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Diploma vs. Certificate

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I know, by far, the diploma looks better than the certificate. However, if, for instance, a candidate is only planning to attend a state college in the state they already live in, is the diploma really worth it, especially if a number of the courses the candidate would be taking exams for are inapplicable to the candidate's future? I know over all colleges are looking for students who took the most challenging classes they were capable of, but it's coming down to the fork in the road and I'd like to know if the diploma, despite all its' pretentiousness, is worth it?

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I'm not finished IB so I can't give you a definitive answer about how it impacts your future, but I do know that there are several pros and cons to both streams. You should definitely look at diploma vs certificate in terms of how it will impact your high school career, not just your academic future afterwards. I am in the diploma programme because I love the challenges, I love the peer group, the IB lab write-ups give me practice for university, and the CAS hours are stellar on a resume.

However, it's certainly not for everyone. I have friends who are not going into the sciences so they saw no need in having to do lots of lab write-ups, or because they needed to take option courses that that are non-IB, such as cooking. One friend is heavily involved in curling, and he knew that he would not have time to keep up the diploma programme and curling, so while he is not taking any non-IB courses, he chose not to take ToK or continue with French. Another individual dropped some of the extra HL courses, and claims that a lot of stress has been removed. Are you comfortable with doing the extra assignments and whatnot that are required by the IB?

A lot of your decision regarding the full diploma programme depends on whether you will choose to take all IB courses but forgo some of the IB requirements or a full course load, or whether you will take a mixture of IB and non-IB courses. These courses that are inapplicable to your future, are they enjoyable or important to you in any way? Will you be able to fill their slots with something more productive? If yes, will this cost you the diploma? These are some of the questions you need to be asking.

Something that was a big deal for me, but might not be such a big deal to others, is the peer group. As cliched as this phrase is, your IB class is made up of motivated people who are there to learn. The pace of the classes is often sped up because of this. Is it important to you that you are in a class that moves in a quicker pace with peers whose marks are closer to yours? It might not be such a big deal if you are taking all IB courses but forgo other elements of the diploma programme. This was important for me because I had an easier time relating to my peers and the pace forces me to keep alert, and I enjoy the challenge.

I suggest you make an appointment with your school guidance counsellor or your IB coordinator and talk about how the diploma programme would affect you both in school and in your future. Your counsellor might not have a clue, depending on the prominence of IB in your school, but your IB coordinator will probably be able to offer some guidance.

I guess this post was more about how the diploma programme affects you rather than the benefits of the actual diploma, but I hope it helped. Good luck to you, whatever you decide.

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Its up to you really. A diploma would be "better" but it is up to you. For "real" advice talk to your coordinater, or get in contact with the school you are applying for, and how much of a difference they weigh them!

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I'd agree with DJ CAS...go for the diploma dude!

It hard...but seriously..no pain no gain.

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