For many of you, exams ended last month and you’ve unleashed yourself from academia for now. Going on a long holiday with family or friends is most needed at this stage. Consider a holiday with loved ones or a productive summer program. While some choose AS/A levels post-IGCSE, many opt for IB to access international universities/Ivies. Transitioning to IB is a process that requires some preparation and awareness.
But first, what is this blog post about? It’s perhaps a little reality check to ruin the holidays before they begin completely. No, we wouldn’t want to do that! We’re just trying to help ease things out so that when college begins you’re ready with the ammo and prepared to go…
Coming back to the topic, here are some student-approved ways in which you can prep for IB in advance:
Choose your IB subjects well
Which subjects are you looking at? What are your career goals? Are you set with them, or would you like to test the waters? Choose your subjects wisely, making sure that they align with your long-term career goals. If you haven’t yet decided on what career you want to pursue, don’t worry! You’re still young and have a long journey ahead. But, you should choose subjects based on your interests and then weigh out your options before college admission begins. Meanwhile, don’t do your IB simply for college credit! Focus on the subjects where you know you’d fare well, and prioritize your strengths, not just credits. Passion trumps fashion.
Emphasize research projects like EE
Other than the six IB DP subjects, you also have to prepare for the DP Core which includes EE, ToK, and CAS. Research-based components like the EE and ToK are crucial to adding extra points to your overall IB score, and the Extended Essay has a minimum word count of 4,000 words. But, you must not be intimated by the huge number! The monstrosity can be overwhelming and you might want to take a break from it. But once you begin it, you must not leave it halfway. Having to rework it after a break of a few weeks or months wastes a lot of latent time, also distracting you from working on other subjects.
Look at the bright side – working on 4000 + words would make anything and everything feel like a piece of cake.
Make IB interesting for yourself
While aiming for a Math major, it might seem challenging to invest time in subjects like analyzing advertisements or working on a History IA, which may not directly align with a math-focused career. However, each subject significantly contributes to your overall IB score. To strike a balance, integrate your personal interests into all subjects. For example, if you’re passionate about revenue management, explore mathematical aspects in areas like airline overbooking, which can be incorporated into both Math and Economics IAs. If History intrigues you more than Science, consider exploring the historical aspects of science in your IA. By aligning your interests with your coursework, you can effectively leverage your skills while ensuring a well-rounded and impressive IB score. This approach allows you to tap into your full potential, making your IB journey both fulfilling and academically rewarding.
Check out this blog post on ways to make the most out of the IB.
Don’t believe in rumors
Different students have different interests, varying bandwidths, and different experiences – no two experiences are the same. This is a simple fact and needs to be understood in the simplest manner. Hence, when you hear past IB students expressing their unpleasant experiences with the IB, they all but sound like horror stories for the fresh and relatively innocent batch of IB grade 11s. But don’t listen and believe everything you hear. A student found IB Physics impossible because they weren’t good at math, but another student kept their mind open and realized there wasn’t much math to begin with. In short, trust your intuition and act upon your own instincts. Don’t rely on other people’s opinions and approaches and create your own unique path.
Prioritize college applications over IB coursework
Your IB grades are integral to your college admissions, true. However, if you only focus on scoring well, you might lose track of the tasks you’ve planned out that are necessary for the same procedure. You need to prioritize your college applications before you begin your IB work. Once school begins it’s super easy to get dragged down by your IAs, your English homework with your private instructor, and every other task set by your school on a day-to-day basis. Time flies really fast before you realize you’re due to submit the personal statement and essay. A few years down the line, what matters is which college you went to and not what you scored in your IB GPA. So, understand what the end goal is and set your own deadlines.
Run the IB and don’t let it run you!
In your two-year IB journey, maintain control and don’t let it overshadow other essential college admission tasks. As an IB student, you already possess strong academic credentials for reputable colleges. Remember that colleges aim to assess your ability to handle a challenging curriculum while leading a balanced life.
If you have a summer internship or a job, don’t prematurely abandon it due to concerns about overwhelming IB demands. Such experiences offer a chance to develop skills and enhance your admission profile, creating a win-win situation. Don’t miss out on opportunities; always assess their long-term significance. Striking this balance ensures you maximize your potential and present a well-rounded college application, making the most of both your IB education and extracurricular pursuits.
Embrace your enemies
While the IB program may not be everyone’s favorite, it’s a crucial step in your educational journey, and the only choice is to embrace it. Find a reason to appreciate the IB, tapping into your interests and immersing yourself in the curriculum. View it as a valuable learning experience with benefits you may not immediately see.
Achieving those coveted 6s and 7s requires hard work, and harboring hatred for the program won’t make it any easier; in fact, it may hinder your performance. This principle extends beyond the IB; you won’t always adore every task, but you can’t solely do what you love. Just as everyone enjoys a doctor’s fee but not the act of dissecting a human body, most tasks come with aspects we may not relish. Embracing this reality, even within the IB, can lead to a more productive and ultimately rewarding journey.
Think of this program as an IB pinata and just go ham at it!
And the most important thing: you must be proud of the work you’re doing and how hard you’re working. It’s not easy to feel that pride because you’re always go-go-go the next thing now, the next deadline! There’s always something to complete and something to study for. But you need to take a break every now and then: treat yourself, go out with your friends, reward yourself after every achievement, and build great memories.
If you need guidance and aid in acing the IB, you can always explore the myriad of courses on our page. A dynamic group of well-experienced teachers is what would help you score better.
Remember, a lot of teens your age aren’t able to devote the same amount of time towards education because of different challenging circumstances, but YOU are. You’re lucky to be a part of this and that itself is pretty cool.