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Seeking advice: IB Expectations/Reality

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So, my name is Alex, and I am currently in the 9th grade. I am running through the AP program right now, but I am to be transferring schools for next year. While already getting accepted to the IB is taken cared of, I guess I am just overthinking at the moment. I want every single individual to let out their thoughts about the IB, how they feel about it, and how to make sure the IB is as fun as it is to be; I've heard many people receiving stress from the International Baccalaureate, and how even a little procrastinating will significantly affect your lifestyle, especially sleeping habits. I guess it's simple to say that I am quite nervous that I may not have my best IB experience as I move on. However; I do believe I will work hard for my dreams and my work. Perhaps my sleeping habits will grow greater and my procrastination may dwindles down to nothingness. I just need some actual, coherent insight on preparing and getting ready for the International Baccalaureate. ;/ Anyways, thanks for reading at least. :)

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Yay! Another new IB student!  :welcome:

 

Okay so first things first, seriously, it's not even that much stress. I'd say that the academic program is more stressful than IB because everything actually counts while in IB, your midterm marks are most recent most consistent (at least, that's how they do it at my school) and your actual IB marks that come in July are practically based off of your IAs/final in-class assessments and your exam. That's it. 

 

There's definitely the beneficial factor of enjoying IB if you don't procrastinate and what I would suggest to do for that is lessen your distractions. That's usually what gets me :/ I know it's usually easier said than done but as long as you stay on top of your work, ask for help when you need it and keep practicing whatever needs practice, reading whatever needs reading then you should be fine :)

 

How to enjoy IB? Well I would take courses that I like because we're stuck with them for two years. And there's nothing like hating IB than taking courses for 15 months that you don't like. So be careful when you choose your courses and make sure you:

a) Like learning about that subject, enjoy them

b) Need it for the future, or may need in the future (in case you're unsure of what you'd like to do and you're opening up options) This would also include checking out post-secondary educational institutions that you wish to go to and checking out which courses are required for whatever program you're going for

 

How do I feel about IB? Well I like it. I'm not going to say I love it because there are a few things I don't like about it such as the limited option of courses we can take (my school doesn't have that many) and the fact that we're forced to take SL French, and HL English. But I like how it's pretty organized, you can find textbooks very clearly following exactly what you need to know for the exam, which comes in handy, there are so many resources that nicely explain most topics in every course...etc. What I'm getting at is that I find IB to be an easy ride if you know what you're doing and you take your academics seriously enough. 

 

I'm also very much into extra curriculars so on top of IB, joining clubs in and out of school have kept me well-rounded. You may get that feeling at one point where you wonder why you took IB but then you get your bell-curved marks and all is well :P Just kidding! (Not about that bell-curve though, it's pretty sweet). If you ever get that feeling to quit IB, just know this, you're not alone. Almost, if not every, IB student is thinking or has thought the exact same thing. 

 

As for sleeping habits, I sleep on average 7 hours a day which I think is pretty good and my grades aren't too shabby so it's not impossible to have good sleep :)

 

Preparing yourself for IB. Okay IB is like normal high school, just saying. You don't need much preparation (in my opinion) going INTO IB, although I would suggest reviewing content in between grade 11 and 12 so you don't forget everything for your continuing HLs and SLs. If you're going to be in the MYP program, you really don't need much preparation going into it. Your teachers will prepare you for everything you need to be ready for. 

 

I don't know how useful this will be to you, but I hope you get some ease out of reading it and if you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask!

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Hey Alex!

 

Just like  IbTrojan said, make sure you choose subjects you like and will need for your future. What we mean by this is there's NO point in taking idk HL physics, itgs and further mathematics if you prefer music and psychology and would like to study in the field of arts you know. Just try to find balance in your subjects: choose the ones that your favorite universities require (e.g.: Maths sl at least + biology + chemistry if you want to study biochemistry at IBsurvival University) also choose subjects in which YOU think will require less effort. If you have problems in, for example, chemistry, don't panic because there are many solutions (email the uni, take courses once in college, etc).

About the work load,let's face it... the IBDP is a very demanding program. I mean with all the IAs, the projects, the essays and all that you might even think at times "Why am I doing this?". But trust us, it IS manageable. Besides, as I was told many times, it is all worth it at the end. So you should think more about the long run consequences of doing the IB. (Although Keynes once said "In the long run we are all dead" Hahaaa... hum... I'm just a big fan of JMK  :D

Last thing: Procrastination... DON'T trivialize it or else you WILL suffer the consequences. I mean it's normal to tell your self that you will do X tomorrow and Y today or even both X and Y tomorrow maybe because you're tired today. It's okay. Just don't wait the night before your due dates to start doing your homework. The only one who will see the results is you, not the people who tell you "Let's go there" every single day. Don't get me wrong though, you should go out and have some fun HOWEVER, find balance. And find what works best for you.

This is mainly what I can tell you from my experience. Just try to find balance and do your best to accomplish your goals. ;)  ^_^

 

Kindest regards,

Youss

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As for my IB experience, I really didn't know what to expect as IB was barely known in my country and my school only started with the programme (we were the second ever class to take the exams). So in the begining it did feel quite strange, the IB is completely different and much harder than my national curriculum so everything seemed new. Stress? Yeah, there was some, but it would have been easy to avoid if we had studied instead of doing massive Skype gatherings to complain about how hard our lives were. :P Oh and the school screwed up the year organisation a bit putting most of internal deadlines for important stuff within a month. Yeah... this added to the stress.... and took some of our sleep.... or some more than "some". But still most of the experience depends on your attitude

 

Thinking of it today, I really enjoyed the programme. I learned much more than I would have in the national programme, both about subjects I've taken and about myself and so many new perspectives to look at the world around. And from more practical stuff, the IB taught me to work under pressure... and to some ectent even enjoy it. XD And more importantly it's a good preparation for university - I had to put less effort in my first year than people taking A-levels, and after the stresses of IB, uni just seemed so.... relaxed, and actually easy. 

 

And about any advice... most of the important pieces of advice have aleady been posted. What can I add? Maybe this one: don't expect too much from yourself or the school - this wil only end with frustration or depression. Nobody's perfect. I'm not saying about not being ambitious - ambition is important to go through IB - but to be realistic and open-mnded.

And DO choose subjects that you find interesting, you'll spend a lot of time working on them. 

Stay optimistic, you'll be fine! Good luck!

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Thanks for the support everyone. I feel much better about enrolling into the program, and I think I am finally ready for it all. I'll try to monitor my sleeping habits (as they can usually go crazy sometimes XD) Anyways, your comments have helped me a lot. Thank you! :D And good luck to you all as well :)

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