The International Baccalaureate is renowned for its academic rigour, and its global recognition. It is a program dedicated to producing open minded thinkers, and has a “Learners profile” detailing all the qualities of all its candidates and alumni. But why should you do the IB?
- The IB prepares you for university – having learnt how to reference like an academic, written uni style prac reports in Biology and Chemistry, and learnt first year Economics and second year Chemistry content, there is no doubt in my mind that I am ready for university. The critical thinking and research skills I have developed through TOK and my EE are essential skills that universities seek in their graduates.
- The IB turns you into an open-minded, caring, inquisitive, knowledgeable and principled thinker and person. If you’re thinking how this is possible, let me tell you: CAS has been one of the most fulfilling experiences for me, and has switched on the altruistic side of me. The discussions and debates that we had in TOK have developed my critical thinking skills and improved my open mindedness. The nature of the syllabi themselves promotes curiosity. Doing 6 subjects that cover so much depth and range has made me well rounded and knowledgeable. Need I say more?
- The IB converts well for university entrance, the ATAR conversions are well worth the effort. If you want to go overseas, the universities there love the IB.
- The content and the syllabi are thorough, in depth and actually interesting. Although it is a lot to learn, I found what I was learning interesting and engaging. The syllabi are structured in a way that everything almost fits together, and turns it into a complete body of knowledge.
- The IB is predictable. By the end of Year 12 you can almost guess what your final score is going to be. The assessments are manageable and it is very clear what they want from you. Everything is perfectly structured, and there are few surprises. If you are someone who is OCD about order and structure, I would say that the IB would suit you.
Would I say that it is worth it? At the end of the day, you need to think about how hard you are willing to work. Would the same amount of work in the alternative matriculation pathway offered to you result in the same reward? For me, the IB offered me way more, and so it did (boosted my resume as well as my final score!). I believe that if you are prepared to work hard, the IB is well worth your effort. It is a challenging, but highly rewarding program. The opportunities that it opens up to you through CAS are truly rewarding, and the education that you receive is world class.
Think about what you want to get out of the IB, and what you are willing to sacrifice in order to get it. It is a lot of work, but if you have good time management skills, you can still have a “life” while you do it, I promise.