Time Management, Study Tips and the Extended Essay


Today I was very lucky to have a guest lecturer come all the way from Oxford to give my class a lecture on time management, study tips and the ee. Dr Rosanna Montalbano, of Oxford Study Courses was such a brilliant nice lady and she gave us such great tips and was such a motivation to me. 

So naturally, my first thought when I got home was “I need to make a post about this” and here it is.

Time Management: 

First of all, what is time management? Dr Montalbano defined it as “the application of strategies to make you less stressed.” She gave us a couple very easy to apply strategies to help us manage our time. 

  1. Post-pone instant gratification, replace it with your mid-term goal (for example, tell yourself I’ll go on Tumblr later, I’ll work on getting my IB diploma now. I can go on Tumblr anytime I want but if I don’t work now, the chance of getting my diploma might pass by). 
  2. Plan your day by making a list and follow that list.
  3. Find out what time in the day you work best at and do the most important work at that time. 
  4. SLEEP. Sleep is the most important thing ever. Before a test don’t pull an all nighter studying, sleep for the longest time possible. When you’re asleep is when information moves from the short-term memory to the long-term memory so the more you sleep, the more you remember.
  5. Know yourself. Know what kind of learner you are and work with that.
  6. Do not pressure yourself or let anyone pressure you. Pressure only causes added stress that there is no need for. If you feel pressure from your parents, sit down with them and explain to them (very nicely and maturely) that they need to trust your judgement on what is best for you and not do what they want you to do in order for them to have bragging rights.

Study Tips: 

The brain can only concentrate for 20 minutes at a time. The best way to study is to study for 20 golden minutes (which means 20 minutes of no distraction full concentration studying) and then taking a 5 minute break followed by 5 minutes of revising what you studied in the 20 minutes (revise by making a mind map or writing down everything you studied on an A3 paper then narrowing down the notes on the A3 paper to an A4 paper then further narrowing it down to A5 and finally to an index card)

Break down your studying. Schedule your time by making daily lists and organizing them based on importance. Highlight the most important things that NEED to be done in pink, (this will be the least color on your list and when you see that, you’ll feel less stressed) highlight the things that of secondary importance in green and finally, highlight the things that can be crossed out if you don’t have time to do them that day in yellow (these are your stress busters.) 

Plus lists are awesome and you’ll feel so good when you cross things off because accomplishment (I love lists) 

Varying methods of studying can also help you retain information better. One tip on retaining information is to imagine the information sitting in places in your house. For example, if you’re studying the steps of mitosis in Biology, visually imagine prophase sitting in your doorway then imagine metaphase sitting on the couch in your living room and anaphase in your kitchen and finally telophase in the shower in your bathroom. Visually imagining things helps you remember.

Make up Acronyms, put information in songs or raps and make up funny quotes.

Also, the brain is a social organ. Study groups are very helpful because you can explain information to each other. Explaining things not only helps you recall and remember information but it also helps others to understand and remember information. 

And finally, in order to stay motivated on studying, create a reward system. Tell yourself if you study really well on your upcoming Math test and get an A, you’ll buy yourself that watch you’ve been wanting. Once you get that A and get the watch, every time you’ll look at the watch you’ll remember that success and it’ll keep you going. 

Before you sit down and study make sure you have everything you need. Nothing is worse than getting up from concentrated studying to get something. You lose focus. 

Make sure you study in a quiet place.

The Extended Essay: 

Last but certainly not least, the extended essay. The extended essay is basically a careful answer to a specific question.  The most important thing to keep in mind when writing your extended essay is that examiners correct based on the criteria. If you write an excellent essay but don’t answer the criteria you’re at a bit of a loss. $100 advice: Read the criteria and write to the criteria.

The first step to picking your extended essay topic is to pick 5 topics you’re interested in then for each of the 5 topics fit them under a subject (you can fit any topic under a subject) and then formulate a research question. Make sure your question does not start with why. Make sure your question answers your question in a very careful way.

Then spend time with your supervisor, show them how dedicated you are. In the end, they’re going to send an assessment of you and how you dealt with the ee to the IBO so get them to love you. Second, read the criteria and write to the criteria. Write an outline before you start writing your ee that way, you’ll have a more stable idea of how you’re dividing your ee and how you’ll be writing. Run to your library. Bring your librarian chocolate and they’ll be more than happy to help you find the sources you need. Don’t fully depend on the internet, get some good old books too. 

All good things come with hard-work. You’re in IB because you worked hard and you deserve it. Don’t ever feel like you don’t belong in IB because you do or else you wouldn’t be here. You’ve worked so hard to get into the IB, you’ve gotten so far, you can’t give up now and watch all your hard-work go to waste. 

I believe in you and you can do this. 

Good luck.

*Full credit to all the information goes to Dr Rosanna Montalbano and a HUGE thank you to her for being such a motivational force.




Very proud of you, Toronto city designers. You can learn more about Livegreen Toronto here

(Source: adteachings)

note to incoming IB juniors (what I’ve learned from my junior year)




  • Get a planner and fucking use the shit out of it okay I didn’t use one my junior year and I would’ve been so much less stressed and confused if I had.
  • Try to keep all of your papers/notes. Stow them away under your bed as you clean out your binder throughout the year if you must (hell, I put them between my bed frame and mattress), but you never know when you’re going to need something from the beginning of the year.
  • Get your fucking CAS hours done. I will send you an ask every day reminding you to if you need me to, but I know that if I had started them the beginning of my junior year I would be a lot less stressed at the moment.
  • Don’t wait until the last two weeks to start your IOP in english. Don’t do it man. Don’t change your topic two weeks before either. I got a 5 but I could’ve gotten a 6 if I had spent more time on it and practiced it with my teacher/friends.
  • Drink a cup of water for every cup of coffee you drink so you don’t go into overload and then crash and burn. Stay hydrated in general; your brain can’t function properly if you’re dehydrated.
  • Don’t procrastinate on your IAs. Use online examples with grades and graders’ comments attached to guide you. IAs can be tough but they don’t have to be (and sometimes you can even have fun with them since you get to pick the topic)!
  • Never be afraid to ask questions or get help. You should still pay attention in class, but at least your teacher will know that you’re making an effort, and it’s never a bad thing to be on your teacher’s good side. 
  • Of course school and homework are important, but make time for yourself to relax and get your mind off of everything. It’s worth it.
  • Yes, you’re in IB now. No, you’re not necessarily smarter or better than AP students or honors/regular level students. 
  • Make friends with the other people in your IB class, and even make friends with the seniors (we’re very tired but tons of fun, I promise). Without my IB friends I probably would’ve completely broken down. They were always there to assure me that I’d be fine and I was always there for them. Take an hour to complain about a teacher or an assignment with them and I promise that you’ll feel better. 
  • Get on your IB coordinator’s good side and he/she may or may not pull some strings for you. ;)

That’s all I can think of at the moment.

I know I’m not as wise as the graduated seniors, and I’m certainly no academic genius, but I’m open to giving advice about the first year of IB to juniors (and in general)~

my ask is always open and I’m on tumblr pretty much all the time so I’ll get back to you almost instantly!

good luck to all incoming IB juniors~ you’ll all be great, I just know it.


AMEN. High five fellow IB senior.

  • Get a planner and fucking use the shit out of it okay I didn’t use one my junior year and I would’ve been so much less stressed and confused if I had.
  • Try to keep all of your papers/notes. Stow them away under your bed as you clean out your binder throughout the year if…

This is really good advice. Not just for juniors. And if I may add something to that stay hydrated - don’t forget to eat! It’s really easy to get sucked into studying or cramming and kinda forget to eat. Don’t do that. Make sure you’re eating 3 good meals a day. Also have good healthy snacks inbetween - it will give you a boost of energy and help you concentrate.


As some of you know, I have not been doing very well the last couple months. Because of that, my number of actual art posts have dwindled and my personal posts have skyrocketed, and at times I haven’t posted anything at all. And yet, except for a few exceptions, you guys have stayed with me on this blog and have sent tons and tons of support and love my way and I just can not thank you all enough! I wish I could send something to every single one of you but this is the best I can do!

This for all my followers, as well as future followers, who have and hopefully will continue to bare with me and all my malfunctions and annoyances!


  • You must be following me because this is a thank you to my followers and future followers!!!
  • Both likes and reblogs count!
  • Please reblog only once as not to annoy your followers.
  • You must have your ask box open so that I will be able to contact you if you win and you must be comfortable giving me your address so I can send you your stuff!

Grand prize winner will receive:

  • An 8 ft. long 4th doctor scarf
  • A John Watson styled sweater (It has been loved by me for a couple years so it is a little worn. Don’t be alarmed.)
  • A deerstalker hat
  • A 11th Doctor fez
  • A pair of Bee socks from my store
  • Sherlock Season 1 on DVD
  • Arthur Conan Doyle’s Hounds of the Baskervilles book
  • 8 Sherlock fanartist stickers (with a couple Sock Drawer stickers thrown in there.)
  • A poster of a map of Middle Earth with Gandalf on the reverse side
  • A Doctor Who poster
  • A Portrait of Ben C drawn by me!
  • A copy of ENtertainment weekly with an Article on Doctor Who in it
  • + a little note and doodle from me

5 runner up winners will receive:

  • 2 pairs of socks picked out by me from my store
  • A bunch of Sock Drawer stickers from my store
  • + a little note and doodle from me
  • (also if I see you are following my stores tumblr, the-sockdrawer, you will get an extra little something!)

The give away ends in exactly 3 weeks, on Friday September 19th.


Also a thank you to ma bb krfr (ohg-d) for helping me model some of the stuff.


Will anyone sprinkle the ocean over my head?

I want to be showered by submerged fish and sun

Inspired by Zankyou no Terror ED.

When I noticed that a hand pulled Lisa up, I thought that it’s highly possible that it’s Twelve!