How to Get a 45 in IB

Life is full of complicated trade-offs, but when you make the decision to be the best at something you're also saying no to almost everything else.

Only when we commit to being the best can we focus completely and do the necessary work.

That kind of commitment takes courage and most people aren’t willing to act with that kind of courage.

Most people never really commit to ambitious goals. They mention things that they’d like to achieve, but they never actually DECIDE to achieve them. So they don’t. And this results in lower self-confidence and confirmation that they should also aim for less next time around.

Making a real decision cuts off all other possibilities. If you decide to be the fastest runner, you don’t have to decide which days you’re going to train. You’re going to train every day. A lot of little decisions have already been made, so you can get on with it. You can do the work and become the best.

If you decide half-way you might never...

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How To Write Well in IB Subjects

Every year we (your humble IB teachers) read IA’s and EE’s that make the same mistake. We try to warn you about it. We try to explain this mistake, but every year a lot of people still do it.

It undermines your whole effort.

Brilliant students do it. Average students do it too. Some students who spend 40 hours on their Extended Essay research over the summer still do it.

What is it?

Before I tell you, let’s consider what makes a good doctor.

We have all been to good doctors and bad doctors. What makes the difference? What impresses us about doctors? 

Explain the hard stuff

All doctors do “doctor things,” --they do specialist medical tests and then they understand the results. But good doctors interact with us differently. They explain those results (analysis), mentioning the complicated medical concepts and key words, but then they also explain those words clearly. They also explain the conclusions which can be drawn from the tests...

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IB Business Marking Codes

When I have a pile of tests or practice exams to mark, I want to give as much feedback to students as possible. To help with that, I use marking codes --which I call my "marking shorthand." 

Using a shorthand like this helps me provide more detailed and specific feedback to my students on their tests and practice exams –-which, in turn, helps them know how to improve.  

My most commonly used symbols on IB Business Management Tests and exams 

= Good point. This one is pretty obvious. I try to let you know exactly where you have made a good insight and are therefore earning marks. 10 check marks doesn’t necessarily mean 10/10 marks, but sometimes it does work out like that. I always reward good CTs and good CL’s (This relates to my 3-step method for business answers)

+CTs – please include more Course Theories (CT’s) next time, in order to improve your marks on a question like this. Course Theories basically means key...

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How To Write IB Extended Essay Reflections


As you already know, the new extended essay criteria include 6 marks for “Engagement.” That's 6 marks out of 35, meaning these reflections are worth 17.6% of your EE mark! 

Those 6 marks are almost enough to bring you from a C to an A

This is a lot of marks for just 500 words. That's 500 words in total, for all of the 3 reflections. 

This post will show you what the rubric is asking for and how to show these things in your writing. (You will be writing your 3 reflections on the new "Reflections on Planning and Progress Form").

In short, the reflections are meant to prove "the authenticity of your work." You do this by talking us through the path you took as you wrote your EE. So you will show us some of your thinking, decision-making and planning along the way. And you will try to show that you’re taking “an intellectual approach” and have a lot of “personal engagement.” 

Here's what the they (the IB big-shots)...

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Religious Knowledge Systems Notes - Theory of Knowledge

Religious Knowledge Systems Quotes

  • "There is only one religion, though there are a hundred versions of it." (George Bernard Shaw)
  • ''I believe in God, only I spell it Nature." (Frank Lloyd Wright)
  • "Where knowledge ends, religion begins." (Benjamin Disraeli)
  • "When I admire the wonders of a sunset or the beauty of the moon, my soul expands in the worship of the creator." (Mahatma Gandhi)
  • "Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." (Albert Einstein)
  • "My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness." (Dalai Lama)
  • "God is a metaphor for that which transcends all levels of intellectual thought. It's as simple as that." (Joseph Campbell)

Religious Knowledge Systems Definitions

  • "A specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects." (
  • "A set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies (God...
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Imagination Notes - Theory of Knowledge

Imagination Quotes 

  • "You can't depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus." (Mark Twain)
  • "The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination." (Albert Einstein)
  • "To imagine is everything, to know is nothing at all." (Anatole France)
  • "No amount of skilful invention can replace the essential element of imagination." (Edward Hopper)
  • "Imagination grows by exercise, and contrary to common belief, is more powerful in the mature than in the young." (W. Somerset Maugham)
  • "The imagination is man’s power over nature." (Wallace Stevens)
  • “Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.” (Anton Chekhov)
  • Reason is the natural order of truth; but imagination is the organ of meaning." (C.S. Lewis)

Imagination Definitions

  • "The faculty or action of forming new ideas, or images or concepts of external objects not present to the senses." (Oxford English Dictionary).
  • "Imagination is the ability to form a mental image of...
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Natural Science Notes - Theory of Knowledge

 Natural Science Quotes 

  • "It has been said that man is a rational animal. All my life I have been searching for evidence which could support this." (Bertrand Russell)
  • "I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use." (Galileo Galilei)
  • "He that will not reason is a bigot; he that cannot reason is a fool; and he that dares not reason is a slave." (William Drummond)
  • “As a matter of historical fact, the history of science is, by and large, a history of progress.” (Karl Popper)
  • "Critical reason is the only alternative to violence so far discovered." (Karl Popper)
  • "Reason itself is a matter of faith. It is an act of faith to assert that our thoughts have any relation to reality at all."  (G K Chesterton)
  • "You do not reason a man out of something he was not reasoned into." (Jonathan Swift)

Definitions of Natural Science

  • A science or knowledge of objects or processes...
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Mathematics Notes - Theory of Knowledge

Mathematics Quotes 

  • "Mathematics is the abstract key which turns the lock of the universe" (John Polkinghorne).
  • "Everything that can be counted does not count. Everything that counts cannot be counted" (Albert Einstein).
  •  "A mathematician is a machine for turning coffee into theorems" (Paul Erdos).
  •  "When you have satisfied yourself that the theorem is true, you start proving it" (Arthur Koestler).
  •  "If mathematics describes an objective world just like physics, there is no reason why inductive methods should not be applied in mathematics just the same as in physics" Kurt Godel).
  •  "On each decision, the mathematical analysis only got me to the point where my intuition had to take over." (Robert Jensen)
  • "Mathematics is the most beautiful and most powerful creation of the human spirit." (Stefan Banach)
  •  "The essence of mathematics lies in its freedom" (Georg Cantor). 
  •  "The mathematics is not there till we put it there" (Arthur Eddington).
  • ...
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Indigenous Knowledge Systems Notes - Theory of Knowledge

Indigenous Knowledge Systems Quotes

  • "We are not myths of the past, ruins in the jungle, or zoos. We are people and we want to be respected, not to be victims of intolerance and racism" (Rigoberta Menchu Tum).
  • “To the early Native people, education was a part of everyday life. Their books were the rocks, the rivers and lakes, the trees and roots, the sun, the moon and the stars. It was from these elements that they fashioned their material culture. Creative life was in everything. One loved nature and nature loved in return. The people believed in only one Supreme Being, The Creator, whose mighty power governs and directs the beginning and end of all things.” (Harold Flett)
  • “Pow wows are a time to put differences aside and to celebrate traditions, mostly it is the time to celebrate life. A Pow wow strengthens an entire race of people. To be Anishinabe is to be proud, to know who you are, and where you came from.” (Harold Flett).
  • "Everything on the earth has a...
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Art Notes - Theory of Knowledge

Art Quotes

  • "Art is what you can get away with." (Andy Warhol)
  • "Art is meant to disturb, science reassures." (Georges Braque)
  • "The only end of writing is to enable the readers better enjoy life or better to endure it." (Samuel Johnson)
  • 'Lying, the telling of beautiful untrue things, is the proper aim of art." (Oscar Wilde)
  • "We all know that Art is not truth. Art is a lie that makes us realize truth." (Pablo Picasso)

  • "Without music, life would be a mistake." (Friedrich Nietzsche)
  • "By words one transmits thoughts to another; by means of art, one transmits feelings." (Leo Tolstoy)

Definitions of Art

  • "Art is not a handicraft, it is the transmission of feeling the artist has experienced." (Leo Tolstoy) 

  • "Art has to move you and design does not, unless it's a good design for a bus." (David Hockney)

  • "Filling a space in a beautiful way. That's what art means to me." (Georgia O'Keeffe)
  • "Art is something we do, a verb. Art is an expression of our thoughts, emotions, intuitions,...
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