3 Tips to Prepare for an IB SL Modern Language Reading Exam

Here are 3 tips to help you prepare for your SL IB modern language reading exam. Since I am currently taking French standard level, some of these tips may be more relevant to you than others. Even if you do A levels I’m sure some of these tips can apply to you too!

1. Know Your Vocab


You don’t have to read the whole dictionary!

This is the most obvious thing to do when you learn any language – know your vocabulary! Unfortunately, there is no quick hack for this: you’re just going to have to put in the effort to learn the vocabulary of each of the topics that you are studying. A quick search on Quizlet or Memrise will yield some useful results. If you’re also studying French standard, just drop me a comment and I can add you to my Quizlet class with all the essential vocab!

2. Question Words


Question words are essential.

Once you know enough vocabulary to understand the gist of the text, it’s time to revise your question words to understand what the question is asking you for. For example, in French, phrases like ‘à qui ou à quoi se réfère…’, ‘en vous basant…’ and ‘le but de ce texte est…’ will really help, as well as knowing the difference between ‘quelle expression’, ‘quelle phrase’ and ‘quel mot’.

3. Revise Your Grammar


Grammar is your gateway to another language.

Know your grammar. For example, in French, you should be able to conjugate verbs in all the tenses, recognise the subjunctive and know your adjective endings.

4. Do Past Papers


Watch out for syllabus changes and changes in the format of an old sample paper.

As with everything else, practice makes perfect. Doing past papers helps you become familiar with the format and habits of the IB, and also gives you an indication of what they want from you.

I hope that these tips will give you more guidance towards how to prepare for a modern language exam! If this is helpful to you in any way, drop me a comment below.


7 thoughts on “3 Tips to Prepare for an IB SL Modern Language Reading Exam

  1. My biggest tip for language tests is undoubtedly: cheat. Our teacher would actually help us cheat because we were the top set for French (the sets being based off of our OTHER classes and grades, which is pretty stupid when you think about it) and if we didn’t pass or get decent grades the school would penalise her. Needless to say, I don’t know a word of French,

    Actually, just disregard this advice…

    Liked by 2 people

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