Is the IB Diploma worth it?

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Vivian Phan and Jane Elkins

Many students starting high school ponder 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? 

The IB diploma is part of the International Baccalaureate program and is the most rigorous academic curriculum that our school offers. 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 further in-depth with fewer topics, whereas SL courses are more broad with less depth. 

A student can receive the diploma after completing all the requirements. The program’s goal is to better prepare students for higher-level education by challenging them with a global mindset. 

With these more demanding courses, come larger workloads and lots more stress, especially to people who participate in a lot of extracurriculars or sports. Not only do you have normal classwork and assignments that come with your core classes, but also essays, presentations, and projects that are impossible to complete while maintaining a healthy sleep schedule.  

“A lot of the students who do the IB diploma get stressed out and it can be detrimental to their health,” IB English teacher Sasha Duran said. “In theory, it’s a good program and in execution, it can be a struggle for some students.”

However, mental health and sleep are very important, the benefits of the IB Diploma should not be ignored.

 First off, 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 recognized that IB is the hardest out there,” Bradshaw further explains.  

In fact, a study by Atlanta Public Schools noted that the average acceptance rate of IB students when applying to colleges is a whopping 22 percent higher than the average acceptance rate. 

Another perk of the IB Diploma can be seen once you get into college. Thousands of schools all over the US allow students to receive credit for IB courses, which can allow you to save time and money in getting your degree. 

Not only can it help you financially but academically too. This is because the diploma forces you to work hard and create good study habits. On top of that, IB students are already used to large workloads and long essays which makes the switch from high school to college much easier.

With all of that, you know yourself and your caliber. In the end, it is your choice and if you know how to manage your time, stay organized, and are hardworking, then IB is something you should strongly consider.