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What is CAS?

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I know this is probably asked a lot, but I would love to know what Creativity, Action and Service is, and what it entails.

I go to a school that offers IB alongside the normal diploma program in Australia but they do not explain it very well to us, and it is really up to the students to research what IB is.
Thanks!

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I know this is probably asked a lot, but I would love to know what Creativity, Action and Service is, and what it entails.

I go to a school that offers IB alongside the normal diploma program in Australia but they do not explain it very well to us, and it is really up to the students to research what IB is.

Thanks!

 

Hey, 

 

Alright CAS is basically a non-academic program that's part of the IB. You have to do enough to satisfy your IB coordinator (this is the teacher in charge of liaising between the IBO and your school, you should definitely know who this is), who will then give you a pass. The point of CAS is to encourage IB students to not just be academically inclined, but also to develop in some other important areas of a person's life. That's the intended idea, anyway. 

 

C - Creativity. This is basically stuff like learning a new musical instrument, being in a play, picking up painting, etc. 

A - Action. Sports, outdoor camps, starting a regime of hitting the gym, etc. 

S - Service. Helping people, essentially. Can be simply giving free academic tuition to the less privileged, to going overseas and providing humanitarian aid. 

 

1) The general rule for C and A is that it should be something new. You can't be in a band for 6 years, and then start filing your weekly band practice under "creativity". Nor can you be a weightlifter and call gym time "action". It has to be something you have not done before. 

 

2) You have to keep and track reflections for all your CAS activities. Some schools have an online service for this (eg managebac), some schools encourage students to keep physical diaries. Either way, you have to keep up with a small article after each activity. For large activities, one every few days should suffice. For example, one of my Service activities was building a house with Habitat for Humanity for three weeks, and I wrote a journal entry every three days into managebac. I wrote about what I did over the three days, what I had learnt, how it had enriched my perspective, what I found was different from Singapore, etc. 

 

3) You need to have a healthy balance of C, A and S. 

 

4) Find out from your IB coordinator what's his measuring system for a pass. Mine had a general rule: at least 50 hours each for C, A and S, at least two major projects (such as overseas trips, directing a play or musical, an awareness campaign, etc), fairly consistent and substantial reflections, and finally, continued over the duration of 18 months (meaning you can't do everything in like, November, and calling it quits). It's important to know this so that you're not stabbing in the dark. 

 

5) Hours done in CAS are essentially currency. So, you can distribute it among C, A and S, so long as its reasonable. For example, my Habitat for Humanity service was building a house in Malaysia. It was an overseas trip for 3 weeks, working for 8 hours a day, 15 working days, so that worked out to about 120 hours, minus lunch and breaks, roughly 100 hours. I divided it up between Action and Service, After that, I could relax and do small CAS activities over the rest of the year. 

 

6) If you do not pass your CAS, you do not receive your diploma, so please take it seriously. 

 

7) Pro tip: Learn a new instrument, give free tuition to a few children and join the school team for a sport (that you're new to!). Do this consistently over 18 months, and you'll satisfy most coordinators' requirements for CAS with the least amount of time invested. This way, you can do whatever activities you want to do at your own leisure, instead of attempting to service CAS requirements. 

 

8) Write your reflections properly. 

 

9) It is worth considering doing video reflections, where you can simply video yourself playing your new instrument (for example) in lieu of saying "oh yes I have improved". You save lots of time this way, instead of writing reflections. For my Habitat service, I added a few videos of the building site, the people we were building for, etc. Not only is this good for your CAS portfolio, but you will genuinely enjoy watching these a few years later, knowing that you have helped people. 

 

10) DO NOT leave CAS till the last minute. Make sure you do it consistently. There is nothing worse than trying to cram 50 hours of service a month before your exams. 

 

Hope this has helped. I realize it's kinda haphazard, but I needed to get my thoughts out as I got them!

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Creativity is really open and can go from playing an instrument to writing to making youtube videos

Action is about physical exertion in any form

Service is typically about helping disadvantaged groups or those who are less able e.g. the elderly

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