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 Post subject: IB
PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2010 11:59 am 
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I am looking for feedback - positive or negative about the IB (International Baccalureate) and what careers children have gone on to after completing it. Is the workload very different to the traditional GCSE, A* and A level route? Anyone found it was a good "marketing" tool for their child to have it or the contrary when looking at courses at University?

Any feedback would be gratefully appreciated. Thanks


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PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2010 12:15 pm 
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You might have more luck in the Sixth Form section (at the bottom), which includes this recent topic viewtopic.php?t=10908


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PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2010 2:14 pm 
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Location: Maidstone
I have done quite a bit of research on IB as one of the school I am interested in is an IB school.

Here is the few bits I found
- IB is very challenging, much much more than A level and its quite common for the kids to study through the night as they have to do 3000 word essays and other stuff. Infact it seems they do twice more work than 3Alevels would do. They will be doing 6 subjects anyway.
-The ONE important and very crutial thing is the track record of your DC school in IB or the school you're considering. It takes a while for a school to be fully fledged as an IB school and most kids who are IB guinea pigs really suffer badly as they are under pressure from school for results and yet teachers arent familiar with IB.
-Universities dont fully understand IB and still demand very high scores from IB, Oxbridge its typically 39points and over. Bear in mind that the average IB score is 29 and last year worldwide only about 60people had the maximum 45points.
-However from the students who score highly (which are very few) it seems they have a much higher success rate at Oxbridge and it makes them stand out from those many with 3A levels. This isnt proven but seem the general consensous.
-My conclusion has been if child has nearly all A* at GCSE and the school has a good track of IB then its worth a go but I would stay away from a school that doesnt have a track record or are just introducing IB.
-There are a lot of kids doing IB and really hate it for the sheer amount of work and prefer they had done A levels and feel they were misguided. In addition a child is more likely to do other subjects they are not good at as they have to pick 6 and even for budding scientist they may have to do a language and for historians they may have to do biology. The plus is it makes the breath quite wide and deep and requires much more critical thinking and prepares them well for hard work at University.

If you go on thestudentroom forum there is an IB section there and its full of information just reading the post and some of the kids there have signatures of where they have the conditional offers from and how many points they need.

Some people argue that it doesnt go deep in sciences and you maybe at disadvantage if you intent to study medicine for examble. From my little research this isnt true and there are plenty of IBers doing sciences and medicine. You will get a better idea if you check thestudentroom, its all about doing the right combination and good IB schools will advise your DC appropriately.

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PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2010 3:19 pm 
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Just worth noting when comparing IB with A level route that an increasing number now take 4/5 AS subjects and 4 A2 subjects.

As far as I am aware only Cambridge have made offers on 4 A2s but that doesn't mean that the fact they are being studied/predicted grades aren't taken in to account by other Unis.


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PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2010 3:27 pm 
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Edinburgh makes offers for 4 A2s for the course DD wants to do...don't know if this is just a feature of Scottish universitites though. She is determined to see all her subjects through to the bitter end, even though it is a slightly risky strategy. :? Hopefully you are right and other unis will take this into account, especially the ones that are hot on GCSEs!

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PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2010 4:01 pm 
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DC had offer from Edinburgh this year - only asked for 3 out of 4 A2s (all A grades though)

I don't think they tend to reduce the offer because 4 A2s are being taken but it may increase the chances of getting an offer at all!


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PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2010 4:21 pm 
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KB wrote:
DC had offer from Edinburgh this year - only asked for 3 out of 4 A2s (all A grades though)

I don't think they tend to reduce the offer because 4 A2s are being taken but it may increase the chances of getting an offer at all!


The Edinburgh course she is interested in does make offers based on 3 A-levels, but lowers the grades required if the student is offering four. Hence the standard offers for this particular course is ABBB instead of AAB. Unfortunately this is the only university on her list that does this, the others all recommend concentrating on three and dropping one.

I also suspect that competition on places will force up the grades required for next year... :(

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PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2010 4:54 pm 
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You could well be right - the (science) course DC applied for went from ABB to AAA this year due to pressure on places.


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PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2010 6:36 pm 
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And engineering or architecture....???


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2010 7:54 pm 
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sherry_d wrote:
Some people argue that it doesnt go deep in sciences and you maybe at disadvantage if you intent to study medicine for examble. From my little research this isnt true and there are plenty of IBers doing sciences and medicine.


Yes, DH is a senior marker for Physics IB and he thinks it's a rigorous course.


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