Should I do the IB?

There is no answer to this question that applies to everyone: the choice to do IB (or not) is one that must be made based on personal circumstances, hopes for the future, aspirations, etc. However, to help you make the decision, here are things that you should consider:

1. University/college choices – If you already have a good idea (or even just a vague one) of what you want to study after high school and where you intend to study, then you should look at how the IB will help you to get there. Go to the website of all the relevant universities and see what their recogtion of IB is. Some offer extra credit or bonus ranks for completing the diploma (or specific IB subjects). Look at how they translate an IB score, compared to the local education system. What score would you need to get into your preferred courses? Do you think you could get that score? Sometimes, a university might not recognise IB at all (though this is rare). If possible, contact someone from the university to clarify these details. They might be making changes to their IB recognition between the time that you start and finish IB, which might affect your ability to get in. Do your research.

2. Career choices – How could doing the IB help you in your future career? Many employers will not look at your high school results, but on the rare occasion, they might. Do you intend to study or work overseas? (If yes, IB will help you improve your cultural understanding, abilities in a second language and make you more globally minded – this is a good thing). Does the IB school you will attend offer subjects that will be relevant to your career (i.e. if you intend to be an actor, do they offer drama?).

3. Time management – Your ability to manage your time – not your IQ – is the key thing that will decide how well you do in the IB. You should NOT think “Oh, I’m not that smart, I couldn’t do the IB.” I can tell you from experience that you can get excellent results in the IB without being the cleverest person in your class. Even if you aren’t very good at keeping up to date with homework now and tend to procrastinate, don’t fret too much. If you really want to do well, then you will have plenty of opportunity in the IB to develop your skills in this area. All you need is a commitment to work hard and manage your time as best you can. During my time at an IB school, I saw students who never handed in work on time, who later changed their attitude and did well in the end. Conversely, I knew students who were much smarter than me, yet got lower results because they wasted their time and never tried to change their ways. Are you prepared to work on breaking your bad habits?

4. Personal Circumstances – This category includes a number of things. Do you have somewhere to study (a desk, somewhere reasonably quiet and free of distraction?). Do you have access to the internet, libraries and a computer for doing assignments? If you don’t have these things at home, is there somewhere nearby where they can be found (i.e. computer labs in your local library, a relative or friend’s house where you can study?) Just because you have personal troubles or a distracting circumstances at home, it doesn’t make it impossible for you to successfully complete the IB.

Once you assess all these factors, it should be fairly easy to make your decision about the IB. Personally, despite various personal troubles during my time in the IB, I still think it was worth it to do the diploma. The course is difficult, I procrastinated often, but in the end I pulled through, worked hard and got excellent results. It is hard, but more rewarding that I thought. If you want any more information or still can’t decide, don’t hesitate to email me and ask – ibscrewed4@gmail.com

You may also wish to read the following:
http://ibo.org/announcements/succeedincollege.cfm

16 comments:

  1. thsnk you sooo much!
    i am 1st year pre-ib and was wondering if i made the right choice since IB is really far from my home. Now i know i made the right choice.

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    1. I am doing IB and sometimes it feels like a waste of time, well it kind of is. You see, even if you are going to do the IB diploma, not everyone gets it. In order to get it you have to get a certain score for each of your IB exams. You dont find out whether or not you get the diploma until after graduation (in the summer). So, it would suck if you try so hard and end up not getting it.

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  2. No worries! I'm glad this section helped you :) Thanks for commenting!

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    1. How important is the 2nd language, I have an opportunity to do it in Russia, I am Australian but i can get RU citizenship and it will be easy for me to get in but i have a year to learn Russian, I already know a bit but i am wondering if i don't do too well in it then will that hinder my scores much?

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  3. Thank you this is very helpful. I was wondering if the IB Diploma is worth doing with a Cognitive Learning Disability. My IB school would be an hour from home, and I would need at least 3 tutors with this disability so I am wondering if I will have the time for CAS and all the assignments and hard work that comes with the last 2 years of school? Thanks.

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  4. Hey, it's a tough question. The truth is that I think you'd find it more taxing on you - both physically and mentally - than it might be worth. Travelling for two hours a day is hard in the long run when you have to do it every day for two years (I had to do it and it was really exhausting to have to spend so long getting to and from school).
    I think you might find that you are better off staying in your local system. You are right - getting CAS and assignments done would be a real challenge if you also have the demands of tutoring and travel. I still think you would be capable of doing it, it's just that the experience would be very difficult because of yor personal circumstances. You would probably enjoy your final two years of high school a lot better if you go to school closer to home, leaving you more time to do your schoolwork and spend time doing the other things you enjoy.
    Like I said, if you are really set on doing IB, then go for it. But just take some time to consider the cost/benefits of each, because if you'll still reach your long-term goals at your local school, then you may be better off there. Good luck with your decision, and whatever you decide, I hope that you have a wonderful final two years of school :)

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    1. Thanks for the reply. It really helped making my decision and I am 99% positive I am up to the challenges of the IB Diploma. Could you let me know how you managed doing the commute? Do you have any suggestions in general for surviving the IB diploma? Thanks.

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    2. The commute was hard, but I just made sure I used the time productively - I'd study or do homework when I could, bring textbooks to read - anything that meant less to do when I got home. Since public transport is a difficult place to focus, I often did simpler homework tasks and left the stuff that needed more focus to be done at home.
      I guess my biggest suggestion would be not to have the attitude of trying to "survive" - it's not the Hunger Games, no one is out to kill you or bring you down. Look at everything with a positive attitude, like this is a challenge for you, and you only. There's heaps of sites like this one that give help for the IB, so you're never alone. Just set your goals high (don't aim to pass, aim to get great marks), but be content with whatever results you get.

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    3. I just want to say that I am actually really excited about the IB Diploma. Thanks for your help. I guess now all I need to do is convince my parents that I can do it! :)

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  5. When did you start and finish your ee?

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    1. Hi, I started doing research about a year before it was due. I started planning the essay eight months ahead and drafting it about six months before it was due. I had finished my final copy about a month before it was due.
      You will need to spend a lot of time researching. I found it the hardest part, actually. Once you've done the research and you have a plan, the writing is the easiest part. Then it gets difficult again when you try to cut it down to under 4000 words...

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  6. Hi, I'm currently in the diploma programme and i'm finding it okay. I have A's and B's in my strong subjects but my weak subjects (the sciences) -both physics and chemistry are at C's. Is it a smart idea to switch to certificate, that way I could keep my strong subjects?
    Thanks

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    1. I would not advise dropping to certificate. I'm not sure how it works where you live, but in my area, when you translate certificate scores, the universities look at it poorly. Really, you should only switch to certificate if it looks like you are going to fail some subjects. You are better off staying on the diploma program, working hard on your weak subjects and trying to improve your weak subjects. If you want help with Chemistry, remember that all my notes are available and you can email me with questions. I would also recommend that you speak with teachers at your school about this. Good luck!

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  7. Hi! I'm currently in grade 7, and I would like to apply for Pre-IB next year. I know it's kind of early, but I'm worried about whether or not I would get in. Do you know how I could have a better chance in getting in? To get in, I have to take a math test, write an essay, and take an interview.

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  8. Hello,
    Your website was recommended to me by a fellow IB student. I notice that you provide well-thought out answers to your users' questions so I was hoping you could help me out with a very personal matter. I am a grade 11 student and I cannot decide if I want to complete the IB Diploma or IB Certificate Course. As it stands, I chose to do the certificate with a course load of IB English/History, IB Mathematics, IB Chemistry, IB French, Orchestra (Regular), and Biology(Regular) by correspondence. (Forgive me, I do not know if they are HL or SL, as my school's IB programme is very limited so there is only one class of each.) I plan on completing the TOK course, Extended Essay, and CAS hours as well. The reason I initially chose the Certificate method (in doing Biology by correspondance as a non-IB course) was because it conflicts with the scheduling of Orchestra. I have been a music student all my life and the thought of giving up now is like a punch in the gut. I know that if I take the Diploma method I will give up music in my life because I will focus on my studies rather than practicing. For the future, I am planning on going to university to get a PhD in Biochemistry or Genomics. However, I was hoping to get a Minor in Music, but that depends on whether or not I continue with the course. Overall, I am wondering if you think taking Orchestra is a mistake because I am giving up the IB course in my main field of study. My initial purpose for doing the IB programme was to make myself more well-rounded person, to be a better person by meeting the IB learner profile, and to push myself to prepare for university. And I know that was a whole lot of rambling - I am sorry to put you through that. I just want an outsider's perspective on my issue because all of my IB friends think I should go full IB (as they are all doing full IB) but my parents think I should continue with Orchestra. I have spoken to an academic counselor twice on the issue and they have both said "Do whatever you think is right for you." Needless to say, there has been a lot of stress, worrying, and not a lot of decision-making going on here. Anyway, thank you, thank you, thank you for taking your time to read this massive question and if you answer (which I hope you do), thank you so much for considering my problem. Best of luck with your future studies.
    Sincerely, Victoria
    P.s. Just thought this might help with your answer... I usually practice for one hour every night. My IB teachers said IB students should expect 3 hours of homework every night. I have no problem with procrastination and committing to my studies, but I am also wondering if this "expected workload" is legitimate. If so, that would make practicing very difficult. And you know, trying to fit CAS hours, eating, exercising, and sleeping in there somewhere. Hello coffee with a double shot of expresso. What was your workload like and how did you deal with it? (Wait, never mind that last question - I will go read your blog posts.) Thanks again.

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  9. I'm currently taking IB and it feels like a waste of time at least to me based off of the career I want. Yes you learn a lot and I do realize that it prepares you for college but I was wondering if IB would really help me if I want to go into a music career? Is it really worth my time taking? I do recommend going into IB though :)

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