle reminders and redirection at certain moments.
Observing can allow you the opportunity to provide these gentle reminders when your student gets frustrated or distracted while also giving you the chance to praise their strengths and discuss the good work they’ve done in their preparation.
As one IB parent noted, her daughters—all three of whom were IB Diploma students—were very different in their strengths and weaknesses, and in their approach to studying. Observing these differences better equipped her for offering helpful reminders and motivation.
Keep Them Motivated
The International Baccalaureate Diploma Program is an intensive course of study, and students can feel like they are beginning to lose steam by the time exam preparation begins.
Remind your student what they’ve accomplished. In many ways, the IB Exams are a culmination of their time at MHS. They represent all that they’ve learned and achieved academically. The completion of these exams is an important moment, and should be seen as one of the last milestones of their high school experience.
Remember to offer encouragement when your student gets frustrated and to remind your student that it’s okay to take a break or a night off.