5 Points That You Didn’t Know About IB
Uncover the truth about IB! 5 surprising facts you didn't know. Are you ready to Nail IB? Find out now!
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Are you standing at a fork road trying to decide what you should do for high school? Perhaps you are a parent planning for your child, struggling to decide between IB Diploma (IB) and Advanced Placement (AP).
Either way, these are the 5 points you must know about IB before deciding upon your or on your child’s future.
Oh! Before reading, check out what Lilia says about her IB experience.
Oh! Before reading, check out what Lilia says about her IB experience.
The essential requirement to graduate with an IB diploma is that a student has to take at least six subjects. The student needs to specialize in any three or four of the chosen six subjects. It would help if you opted for a Higher Level (HL) in those subjects. The subjects you undertake in IB are Standard Level (SL).
The main difference between a subject's Standard Level and Higher Level is that students are expected to study additional topics in HL in detail. HL subjects are very similar to first-year college courses.
To get an IB diploma, you must do more than choose HLs and SLs. You will also need to write an Extended Essay (EE), participate in the Theory of Knowledge (ToK), and indulge in Creativity, Activity, and Service (CAS).
IB is one of the most demanding courses that one can attend in high school. We have dedicated another article to answering if the intensity and extra workload are worth it! For now, let's focus on the power itself. One of the distinguishing traits of IB is that it is comprehensive. Every subject that you choose in IB is interlinked with one another in a very subtle way. Theory Of Knowledge (ToK) is the connecting string that highlights the interdisciplinary nature of all the IB subjects. As a result, the students who graduate from IB have more holistic training. In other words, they are more well-rounded in their academia, allowing them to have more options for university.
IB's intensity is one factor that makes it appear 'difficult.' Students, to a large extent, have to perform as all-rounders. With the help of CAS, IB ensures that student's education is not limited to their classrooms. This can be both a good and a bad thing. If you love to be challenged and can multitask gracefully, then you should not shy away from the intensity of the course. However, if you are easily overwhelmed with responsibilities outside your school life, then IB can be challenging for you to manage.
IB vs AP
- IB curriculum has a structured and systematic examination process. It helps IB to have a global standard while evaluating their students. AP, on the other hand, is flexible. Students are allowed to selectively choose the subjects they are interested in. This hinders setting global standards for AP candidates.
- Another critical difference between IB and AP is that IB is more depth-oriented. All the subjects in IB have structured so that a student studies a limited number of topics elaborately. Meanwhile, AP's course structure is more breath oriented and covers many issues outwardly.
- One of the other things to factor in is that AP emphasizes retaining facts and knowledge. The IB curriculum, on the other hand, promotes analytical and critical thinking.
- AP does not require its students to do extracurricular activities such as CAS. Nor do they have metaphysical subjects like the Theory Of knowledge. Therefore AP might be the better option for making the students subject specialists, but you cannot expect AP courses to enhance one's holistic capabilities.
IB Year 1 vs IB Year 2
IB year 1 is when everything is new, and the students are getting accustomed to what IB is all about. Year 2 is a lot of focusing on finishing your Extended Essay, Internal Assessments, etc. Year 2 of IB is relatively more challenging as you have multiple submissions, final exams, and CAS reflections. Most students pick up their socks in the first year and finish what they can to have a less hectic second year.
- Because of the overwhelming nature of IB’s year 2, it is good practice to manage your time efficiently. There is almost no scope for procrastinating your coursework in Year 2. Any student guilty of doing so will face a lot of difficulty in graduating with an IB Diploma.
IB requires its students to carry a significant amount of workload. Each subject has an internal assessment which is similar to an individual project.
- On average, it takes about 20-30 dedicated hours to finalize a draft of an assessment.
- The same is true for writing your Theory Of knowledge (ToK) Essay. Finalising a ToK draft will also take at least 20 hours
- Individual project in subject group 1 is known as 'Internal Oral'. They require a student to prepare a 10-minute long presentation which might need more time to make.
- CAS requires a minimum of 150 hours over two years.
- Planning your Extended Essay and writing it in a way that it pleases your supervisor will easily take at least take 40 hours of your life.
- And finally, preparing your ToK presentation is another 20 - 30 hours.
It is not entirely false to say that IB eats up your weekends. The overwhelming curriculum structure makes it somewhat challenging for students to sustain a social life. But hey, you can always make friends with your group project members! All in all, your coursework, excluding your final exams, comes down to around 300 hours!
This is one of the most crucial aspects in determining how difficult your IB journey will be. Don’t get me wrong. One should not choose an IB subject depending on the subject difficulty level. Instead, one should opt for the subjects they are genuinely interested in. We have a separate blog walking you through the decision-making process for choosing your IB subject combination. To give you a gist, every student is obliged to take one subject from each subject group except for subject Group 6, The Arts. You can instead choose an additional science (Group 4), Individual And Societies (Group 3), or Language Acquisition (Group 2) in place of a Group 6 subject.
According to the latest statistical bulletin published by IBO, the following are the mean grade for each subject group:
- Group 1 (Studies in Language and Literature): 4.86
- Group 2 (Language Acquisition): 5.35
- Group 3 (Individuals and Societies): 4.44
- Group 4 (Sciences): 4.16
- Group 5 (Mathematics): 4.00
- Group 6 (The Arts): 4.58
Regardless of your chosen subject combination, IB can be complicated if you do not get the right resources at the right time! We want Nail IB to be your virtual companion to hustle through IB. We have many helpful blogs that will help you navigate your way through IB. Apart from our blogs, we offer a "Take A Test" module, which allows IB students to evaluate their level in the IB Program. Make sure to try a test and see your strengths and weaknesses. And finally, to ensure you have all the resources you might need to nail IB, we have curated exclusive student bundles for your convenience.