The two years you spend doing the IB Diploma Program are two years of learning and growth.
At the end of them, everyone who completes the program is a different person from who they were when they started it.
Not just in terms of subject knowledge and not because they now have a high-school diploma, but because two years of balancing a rigorous curriculum with other high-school experiences is bound to leave a mark.
5 Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting the IB
After you take your last tests and receive your diploma at graduation, you can’t help but notice that so many assumptions you made two years ago were rather flawed.
So, in that spirit, here are five things I wish I knew before starting the IB.
1.You need to show up everyday
The IB is not something you can get through by missing class regularly and just studying before your tests.
It sounds cliched, but you really do need to show up to learn every day.
Your internal grades and assessments will end up mattering more than you think! Everyone has off-days, of course, but on the whole, you should try to have a positive and curious attitude towards school.
The way the curriculum is structured requires this kind of long-term learning—these are two-year courses that need that kind of time.
In the midst of change we often discover wings we never knew we had. – Ekaterina Walter
2.You should focus on learning and understanding
On a related note, don’t worry too much about tests and grades right away.
Focus on getting the most out of your classes, and try to explore, understand, and hopefully enjoy what you are learning.
Once again, the IB is a long-term program with a diverse range of internal and external assessments.
To do well on those tests, you’re going to need to actually understand what’s going on in class.
Also Read: Are IB Schools Really Expensive?
3.Try to build good relationships with your teachers
In general, having a strong support system in high school is a good idea, because there are definitely going to be moments when you’re struggling with something or you feel burnt out.
Building strong relationships with your teachers is especially important, and not just because they might write you a recommendation letter.
Your teachers will be much better able to help you out and give you your best shot at succeeding if you are open and honest with them.
4.Remember that you’re in it for the long run
Always remember that the IB is a long-term program.
Keep your eyes on your major goals and remember that there will be setbacks along the way.
So don’t burn yourself out too fast and don’t lose your motivation if something doesn’t go your way—it’s probably not the end of the road!
5.The IB is not the only thing that matters
There are a lot of other great things about high school that are totally unrelated to the curriculum or the organization on your diploma.
You will get the most out of the IB—and probably do better in your classes, too—if you have a well-balanced high school life, with enough time for other things you want to do.
Spend time on your hobbies, passions, friendships, and just taking care of yourself.
That will help you get the most out of a time of your life that will never come again.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q1: What are some common mistakes that students make when starting the IB program?
A: One common mistake is underestimating the workload and procrastinating. Another is not taking the time to understand the requirements for each subject and the extended essay.
Q2: How can I manage my time effectively while doing the IB?
A: It’s important to create a schedule and prioritize tasks. Break down larger assignments into smaller tasks and set deadlines for each. Also, don’t forget to take breaks and prioritize self-care to avoid burnout.
Q3: What are some tips for achieving success in the IB?
A: Focus on understanding the material rather than just memorizing it. Participate in class discussions and ask questions. Also, don’t be afraid to seek help from teachers or tutors when needed.
Q4: How important are extracurricular activities in the IB?
A: While extracurricular activities are not directly tied to your IB grades, they can show a well-rounded personality and help with college applications. However, it’s important to balance extracurricular activities with school work.
Q5: How can I stay motivated during the IB?
A: Set goals for yourself and celebrate small accomplishments along the way. Also, remind yourself of the reasons why you chose to do the IB and how it will benefit you in the long run.