Take me to the quiz!
After a few minutes we will tell you how prepared you are for the IB!
The IB programmes are all designed to help the world become a better place. Certainly, universities love IBDP graduates, so it is a great programme for getting into competitive universities. But, we also hope that you become more caring as well as more capable… and that you can help to make many positive contributions to society.
Most people in the world are bilingual and it is part of the philosophy of the IB that all students gain access to other cultures through learning languages. In the Diploma Programme you have to study at least two languages. At least one of those must include the study of literature (we call those programmes, Language A). Lots of students actually take two Language As. But, many others choose to work on Language Acquisition for their second (or third) language. If you build on a language that you have studied previously, this is known as Language B. But, you could also start to acquire a new language. This is referred to as an Ab Initio Language.
All IB students are encouraged to strive towards becoming global citizens. This includes having an interest in the lives of others. You might learn more about others through literature, through a foreign language, in classes in History or Economics, or through your own reading. But, we believe that it is important to understand the lives of others.
One of the most exciting parts of the IB Diploma Programme is Theory of Knowledge (ToK). This is a course that helps you to understand how our knowledge systems work … and you are encouraged to challenge accepted ideas. One – admittedly extreme – idea is that there are very few certainties in this world.
One of the core components of the IBDP is CAS. The “S” stands for “Service”. Every DP student has to engage in actions (in many cases through projects) that help others. Through this, we become more aware of the lives of others, we develop our caring sides and we learn more about ourselves.
Another core component is the Extended Essay (EE). This is brilliant preparation for university (there are several research projects that show that the EE helps students to get better grades at university). You will need help in the skills needed for this. But, if you start with lots of interesting questions that you want to research, you will probably enjoy it.
There are at least two major reasons why the IB is so strong in promoting – and checking for – academic honesty. Firstly, as a high-stakes qualification that universities rely on, it is essential that everyone can trust the idea that the work really is yours. Secondly, IB graduates should show responsibility if they are to play valuable roles in society. The IB organisation has many ways of checking that the work you submit really is yours … and very severe punishments if you cheat!
There’s no doubt that IBDP students work hard. For each Higher Level subject you get 240 hours of class over two years, but you will probably need about the same amount of time outside class. For Standard Level classes, the figure is 150 hours, but you can double that if you include homework. Then there’s ToK, CAS, the Extended Essay! Luckily, there are tricks to help you – study buddies, well-organised schedules are two good ideas.
We are not expecting you to be self-regulated learners at the start, but one of the aims of an IB education is that you become closer and closer to constant improvement. Being successful in the IB is made much, much easier if you develop those sort of skills.
Examinations are an important part of the IBDP – because they are the best way we have of testing each student’s learning. But, approximately 25% of your marks can be obtained through coursework (much more in some subjects). So, it is important to do your best in all assessments. Of course, there are skills needed for exam success … so, practice exams are important too.
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