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Julio Tong

My school is kicking me out if I get less than 30 points in the January trials.

I go to a private school that teaches both IB and A levels to the sixth form. Today, I was threatened with being kicked out if I got less than 30 points (got 28 with internal trials at the end of last year). I have a current attendance of 81%, but every single attendance has been justified (severe clinical depression) and I have often been encouraged to stay at home by one of the teachers who are now trying to get rid of me.

Is this allowed by the IBO? I have no idea how the system works, would a private school be able to kick you out if you're underperforming, or are they governed by the IB rules (let everyone stay even if they're underperforming, and just give them the certificate if they get < 24 points)? If what they're doing is not allowed by the IBO, what can I do?

Thanks.

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The IBO doesn't control the individual school rules in every country, that would not only be insane but practically impossible. How a school chooses to run the IB Programme is pretty much independent to them and there's very little that the IBO or anybody can do to affect that.

You have to ask yourself though if the IB really is the best option for you if you're underperforming? Your school probably wouldn't care about your low attendance if it wasn't lowering your grades so much. IB schools are all competing in order to have the highest averages, to make them competitive and renowned. If they feel you're a weaker student, then they have the right to remove you from the programme, especially if they don't think you can pass it and get the diploma at the end of it.

Why do you want to do the diploma anyway? Do you feel you could do better and your current marks don't represent your potential? Do you feel you're not getting enough support from your school and that's hindering your performance? Do you think your personal life is interfering too much with your schoolwork and you're having trouble balancing the two? Make a strong case as to why you're having trouble and then explain how you will rectify it.

But more than that, get the 30 points necessary for your trials! if you get that, there's nothing to worry about anyway!

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IBO is a business at the end of the day, they're going to let absolutely anyone take a shot at the exams as long as the fees are paid. The school, on the other hand, does have a little bit more power over this when it comes to who can or cannot take the IB. Apart from what your teacher seems to be coming across as, the school as a body are looking out for you by "kicking" you out of the IB. on the bright side, the A Levels are much more understood that the IB when it comes to University admissions. Plus, it's less subjects to focus on as well:)

Even though you can't forfeit your diploma for certs once you finish the IB, but I believe you can submit your application as individual subjects instead of submitting the all the scores of the subjects you did as part of your diploma. It's obviously not as well received as the diploma, so why don't you ask if you could defer your exams by a year? I know it's not exactly fun graduating a year later from your friends and peers, but seeing that you're dealing with depression, extending your IB course'd be able to give the right amount of attention both your grades and emotions deserve.

All the best man, whatever you do:)

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You have to ask yourself though if the IB really is the best option for you if you're underperforming?

It isn't, but when I started 2 years ago, my school only offered IB. I would have done A Levels if I'd had the opportunity.

Your school probably wouldn't care about your low attendance if it wasn't lowering your grades so much.

My teacher mentioned that.

especially if they don't think you can pass it and get the diploma at the end of it.

They know that I can pass it, but they're insisting that anything lower than 30 points is unacceptable, whereas other students in my year are getting less than the 24 points in their predicted grades.

Why do you want to do the diploma anyway?

I need to get into university and get a job asap before my family goes bankrupt.

Do you feel you could do better and your current marks don't represent your potential? Do you feel you're not getting enough support from your school and that's hindering your performance? Do you think your personal life is interfering too much with your schoolwork and you're having trouble balancing the two? Make a strong case as to why you're having trouble and then explain how you will rectify it.

My main problem is my depression. It's permeated every aspect of my life, and I have to put an enormous amount of energy into combating suicide every day. I often have panic attacks, which turn into seizures, at school, and not sleeping for four days in a row is normal for me now. I can't put any more effort into my work than I already am. I have an IQ of 148, and you could say that yes, I am under-performing but I am doing relatively well in comparison to many other students in the year group, and I actually have a justification for my less-than-stellar grades. Sadly, I can't rectify my depression, because after 2 years of therapy and medication so strong that is borderline illegal, my condition has worsened.

But more than that, get the 30 points necessary for your trials! if you get that, there's nothing to worry about anyway!

Unfortunately that isn't going to happen :(

the A Levels are much more understood that the IB when it comes to University admissions. Plus, it's less subjects to focus on as well:)

That's right... I wish they would have offered them 2 years ago, instead of starting this year.

why don't you ask if you could defer your exams by a year? I know it's not exactly fun graduating a year later from your friends and peers, but seeing that you're dealing with depression, extending your IB course'd be able to give the right amount of attention both your grades and emotions deserve.

All the best man, whatever you do:)

Basically what I said before - I need to get into university and get a paid job asap. My family is borderline broke and once my brother starts IB next year, someone is going to have to bring in some more money, or we'll end up on the street.

Thanks to both of you. I'm disappointed about how the school can basically do what it wants. It's a disgusting, sickening and truly cruel decision - they know I'm suicidal, they know my family needs the money, and there are other students who are performing worse than I am and have even worse attendance rates, and they haven't even been spoken to. I can only hope that this is an empty threat, or that I miraculously achieve 5 extra points in the January trials.

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Basically what I said before - I need to get into university and get a paid job asap. My family is borderline broke and once my brother starts IB next year, someone is going to have to bring in some more money, or we'll end up on the street.

Well if your family really needs the money, how is you going to university going to solve that asap? I mean university is a 3-year commitment (minimum). Also, with >30 points in the IB, you're unfortunately not going to get into a great university, which means that graduate recruitment is almost out of the question.

I mean I don't want to worsen your trouble by making you think about this, but if you and your family are really in dire straits, you need to think of something more practicable. If you go to university now, and get a part-time job, I can promise you that that's barely going to cover your own rent and expenditure with next-to-nothing to spare.

Your situation sounds really ****ty, mate. I hope things work out for you eventually.

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Basically what I said before - I need to get into university and get a paid job asap. My family is borderline broke and once my brother starts IB next year, someone is going to have to bring in some more money, or we'll end up on the street.

Well if your family really needs the money, how is you going to university going to solve that asap? I mean university is a 3-year commitment (minimum). Also, with >30 points in the IB, you're unfortunately not going to get into a great university, which means that graduate recruitment is almost out of the question.

I mean I don't want to worsen your trouble by making you think about this, but if you and your family are really in dire straits, you need to think of something more practicable. If you go to university now, and get a part-time job, I can promise you that that's barely going to cover your own rent and expenditure with next-to-nothing to spare.

Your situation sounds really ****ty, mate. I hope things work out for you eventually.

University is free for me, and yes, the living costs are going to be a burden. Going to uni would give me the credentials to get a job, even if I wouldn't have graduated - also, some of the universities I was planning on applying to offer a full-time paid position in a company for a year, sandwiched in the course, so that would help bring in some extra money.

I'm not too concerned about the final points. I don't want to get kicked out and not be given the chance to get the diploma. I'm applying for game design and development, and seeing as I've already done work with games in the past and I'm making one from scratch right now, I'm hoping that my own work, which has so far been recognised as being of very high quality, will earn me a spot in a university. Barely anyone does game design - almost everyone applies for computer science and then specialises in games in after a few years, so hopefully, assuming I get 30 points in the January trials, I'll be admitted into a university.

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Yes your school can kick you out of the program, or not enter you for exams if they are not happy with your progress.

Have you considered tranferring to another IB school?

One of the pros of IB is it's supposed to be comparitively to transfer mid-term. This is because the IB is designed to have an internationally identical curriculum, except for pilot courses which can be unique to the school.

So basically if you're studying IB Chem HL and transfer to another school offering IB Chem HL in theory this should be doable as the curriculum is the same. However obviously this isn't the case for other subjects like English, where different books might be studied by different schools/ teachers.

If you're in your 2nd IB year some schools might not let you transfer, some might. Depends on their policy.

If you were only two marks off 30 points last time, then I don't think it's majorly impossible for you to make these marks. You just need to study insanely hard and try show your teachers you're trying. Ask for extra help, ask questions when you do not understand. Just do extra work. Do lots and lots of essays for english, and try and get your teacher to check them. Practice questions etc

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