I created a “past paper practice schedule” to help my Y2 students to prepare steadily for their upcoming exam, and you can find that here.

HL Past paper practice schedule (2018)

There is a separate one for HL and SL students, both meant to be printed on a portrait A3 sheet (and posted on their study space).  My proposal is for them (or your students) to do at least the top paper properly.  By “properly” I mean specifically:

  • timing themselves, preferably on each question, but at least for the time it takes to do the entire paper;
  • marking their level of certainty for each response, so they are aware if they have gotten a question right just because they were lucky, or if they thought they understood something but didn’t;
  • score their answers, so they can
  • reflectively analysing their mistake. This is the key to the whole exercise: practice without reflection makes permanent and not perfect.

To do this properly would take 2-3 times the amount of time just doing the past paper would take (e.g., to allocate 2 hrs for a SL P1, or 4-5 hrs for HL paper 2; allocate time accordingly).  If they have more time, or targets more rapid improvement, they can additionally do the second paper.  The admonishment is that if they must choose between doing one well or doing two poorly, always choose to do less but better.

My selection of papers is based on my teaching progress (we have largely finished with all the SL material by now, but would not be done with HL until Feb).   Unfortunately this is drawn in Illustrator and not easily editable.  To correct for the discrepancy between 2009-2016 syllabus, I have also provided my students with a syllabus comparison (this is tidied up from the TSM)

The IB grade boundaries are very wide.  For the most part, near the conclusion of their two years, improvements will be steady but slow.  They are unlikely to see immediate improvement from week to week. To that end, I have also prepared a score-charting sheet for them to monitor their progress (A4).

The vertical blue boxes help divide the weeks, but they should be marking their % on the solid line emitting from the date.  The horizontal brown boxes shows the rough grade boundaries for Paper 2. (That for P1 is usually ~10% higher, and I invite my students to use blue pen to mark their P1, red pen to mark their P2, and green for P3 — same color code as in the practice schedule.)

IB teachers: If you subscribe to the Google Drive Teacher Resources Exchange, all of this would already be synchronized to your hard-disk under /by topic/General: cross-topic/study skills.  If you wish to subscribe, instructions can be found on the myIB DP chemistry forums.