As a Chinese teacher for over a decade, I have taught many students sitting for the IB Chinese B exam. Some of these students had their own effective ways to prepare for the IB Chinese B exam. Zoe, a German girl living in Singapore, is one such student. She summarized many approaches for IB Chinese B exam preparation, which helped her achieve a score of 7 in the IB Chinese B exam in 2023.
Since some students have asked me how to prepare for reading comprehension in the IB Chinese B exam, I would like to share with you in this article the top 3 approaches Zoe summarized for reading comprehension.
Reading speed is one of the important factors for excelling in IB Chinese B reading comprehension.
Zoe’s techniques for improving reading speed include:
Quickly identifying keywords in the article can help students better understand the main theme and points of the article without diving into the whole article. This means you do not need to carefully read every single word in the article.
Do not read Chinese literary works, as IB B does not test literary knowledge. Instead focus on reading newspapers, speeches, interviews, and diaries, as the articles appearing in the reading section are of these types. Zoe often visited Chinese news websites, such as Huanqiu.com and thepaper.com, to read news and interview articles. In addition, she often searched for speeches and Chinese diaries on Baidu.com to improve her reading speed.
Since the IB Chinese B exam is entirely in Chinese characters without pinyin, remembering Chinese characters is essential. Zoe had a particularly effective method in this area, i.e. find IB Chinese B vocabulary on Quizlit, a flashcard website, and practice memorizing these characters every day.
In addition, Zoe created various flashcards for synonyms on Quizlit as there are many synonyms in Chinese, and she memorized these synonyms every day. This helped her better understand the meaning of the articles and correctly answer reading comprehension questions where synonyms were present.
Due to the limited test time, reading the entire article will waste time. Therefore, read the questions first, and then quickly find the paragraphs the questions are related to.
For example, in the 2021 IB Chinese B exam, there was an article named “Time Bank 时间银行”, where question 4 required students to find out how long Xiao Li spends in the children’s center each week.
After reading the question, we can easily find out that the third paragraph includes the information we need, and the answer to the question is obvious: 4小时 (four hours).
Sometimes the reading section would provide a multiple-choice question with four options to choose from. The technique is eliminating the answers that sound ridiculous or don’t make sense at all.
For example, in the 2021 exam, there was a multiple-choice question: “What did the volunteers do in the elderly person’s home?”. The 4 choices were as below:
B.Sweeping the floor and cleaning the windows
D. Playing video games.
Obviously, options A and D were ridiculous as they couldn’t happen based on our common sense. After eliminating these two options, we just need to choose between B and C. Let’s read the text again.
The answer is now obvious, i.e. we should choose option B as the 5th paragraph mentions that the volunteers would clean for the elderly people.
I hope Zoe’s secret approaches will help you get a good score on the IB Chinese B exam. Of course, these approaches are just a plus and there is a lot more to study about the exam. If you have any questions on the IB Chinese B exam, sign up for a free online one-to-one IB Chinese prep lesson and I will answer your questions in the lesson.
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