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I will likely be starting the IB next year in September for the Diploma Program. I've been reading up a little bit on IB, but I don't really understand how it is structured. How many classes in total will I be taking in the 2 years? How is it divided up? How do the Extended Essay, TOK, and CAS fit in? Are they classes as well or extracurricular? Can anybody describe a typical day for a typical IB student? Like what time do you go to class, how long is the class, how many classes each day, and any related activities?? Also, can anybody PLEASE provide an example of somebody's entire 2-year curriculum including all the classes taking and anything else? I can't seem to find information about this anywhere.

My schedule:

Junior Year:

Enviro. Sci.

IB Drama SL

IB Junior English HL

Pre-Calc

Spanish 5-6H

History of the Americas

T.A.

Senior Year:

T.A.

IB Drama HL

IB Senior English HL

Calc

IB Spanish 7-8

TOK

IB World Studies (or history, I don't quite remember the name)

You go to class at normal times, the scheduling time-wise doesn't change. So, it's structured like a normal school day, just with a lot more work, and a TON more homework. Hope this helped a bit!

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well for starters, you will be doing six subjects.

1. A1 - your native language, english? maybe

2. second language - an elected language of your choice (depending on what your school offers). you dont have to be fluent or even know the language, as they offer three stages HL, SL or ab inito(beginners)

3. a science

4. a maths

5. a humanities

6. and an arts or any one of the 2,3,5 stated above.

you must do three subjects at a higher level and three at a standard level.

CAS stands for creative, action service and is an extra curricular component of the ib, requiring that you spend 150 hours (50 on each) doing something creative (ie. music) action (ie. sport) and service (volunteering. CAS is an absolute pain imo, but some people do like it.

Theory of knowledge is a mandatory coarse we must all do. at the end we will do an essay and oral presentation. its pretty much a massive bludge that apparently will give us a wider understanding of the world, and how we perceive it etc. i personally find it pretty interesting

extended essay and major 4000 word essay that must be completed, yet another pain in an ib students a#s. you can do it on a variety of subjects and is ment to be an in depth personal research thingy.

personally i think a day in the life of an ib student is similar to that of a normal student. the only difference is that at times we tend to have more work

overall the ib is what you make it. if you go in already hating it, then obviously it will be terrible. But if you take a positive attitude, it should be an 'interesting' experience

hope this helps :(

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Thank you so much for your responses! How is it that you were able to write in my post? I think I will enjoy this program. If I find a good CAS, I could probably do more than the required hours easy.

Junior Year:

Enviro. Sci.

IB Drama SL

IB Junior English HL

Pre-Calc

Spanish 5-6H

History of the Americas

T.A.

Senior Year:

T.A.

IB Drama HL

IB Senior English HL

Calc

IB Spanish 7-8

TOK

IB World Studies (or history, I don't quite remember the name)

OK so this seems like more than 6 classes. Is the T.A. Teacher Assistant? Is that meant for CAS hours? It's 14 classes. So let me get this straight.

THESE FILLED THE REQUIREMENTS:

Native Language = Senior English HL.

Second Language = Spanish 7-8 (HL?).

Arts = Drama HL.

Science = Environment (SL?).

Math = Calculus (SL?).

Humanities = World History (SL?).

TOK.

THESE ARE ADDITIONAL?:

Junior English HL

Drama SL

Spanish 5-6

American History

Pre-Calc

How does this look? Can I do something like this?:

JUNIOR:

1. Junior English HL

2. Math SL

3. Science SL

4. T.A. hours.

5. Non-BA class

6. Non-BA class

7. Non-BA class

SENIOR:

1. Senior English HL

2. Drama HL.

3. History SL

4. TOK

5. T.A. hours.

6. Non-BA class

7. Non-BA class

Is there a full list of SL and HL classes?

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These replies seem to me extremely confusing :o

You can do all IB subjects at HL or SL - the only (slight) exception being Maths which actually has three stages, one of them easier than SL. They would be Maths Studies (easier than SL), Maths Methods SL and Maths Methods HL. I can see why you're confused, though -- for some reason in the USA they don't actually give the subjects their proper names (as in the same names the IB has given to them!), and split them up according to the american system which means that the actual subject you're taking according to the school and the way it appears according to your timetable don't appear to add up. I assume the material being taught is the IB specific material, though.

Just to describe how the IB is designed to run, it's a two year course (so you don't do one thing in your "junior" year and one in your "senior" year, you take all subjects concurrently to their particular level for two years). So whatever you're doing in year one (for instance, if you wanted to do SL English A1), you keep doing it in year two. Also all the IB subjects have their particular names - sooo it's always "Maths" (SL/HL/Studies) or "Spanish" (A1/A2/B/AB) without numbers or year-specific names. So "pre-calc" and "calc" have no relevance to an IB course, you just take "Maths" for 2 years and in those 2 years have to complete the topics on the syllabus.

I'm a little unclear as to whether you want to do IB certificates or receive an IB diploma. If you want the diploma, you'll have to do the subjects as memski described - one fluent language, one secondary language, maths, a humanity, a science and then one optional subject, plus TOK (and in your own time, CAS and the EE...). The latest list of subjects you've put up doesn't contain a secondary language, so you might get a certificate for the subjects you did take, were you to sit the exam, but you wouldn't get a diploma.

I'd also like to point out that it's usually your school which sits down and writes out the timetable so you know which options you have. Similarly they ought to have explained to you what the IB is/which subjects to pick. You can invent your own subject timetable as much as you like, but may find that when you go into school they've got their own agenda from which you just have to make a selection. The best place for you to ask would definitely be the IB Coordinator at your school.

Not sure what you mean by "non-BA" and "TA".

For instance (if this helps) this was my 2-year curriculum:

Year 1:

SL Maths (2.5 hours a week)

SL Philosophy (2.5 hours a week)

SL Spanish (2.5 hours a week)

HL Chemistry (3.5 hours a week)

HL Biology (3.5 hours a week)

HL English (3.5 hours a week)

TOK (1 hour a week)

... and year 2 was the same :) I sat all my exams at the end of the second year. We had some time set aside in our timetable to do CAS if we wanted (I usually just went home as CAS doesn't necessarily fit into the time they set aside!) and I did my Extended Essay over my Christmas holidays in the second year - so the beginning of January in the year I was to sit my exams in May. You do this in your own time, so you can do it pretty much whenever provided it's before the deadline and after your school has given you enough information to start on it.

As I said though, in america they do it very differently - as you describe in your timetable, they sometimes split into years, so you do only 3 or 4 subjects in one year and the rest in the next year. This is why I think you should ask your school's IB Coordinator to find out how they intend to run it :P

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To give an example of a split schedule, this is what I'm doing

IB1 (Junior year)

English A1 HL

History HL

Biology HL

Math SL [which was just precal]

Spanish B SL

Physics SL

then I took non IB courses as well. I took AP Chem and a math team class]

IB2 (Senior year)

English A1 HL

History HL

Biology HL

Math SL [which is just Calc BC]

TOK

and I'm also taking a few nonIB courses like a math team class, AP Physics C, and AP Gov

So at the end of my first year of IB, I took the exam for Spanish and Physics because in my school, Spanish 4 is the AP level course, and I took Spanish 4 that year. Most people take Spanish or French or whatever their B language is their IB2 year.

In some places, TOK is a two year course, while in others it's a one year course.

When you're talking about your native language course [which for the US will be English as long as you're instructed in English], that's your A1 class. If you're fluent in another language, your school may give you the option to take the second language as A2. If you're not fluent, but you have some experience with the second language before you take IB, then you take that language at the B level. If the only language you know is English and you have pretty much no knowledge of your second language, you'd take the second language at the ab initio level.

I think your 6 IB classes would be

English A1 HL

History HL

[some science course] HL

Math SL

Drama [or maybe it's called Theater Arts] HL

Spanish B SL

[and TOK, of course]

You might take Spanish at HL and the science course at SL. You need 3 courses at SL and 3 at HL. You can have 4 at HL, but it depends on your school and yourself. I say stick with three. Also, you can't really choose which you want to do at SL or HL because most likely, your school only offers a very limited number of courses.

According to IB, you can take up to 2 exams at the end of your first year, I think. However, your school might not allow you to take any.

For science, you can take Bio, Chem, Environmental Systems & Societies, or Computer Science, and I think there's one more you can choose from that IB offers. What you school offers will probably only be one to three of these courses. If you're not takign Drama as an IB course, you can choose another science or another language or something.

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I completely forgot to include the 2nd language on my list. I used "non-IB" to indicate courses that weren't necessarily IB requirement. That is because I originally thought that the 3SL and 3HL were one-year classes. Thus, I would have 14 slots to fill for my 2 years. But I think Sandwich's post clears all this up. You only take 7 classes, and they go for 2 years. But then Sweetsimple's post says something different.

So my 2-year program would probably look like?:

1. HL English

2. HL Math

3. HL Physics

4. SL History

5. SL Drama

6. SL Spanish

7. TOK

So each one of those classes runs 2 years straight. And in the meantime, I would do the CAS and EE. Who would I submit the EE to? My English professor? The problem is that there is no clear explanation for the IB curriculum structure in any of the information online. I've never seen any example of how the courses are structured. It just tells you that you have to do your language, a 2nd language, a math, etc. And that you have to do 3SL and 3HL etc. But nowhere does it give a example. I probably won't talk to the IB coordinator until later in the year.

I can understand taking a science and a humanities. But I'm not too thrilled about the second-language requirement. Supposedly learning a 2nd language gives you insight into more than one culture. I already know how to speak a different language for the most part. I'm known for having probably the most eclectic set of friends, and consider myself very global minded. Though I'm well rooted in my American culture and predominantly hip-hop subculture, I'm broadly familiar with global issues and what it's like to experience a different country and language. I guess I just feel like there could be something more worthwhile for me to learn in that slot than Spanish which I really have no interest in learning. I would choose Hebrew (Aramaic) if it was offered as second language. But even computers (science), business (humanities), or some other art would interest me more than learning a second language.

It actually appears that IB is a humanities dominant program because of the arts requirement and 2nd language requirement. Both of which are typically grouped under arts/humanities. So you have 2 courses for math/science. Then 4 courses for arts/humanities. To try to even things out, I would take a science as my third HL choice (first 2 being math and english of course).

Being that I missed out on Middle IB, I was also wondering what I could read/study now and over the summer to get an idea of what some of the areas of interaction are.

Namely:

approaches to learning

human ingenuity

environments

health and social education

I have no idea what those are, and feel it might help to study up a little on them.

Edited by skillet

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First to clear up confusion...

Sandwich said

As I said though, in america they do it very differently - as you describe in your timetable, they sometimes split into years, so you do only 3 or 4 subjects in one year and the rest in the next year. This is why I think you should ask your school's IB Coordinator to find out how they intend to run it :P

So my schedule was an example of possibly splitting up the exams, where some classes are 1 year and most are 2. The thing is it depends on your school's procedures, so to know what you're getting into, you should talk to students taking the IB program right now or graduates of it from your school or your IB coordinator. You can send him/her an email or something with an inquiry.

Most people don't take the Middle years program, so you're not at a disadvantage. I would just try to get some CAS done the summer before you start IB. Nothing too stressful. Enjoy life =)

And I don't think IB is necessarily favors the humanities. Maybe it leans toward it some, but the arts requirement isn't a requirement. Rather than taking an arts class, you can take another science class or a business & management class or economics or whatever. Depends on what your school offers. However, your school might make you take your 6th subject as an arts course due to scheduling or something.

You'll want to be fluent in another language or two when you're looking for a job. Spanish, Arabic, and Mandarin are pretty popular right now, for different fields.

Edit: About those areas you pointed out.. I don't want to say that they're BS, but I think it's more of a "as you live, you learn" kind of thing that can't be studied and is not exclusive to the IB.

Also, you'll most likely turn in the EE in the fall or winter of your second year of IB. You turn it into the IB coordinator, but you have a supervisor who typically teaches in the subject that you do your EE in. For example, if you're doing your EE in maths, you'll have a supervisor who preferably teaches math and is faculty member who is in the IB program.

Edited by sweetnsimple786
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Well in my school we submit our EE's to our IB Coordinator. Also, some of our SL classes are 1 year which you can do in junior/ senior year.

like my schedule is

english HL

history HL

bio HL

and my SL's are

french B

math studies

and tok of course

..i'm a senior now and i took psych SL junior year and did one exam, so i don't have to take psych this year.

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Who would I submit the EE to? My English professor?

The EE is (like the IB exams) externally marked. Everything is either externally reviewed (for instance you do Internal Assessments for all subjects which are marked by your teachers but some are then remarked by outside officials to ensure grade standards are correct across the world - and of course there's another hierarchy above these outside officials etc.) or entirely externally marked (your exams and TOK essay, for instance). Apart from a small review session with your EE supervisor (the teacher who helps you out with the EE) they have no influence on it. Marking for EEs is random so yours may be sent locally or even all the way around the world. I think mine went to the United Arab Emirates, for example! Same with exam papers. Globally marked :o

The problem is that there is no clear explanation for the IB curriculum structure in any of the information online. I've never seen any example of how the courses are structured. It just tells you that you have to do your language, a 2nd language, a math, etc. And that you have to do 3SL and 3HL etc. But nowhere does it give a example. I probably won't talk to the IB coordinator until later in the year.

That's because aside from the basic requirements set out by the IBO, schools have autonomy as to how they run the programme. There is no "set" way to run it, which is why in many ways you won't be able to pick your subject combination etc. until the school has told you how THEY intend to run it. What I told you was a snapshot of how it is across most of Europe (to my knowledge it's done that way everywhere), but in the USA (as I also mentioned!) they can do it in some rather original ways, such as trying to split the subjects over 2 years (e.g. sweetnsimple's experience). The only place to get a course structure example you know will be relevant to you is your school.

I can understand taking a science and a humanities. But I'm not too thrilled about the second-language requirement. Supposedly learning a 2nd language gives you insight into more than one culture. I already know how to speak a different language for the most part. I'm known for having probably the most eclectic set of friends, and consider myself very global minded. Though I'm well rooted in my American culture and predominantly hip-hop subculture, I'm broadly familiar with global issues and what it's like to experience a different country and language. I guess I just feel like there could be something more worthwhile for me to learn in that slot than Spanish which I really have no interest in learning. I would choose Hebrew (Aramaic) if it was offered as second language. But even computers (science), business (humanities), or some other art would interest me more than learning a second language.

Having a facility for language is like having a facility for mathematics. It's a skill, not just an insight into other cultures (and being honest, learning a language doesn't really give you all that much of an insight - if you want to experience other cultures you have to go and genuinely be part of them for a bit!). As sweetnsimple said it's also good in the job market and Universities love other languages because it shows you have a well-rounded set of abilities - including the ability to express yourself, communicate and take on board that sort of information. Learning a language requires a different set of skills/faculties to learning other subjects, rather the same as you learn History differently from how you'd learn Maths, for instance. Also, there probably IS a Hebrew course on the IB. They have most reasonably widely-spoken languages. Even if there's no official teacher, you can self-teach yourself, if your school will allow it. Another thing to bring up when you talk to the school!

It actually appears that IB is a humanities dominant program because of the arts requirement and 2nd language requirement. Both of which are typically grouped under arts/humanities. So you have 2 courses for math/science. Then 4 courses for arts/humanities. To try to even things out, I would take a science as my third HL choice (first 2 being math and english of course).

You can actually take a science-heavy version if you make all your higher levels scientific. For instance Maths, Physics and Chemistry at HL. Incidentally the hardest combination you can pick :) That's the beauty of the IB though (well... as much as it can be beautiful...) that you don't have to drop all the arts subjects/science subjects in favour of what you ultimately want to end up doing. Also in many respects why it's hard - you have to have the facility to cope with all areas, not just be a science person/language person/maths person etc. Eventually (except for perhaps the subject you hate the most...) you'll end up kinda happy you had a broad education.

Being that I missed out on Middle IB, I was also wondering what I could read/study now and over the summer to get an idea of what some of the areas of interaction are.

As sweetnsimple pointed out, nobody actually does the middle IB years (well, some people do, but I'm not sure I've ever met them!). Those strange area things are just rubbish anyway. Total ignorance of their existence will neither help you nor harm you! They're completely irrelevant to the IB Diploma. Being honest they're just jargon in any case, kinda like the "IB Learner Profile". Keywords so the IBO can be "on message" and otherwise you may as well not even know they exist.

Sorry to give you a double answer! I kinda meant only to answer the little things I had to say which sweetnsimple didn't cover and ended up rambling the same again! :P

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I will likely be starting the IB next year in September for the Diploma Program. I've been reading up a little bit on IB, but I don't really understand how it is structured. How many classes in total will I be taking in the 2 years? How is it divided up? How do the Extended Essay, TOK, and CAS fit in? Are they classes as well or extracurricular? Can anybody describe a typical day for a typical IB student? Like what time do you go to class, how long is the class, how many classes each day, and any related activities?? Also, can anybody PLEASE provide an example of somebody's entire 2-year curriculum including all the classes taking and anything else? I can't seem to find information about this anywhere.

My schedule:

Junior Year:

Enviro. Sci.

IB Drama SL

IB Junior English HL

Pre-Calc

Spanish 5-6H

History of the Americas

T.A.

Senior Year:

T.A.

IB Drama HL

IB Senior English HL

Calc

IB Spanish 7-8

TOK

IB World Studies (or history, I don't quite remember the name)

You go to class at normal times, the scheduling time-wise doesn't change. So, it's structured like a normal school day, just with a lot more work, and a TON more homework. Hope this helped a bit!

Stop worrying so much. Just answer this question: Do you want a challenge that is worthwhile? If yes, then join IB.

It might not be the best experience in the last two years of high school, but we are young, so it is good to try out a lot of things, especially IB if your school has the privilege to offer it. Good luck.

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For science, you can take Bio, Chem, Environmental Systems & Societies, or Computer Science, and I think there's one more you can choose from that IB offers....

Computer Sciences is NOT a Group 4 - or Experimental Science - subject. It is a Group 5 subject, to be taken at the same time as Maths (usually HL). So if you take Comp Sci, you either take it as your Group 6 option or as a certificate! the subject you're thinking of is Design Technology.

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Thanks for all the answers and advice! Things are so much clearer.

I'm not going to argue that learning another language can be a useful skill, a unique approach to learning, and a plus to colleges/jobs. But I don't think it's that huge a necessity unless your in a career where it could be useful. I mean, it's always useful to know another language. But there are many skills that are just as useful. I just feel there are better things I could learn instead of a different language. But I am going to find out if I can learn Hebrew because it's the only language that really interests me. (Even ASL is pretty interesting.) Anyway, I already know another language pretty well. But I guess there's just no way around the language requirement so it should be fine.

I'm really curious aout the material that is covered in those middle classes. I don't think I would need to study some form of each for more than a week to get a good overview on those subjects: approaches to learning, human ingenuity, environments, health and social education.

I don't plan to get a job after college. I plan to spend my first 2 years in college working part-time. Then during my next 2 years, I will set up a small business. All as learning experience. Working part-time for 2 years will give me some experience as an employee. Then setting up a simple small business for 2 years will give me some experience on running an organization before get my Bachelor. That way, after I get my Bachelor, I will have some experience setting up and running my own organization succesfully.

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