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I've been dwelling on this question for a while. Why does CAS exist, like what does it actually do for us. They say it was implemented in order for IB students to maintain a balanced lifestyle and I respect the motive, but this has not been the case for me or anyone I know that has taken IB. The fact that we have to reflect, meet deadlines and provide evidence for every single activity only adds on to the stress already provided from our normal school life.

CAS merely stresses one out more, rather than alleviate the constant stress and pressure of school. The principles of CAS would be far more effective if they were not a necessity in passing IB, but rather a 'highly recommended' choice.

Cheers,

MK

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Yeah as an alumnus I was taken back by how much paper work is required in the new CAS program. The strategy remains to do most of the CAS during the summer after IB1 when you have the free time, then do about 2 hours a week during each school year. It also helps that you keep a notepad while doing the activities so the writing process is a lot easier. Another strategy is to fully understand the expectations, and provide only sufficient, not excess amount of evidence. CAS really tests that you do not put things off to last minute and keep simple things simple. 

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Doing some community service stuff, some physical activity and some kind of skill all ultimately help with University applications and I guess make you a more well rounded person from having had all those experiences. If you're in the UK you can double team it with the Duke of Edinburgh's Gold Award which has all the same requirements plus a few extras, I did that and the only additional effort I really had to put in for CAS was writing an obscene number of reflections. I agree it's just another exhausting aspect of the diploma, I well remember spending miserable Saturday mornings working at the charity shop when all I really needed to do was sleep from how tired I'd become in the week. I don't think that it's supposed to help balance your lifestyle out in any practical or actual way. On paper (and therefore for Uni applications) however, it makes you look like a wonderful balanced person who does all sorts of things.

Ever since the IB experience of hoop jumping for that and for Uni applications, I've never again had to do stretch myself and forcibly do so many random things I don't particularly enjoy ever again. So if there's anything to be gained, it's that you can look forward to that - you need to know what you're missing to appreciate it :P 

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