How to "play the DP game"?

  • Core: Community Activity, Service
  • Core: Extended Essay
  • Core: Theory of Knowledge
How to "play the DP game"?
Dean Bevan

The DP isn’t easy. With six demanding subjects, a 4000 word research essay, ToK, CAS, IA's, tests and exams students need to learn how to prioritize,  learn some shortcuts and utilize the resources available to them. 

Make your drafts matter

Your teachers can only mark and assist you based on what you have submitted.  Make your drafts as complete as possible. The IB does not allow students to submit multiple drafts. The feedback you receive will be the difference between success and failure.

Know your mark schemes

In order to succeed on your exams, you need to know what the examiners want. It’s as simple as familiarising yourself with mark schemes and rubrics – do they want to see synthesis or analysis? – and looking out for key terms or lines of working required to receive the marks. If you are not sure about the difference between synthesis and analysis, ask your teachers for examples.

Handwrite your work

 I am advocating writing all your notes by hand,  but try to remember that many of your exams will require you to produce content by hand, and quickly. Ensure you’re able to do so by saving the computer for your notes and choosing to complete timed work by hand.

In your Seisen and IB exams use the five minutes reading time provided to plan your line of attack.

Attempt every question in your Seisen and IB exams.

You cannot be penalized for writing an incorrect answer. Marks can only be awarded and never taken away. 

Keep an open dialogue with your teachers and let them know if you are struggling.

Never ask for an extension the day before something is due.

If you have a question about the DP ask your teachers or the DP Coordinator.

There is masses of disinformation on the internet.

And finally

Do not compare yourself to your peers.

You are a different person to others who may score higher than you. They might be more skilled or knowledgeable in a certain area, but you shouldn't compare yourself to them or else you'd be diminishing your own efforts. It's hard not to compare but if you do you can end up using it as an excuse. You are not them, and they are not you. There is only one you!


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