Do you have to be really academic to take the IB?
The IB is designed as a model of holistic education for the mid-range student and above. Statistically speaking, most students who earned the IB Diploma worldwide were of average or above average ability. It is not a program designed only for geniuses. What the IB program requires students to have are a strong work ethic, good time-management and solid study skills.
Is the IB program stressful?
The IB program is a rigorous two-year program. It is not a stress-free program. The level of stress can vary from one student to another and can be reduced, depending on the student’s acquisition of study and organizational skills. A student who procrastinates and does not know how to manage time effectively will find it difficult to reduce the stress. All students are encouraged to complete assignments on time and meet the internal assessment deadlines. The teachers also work hard to coordinate major test and assignment deadlines, to keep student-stress to a minimum.
I don’t feel I have achieved my potential in Mathematics or Languages, would this be a problem?
Not necessarily. It is possible to study a language as a beginner (Ab initio) and Maths Studies demands a moderate standard of mathematical ability refreshing many aspects of the GCSE syllabus.
What is the point of the Inner Core of CAS, ToK and the Extended Essay?
Theory of knowledge is unique to the IB and helps learners to form links between their academic subjects, develops analytical skills and fosters creativity in approaches to understanding and problem solving. It is part of what makes the IB and Diploma Holders special. CAS ensures that the student has the chance to explore other aspects of their abilities, it allows you the freedom to engage with activities and issues outside the classroom. The Extended essay is a taster in undergraduate level work and is an invaluable preparation for University.
Is the IB accepted by Universities?
Universities in over 110 countries recognize the IB Diploma and it will allow entrance to the most competitive universities around the world. The university admission authorities recognize the academic rigor of the IBDP, and value the “extra” parts of the Diploma, such as TOK, CAS and the Extended Essay. American and Canadian Universities often allow IB students with an excess of 30 points to skip the first year of their undergraduate course. Cambridge University also have a policy of interviewing all applicants taking the IB.
Why should I take the IB when I can get into University with A Levels?
The IB is not merely an entrance ticket to University, it is a preparation for succeeding at University. The IB curriculum equips students with the tools needed to succeed in higher education, such as self-confidence, preparedness, research skills, organizational skills and being actively engaged in self learning. Admissions tutors are not only looking for students who are able to get into University, they are looking for students who will stay the course and achieve to their full potential. Some universities even offer scholarships to IB diploma holders.
Where can I find a list of universities that accept the IB Diploma?
The IBO (www.ibo.org) list the universities that publish an IB recognition policy on the country pages of their website. Many other universities also accept the IB diploma but do not publish a recognition policy – you should contact them directly.
How are the subjects graded?
Both Higher and Standard subjects are graded from 1-7, with 7 being equivalent to an A* at AS or A2. The equivalent UCAS points can be worked out per subject if the subject is taken as a stand- alone, but generally calculated from the overall points score. As an example 34 points on the IB (the average Truro College student) is equivalent to 479 UCAS points.
What is the equivalency with A Levels?
This depends on who you ask! According to UCAS 35 points on the IB is equivalent to 501 UCAS points. Looking at the comparative offers from Universities last year, 35 points is seen as equivalent to AAB at A Level which amounts to 340 UCAS points.
Is it easier to get a University offer with A Levels than with the IB?
The most recent data from 2011 shows that 68% of A Level students and 69% of IB students received an offer. This data doesn’t say if the offer was for their first choice or not.
When are examination results made available?
Examination results are sent out in the first week of July. Students may also obtain their results online at results.ibo.org. This is almost 6 weeks ahead of the A Level results.
What is the “typical” IB student?
IB fosters and encourages diversity, but what the students have in common is their love of learning and their high motivation and an ability to see the larger picture, to understand that nothing is for free and if it’s worth having it’s worth working for.
Are there any careers paths for which the IB might be unsuitable?
The range of subjects available allows progression onto a vast range of undergraduate programmes from Medicine, to Law to History etc However, if your ambitions were towards Engineering or Computer Science, you would need to add A level Maths onto your progamme as this is a requirement of the top Universities.