Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

What was everyone doing before IB?

Recommended Posts

The regular program/curriculum [no name for it] in the US plus the advanced one [AP]

Well I don't give my school enough credit sometimes. It's not an all-IB school, but it sets up a logical pace so that students who want to do IB don't have to have many qualifications. Just take the highest math and science courses you can and start a second language the year you enter high school [secondary school]. So it prepared us to be able to finish well at the end of IB2. Did the regular/advanced programs prepare for the IB? AP definitely did! AP's a different kind of "hard" compared to the IB, but in both, you've gotta have a strong work ethic. So that was useful.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I did GCSEs before taking IB. How helpful they were was pretty subject-dependent. For languages, science (particularly Biology) and especially for english lit (IB A1 HL is actually exactly the same level with different methods of assessment) I think it was good preparation if you did trip science and were able to achieve A-A*.

The one subject I feel was entirely inadequate in terms of preparation was Maths. I know Britain is behind the rest of the world mathematically, but oh my gosh was IB SL a MASSIVE step up from that GCSE. Unless you're mathematically very capable anyway, the jump is very difficult to cope with because there's no working up. Everything in IB is brand new and in a rush :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was going to do the GCSEs, but I had a gap year instead. I love those things, periods of time where I do nothing at all. Good stuff.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I did GCSEs before taking IB. How helpful they were was pretty subject-dependent. For languages, science (particularly Biology) and especially for english lit (IB A1 HL is actually exactly the same level with different methods of assessment) I think it was good preparation if you did trip science and were able to achieve A-A*.

The one subject I feel was entirely inadequate in terms of preparation was Maths. I know Britain is behind the rest of the world mathematically, but oh my gosh was IB SL a MASSIVE step up from that GCSE. Unless you're mathematically very capable anyway, the jump is very difficult to cope with because there's no working up. Everything in IB is brand new and in a rush :)

I beg to differ, I thought IB Math SL was piss, I mean if you compare it to A levels what is it? C1 and C2? and some S1! which is As level math. HL is definitely a majour step from GCSE Math... and compared to the states the UK isn't behind in anything :)

I did IGCSEs, it was a good experience, doing an international examination the first time etc. Plus they were piss so I wasn't all that stressed out or anything :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cool I did IGCSEs too. I actually just got back my grades. How did you do and what subjects did you take? Most of my IB subjects are the same as my IG ones, actually, all of them are...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I did GCSEs before taking IB. How helpful they were was pretty subject-dependent. For languages, science (particularly Biology) and especially for english lit (IB A1 HL is actually exactly the same level with different methods of assessment) I think it was good preparation if you did trip science and were able to achieve A-A*.

The one subject I feel was entirely inadequate in terms of preparation was Maths. I know Britain is behind the rest of the world mathematically, but oh my gosh was IB SL a MASSIVE step up from that GCSE. Unless you're mathematically very capable anyway, the jump is very difficult to cope with because there's no working up. Everything in IB is brand new and in a rush :)

I beg to differ, I thought IB Math SL was piss, I mean if you compare it to A levels what is it? C1 and C2? and some S1! which is As level math. HL is definitely a majour step from GCSE Math... and compared to the states the UK isn't behind in anything :)

I did IGCSEs, it was a good experience, doing an international examination the first time etc. Plus they were piss so I wasn't all that stressed out or anything :P

GCSEs are easier than IGCSEs.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think this is true for most subjects, but not all of them. Isn't GCSE english more difficult, and therefore a better preparation for IB? I know subjects like french, maths, sciences and a few others are easier at GCSE level.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I heard the opposite Aboo, what are you basing this on?

I did the IGCSEs in Dubai and then the GCSEs in the UK. I felt the difference. One reason why they're easier is because they have coursework, which the IGCSE doesn't have. You get between 20-60% of your marks before you actually sit the exams. The course material for subjects like Maths is more easier, while for English, it's just subjective.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

GCSEs are easier than IGCSEs.

I've heard this too. Actually, I can't imagine iGCSEs would be used as an international standard if they were the same as GCSEs which are extremely easy. We did zero theoretical maths and you didn't have to have an understanding of a single concept (except completing the square) in order to get the top grade. Mostly why I found it didn't prepare me at all! I actually found the GCSE hard because of it, as the stuff I was doing, I had no clue why. Nearly our whole year got the top grade for maths, and when you move that same set of people up to IB, 1 person got a 7 and the mode was 3. The material, the style of learning, the style of questioning, the pace of learning... none of it was familiar to me at all when I came to do IB SL. We were all actually advised to do studies unless we wanted to do something scientific, as they'd never had a 7 in SL before in 6 years. Maybe it's just me, but maths wasa big change and it was Hard with a capital H!

EDIT: Just to add on the subject of GCSE English Lit, it was actually quite hard (relative to other subjects, if you weren't naturally good at it) because it really was the same as IB. You had to analyse poems to the same extent, write similar essays, give an oral presentation etc, write extended commentaries/social context commentaries for coursework (dependent on what your teacher picked as a question). Obviously fewer texts, but not much simpler. All in all, it was extremely good in that you had done everything there is in IB english before and to more or less the same level - or a similar level which just needed more depth and essay structure. I must admit I was alarmed when I realised how easy IB English was! Especially the extremely generous grade boundaries. I find english easy, so that might be part of it, but I don't know a single person who came out of GCSE who struggled and got less than a 5, HL or SL.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

wow never a 7 in Math?

we were advised to take HL if we got an A or above in IGCSE math :) and usually students with B and above didn't get less than 6! this is actually really interesting, because we have a 7 every year in SL

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's possible to be easier than IGCSE? IGCSE was a walk in the park. It was more memorising than anything, honestly.

IGCSE Literature wasn't too bad. The questions were quite generic so I practically wrote the same essay for my mock in the final exam. One of them anyway.

IGCSE does have coursework (English) but you had a choice either to do the coursework or sit an extra exam.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

wow never a 7 in Math?

we were advised to take HL if we got an A or above in IGCSE math :) and usually students with B and above didn't get less than 6! this is actually really interesting, because we have a 7 every year in SL

Funny how this differs between schools. Our school usually consists of solely 7s with some 6s for Math SL. The year before IB, everyone takes an extra math course because "there isn't enough time in IB to teach everything", so this could make all the difference maybe. :)

Edit: GCSEs might explain why I found English to be WTF. Prior to IB, I wrote maybe... one commentary? (year end exam) and I had no idea what I was doing. (I also got a 73 or something on that, tehee :P)

Edited by Irene

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Before IB, which I'm officially starting in a week, I was in pre-IB. Before that, just a normal program. There really wasn't any other options in my area - I wish in junior high I could've been in a more academically challenging program because the normal program didn't give me much trouble at all...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ahh. normal schooling system in queensland (australia) where did 6 subjects per semester in senior school (my schools prep - gr12, so we only got to start choosing subjects at gr10)

basically, during the school pathway talks, if you had an interest in doing the ib program, you just had to sit an interview (which was basically - look at grades (they didn't even have to be good or anything), ask a few questions, express interest and your signed up)

there wasn't any proper prep or anything for ib D:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In our school we do MYP but the year before the IB diploma we do the New Zealand qualification (NCEA) level 1. I think that it also depends on the subjects you take, but mostly it was quite a shock for a lot of people because of the amount of things we have to know for IB.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

wow never a 7 in Math?

we were advised to take HL if we got an A or above in IGCSE math :) and usually students with B and above didn't get less than 6! this is actually really interesting, because we have a 7 every year in SL

Wow. Students in my IB program are actually encouraged NOT to take maths to HL in IB. I got an A* in maths IGCSE and A in Additional Mathematics (also IGCSE but more difficult, for those who don't know) and my school still told me not to take maths to HL. In this IB year that graduated, one student got a 7 and the rest got 5s. I don't know, I think there is something fishy about IB at my school. Students this year fell below their predicted grades by more than a few points (except that one student). Maybe they just got over-confident?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think if you got an A in Additional Maths you could take a shot at HL. I got a B at IGCSE Maths Extended and a C at Additional Maths and ended up with a 5 in Maths HL so I doubt you would fail. This is from someone who failed her Additional Maths mock. all my teachers always had more confidence in my maths than me, hence my taking Additional Maths at all. I grudgingly see the foundation Additional Maths gave me for IB though, since some of the calculus was covered already, and I really needed all the background I had for calculus.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, that's true. For IGCSE Additional Mathematics, I noticed some stuff on the syllabus was the same as on the IB syllabus, so hopefully the transition will be good.

I've also decided against taking Maths HL strictly because I don't need it. I'm afraid if I take it the workload will be too high, and plus, I don't like maths :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.