As an IB student, you are no doubt aware of the importance of strong time management skills. With CAS Project deadlines, ToK, EE, and all your regular course work, it is necessary to stay organized to beat stress and soak up the most from your high school experience. Of course, when it comes to succeeding at CAS and the IB in general, there is no substitute for planning ahead. Thankfully, there are also some super useful student resources you can use to stay in control, avoid burnout, and get the job done.
Let’s dig into some of the online tools available to help you excel in school while having fun, taking care of yourself, and making time for meaningful reflection and inspiration.
Ace your language classes and upcoming exams with custom cue cards
We love the Anki app for making digital cue cards that you can easily access on any device for easy review. Spaced repetition techniques are great for learning new languages, establishing new knowledge associations, or memorizing complex terms. You can even make cue cards to share with others as part of a CAS experience. Anki is super easy to use, syncs across devices and allows you to add pictures, audio, and video, so you can create the ideal cards for your learning style.
Understand how your memory works to make it work for you
Speaking of memory, we love this episode from the Stuff You Should Know podcast. Diving into how memory works, the team at SYSK unpacks why we remember certain things more easily and how we can be more proactive in harnessing the power of emotional memory. Through exploring the science of memory, you will be better equipped to invest your study time wisely. Plus, you will have some cool memory tidbits to share at holiday get-togethers.
Get the inside scoop with an IB-focused podcast
That High School Life is a podcast hosted by Joe Ticar, a vice principal, IB Diploma Program Coordinator and guidance counselor at an international school in Germany. From students to teachers and other industry professionals, he digs into what it is like to be a part of the IB ecosystem and how to get the most out of it.
Know where the time goes with an easy-to-use tracker
The app RescueTime is an excellent way to help you manage your time effectively and cultivate a better awareness of how you use your devices. This user-friendly app tracks all activity on your desktop device and sorts them into “productive,” “distracting,” and “neutral.” Of course, we all need the occasional distraction, so this app allows you to create time limits for things like social media. You can also set goals that will help you provide evidence for things like CAS Experiences.
Keep motivation high by reinforcing healthy habits with custom to-do lists
We all benefit from a little positive reinforcement, right? Streaks App lets you create motivating to-do lists so you can manage everything from time spent walking the dog to working on your CAS project. By staying on top of all your habits, this mobile to-do list sends daily tasks and helps you work in balance to a busy schedule. It also provides reminders where certain goals are being neglected (and words of encouragement to get you going).
Set yourself up for success by limiting distractions
Avoiding the distractions that are a click away on our devices is tough. Luckily, there are some apps that have been created to help you concentrate on the task at hand, rather than divert your attention elsewhere. You can think of Freedom as a willpower enhancer, or your secret weapon when the temptation to veer from your studies is strong. You can determine what sites to block and for how long, so you can alway get in the zone during crunch time.
Set the mood for study time
Another tactic to help you focus might be having the right sounds in your ears. Brain.fm and Focus@Will are two places to find curated playlists to keep you and your brain happy and focused. At the very least, having a ritual associated with time you want to dedicate to school work will help you get in the mood and likely increase your attention span.
Stay mindful, stay calm, stay focused
Mindfulness is a beneficial practice for anyone who wants to get more from their time and experience less stress. It is also a brilliant tool for getting into the right mindset before an exam, and for calming yourself down if you are experiencing conflict with friends or family. Headspace is a guided meditation app that aims to calm your mind and help you build a regular meditation practice. Plus, Headspace is something you can carry with you in your pocket, so you always have mindfulness support on hand.
*Bonus tip: Your school’s mental health services
The IB is a rigorous program that offers a lot to students but also comes with its fair share of pressure. If you are feeling overwhelmed by the course load or thinking you might benefit from talking to someone about your feelings, please take advantage of your school’s mental health services. If you get even the slightest inkling that you might need them, there are friendly professionals on hand to help. Remember, the IB is a strong community and we are all in this together!