Lately, a number of middle school children are weighing their options for high school and are presenting to their parents the idea of attending an Inter Baccalaureateschool. Most parents however are not familiar with the IB school program so I interviewed Ryan, a sophomore at Hillsborough High School, to breakdown the IB program in its entirety.
“IB is pretty much just high school with more work and more learning,” said Ryan.
Students in IB have to take four years of foreign language either Spanish or French. In junior and senior years, classes are divided into two categories: HL and SL. HL being higher level and SL being standard level.
The students then pick three classes that they are stronger in and make those their HLs and then the other three classes are categorized in SL.
In addition to their five classes, English, math (calculus, trigonometry, and statistics), foreign language, science (biology, chemistry, and physics), and history, students take one IB elective, either a second science, psychology, art, or ITGS, which is a course on the study of technology’s impact on society.
IB places a high value on students’ understanding on the importance of learning. During their junior year, students take a seventh class called Theory of Knowledge, a philosophy class about the evolution of understanding and how knowledge changed society.
Students must also write a 4,000-word essay on a topic in any subject matter they have taken to be submitted to the IB Head Quarters in Geneva where it is eventually graded by another IB school somewhere in the world.
Then, to get their IB diploma, students must accumulate a total of 24 points, from either IB exams and/or their essay.
Ryan says that in his opinion, “IB is a lot of work, especially in junior year, but it is manageable. If you are dedicated and focused, there is always time to hang out with your friends, participate in clubs, take part in sports, etc. In junior and senior year, all of your classes count as AP credits and even if you do not pass the AP exam in the classes that are AP/IB, if you pass the IB exam for that class at the end of senior year you will receive credit for passing the AP exam.”