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Debunking 3 Big IB Program Myths


Are you considering joining the ranks of Kesha, Kim Jong Un, and Justin Trudeau in having an IB diploma It certainly sounds like an intimidating decision. There are many rumours surrounding the IB program. If you’ve talked to IB dropouts, I’m sure that you’ve encountered some who don’t regret their decision at all while others say that they’ve missed out on valuable opportunities. To make your decision easier, I’ll break down 3 IB program myths with insight from my personal experience.

Myth #1:  You’ll have absolutely no life.

This is true to a certain point. If you exercise your time management skills to get homework done on time, then you’ll be free to go to the movies and enjoy bubble tea with your friends. IB’s CAS requirement also ensures that on paper at least, you’ll have a life outside of school. Fulfilling 150 hours of participation in creative, active, and community service activities is a prerequisite for graduation with an IB diploma. As a result, you’re technically supposed to have stayed fit, imaginative, and helpful throughout your years in IB.  Without the incentive of gaining activity hours, I never would have hit the gym and discovered my love for cross-country. IB caused me to expand my life experiences!

Myth #2: Conversions will insanely boost your marks.

Once again, this is only partially true. I’m sure you’ve heard that IB conversions can bring your 75% to 90% or your 60% to 80%. However, please don’t go into IB thinking that conversions will help you much, though.  Those converted marks only go onto your report card. Universities will not be seeing them. Rather, universities see the score out of seven that you receive and conversions will not be helping you there. Your converted marks will jazz up your report card. Other than that, conversions have no real application. However, there is one exception: if you fail IB, you will still receive your high school diploma.  Hopefully, you’re planning on doing better than that.

Myth #3: Unless you’re a genius, you shouldn’t be in IB.

The IB DP (diploma program) contains assignments such as the EE (extended essay) and IAs (internal assessments).  Their obsession with two-letter acronyms is almost greater than our fascination with 7s at first glance. They seem rarer than unicorns! However, it’s not impossible to get 7s and do well in IB.  Time management is key. Therefore, as long as you stay on top of your work, you’ll be okay. As with everything, there will always be crazy success stories as well as tragedies.  

If you decide to follow IB, you won’t be stuck if this isn’t the program for you. Dropping out is always an option! IB can be valuable since some universities allow you to automatically advance in certain programs if you do well. You also have to consider, however, that you will be paying to take exams.  

Not sure where to go after graduation? Check out Making The Right Decision When Choosing Post-Secondary Schools.