While the transition into high school can be intimidating, this process is often overwhelming for Pre-IB students since IB is an academically rigorous programme. A survey from the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) Promotion team held in June 2017 asked the current IB Year 1 students about their experiences and advice for the future IB cohorts.
Over 80 percent of IB Year 1 students had a seamless transition into the IB program. Even though many students reported that “[the transition] was a bit jarring at first due to the sudden spike in difficulty”, they were able to adapt to the new expectations and workload within the first few months. These students were also asked about their biggest challenge at the time. The survey results show that time management skills, prioritization, and productivity skills in conjunction with the increased workload were common answers.
While academics take precedence, the IB Learner Profile seeks individuals who strive to be balanced, open minded and goal-oriented risk-takers. While students are knowledgeable, open-minded, and goal-oriented, the qualities they often lack are being reflective, strong-minded, and optimistic. In addition, if you are a procrastinator, it is important to address this problem in order to cope with increased workload. Also, remember to maintain a healthy balance of both academics and extracurricular activities. Year 1 students realized the importance of these skills later down their student career, and wished they had learned these skills in advance. IB students currently advise, “I coped with [procrastination] by starting things right away!! You might think ‘oh ya, I have lots of time’ but you'll be very glad if you start earlier. TRUST” and recommended “balancing extracurricular activities with school work”, as required from the CAS Program.
It is normal to wonder how students in the past handled both the amount and advanced level of homework. In terms of academics, French has been concluded to be one of the most challenging subjects among cohorts. It is recommended that if you do struggle with French, go to French Tutoring, and likewise, the respective help service for each subject. Strategies that are used for optimal results are participating in study groups, studying periodically and utilizing your agenda.
Do keep in mind that you should NEVER let a failure set you back. It is imperative to pick yourself up and keep striving for success.
The road ahead will be full of varied experiences, but with careful planning, it will not be as stressful. Always remember, if you don’t understand something, ask for help, whether it be from your teachers, or if you are too scared to ask, feel free to reach out to senior students and they will be more than happy to assist you. Don’t worry too much, and make the most of your four years in the IB programme.
By: Lavan Ragulan & Kabishan Suvendran