When I got to Year 12, everything got real. This is where I can finally act upon my word, get the 7s in the subjects that I plan to, get a 3 pointer for TOK and EE, and land on my dream 43. Unfortunately, this did not work for me because I did not take into account three crucial understandings:
- Subjective Marking – you can never truly predict just what a TOK examiner might give your essay. I was predicted an A, and was awarded a C. Likewise I have heard of many people to which the same thing happened. Same goes for any EE – do not count upon your bonus marks to boost your score, you have no idea what might happen. Instead, to maximise your score you should focus on your 6 subjects. Already, there is 42 points that you can get straight away. (Although, granted, English is just as subjective as TOK and EE).
- Moderation – this requires you to rely on the accuracy and harshness of your schools’ marking and is probably quite out of your control (but be aware anyway). If the IBO believes that your school was too lenient on marks for your IA, they will literally strip your whole class of marks you may have deserved. On the contrary, if your school is harsh, the IBO will mark you up (what you want). Your IAs matter, so do them well, and don’t be fooled by a predicted IA grade that “looks good” or “looks bad”, because you want the harshest marking possible.
- Maximise the things in your control – if you want to maximise your score, the aspect that is the most in your control should be the thing that you maximise on first. And those are your 6 subjects. Already you have a maximum of 42 points you can score, and you need to make the most of these. Do not “plan” your final score – 6 in this, 7 in that, 5 in this, because you never know what might happen. It is better to just aim for the stars in everything, especially if you are really close to the upper boundary. If you are comfortably sitting mid grade for something and are happy with it, you must ensure you maintain it.