Navigating Difficult IB HLs and How You Can Do It Too

Navigating Difficult IB HLs and How You Can Do It Too

With the broad curriculum offered by the IB Program, it is relatively common for students to have a subject or two that they find challenging to grasp. If these subjects are at the HL level, the struggles are understandable. However, they are crucial to a student’s post-IB plans, which adds to the pressure to overcome such difficulties and may even overwhelm some students.

The important thing to remember is that many IB students have been in your position before, and they all found ways to deal with the same problem! Regardless of whether you are currently struggling with IB Maths or English Lit, what matters is that there is a solution that works for you just waiting to be discovered. Here are our top suggestions for finding out how you can navigate difficult IB HLs.

1. Try out new methods or approaches to the problem

As you may already know, there are plenty of ways to tackle a given problem, and this applies to your studies too. For instance, if you have a hard time remembering or understanding content, try changing your revision strategy since what works for one subject will not necessarily apply to another. Your study methods that work well in History, for example, may not be as effective when it comes to HL Maths.

For science subjects, such as chemistry, math, and physics, it is recommended to work on exam-style questions and go through worked examples step-by-step to understand the entire process of getting to the final answer. Furthermore, doing this with a study buddy is ideal since having other people’s perspectives is highly beneficial for problem-solving subjects.

2. Plan ahead

Once you are sure that you have difficulties in a subject or two, be proactive and tackle them sooner than later since you may need more time and effort to get to where you want to be in those subjects. Planning enables you to stay on top of your efforts to catch up and ensures you do not fall behind. Thus, take the time to make a schedule for the next couple of weeks on when you can review content or work on practice questions.

3. Aim for and achieve consistency

Planning alone will not suffice to get to where you want to be for the tough subjects; consistency is also necessary to succeed. In short, these two go hand in hand as planning lets you know how to tackle a subject’s challenges, which ensures your work remains consistent. A quick and simple method you can try is setting a time-based goal for each subject. For instance, you could allocate an hour per day to work on a particular subject. By following through and spending that much time (or more) per day, you can develop consistency and become more disciplined so that you continually put in work bit by bit and not ignore the subjects you do not like as much.

4. Arrange for a tutor

If you still feel like you are not making much progress and your revision efforts are not enough, it may be time to get some professional help. With the proper guidance and expert help from an expert tutor, you can quickly determine where you fall short and what you need to work on to improve. Given how IB is a popular choice for students today, you will find no shortage of experienced and reputable tutors offering group or 1 to 1 maths tuition in Singapore and other IB subjects.


Although the International Baccalaureate is an intense and demanding education program, it is undoubtedly effective at bringing out a student’s potential. Thus, instead of being discouraged by complex subjects and the challenges they may throw your way, it is better to see them as opportunities to grow as a student and as a person.

If you ever need extra help with your studies, look no further than Tutopiya. We provide live online tuition taught by top private tutors and complemented with highly customisable study plans. Due to the online nature of our tutoring, you can enjoy flexible timings that suit your availability for all our services, be it IB tuition, IGCSE private tuition in Singapore, or any of our other curriculums! Get in touch with us today to sign up!

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