Notes about IB Exams

Take advantage of exam review sessions teachers are offering.  Check with individual teachers.

Times that exams are given have been posted and made available since September.  All exams take place at House of Hope Church, 4800 Boone Avenue N., within walking distance of Cooper, unless otherwise noted.  It’s the same place as the Wish 'em Well breakfast, which precedes the start of exams.  The breakfast is only open to juniors and seniors who are taking IB exams.

You will receive a packet through the mail in April with your own exam schedule, an invitation to the breakfast for you and your family, and other material related to exam protocol.

Morning exams begin at 7:40 a.m. and afternoon exams begin at 12:40 p.m.  Be on time.  We can’t wait for you. You are excused from school for 20 minutes before the exam until 20 minutes after the exam.

Instructions will be given before you enter the testing  room.  Take your backpacks and materials to a safe place which the coordinator points out. Make sure your cell phone is turned off and with your backpack.   Enter the room in silence and find your designated place quietly.  Do not for a moment consider taking any notes to your table.  A student was denied the Diploma a few years ago for having history notes at the table. 

Bring a black pen and a pencil to every exam.  Make sure to bring the appropriate calculator and make sure your calculator’s batteries are fresh.  Ask your math teacher which calculator you can use.  You may want a ruler or straight-edge for science and math exams. We don’t supply these things.  If you want to bring a lucky pen or charm, pillows to sit on, kleenex, cough drops or water--feel free.  There is no food or other kind of drink allowed in the exam room.  Hats are prohibited.

Dress in layers.  The temperature of the exam room varies a lot during May. 

Afternoon exams usually run later than the school day.  You will have to make arrangements for transportation home.

Please bring a canned good if you can to support the church’s food drive.  We use their church for free and want to say thanks.

Don’t listen to those people who say, “Oh you can’t study for that.  If you don’t know it now, you never will.”  Baloney.   You can familiarize yourself with terms, concepts, methods, strategies, patterns, plots, characters and – yes – facts.  Having all this fresh in your mind will help you do better.

Many exams give you choices of questions to answer.  You will be given a 5-minute reading time.  Use it to think about what you can answer best.  There’s no writing during this time.

In many exams, you have the time to write a rough draft and then copy it in ink onto the test pages.  Manage this time wisely.

READ the question carefully and answer it directly.  The examiners know padding when they see it and they don’t like it.  Don’t compensate for what you don’t know with extraneous stuff.

Look at the weights given for each answer.  Don’t waste time on 1-pointers if you can answer the 5-pointer with the same amount of time. 

Use all the time you are given.  Re-reading once you are done almost always shows you that a pronoun’s antecedent is unclear or that you have chosen the wrong word or that your sentence is run-on or not complete.  Give the examiner the chance to give you the benefit of the doubt by polishing and being precise.  A higher score will help you more.  One extra point may get you out of a whole class in college.  Certainly putting in the extra time at these exams is worth it.

Don’t panic. You’ve been well taught and you’re very smart.  If you’ve prepared well,    YOU’LL ROCK!