Students stress over IB assessments


With the first quarter now over, classes have kicked into high gear. Teachers are giving more and more assignments and assessments, piling up the workload for many students, specifically IB students.

“I can always expect to get homework each day,” senior Kenneth Anderson said. “This tends to add up, so if I’m not on top of my work, it’ll be easy for me to get behind.”

IB classes have been compared to the workload of college courses, and while this is beneficial in preparing students for their futures, it is also overwhelming for students to keep up with the pace of the class.

Last year for many students, staying at home made the stress levels given by school more manageable. Now, being back in the building, stress levels are reaching a new high.

“It’s been very challenging, especially coming back from virtual learning,” senior Taylor Nugen said. “Everything sort of just came back at full force.”

On top of the everyday work load given, IB students are having to make progress on their IB internal assessments and other IB requirements, with the deadlines approaching closer and closer. Most senior IB classes require some sort of assessment which is graded by IB themselves, taking up a large part of students’ final IB grade for the class.

“The purpose of the IB assessments is to assess students’ understanding of the course skills and content,’’ IB Literature teacher McClain Herman said. “Hopefully, to give students the opportunity to earn college credit for their hard work.”

Students are becoming more stressed due to these IB assessments, as they have to complete their regular assignments, as well as make strides on completing their assessments.

“It’s very difficult to make good progress with the current workload and the assessments on top of it,” Nugen said.
Many teachers are recognizing this increased stress and workload and are doing their best to prevent burnout in their students.

“Everything we do in class is focused on helping students develop and improve the skills that the assessments test. As we get closer to the assessments, students will complete practice assessments in class that mimic the real IB tests,” Herman said. “They will receive teacher and peer feedback on those practices, and also self-reflect on their own performance. We also provide direct instruction on the assessments, examine and discuss model papers and orals, etc.”

Students are hitting their stride, despite the stress, and are making decent progress on their assessments.

“My students are improving their ability to analyze literature,” Herman said. “They are learning to extend beyond identification and go deeper with their literary analysis.”

Many students have realized that this stress is only temporary and that IB has many life-long benefits.

“IB classes challenge yourself and allow you to grow academically and in maturity, rigorous courses help you develop balance and time management, both important life lessons,” Nugen said.

The lifelong skills acquired from IB classes makes the stressful and overwhelming workload worth it to many students, despite the current challenges.

“At the end of the day, they [IB] do teach me good skills,” senior Amanda Weaver said. “I am stressed in the moment, but in the long-term, the benefits outweigh the stress.”

Students are using this knowledge to prevent their own burnout, and using it as their motivation to keep completing and making progress on their work.

With the first quarter only just ending, and the end of the year far in the future, many students look forward to the day that they complete all of their assignments and assessments.