What is the International Baccalaureate?
The International Baccalaureate is a globally recognised non-profit organisation. Their aim is “to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.”
And they have actively worked towards their mission since 1968, giving the world golden alumni such as Justin Trudeau and Lupita Nyong’o.
What Programmes do they offer?
The IBO offers several programmes for students from ages 3 to 18.
Primary Years Programme (PYP) for students aged 3-12
Middle Years Programme (MYP) for students aged 11-16
Diploma Programme (DP) for students aged 16-19
Career Related Programme (CP) for students aged 16-19
To IB or not to IB?
If you are here as a current or potential IB student or the parent or well-wisher of one, then your concern may be more than just its alumni and programmes. So, to IB or not to IB? Here’s our take on it, with 10 pros of the International Baccalaureate and 10 cons of International Baccalaureate.
Pros of IB (International Baccalaureate):
1) Focus on Social Responsibility
Beginning with my personal favourite. The IB is true to its word in saying that it believes in developing students who help create a better world. The IB curriculum has an extensive focus on social responsibility from a young age.
It promotes students to engage their understanding and empathy and alongside their use of theoretical or practical knowledge. This allows them to use what they are learning not just to better themselves in life but better the lives of those around them.
2) Well rounded organized
The IB curriculum is well-equipped for the development of skills like communication skills, both verbal and written, which is not found in other programmes.
The compulsory units allow you to take part in debates, research and analysis, and creative writing with verbal reasoning. These skills are significant for university and the job market, it can make you stand out in front of employers.
3) IB Network
You understand the importance of networking in this world, it is very crucial for jobs and businesses apart from personal life. The IB programme offers you this wonderful IB Alumni network which you can join and be part of.
The IB Alumni are all over the world, Due to the global qualification, you will build up knowledge of different cultures, societies, and sectors as part of the compulsory section of your IB which can be really useful in future job prospects and even university.
4) Global recognition
This can be termed as one of the biggest advantages of an IB programme – the global recognition it offers, it has a complete international perspective. The IB Program is recognised in almost every country and by all leading universities, so your application to any university becomes easier with an IB Programme.
You get a passport to world education as the results are universal and also recognised and understood equally by ll admission authorities. In other programmes, there can be a lot of misinterpretation in results during conversion according to country-specific standards.
5) University Preparation
The IB Diploma programme helps you with university preparation as it enhances your skills with a holistic approach that includes academic and personality development skills. The IB Programme has units like ToK and CAS which help you to improve your writing and research skills.
Cons of IB (International Baccalaureate):
This is no surprise to any IB alumni or current student, IB is infamous for the pressure it has on its students. There is no doubt that IB has a number of subjects that are dynamic and relevant to career, but this comes with immense workload and pressure.
You need to work enormously hard to complete the syllabus of these subjects. In terms of results the 45 is the maximum number of points you can get with IB, this is equivalent to 6 A-Levels at A grade.
2) Lack of flexibility
IB has a number of choices in the subject; however, the IB curriculum does pose a lack of flexibility due to the compulsory breadth of study it requires.
IB allows 6 subjects across 6 categories in its curriculum, the level of flexibility reaches to excluding the arts category. If you exclude the arts category you can select two subjects in one category but it does not allow a third subject in the same category. If you are looking to study Medicine the best bet is the school syllabus taking as much science and maths.
Moreover, the subjects are dependent on schools, you will have to select from the subject which your school offers some students might not have many choices.
3) Length of study
The IB Programme is not for short cut people, it is not an easy task. It is a long and tedious journey for a student. You need to be ready for a long journey with a lot of hard work.
To do well in the IB Programme you need to sweat it out for 2 long years with hard work and consistent work performance. Others do it for a year you will have to do it for two with consistency as the exams test you for the entire two years so yes you need an excellent memory. IB is a commitment for 2 long years.
4) Schools not ideally located
The biggest requirement to complete an IB Programme is an IB school, unfortunately, they are not available everywhere.
The IB schools are mostly located in big cities or certain places, this can become a big impediment for taking up IP Programme. You might have to change cities or move away from family to achieve an IB qualification. It has been seen that these schools are concentrated in areas of diplomats or affluent areas so you will have to make a proper search to move or maybe travel a long distance to study the IB programme.
This should not come as a surprise but it is a well-known fact that most of the IB schools are very expensive.
However, it should be noted that Iib pros and cons of the IB Programme usually prepare you for global education which is expensive in most cases.