Prepare | Revise | Achieve: preparing for your assessment revision

A girl sits at a laptop biting a pencil. She looks stressed.

Written with the assistance of our IB Prepared series authors

When it comes to the assessment period, we know that working out where to start can sometimes be the hardest part! With the help of the author team from our IB Prepared series, we have collated some tips on how to best prepare yourself for revision. This is the first post in our Prepare | Revise | Achieve series.

Make a Schedule

David Smith, author of IB Prepared History, suggests that you work out how much time you have by dividing the number of days before the assessment into hours, and dividing your material into chunks based on how many time slots you have. He also recommends leaving some extra time in case some material needs more review.

Veronique Tormey, author of IB Prepared French B, says that you shouldn’t leave revision until the last minute, and do a little bit whenever you have time. If you “put a small block up every day you will have built a pyramid before you know it”. Christine Trumper, also author of IB Prepared French B, agrees and adds that you should ensure your foundations are solid and that there is no point using complex structures if you are unable to manage simple ones. Start with the basics, and progress.

Sergey Bylikin, author of IB Prepared Chemistry, suggests speaking to your teacher if you’re unsure where to start. Making a list of what you’d like to cover during revision and ticking them off as you go will help you find gaps in your knowledge, and then you can give more time to these. David Smith adds that hand writing this list is typically better for memory than typing, but make sure you do what’s best for your revision!

Brian Chanen, author of IB Prepared English A: Language and Literature, suggests that alternating your time between subjects will stop you from becoming overwhelmed or stuck in one assessment.

Set Realistic Goals

Sergey Bylikin recognizes that the last few weeks before assessments can be a stressful time, and that feeling a sense of achievement can help build confidence and ease stress. If you work steadily towards realistic goals, you’ll be able to tick off tricky topics one by one!

Learn from your mistakes

“Do not be discouraged by your mistakes” says Veronique Tormey. If you can understand why you made them and how to correct them, then you will improve”.

Take Care of Yourself

Although this one seems fairly self-explanatory, David Smith suggests you take a break every 20-45 minutes, and make sure you do something to actively break the time up – get a snack, watch a video, or go for a walk!

Brian Chanen agrees – he believes that much of the preparation for exams is done in the years you spend learning the subjects. Using revision time to refresh your memory instead of actually learning the material from scratch, will help you avoid last minute pressure that stops you taking care of yourself.

Alexey Popov, author of IB Psychology, adds that you should find it manageable to apply what you know from classes to your revision, and if you understand basic concepts, you should be able to work out answers even if they were not explicitly discussed.

Read around the subject… if you have time!

Debora Primrose, author of IB Prepared Biology, suggests taking time to read papers from scientific journals if you can fit it in. Biology, like many subjects, requires an understanding of underlying processes and reading around the subject may help you understand these more.

Five Takeaway Tips

  • Plan your time up to your assessment, doing a little bit every day
  • Mix up your revision subjects so you don’t get bored or stuck on one subject
  • Make a list and tick off topics one by one
  • Don’t be discouraged when you make mistakes
  • Remember to plan in time to take regular breaks

The second post in this series, Prepare | Revise | Achieve: making the most of revision time, will be live the first week of March.

IB Prepared

Our IB Prepared series helps students to access strategic guidance on assessment, sample material and exam-style practice opportunities. To find out more, visit our website:

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