What makes a great IB revision course?

Posted on 6th Mar 2018 in Diploma Programme, Revision Courses

Kim Polgreen is the Director of Oxford Study Courses, an organisation founded by an IB teacher in 1990 to run the world’s first IB revision course.

You are an IB Diploma Programme student and your final exams are on the horizon. You have made sacrifices, heavily invested in your studies and want to do everything you can to boost your grades.

If this is you, you are not alone. One decision you may be considering is whether you should attend a revision course. Or you may have already made that decision.

Revision courses can make a difference. I have seen tens of thousands of students go through our courses and have read every word of feedback about their experience and its impact on their final grades.

However, after all the hard work you have put in, who you trust with your final grades is a big decision.

So, how do you decide?

The following is what I consider to be the essential ingredients of a great revision course, but I would also advise you to talk to your teachers, friends and family.

1. Experienced IB Teachers

You need an experienced IB teacher who is up-to-date with teaching and examining their subject. They should be familiar with the latest syllabus changes, the types of exam questions the IB are currently asking, and the latest expectations of the examiners. And you need someone who has taught students across a range of abilities, understands what they find challenging, and has a range of strategies and resources to address each question and problem.

2. IB Revision Specialists

You need an IB teacher who has become a revision specialist, having developed effective and flexible approaches and materials over years of revision experience. This will mean that they can confidently lead a group of students from different schools with different challenges and grade expectations to improve their outcomes.

3. The course should be designed to meet individual student needs

You need a carefully crafted programme for each student. The daily timetable must support intensive study. Class content should be based on what you want to study, information that can be collected through pre-course questionnaires, and then adapted as questions arise during the class. Teaching effectiveness is greatly enhanced when students are streamed by grade. And as student needs are so diverse, even the best teachers should be supported by an experienced teacher who oversees the academics.

Studying with different classmates and in a new environment, will also give you more energy and help you to focus away from the usual distractions of home and school life.

Great, but when making your choice, focus on what happens in the classroom.

Ultimately, you will be influenced by a whole range of factors, not least convenience, but I do hope that I have provided a few useful pointers to look for.

I would like to wish you the best of luck for your upcoming exams.


Read more about Oxford Study Courses on their website.