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My "IB Guidebook" -- Comments?

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Hi guys,

First, my name's Lukas and I graduated from the IB program in May of 2009 with a score of 42 points. I'll be attending University of Chicago next semester, where I intend to double major in political science and economics.

Hopefully without coming off as a spammer, I was wondering whether you could give me some constructive feedback on an IB-related article I wrote a few weeks back:

http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/2076007/international_baccalaureate_a_student.html?cat=4

For purposes of disclosure, I will admit that since the article is hosted via Associated Content I technically am getting paid for each page view--0.0015 cents--, but the only reason I chose Associated Content is because it's a platform designed to reach wider audiences, something that I would not be able to do if I set up my own blog.

The article is really just a compilation of advice that I'd give to a starting IB freshman, after my own 4-year experience.

Any and all comments are welcome!

Thanks in advance :-)

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Finally someone admits to having a mental breakdown! I'm not the only one! Damn those people who just seem to float on a cloud of better grades than me with only half the effort and work I put in.

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The article is really just a compilation of advice that I'd give to a starting IB freshman, after my own 4-year experience.

The article fulfills this purpose well. It acts an insightful, articulated introduction. If you were to continue, I suggest you keep in mind that the IB program is so diverse even within the United States. The program is actually two years in length, but some schools have pre-IB courses in one, two, or more subjects for one or two years preceding the actual IB years. Also, some schools offer the MYP in middle/junior high school or the equivalent, and I expect these students have different obstacles to overcome. Some schools are pure IB schools, while others offer the IB program and the normal and AP courses, while some others still integrate the AP and IB curricula, placing students who take both subjects in the same classroom at the same time. Each of these scenarios yields different experiences and hurdles, and I think students should realize this. [For example, not everyone is given the chance to start the EE during the summer preceding IB2. My school will start asking for topics and assigning supervisors in about a month. You can't work on something you don't know about. :D ]

Also, I think one thing needs to be emphasized more. Just about anyone can succeed in the IB program. If the individual is willing to put enough effort in, then he or she can benefit from pursuing the program. In some schools, you must take certain tests to prove that you're of such and such caliber. This may be due to limited space and high demand or just the school or school system trying to cut down on IB dropouts. However, in other schools, the program is open to anyone who wants to take it. Typically the kids who are already in advanced classes are sought after, but this may just be because they have shown that they are willing to work hard rather than because they are "smart." Congratulations on your 42, by the way. I'm not naive enough to believe that just about anyone can make that score, but you can still "succeed" with a barely passing score, and in some places a 24 is regarded in the same light as a 45 to a great extent, while in other places a 24 is frowned upon. I don't think you believe in the latter, but it's not a bad idea to emphasize that the IB program isn't only for the brightest kids, however you procure this definition. It's a method to learn and to grow, and like you astutely pointed out, you often get out what you put in. =)

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I think it was very well written and informative for students going into the IB. Your very articulate, I have to say.

Although, I do disagree with the point about the brighter students being the ones that will succeed the most in IB. The system is quite different from GCSEs or IGCSEs or whatever, so success in the past doesn't necessarily guarantee success in IB.

Although, I really enjoyed the article, and congrats on your 42 in IB!

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One of the things I really do agree with is the advice regarding the teachers. A teacher who is well informed and can teach well can really yield high scores from his/her students, while a not-so-good teacher (one who can't teach well, doesnt follow IB guidelines or syllabus properly etc.) can really screw up the marks in a course - no matter how hard the a student works.

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Hi guys!

Thanks so much for your feedback :-)

Just for a quick clarification. I certainly didn't intend to argue that IB is exclusively for "smart kids." I think that with proper guidance, a comprehensive support group, and a willingness to develop effective study tools, it's possible for the vast majority of students to do well in IB.

Again, thanks for the feedback!

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