IB English can be quite challenging to get a 7 in, especially at a higher level, however the tips below should help all IBers aim for a 7!
Work hard on every assignment during the year. You won’t have a shot at a 7 in the final exam if you’ve been getting 5s all year. Make sure your assignments are all well structured [IB English encourages the use of good structure] and all the arguments are backed up with suitably footnoted quotes from the book.
Keep a World Lit. Journal. World Lits give you a chunk of your marks, and since they are done in relatively easier conditions [as compared to the exam and the oral] it is easier to score well in them. Keeping a detailed World Lit journal will help you identify the major themes, ideas, plot points and stylistic aspects.
Schedule World Lit meetings in advance, and draw up detailed plans since advice on the first draft can only be given once. Speak to your teacher, and discuss the appropriateness of your structure at length.
Keep all your notes from class well organized and preferably in a binder or notebook for easy reference, which is especially useful for revision and can sometimes pinpoint important aspects of text to you [for example if your teacher discusses certain plot points in great detail as compared to others]
In grade 12, do a timed commentary every week in order to train yourself to plan and write a commentary within a time limit and under relatively more stressful conditions than the untimed assignments for homework.
Pay attention to aspects of the language, and learn the names of literary devices such as assonance and alliteration. When reading poetry, pay attention to the way words sound and the effect it has on the poem [for example: long drawn out vowels slow down the pace].
Always mark out the context and importance of passages so that you can incorporate them into the commentary, since the IB marks references to the context high.
Pay attention to the syntax and punctuation, along with the way the passage is organized and discuss its effects in the commentary, taking it to another, more technical, level.
For the Oral Exam, prepare yourself well in advance, and brush up on your public speaking skills if you are nervous. Make allowance for the fact that you might talk faster than usual if you’re nervous. Try to keep close to the maximum time limit as it limits the number of questions that can be asked [you don’t want to end at eight minutes and have four minutes of questions tossed at you]
Read all the assigned texts several times, make detailed notes on all of them and mark points of transition.
Always consider the dramatic tension and other aspects of performance while handling plays such as the The Ban Plays or No Exit, as it takes the commentary to another level.