Is the IB Diploma worth it?

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Is the IB Diploma worth it?

Vivian Phan, Staff Writer

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Many students starting high school ponder at the question of whether or not to pursue the IB diploma. “To IB or not to IB,” a popular phrase used by many IB diploma candidates. So, is the IB diploma worth the work? 

“Definitely if you’re applying to a more prestigious college, it’s probably more helpful if you go for the IB diploma” senior IB candidate Kani Khaled said.

“When it comes to choosing someone with a regular or advanced diploma versus someone with an IB diploma, they’ll most likely choose the IB candidate, so I think it’s helpful in that way.”

The IB diploma is apart of the rigorous International Baccalaureate program. The program focuses on a 2 year curriculum for most classes with 2 levels, HL (higher level) and SL (standard level). HL classes tend to go father into depth with fewer topics, whereas SL courses focus on more topics broadly with less depth.

  A student can receive the diploma after completing all the requirements. The programs goal is to better prepare students for higher level education by building on certain traits. Such as open mindedness, risk taking, knowledgeability, inquiring, communicating, being principled, being balanced, thinking, caring, and reflective.  

“I think it’s a really good program, very well rounded, that helps encourage and push our students to do more and to not just say ‘Oh, I’m an IB student, but [to say] I’m working towards an end goal,’” IB english teacher, Sasha Duran said, “but on the other hand, I do think a lot of the students who do the IB diploma get stressed out and it can be detrimental to their health, like if they aren’t sleeping and putting academics first. Sometimes it makes them second guess themselves and feel a little bit unsure of how smart they really are because they’re struggling with the IB program.  In theory, it’s a good program and in execution, it can be a struggle for some students.

Requirements to receive the diploma include: taking 6 IB courses, 3 HL and 3 SL IB courses (or 4 HL and 2 SL) in all core subjects, a foreign language, and an elective, taking the Theory of Knowledge class, completing CAS (creativity, activity, service), writing an extended essay, and passing all the IB exams with at least 24/45 points. 

Many students pursue the IB diploma with the hope of getting accepted into prestigious colleges, and IB coordinator Linda Bradshaw agrees that there is definitely a correlation with IB candidates and getting accepted into prestigious universities. 

“Colleges recognize that the IB diploma is the most challenging high school curriculum possible and so when they are looking at an applicant and they are judging the rigor of the program that they have selected and recognize that IB is the hardest out there”, Bradshaw further explains.  

Aside from just giving you a leg up on college applications, many students also pursue the diploma to push themselves and to really improve their knowledge and learning skills.

“I like the challenge. I want to do the best I can.” Sophomore, and potential IB candidate, Nathan Ong said. 

 

Standard Diploma Advanced Diploma  IB Diploma
-4 english class credits

-2 english SOL credits

-3 math credits

-1 math SOL credit

-2 social studies credits

-1 social studies SOL credit

-2 science credits

-1 science SOL credit

-4 elective credits 

-2 health & PE credits 

-1 economics & personal finance credit 

-2 world language, fine arts, or career and technical Ed credits

Total credits: 22

-4 english class credits

-2 english SOL credits

-4 math credits

-1 math SOL credit

-4 social studies credits

-1 social studies SOL credit

-4 science credits

-1 science SOL credit

-3 elective credits 

-2 health & PE credits 

-1 economics & personal finance credit 

-3 world language

-1 fine arts, or career and technical Ed credit

Total credits: 26

-6 IB classes ( 3 HL 3 SL or 4HL 2 SL) credits

-Theory of Knowledge class credit

-Extended essay 

-CAS (Creativity, Activity, service)

-24/45 points on IB exams  

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