4 Study Tips for IB English Language & Literature (1)

By Sandro Stephen Joseph Lau

(English Language & Literature, History & Biology Tutor at The Edge Learning Center)

Worried about what’s coming when you finally enter IB English Language and Literature? Well, here are the 4 expert tips that can help you in your preparation and ease your mind.

Tip 1 : Ensure you have a solid foundation in English Grammar and Vocabulary

This should go without saying – it is obvious that the IB expects you to have excellent grammatical skills and a wide range of vocabulary. The register, that is to say your grammar and vocabulary, will be a point of assessment in all your IB English exams and Internal Assessments (IAs). So how can you go about doing this?

Read More

Reading is an essential part of improving anyone’s grammar and vocabulary. The more you read, the more new constructions you will come across, and the more you will start to understand. Reading doesn’t have to be limited to just literary things either – read magazines, advertisements, posters, film reviews, guidebooks… the list goes on. This also should help you develop vocabulary for specific contexts, which is extremely helpful for Paper 1.

For your own reference, try to access some exemplar past papers online – you should be able to find P1s, P2s, and even IOs if you trawl long enough. Your school network should also have these resources at hand – you might want to ask your English teacher.

For more formal reading, check out magazines like TIME or The Economist, or newspapers like The Guardian, The Times, The New York Times, and The Financial Times.

I would also recommend you to bookmark the Merriam Webster Dictionary – they post interesting vocabulary lists and facts about the English language almost every day.

Keep Records 

Whenever possible, jot down new words and phrases that you come across in everyday life. Not only will you increase your vocabulary, but the simple act of writing will help seal them into your memory.

Write More

Practice makes perfect may be clichéd, but it’s clichéd for a reason: It works. The more time and effort you put into writing practice in your own time, for example by looking at past papers or expository prompts, the more benefits you will reap.

Use SSAT/SAT Textbooks and Resources

Although you might not be planning on taking the real SAT, this exam is not only extremely pedantic when it comes to precise grammar usage, but also necessitates an extremely large vocabulary (including archaic terminology!). By studying the SSAT or SAT, you will come across exercises that enable you to understand basic to advanced grammatical concepts, and allow you to self-correct. And, you most definitely will come across new vocabulary too.

(If you really want a challenge, check out the GRE and GMAT word lists!)

Tip 2 : Keep your writing clear and concise

Keep it Simple

Some might think that they can impress others, even examiners, with bombastic words and over-the-top, extravagant grammatical constructions. However, in IB this is precisely not the case. You will be assessed on how clearly you are able to argue your point, and this is exactly why you do not want your point to be lost in a quagmire of waffle. If you keep your ideas simple and straightforward, then your analysis will be too.

Be Structured 

In your introduction, ensure that you have a clear thesis statement where you make an arguable point, and a clear roadmap where you delineate the points that you will explore in your essay.

Use PEEL for your body paragraphs. Ensure your first sentence of each body paragraph is a Topic Sentence that refers back to one of the points in your roadmap.

Have a concise conclusion wherein you restate your thesis, and tell the reader what you have learned as a result of your analysis.

Next Article : 4 Study Tips for IB English Language & Literature (2)

If you are still uncertain how to prepare your IB English Language & Literature. Simply give us a ring or contact us today to schedule a lesson with Sandro!

About The Edge

Established in 2008, The Edge Learning Center has grown into a premier one-stop provider of educational services for Grade 7 through Grade 12, targeting students who intend to pursue overseas education. Our three departments – Academic Tutoring, Test Preparation, and Admissions Consulting – offer a broad range of educational services spanning from SAT and IB Test Prep to colleges and boarding schools application counseling. The Edge Learning Center operates in multiple regions including Hong Kong, China, and Vietnam.