Valia Katsis IB Diploma student

Time Management Tips For IB Diploma Students

More than 40 IB points? Like…how?!

And yet. Meet Valia Katsis. A down-to-earth former IB History, IGCSE History, IB TOK, and History Extended Essay student of mine who got a phenomenal 41 IB points.

Valia proves that it CAN be done. You can do well in the International Baccalaureate Diploma and still have fun.

And (this is a big one) you can do well in the IB AND meet coursework and homework deadlines. I kid you not, Valia was the kind of person who ALWAYS (let me emphasize that: A-L-W-A-Y-S) handed her homework and coursework in on time. I can attest. I was Valia’s History teacher from Grade 10 to Grade 12. I was her Extended Essay mentor. And I was her IB2 TOK teacher. Valia n-e-v-e-r missed a deadline. And she never moaned, complained, or begged for an extension.

If you’re an IB student who struggles with procrastination and time management, this is definitely an interview you won’t want to miss.

Most importantly, the fact that Valia took some time out from her uni studies to meet me and film this video is yet another example of her generosity of spirit and genuine interest to be of service to help future generations of ambitious IB students like yourself.

Take her advice to heart and you’ll start seeing some changes in your time management and well-being skills.

Keep calm and learn on!

 Ms Vardaki

IB Graduate | IB Teacher | Youth Mentor for Stress Relief


ELENI VARDAKI: So what do you mean when you say “Get past the denial phase”?


VALIA KATSIS: So basically the way that I visualize the denial phase it’s almost like you are the one who has to make the effort to climb out of that phase and out of that denial phase. So I remember around Christmas time, I think, that I was in the denial phase, and I think the way to overcome this is first of all I think talk to someone about it, that might be a friend or a teacher or your parents, it’s very helpful to get it all out so that you understand that you are in that denial phase. And once you understand that you are in it then you can overcome it and actually by talking to someone who is going to help motivate you and tell you that you can get out of it that will help. Denial phase can also mean that you are not even getting in a stage where you are going to sit at your desk and do and lay all of your work in front of you, and just decide you know what tonight I am just going to go out and whatever. So it can take many different and it can look really different in each person it depends on an individual. 


ELENI VARDAKI: The lack of urgency the feeling of “I have got time, I can do it on Sunday or I can do it next week and I can do it next month”. So you have got a “I don’t need to start this right now, and I am not ready right now”, type of thing as your justification for delaying.


VALIA KATSIS: Exactly. So that’s why you need the motivation at that point, either from yourself or someone else who can just motivate you. But then it’s up to you obviously to get the work done to get out of the denial phase.

TIP #2: Have a GOAL

ELENI VARDAKI: What do you mean by “have a goal”, are you talking about grades goal, like “I want to get a 6 in higher level IB Physics or I want to get, you know, a 7 in French”?


VALIA KATSIS: Well, I think this can take two forms. So you can have short-term goal and then you can have long-term goal. And so that means that obviously you want to do well in a test that’s short-term but that’s going to help you in your overall revision for your final exam which is a long-term goal. So you have to bear in mind both the short-term goal and the long-term goal and find different ways to approach all of these.


ELENI VARDAKI: And you are a really good role-model for other IB students because you did this perfectly, you would always invest the time and effort to come prepared for tests and readiness and time condition, so you know you really were very aware of trying my best now because it will help me long-term, and you actually practice what you preach these are the things that you do, yourself. So thanks for sharing that.


ELENI VARDAKI: Some IB students have the attitude that CAS is a burden, and its more work, and the IB is stressful because you’ve got all of these subjects, 3 at a higher level, plus TOK, plus Extended Essay…plus CAS. So it’s an addition to the workload that they have. What was your attitude towards CAS?


VALIA KATSIS: My attitude towards CAS was that I saw it as something as a break from all of the workload. So I had the chance to do other things that I really enjoy doing, like Performing Arts and Sports and volunteering.


So I think what’s important is that everybody has to see CAS as an opportunity to do something that they wouldn’t have done otherwise, and also as a break from all of this work that you have to do. Because it’s a lot.


But CAS is your social life in the IB, I think, so you really should enjoy CAS.