At this stage of the year, the IB is in the minds of four sets of students …
- Pre-IB. There will be a collection of students who have just finished MYP or GCSEs/IGCSEs and are planning to start the Diploma around September. Will it be the right thing or not? Will you have a better chance of getting to university if you do the Diploma or the alternative system that is often on offer (in the UK … A-Levels)? Well the good news is that it does not matter – the IB will be fine for virtually any system aimed at getting you to university. There are a couple of small exceptions (e.g., French nationals, in France, applying to a French university tend to have a very hard time getting a positive offer), but in the main, it will all be ok. Is the IB better than an alternative system … no! But it is not worse … it is just different. Make sure that you know what you want and that you have based your decision on sensible reasons. Remember, you do not have to actually study a subject in order to continue ‘learning’, there are plenty of good books out there, so if you do not wish to formally study 6 subjects, that’s ok too. So if you have made up your mind then do not double-guess yourself – be happy.
- Mid-IB. These are the students that have just completed their first year. You should be skim-reading your notes and checking that you have understood as much of it as you can. Any areas you are unsure of … make a note and bring it up with your teachers when you start year 2. I promise you will simply not have enough time to do this when you get back to school.
- Post-IB. These are the students who have got their results. If you have met the conditions of your university, then this is great … well done. I would recommend that you get the recommended reading list and start looking at collecting the books you will need – and you have plenty of time so you can start looking on ebay and Amazon for cheaper copies – remember that text books are typically VERY expensive. And RELAX – this summer is important because it will be one of the last you may have for a long time that is ‘work-free’.
- If you did not make the offers you were given, then check your results and see if you are close to the next grade upwards. If so, you should have enough time to get a remark sorted and hopefully that will change things. If not, look for other universities that would have accepted you with your marks and contact them … yourself, either by email or phone.
The most important thing to remember for all four types of student, is that planning is important. As the IB would say, it is all part of the risk-management.