The Pomodoro Technique for IB Revision and Study

If you are one many IB students that spends a considerable time on the internet, you may have already heard about the much talked about Pomodoro Technique. For those of you who do not, just keep reading as we are going to explain everything about the Pomodoro Technique – the best productivity hack all IB students need to know. It will help you with your revision, exam preparation and can even be applied to other daily activities you don't quite get around to doing!

The Pomodoro Technique for IB Students

'Pomodoro', from the Italian for 'Tomato'

The Pomodoro Technique is a time management life hack which was created back in the eighties by Francesco Cirillo. This time management technique aims to offer its users maximum concentration and creative freshness which would allow them to complete a given project much faster with much less mental strain. It is a great motivation aid for those that struggle to get started – or stay focussed.

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The process isn’t hard to understand. For each project you need to complete, you have to ration your time into small increments and take periodical breaks. For instance, you revise your topic for 25 minutes after which you take a five minute break. Simple.

This 25 minute working time is called a ‘Pomodoro’ which is the Italian for tomato. Once four Pomodoros have passed (ie. 100 minutes of study/work time with 15 min break time) you get to take a longer break of 20 minutes.

The frequent break times helps to refresh your mind and keep you focussed, you’ll easily see the positive results very quickly. Within a week or 10 days of constant use of this technique you will become a master time manager.

IB Students with a heavy course load may really benefit from the use of this technique. The strict timing is going to help you finish your essays, commentaries, IAs, revision and other projects much faster.

The Pomodoro Technique in 5 easy steps:


  1. Firstly, you need to select your task and jot down all the things you want to achieve; compile a to do list. Now take time and find out the tasks which need immediate attention.
  2. Set your timer for 25 minutes and start working on your task.
  3. When the timer goes off stop your work, take a break!
  4. Programme your timer for a 5 minute break. Stretch your legs, grab a snack or a drink. After your 5 minute break is up, re-set the timer again for 25 minutes. Repeat.
  5. Once you have completed 4 Pomodoros, you can take a well deservered 15-20 minutes break. Repeat.


I personally use this app to keep track of it all:

Advantages of the Pomodoro Technique:


  1. Firstly, this technique teaches one to work with time rather than against it. This amazing technique of time management is very simple to learn, the results could be life changing.
  2. The fact that this technique heavily relies on the short scheduled breaks helps eliminate the feeling that you have been pushing yourself too hard. This technique gets all your work done without putting too much pressure on you. It also encourages you to achieve in small and manageable ways – which helps with discipline in the long term.
  3. Whether its a phone call, a message on WhatsApp, or the thought that you need to pay your electricity bill, there is no lack of distracting thoughts whenever you sit to work. This technique teaches you to log the distraction, but to make them wait.
  4. Lastly the Pomodoro technique can be used with a wide revision timetable, allowing you to have more free time. Well, as much free time possible for an IB Student.


Further reading on this technique:

Online Course Book Pack Geography Psychology Spanish Practice Oxford IB Diploma Business Management Oxford IB Diploma Program Mathematics Language B Assessment Biology Mathematical Studies Language and Literature Environmental Systems and Societies Literature Course Book Economics Pearson Teacher English Physics History Workbook French Theory of Knowledge Cambridge University Press Skills