Most IB students will complain about all of the sleepless nights, mountains of homework and breakdowns that come with IB. However, overlooking these things, there are many reasons that being a part of the IB program is helpful and useful in preparing for college and careers.
1. Community Feeling
Unlike AP or other classes, the program creates a feeling of community. Teachers care about what else is going on in your other classes and lives. They understand that you are busy and stressed. Also, your only classmates are other IB candidates, so you are surrounded by other students who are striving to be the best in their academics and have international awareness. Activities like Secret Santa during finals week and Winter Social also help you feel like you’re part of something more than your individual work.
2. College Preparedness
Being in IB also helps ready students for college. The tough classes and coursework obviously help, but the way tests are given is even more useful. Almost all questions are short answer, and not multiple choice. This helps develop formulating answers and confirms that students know the material and aren’t just guessing on multiple choice. The Extended Essay research paper students must complete helps give insight to how it is to write a research paper with deadlines and citations. Finally, the CAS component allows candidates to become more well-rounded in their life through creative, active and service experiences.
3. International Experience
The IB program is a highly international program. They have their headquarters located in Switzerland and have programs in over 100 countries from Estonia to Azerbaijan to Sri Lanka. Textbooks and information are typically from British texts such as Oxford and the classes concentrate on spreading and teaching international awareness. Whether that means talking in Spanish about the Colombian drug trade, learning history about Cuba during World War I or psychology studies on Liberian children. Being in this program is accepted all around the world and understood on all academic levels while AP fulfills more American expectations. This means if you want to work in a field that deals with international affairs or issues, or want to go to school abroad, you can be more prepared.
IB comes with the short term negatives of stress, late nights, lots of hard work and sacrifice, but the long terms benefits outweigh these by far.