Hi, I was just wondering if anybody has their child or know of anyone's child doing the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme. My son is starting this year. Is it good course to do & what do they get out of it.
My ds is doing the ib and really emjoying it. The benefits are that he has to keep doing maths. english and a foreign language, has to do something called CAS ( creativity, action, service ) and Theory of Knowledge. The CAS involes things like voluntary work and helping the local community, which I think is excellent.
The downsides are that it is supposed to be harder than A levels but not as well recognised by Universities. I think if your ds wants to do something like medicine it would not be the best option as the ib curriculum is viewed by universities as too broad, with not enough depth in subjects like science. It is probably better for students who either aren't sure what they want to do or want to do humanities.
Far superior to A-levels IMO when delivered well. I think the breadth of the curriculum is a huge strength, the standard is high and it permits, even encourages, original thinking. There's enough flexibility with the different options (according to school timetabling of course) to permit enough specialisation for most courses. It also acts as great preparation for uni with the extended essay and the CAS/TOK elements are good bonuses as part of the program. It's a big like doing a DofE award alongside.
The downsides indeed are that it doesn't allow the specialisation necessary for medicine or vetinary science. It's also quite a specific way of working and looking at things - if the school is accustomed to delivering it then that shouldn't be a problem but if your DS is transferring from a school which doesn't offer the IB diploma or a school which hasn't filtered the IB principles down the school (by implementing aspects of the MYP alongside the normal curriculum) it might require a bit of a shift in mindset.
British universities do tend to make higher IB offers than equivalent A-level grades but that should calm down now with the A* grade. Previously an A was seen to equal a 7, which was quite frankly ridiculous. A 7 is hugely difficult to obtain and even a 6 is a challenge, so an offer of 36 would equate to an offer of 3As really (as in As in the exams across the board), which if you added all the bonus points would bring it up to 39, but often IB students were given an offer of 40+ which meant they HAD to get a 7 somewhere.
My DD is in year 13 doing the IB. I don't think it was the best desicion for her. She got annoyed with the CAS as she just wanted to learn, learn and learn. She should have gone with A levels!! However this is the first year this school (on a small island) has done the IB so that might have something to do with it.
She is predicted 38, and is applying to unis to study medicine.
She has had a rejection from southampton and a rejection from East Anglia but they have passed her application onto the Sciences departments.
Two more to go! Australia is always an option too but can't apply until March for that.
Good luck in your decisions!
The IB is really hard work and you can't have a weak subject in it. Good for all-rounders, but they have to be prepared to really buckle down all the time
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