The Story

With my friends at Northwestern University graduation, 2012


Hi. I’m Zeeshan Firasta and I’ve been in your exact same position and have walked the path many of you are about to take right now.

Back in 2006 when I started the IBDP, the odds were stacked against me and my classmates. Firstly, I certainly wasn’t the smartest guy in the class. Up in the mountains of Kodaikanal back in those days, we didn’t have constant access to the internet and all the resources that go with it. Often, we didn’t even have electricity. For some subjects, we didn’t have textbooks at all and weren’t aware of the exact syllabus. But despite these challenges, I was able to get a 41 and graduated as valedictorian from Kodaikanal International School in 2008. If I can do it, then with the right organised system of training, I am certain that all of you can do it too, and do it much better.

I then went on to study Economics, Business Institutions and Integrated Marketing and Communications from Northwestern University. I’ve also successfully cleared a CFA Level 1 exam in my first attempt, and completed an MSc Finance degree from the Warwick Business School. As you can see, I’ve had a lot of formal education and along the way have learnt a thing or two about cracking exams.


These are some of the problems I personally faced and after speaking with many students and parents, I found out that a lot of you are facing these same challenges right now. What is worse is that many of you are not aware of the problems that really exist, believing that your school is well equipped to address all the issues that an IB student faces. Here’s a quick reality check:-

  • How many students from your school have achieved 40+ scores from previous years?
  • How many 7s from your school were achieved in each subject?
  • How many students from previous years at your school got into top 10 ranked universities?

That should give you an estimation of the level of exam readiness of your school. And it’s no surprise why. Firstly, most if not all IB teachers have not been IB students themselves and so whilst their intentions are good, they don’t know what’s the best way to getting a near perfect score on the exams. Secondly, students are unaware about all the other things that will be required of them in order to create a great college admissions package. Therefore they are caught off guard and don’t know how to study quickly so that they have time to do all these other things. Lastly, a majority of the students underestimate the level of difficulty of the final IBDP exams which are really tough.

Getting into a great college can really change your life. It will open doors to new worlds and possibilities you only previously would have dreamed of. And it all starts with a great IB score.


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