The IB, or International Baccalaureate, is a high school diploma that teaches critical and independent thought. It’s an internationally recognized alternative to high school programs such as A-Levels or the Advanced Placement program. As more and more schools are making the switch the IB, we thought we’d share what we think makes this program so special, and why it could be the ideal course of study for you.
1. Breadth of study
Unlike A-Levels where a student must specialize down to three or four subjects, IB students are required to study courses from six different subject groups including languages, humanities, sciences, and math. The structure of the IB program develops breadth and depth of knowledge and understanding.
2. Experiential learning
IB students participate in CAS – Creativity, Activity, Service. The function of this element is to allow students to learn through experience and take action in the service of others. Students pursue their own interests and skills through projects, clubs, community service, sports, and other co-curricular activities. CAS helps to shape students into well-rounded, motivated, engaged individuals.
IB students are encouraged to make links between everything they learn and to follow their own instincts. Connections can be made between something taught in the science classroom and something that happens out on the soccer field. This connection can then be made into a personal project of study, such as for The Extended Essay. Students are given the freedom to seek out what interests and inspires them.
4. Research skills
The Extended Essay and the Theory of Knowledge component are two other elements of the IB Diploma. These components require students to develop advanced independent research and organizational skills – crucial for any student wishing to pursue higher learning or success in their future careers.
5. Independent thinking
The IB classroom features discussion and two-way communication between teacher and students. Every member of the class is encouraged to speak up and voice their opinions. This style of teaching produces students capable of original thought, who are confident in their perspectives and willing to listen and be informed by others.
6. Global citizenship
The IB Diploma is internationally recognized. It’s offered by around 150 countries globally and recognized by colleges and universities from almost 90 countries. This includes prestigious US universities, such as Harvard, Yale, and Stanford. The IB curriculum also teaches students to be outward-facing and culturally aware, so they are well prepared as global citizens.
7. The challenge
It’s academically rigorous. It’s stimulating, inspiring, and allows students to really excel and see what they’re capable of. For those who choose to challenge themselves, the IB is hugely rewarding. Students finish with skills and a level of confidence that will push them forward their whole life through.
8. Time management
The key to good independent study is time management and this skill is picked up instinctively by IB students. Establishing good study habits, setting aside time for assignments, developing individual revision techniques and resisting distractions – students who master these skills will be one step ahead when they progress to university level education.
9. University admissions
A study by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) showed that IB Diploma graduates have a better chance of enrolling in one of the UK’s top 20 universities and colleges than other students with similar qualifications. It was also found that IB graduates are more likely to be admitted into 10 of the US’s most prestigious universities.
10. Personal growth
Being exposed to multiple perspectives, learning to articulate your own opinions, balancing academic work with co-curricular activities, learning through experience, researching and managing your own work – the level of personal growth that IB students achieve is reason enough for choosing this program.
The International Baccalaureate® Diploma is a world-renowned qualification for students who seek a broad and challenging curriculum that helps them develop all the skills needed for success at university. Thanks to EF Academy’s unmatched internationalism, our students live the IB ethos every single day.