What is IB? Informational Introduction and Pros and Cons

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So you may or may not have noticed that I haven’t been posting as much since my junior year has started. The reason for that is IB. IB if you don’t know stands for international baccalaureate, and yes I just failed at spelling that.

It’s basically a really rigorous international education program with “global prospects”.

So while I’m very  busy currently I thought I would put into words the pros and cons of IB, both to help others who are considering the program and to keep myself mentally sane right now 🙂

Also as part of my IB CAS Project, my friend and I are doing a Peace Project so over the month of May I’ll be posting different things relating to relaxing the mind and de-stressing etc.

Let’s get started with the IB intro!


Let’s start positive shall we?

-College readiness: IB really prepares you for college because the program is designed to challenge you. You think more creatively, write more, and take initiative in your classes with the different IA’s, and then also the EE. IA stands for internal assessment, which is a paper investigation for each class, and then the EE is the extended essay, a 4,000 paper on a subject that you choose. (I’m doing English naturally). My friend is doing French because she’s really good at languages, French specifically.

-Ranking and weight: IB has an extra class that AP classes don’t, and that’s theory of knowledge, TOK. That gives IB students a boost on their grade point averages.

-You learn in a new way: From taking IB classes for more than half a year, I’ve started to think differently. TOK teaches you to think more philosophically, and is incorporated into each IB class.

-Variety: In my school at least, we’re lucky to have a large variety of IB classes to CHOOSE from. Many schools I know force students to take classes but in my school we get to choose our classes which is pretty cool. There are also new IB classes added all the time.


-Money: IB is a bit more expensive, not much more than AP but that could still be a make or break for some people.

-Stress levels and mental sanity: IB is stressful AF and cannot be compared to AP. If I hear one more AP kid complaining when their work load is so much less oh my god honestly I will kermit. There was actually this fight a few months ago with the IB seniors vs AP seniors because the AP kids also wanted a senior sash thing like the IB kids. (It’s called a stole, I know this now). The IB kids fought back and said that they do more work and they should be rewarded. Anyway, obviously I support the IB kids in this cause I am one duh. IB has CAS, IA’s, and the EE, it’s clearly more work than AP.

-Work load: YES IB is more work than the average high school class. We have IA’s, EE’s, CAS (which is a whole other thing), FOA’s, OA’s, IOC’s, and a WA. (Yes all these acronyms did make my head spin at first too). The IB course load is also in fact compared to college and by some considered MORE rigorous than college!

-Secrecy: Now this depends on your school but some schools aren’t very forthcoming about the program until you join. If this is the case, please, ask any questions you have in the comments! It’s always good to make completely informed decisions.

-The standard level courses, SL, don’t count for college credit often, but the HL, higher level do! (HL classes are 2 years though). (You need 3 SL and 3 HL courses, though some students take 4 HL and 2 SL).

My schedule this year was:

IB Math SL, Business SL, and Spanish SL, while my HL’s were Physics, History of the Americas, and Language and Literature. Also Theory of Knowledge along with Newspaper and Yearbook. No lunch period this year.

Next year my schedule will include AP Calculus AB, HL year 2 for Physics, History of the Americas, and English, Spanish SL Year 2, Yearbook, Newspaper, and then College Marketing because I had room in my schedule. I also will have a lunch that I will treat as a free period basically for homework.

In all honesty, I should have taken Business HL and Environmental SL instead of Physics because I’m doing so bad in physics, but it’s a great class for your resume and I also wanted to take the physics regents to get that All Regents Diploma. Oh well, I’ve survived Year 1 physics nearly, so I’m sure I can survive year 2.

I had such a struggle sophomore year choosing between the IB route and the AP route, and though I complain and make fun of IB all the time, I don’t regret taking it, and once I committed to my IB choice last year, it was like a load off my chest. I truly wasn’t able to be confident in my IB choice however till the first week of junior year when I was really introduced to it.

What cool classes, IB, AP, or any other, do you have at your schools? My favorite class is definitely TOK (Theory of Knowledge) with English and History following that up. Though I really hate Math SL, (I suck at math) I absolutely love my teacher, he’s honestly like a dad to all of us.

Stay awesome Sassenachs!-Calliope Fraser

P.S. My friend also helped contribute to this post as this is both of our peace projects 🙂

2 thoughts on “What is IB? Informational Introduction and Pros and Cons

  1. I’m always interested in IB but can never really understand the whole program. After reading your posts, I wish I was still in high school because IB programs sounds really challenging and introduce you to a lot of new thingh though I’ve heard it’s really stressful. If I were still a high school student, I’d definitely choose IB.

    Liked by 1 person

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