By Olamide Dinah
It feels like merely months ago when I first walked through the gates of the Upper School, making sure to avoid the golden crest on the foyer. Regardless of my slightly warped perception of time, I now have the sudden realization that I’ll graduating from the MYP Program this summer.
As such, I’ve decided it would be a good idea to compile some of the tips & tricks I’ve accumulated over the years to be successful in the MYP.
To start off, my first piece of advice is something you think would be pretty obvious, but one that many (including my former self) often forget to heed – Read The Rubric
Yes, it’s really as simple as it sounds. One of the easiest things you can do to raise your chances of success on any assignment, project, or even test, is simply reading the rubric. The rubric tells you exactly what you need to accomplish, and also gives you a list of key terms that inform you of how you should accomplish it. There’s nothing worse than spending hours on a project to find out half of the work you did was unnecessary.
#2 – Be Creative
If I’m being honest, certain things can certainly get repetitive as a student taking the MYP. Given that, imagine how it feels for teachers, who often teach the same exact course material multiple years in a row. Being creative won’t only help you do better on projects and assignments, but will also make the work process much more fun.
#3 – Practice Makes Pretty Good
It’s impossible to be perfect at everything, but that doesn’t necessarily mean we should let our weaknesses stay as weaknesses. You may think you just aren’t good at math, or will always be just average at science. But the truth is, if you’re willing to put in the time and effort, you can likely change that. Simple things like doing your homework properly and reading ahead in the textbook can help what you consider your weaknesses end up becoming your greatest strengths.
#4 – Challenge Yourself
This is sort of related to the above step, but offers a bit of an extension. Challenging yourself will not only help you improve at whatever subject you are working on, whether that’d be at math, english, or coding, but will also help you develop the habits necessary to understand and succeed when things get far more complicated. Challenging yourself will be extremely beneficial for any subject, no matter what it is, and there are online resources for virtually any topic you could think of.
#5 – Teachers
We are fortunate enough to have some of the best teachers around at UCC, and each and every one of them are immensely helpful and willing to answer any questions we may have. If you don’t understand something or need help, don’t struggle on your own, make sure to ask a teacher. Teachers also often upload various resources such as additional enrichment on Managebac and (now) Brightspace. It’s a good idea to make the most of these resources when studying for tests and exams.
#6 – Enjoy The Ride
Lastly, you have to remember to enjoy the ride. You will likely have plenty of time dedicated to school work in the future, so you should enjoy yourself while things are still light. The MYP affords us students with a lot of free time so make sure to pick up some hobbies you enjoy, and to always find time to relax or hang out with friends and family.
Whether you’re a year 8, or 9 looking for advice regarding the MYP, or a reminiscing DP student, I hope you found these suggestions to be meaningful advice from a soon-to-be UCC graduate.