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IB help? Why am I doing SO BAD????

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Grade 11 has been terrible for the subjects that I take in IB. I have high 80s, low 90s in ALL NON-IB courses but 2 out of 4 IB courses I have are low 70s, high 60s (chem and bio). These two courses are mandatory for the program that I need to get into next year. 

Although marks this year don't matter, I don't understand why I'm doing so bad in the subjects that I love. 

I've worked countless hours studying and writing a whole textbook of notes, yet I get a 65 in the final. 

I nearly failed my chem exam but I have an interest in chem... more than english yet I get 90 in english... 

I don't get it. And I think next year, if I don't drop, it will only become a huge demerit. I may not get into university BECAUSE I took IB... 

Should I drop IB fully? I'm extremely frustrated. 

Thanks.

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low 70s and high 60s for Chem and Bio are already both 6/7 on the IB Grade scale, which is pretty good. Shouldn't be surprising that non-IB-Courses are easier -- they're not a rigorous pre-university course after all.

Again, getting a 65 in the final is already a solid 6, which is an extremely respectable score on a subject like Chemistry.

The IBO is known for its strict markschemes; you can try integrating the errors you've made on your exams into your notes so you'll avoid making the same mistakes in the future. Note down exactly what it is the IB wants when having to define/describe/explain/outline things, and you'll be able to get full marks for those questions.

90 in English A is a ridiculously good score, dunno why you seem so unhappy with it?

IB courses in most cases are definitely going to be harder than non-IB courses, which is why they use scalar grade boundaries instead of raw percentage as the results of your performance e.g. 82% in Biology would be shown as a full 7/7, signifying full marks and an excellent performance within that subject.

I'm not familiar with university requirements for IB certificates for certain subjects so its best that you consult your IB Coordinator or even a University Guidance Counsellor if you have one, or even do some research on your own. That said, IB subjects aren't the easiest, but they can definitely be overcome. 

 

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If your grades are based on fully IB-level exam questions then 60-70 is ok because that's 5-6 in raw marks. If they are SLs and you have to learn more (and harder) provincial/territorial content, then that's ok. What happened in my Physics SL class was that 71% was grade 11 average and all but few people got a 6 or 7 in the end. Grade 11 marks will matter, but usually they are adjusted upwards to reflect the difficulty of the course. A raw 60 is very meaningless unless you know what the traditional (province or territory equivalent) mark will be. Both @IB`ez and I don't know exactly how grades are assigned at your school's grade 11 and exactly what they mean.  

I would have suggested that you try different study techniques had you asked the question earlier. Now, if you try to study for a topic you previous took a test on, and you are able to do most of the textbook questions and/or the assigned questions, then that's ok: you do understand the material but only after the test and you need to work on doing more questions (which is not the same as writing notes) before the test. 

A typical strategy is to skim through the related textbook chapters a day or two before the lecture, at least then you have a general idea of how the lecture will go and can have better organization in writing notes.

It sounds like you are spending a lot of time, just not very effectively. In order to be successful, you need to manage time efficiently rather than rewrite as much notes as you can. Every IB school operates differently so I cannot give an objectively qualified recommendation. It's best that you discuss the choice of leaving IB with your teachers, coordinators, parents and friends. 



 

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32 minutes ago, kw0573 said:

If your grades are based on fully IB-level exam questions then 60-70 is ok because that's 5-6 in raw marks. If they are SLs and you have to learn more (and harder) provincial/territorial content, then that's ok. What happened in my Physics SL class was that 71% was grade 11 average and all but few people got a 6 or 7 in the end. Grade 11 marks will matter, but usually they are adjusted upwards to reflect the difficulty of the course. A raw 60 is very meaningless unless you know what the traditional (province or territory equivalent) mark will be. Both @IB`ez and I don't know exactly how grades are assigned at your school's grade 11 and exactly what they mean.  

I would have suggested that you try different study techniques had you asked the question earlier. Now, if you try to study for a topic you previous took a test on, and you are able to do most of the textbook questions and/or the assigned questions, then that's ok: you do understand the material but only after the test and you need to work on doing more questions (which is not the same as writing notes) before the test. 

A typical strategy is to skim through the related textbook chapters a day or two before the lecture, at least then you have a general idea of how the lecture will go and can have better organization in writing notes.

It sounds like you are spending a lot of time, just not very effectively. In order to be successful, you need to manage time efficiently rather than rewrite as much notes as you can. Every IB school operates differently so I cannot give an objectively qualified recommendation. It's best that you discuss the choice of leaving IB with your teachers, coordinators, parents and friends. 



 

 

51 minutes ago, IB`ez said:

low 70s and high 60s for Chem and Bio are already both 6/7 on the IB Grade scale, which is pretty good. Shouldn't be surprising that non-IB-Courses are easier -- they're not a rigorous pre-university course after all.

Again, getting a 65 in the final is already a solid 6, which is an extremely respectable score on a subject like Chemistry.

The IBO is known for its strict markschemes; you can try integrating the errors you've made on your exams into your notes so you'll avoid making the same mistakes in the future. Note down exactly what it is the IB wants when having to define/describe/explain/outline things, and you'll be able to get full marks for those questions.

90 in English A is a ridiculously good score, dunno why you seem so unhappy with it?

IB courses in most cases are definitely going to be harder than non-IB courses, which is why they use scalar grade boundaries instead of raw percentage as the results of your performance e.g. 82% in Biology would be shown as a full 7/7, signifying full marks and an excellent performance within that subject.

I'm not familiar with university requirements for IB certificates for certain subjects so its best that you consult your IB Coordinator or even a University Guidance Counsellor if you have one, or even do some research on your own. That said, IB subjects aren't the easiest, but they can definitely be overcome. 

 

Thank you guys for the help and re assurance. However, I don't think it's considered a "full IB exam". The teachers wrote the exam. It's IB formatted, meaning it's IB styled questions and IB answer box, so you can't write past the given lines and stuff. 

In grade 11, they don't boost or convert any of your IB marks. So whatever you get is your final for that. I could be considered an Ontario 80-89% but these aren't shown at all. My final bio average will be 71% around. and that's what it says on my final report card. 

I also just heard that A LOT of people FAILED the exam... I'm not happy with a 65%, but I guess it gives me some positive... 

I think I will be dropping IB. It's putting me down, I'm losing motivation to push on. I want to be a doctor, and bio and chem are my most important subjects. 

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If it's IB styled questions and even has the IB answer box, it's probably from a past exam. So low 70s and high 60s, you're actually doing well in the course. I would find it strange though that they don't convert the marks to Ontario marks, because IBSO specifically states that your marks have to be converted if you want an Ontario mark on your report card. They at least convert marks for grade 12 right?

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8 minutes ago, Elite X-Naut said:

If it's IB styled questions and even has the IB answer box, it's probably from a past exam. So low 70s and high 60s, you're actually doing well in the course. I would find it strange though that they don't convert the marks to Ontario marks, because IBSO specifically states that your marks have to be converted if you want an Ontario mark on your report card. They at least convert marks for grade 12 right?

This is true in grade 12 I believe, they convert your mark. But I do not know yet, I will see in my final report card in 2 weeks. 

But my question really is, what is the real point of IB ? Getting a 65% is apparently good in the real world, but it's ridiculous this whole IB process where they do the conversions and stuff. It almost feels like a demerit taking the course. An 80% in regular bio to me, is still too low. So really, IB has totally screwed me over this year. 

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Well, the IB has their own grading system since it's international but the conversions are just for Ontario. If you're considering of dropping, you could try talking to non-IB friends about their marks and predict if you'd get a higher or lower mark if you dropped to regular bio and chem. This might be helpful:

http://www.ashbury.ca/document.doc?id=385

Use the second chart for the updated conversions.

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23 minutes ago, Kroinky said:

Thank you guys for the help and re assurance. However, I don't think it's considered a "full IB exam". The teachers wrote the exam. It's IB formatted, meaning it's IB styled questions and IB answer box, so you can't write past the given lines and stuff. 

In grade 11, they don't boost or convert any of your IB marks. So whatever you get is your final for that. I could be considered an Ontario 80-89% but these aren't shown at all. My final bio average will be 71% around. and that's what it says on my final report card. 

I also just heard that A LOT of people FAILED the exam... I'm not happy with a 65%, but I guess it gives me some positive... 

I think I will be dropping IB. It's putting me down, I'm losing motivation to push on. I want to be a doctor, and bio and chem are my most important subjects. 

Again, I don't want to offer direct advice but I can add more information to help you make an informed decision.
I also went to school in Ontario. Our grade 11 marks were not "adjusted" but our grade 12 first semester marks are. Everyone I talked to who stayed in IB in grade 12 has gotten acceptances to Ontario universities. My grade 12 class chemistry (HL) midterm averaged 40%. Grade 12 first semester marks matter much more than Grade 11 marks. Although some schools don't give converted grades throughout grade 12 (such as my school), all schools that I've heard of do convert IB class percentages to Ontario percentages (eg raw 74%, depending on school-set boundaries--> IB 6 --> converted 93%+) when the marks are uploaded to OUAC. In Ontario, predicted 5s convert to 84%+, predicted 6s convert to 93%+, predicted 7s convert to 97%+.

4 minutes ago, Kroinky said:

This is true in grade 12 I believe, they convert your mark. But I do not know yet, I will see in my final report card in 2 weeks. 

But my question really is, what is the real point of IB ? Getting a 65% is apparently good in the real world, but it's ridiculous this whole IB process where they do the conversions and stuff. It almost feels like a demerit taking the course. An 80% in regular bio to me, is still too low. So really, IB has totally screwed me over this year. 

A 65% in IB is not meant to be compared to 65% in academic/applied. Canada has the second-highest number of IB Diploma students so there are established conversion rules. There is significant mark inflation in Ontario, so to compete with others, your marks have to be inflated even more so.

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53 minutes ago, kw0573 said:

Again, I don't want to offer direct advice but I can add more information to help you make an informed decision.
I also went to school in Ontario. Our grade 11 marks were not "adjusted" but our grade 12 first semester marks are. Everyone I talked to who stayed in IB in grade 12 has gotten acceptances to Ontario universities. My grade 12 class chemistry (HL) midterm averaged 40%. Grade 12 first semester marks matter much more than Grade 11 marks. Although some schools don't give converted grades throughout grade 12 (such as my school), all schools that I've heard of do convert IB class percentages to Ontario percentages (eg raw 74%, depending on school-set boundaries--> IB 6 --> converted 93%+) when the marks are uploaded to OUAC. In Ontario, predicted 5s convert to 84%+, predicted 6s convert to 93%+, predicted 7s convert to 97%+.

A 65% in IB is not meant to be compared to 65% in academic/applied. Canada has the second-highest number of IB Diploma students so there are established conversion rules. There is significant mark inflation in Ontario, so to compete with others, your marks have to be inflated even more so.

Do you guys think it's possible that IB isn't for everyone? I mean my study habits are fine, I do all the work, take notes. My average in all my other courses are high. It's ONLY the IB courses. It's to a point where I don't know what to change or do anymore. I get that you can't give me advice for ME specifically but is it possible that IB just isn't for some people? 

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Just now, Kroinky said:

Do you guys think it's possible that IB isn't for everyone? I mean my study habits are fine, I do all the work, take notes. My average in all my other courses are high. It's ONLY the IB courses. It's to a point where I don't know what to change or do anymore. I get that you can't give me advice for ME specifically but is it possible that IB just isn't for some people? 

It's probably true that IB is not for everyone. IB courses are typically harder than academic courses, so there's that.

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1 hour ago, Kroinky said:

This is true in grade 12 I believe, they convert your mark. But I do not know yet, I will see in my final report card in 2 weeks. 

But my question really is, what is the real point of IB ? Getting a 65% is apparently good in the real world, but it's ridiculous this whole IB process where they do the conversions and stuff. It almost feels like a demerit taking the course. An 80% in regular bio to me, is still too low. So really, IB has totally screwed me over this year. 

 
 

IB has screwed me over as well. :( 

Though I'm not from Ontario, I will say that you should drop IB. It's not worth it, because if you are doing quite well in the Ontario curriculum then why continue on IB if you aren't satisfied with many of your IB grades? Plus, by dropping all of your IB subjects, you'll have more time to focus on the subjects that actually matters to you. 

Several students in my school dropped out of IB because of their grade 11 marks...and trust me many are glad they dropped because most of their grades in the non-ib subjects went up significantly. 

Edited by beyondtheimagine

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Good point, unless you have level 7s or high 6s, in Ontario you'll almost definitely get a better mark by dropping out. The provincial curriculum is indeed a lot easier than the IB. Thanks for reminding me, beyondtheimagine.

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4 minutes ago, beyondtheimagine said:

IB has screwed me over as well. :( 

Though I'm not from Ontario, I will say that you should drop IB. It's not worth it, because if you are doing quite well in the Ontario curriculum then why continue on IB if you aren't satisfied with many of your IB grades? Plus, by dropping all of your IB subjects, you'll have more time to focus on the subjects that actually matters to you. 

Several students in my school dropped out of IB because of their grade 11 marks...and trust me many are glad they dropped because most of their grades in the non-ib subjects went up significantly. 

I agree. The argument is that IB gives you such an advantage in university. You learn stuff in grade 12 that you learn in university first year/second year (like HL CHEM, and HL Math). But the thing is, we're only in grade 11, 12. I don't think learning university things when you only finished learning grade 11 material is good for your education ( for some). 

 

I wanted to do IB because I wanted a challenge and I was a successful TOP student in grade 9/10. 

Now after a year, I've become a terrible student in IB. I'm not at the top of the course at all, in fact I'm lower half. If it werent for the countless hours of studying, I'd pribably fail this bio exam just like a majority of others. One of my friends who's in the same course same teacher, gets a 95... Makes no sense, it just feels and seems so flawed. 

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When you make your notes do you tie them closely to the syllabus? I found making notes with the subject's syllabus makes helps a lot. 

 

Maybe you should ask your friend who's getting 95% in Biology what their study technique is, and if they have any tips that could help improve grades.

 

There could be other factors why your friend is getting high IB biology marks, maybe they find that their other subjects are easier for them so they can focus a lot on biology. It really helps if not all your subjects are struggle subjects. 

 

Ultimately, if you're sure IB is not for you then drop it and focus on your other subjects. Getting a low IB score is a barrier to going to university and you shouldn't risk it if you don't think you'll improve. Especially that you want to be a doctor. You're better off getting high marks on your first exam sitting, IB resits/ retakes tend to be looked down upon to study medicine. 

 

Sidenote: It seems like IB makes itself artificially harder, restricting past papers unless you pay for them, making the science syllabi ambiguous so that they can ask anything and there's less guidance with them etc. I'm not sure what are the reasons for this and if it's  to keep its reputation of being one of the most rigorous pre- university courses. I guess restricting past papers is so it can profit. 

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5 hours ago, ChocolateDrop said:

When you make your notes do you tie them closely to the syllabus? I found making notes with the subject's syllabus makes helps a lot. 

 

Maybe you should ask your friend who's getting 95% in Biology what their study technique is, and if they have any tips that could help improve grades.

 

There could be other factors why your friend is getting high IB biology marks, maybe they find that their other subjects are easier for them so they can focus a lot on biology. It really helps if not all your subjects are struggle subjects. 

 

Ultimately, if you're sure IB is not for you then drop it and focus on your other subjects. Getting a low IB score is a barrier to going to university and you shouldn't risk it if you don't think you'll improve. Especially that you want to be a doctor. You're better off getting high marks on your first exam sitting, IB resits/ retakes tend to be looked down upon to study medicine. 

 

Sidenote: It seems like IB makes itself artificially harder, restricting past papers unless you pay for them, making the science syllabi ambiguous so that they can ask anything and there's less guidance with them etc. I'm not sure what are the reasons for this and if it's  to keep its reputation of being one of the most rigorous pre- university courses. I guess restricting past papers is so it can profit. 

I find that ridiculous. Look at this year's IB HL PHYSICS exam last month. Complete disaster. People in my school who get extremely high marks come out of that exam room crying. Some people came out not answering a single question from the exam. Is this fair? IS THIS ACCEPTABLE FOR OUR LEARNING AND EDUCATION? I don't care about the bell curve and other methods of boosting our mark and making it "all ok". People spent so much time studying and doing hundreds of questions months before the exam and the IB decides to give them questions that had nothing to do with the syllabus. 

Can anyone explain this? Can anyone give a postive, legitimate reason? 

I'm heated. 

Edited by Kroinky

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41 minutes ago, Kroinky said:

I find that ridiculous. Look at this year's IB HL PHYSICS exam last month. Complete disaster. People in my school who get extremely high marks come out of that exam room crying. Some people came out not answering a single question from the exam. Is this fair? IS THIS ACCEPTABLE FOR OUR LEARNING AND EDUCATION? I don't care about the bell curve and other methods of boosting our mark and making it "all ok". People spent so much time studying and doing hundreds of questions months before the exam and the IB decides to give them questions that had nothing to do with the syllabus. 

Can anyone explain this? Can anyone give a postive, legitimate reason? 

I'm heated. 

I don't think that particular physics exam is a fair description of the entire IB system. I haven't seen this May's physics papers. I will say that historically, IB has taken out questions that do not reflect the curriculum when giving students grades.

IB does provide full past papers to all teachers who teach the subject and it is its policy that teachers should share some of these papers with students. SAT and AP in US, for example, do not release complete past questions to anyone. 

No, IB does not reward people who spend lots of time. IB rewards those who can learn the content more effectively. There is no obligation for IB to award you 45/45 if you study 6 hours a day. IB wants you to spend time in an efficient manner. In real life, working more is different from working hard and working smart.

It is important to recognize that classes in universities also are much harder than high school ones, and occasionally there may be courses that are unfair, like this year's physics exam. Whether you decide to leave IB or not, you should treat the past year as a learning experience about education and succeeding in the education system. 

Also it's hard to in a few lines to respond to your entire year's suffering from what you describe as IB's injustices. When exams are over for you this year feel free to shoot me a message and we can discuss in more detail. 

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12 hours ago, beyondtheimagine said:

IB has screwed me over as well. :( 

Though I'm not from Ontario, I will say that you should drop IB. It's not worth it, because if you are doing quite well in the Ontario curriculum then why continue on IB if you aren't satisfied with many of your IB grades? Plus, by dropping all of your IB subjects, you'll have more time to focus on the subjects that actually matters to you. 

Several students in my school dropped out of IB because of their grade 11 marks...and trust me many are glad they dropped because most of their grades in the non-ib subjects went up significantly. 

Yes thank you for reminding me too. Ontario's curriculum is different and I sure hope it's going to help my top 6s. 4 out of my 6 top 6s are basically confirmed since I'm applying for Health Science and Biomed for my first choices. 

I took psychology 12 this year, so I can use that in my top 6, I have a 95. 

English next year is mandatory, I predict myself getting about an 85. 

Calculus is mandatory. And so is Bio and Chem. 

I'll also use Kinesiology 12 which I can probably manage a 90+ easily. 

I'm going to stay in IB french extended and try and get a 6 or 7 (most people do). Is IB french mostly comprehension and writing, and not grammar and other things? 

 

 

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14 hours ago, Kroinky said:

I agree. The argument is that IB gives you such an advantage in university. You learn stuff in grade 12 that you learn in university first year/second year (like HL CHEM, and HL Math). But the thing is, we're only in grade 11, 12. I don't think learning university things when you only finished learning grade 11 material is good for your education ( for some). 

 

I wanted to do IB because I wanted a challenge and I was a successful TOP student in grade 9/10. 

Now after a year, I've become a terrible student in IB. I'm not at the top of the course at all, in fact I'm lower half. If it werent for the countless hours of studying, I'd pribably fail this bio exam just like a majority of others. One of my friends who's in the same course same teacher, gets a 95... Makes no sense, it just feels and seems so flawed. 

 
 

Well all students that are learning the Alberta curriculum (like me) are learning a mix of Chemistry HL and Math HL (not in every aspect but there are some similarities between them). 

My classmates and I questioned the same thing. Many of my classmates are dropping out of IB. As for me, I would have dropped completely but I didn't because of the amount of effort and work I have put into this program.

2 hours ago, Kroinky said:

Yes thank you for reminding me too. Ontario's curriculum is different and I sure hope it's going to help my top 6s. 4 out of my 6 top 6s are basically confirmed since I'm applying for Health Science and Biomed for my first choices. 

I took psychology 12 this year, so I can use that in my top 6, I have a 95. 

English next year is mandatory, I predict myself getting about an 85. 

Calculus is mandatory. And so is Bio and Chem. 

I'll also use Kinesiology 12 which I can probably manage a 90+ easily. 

I'm going to stay in IB french extended and try and get a 6 or 7 (most people do). Is IB french mostly comprehension and writing, and not grammar and other things? 

 

 

 
 
 

No worries! I have to remind myself about that too XD 

Honestly, I don't know. I don't want to throw my school under the bus... but my school tends to push away the IB topics and leave at the every end.. So, I cant even say if French is mostly comprehension and writing... :( (and yes I'm screwed for the ib exam next year)

Edited by beyondtheimagine

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Paper 1 is comprehension, paper 2 and the written assignment is writing, and the IAs or orals require verbal comprehension and communication.

Also, that sucks that you have to do IB topics at the end...because you're supposed to do only IB topics throughout the two years and any additional material just adds to time constraints.

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11 minutes ago, Elite X-Naut said:

Paper 1 is comprehension, paper 2 and the written assignment is writing, and the IAs or orals require verbal comprehension and communication.

Also, that sucks that you have to do IB topics at the end...because you're supposed to do only IB topics throughout the two years and any additional material just adds to time constraints.

 
 

Yeah, I know right. 

That's mainly why my school is facing a bit of a "crisis".

My classmates and I were furious after doing our chemistry exam because many of us left pages blank and drew pictures over most of the questions (I didn't because I crammed the entire syllabus within one month and learned my option in just one day). Thus, we told many of the grade 10 students, and 95% of them dropped out. I believe only ten students are staying, and only of one, them are actually a full IB student. 

I literally have no regrets telling the grade 10's about the truth, it's best for them to worry about their Alberta marks than worry about their IB marks.

IB has great potential but many schools don't know how to properly teach and maintain the program.. 

Edited by beyondtheimagine

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