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Should I take Partial IB or Full IB?

dreaminjunedreaminjune 0 replies1 threads New Member
Hello everyone! :)
I'm currently a freshman in the United States and in my College & Career Exploration class, we have to create a four year action plan that will guide us to our path to graduate. While doing this, I started to seriously debate on whether or not I should take Full IB or Partial IB. While Full IB does reap more benefits and will help me in the long run, it is also much more rigorous and brings a heavier work load. On the other hand, though Partial IB is less rigorous and does not bring as heavy of a work load, it doesn't bring the benefits that Full IB would bring. Classes I would probably take include English Language & Literature, Mandarin Chinese, Psychology, and Biology (for math, I am still deciding between Math Analysis and Math Application. any advice would be appreciated!). Also, if I were to do Full IB, would there be time for extracurriculars? I am currently a part of my school's Key Club and Red Cross, and I was planning on trying out for volleyball for my next three years. My top two schools that I am aiming for are the University of Oregon and Oregon State University. Any advice would be greatly appreciated! ^___^
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Replies to: Should I take Partial IB or Full IB?

  • tkoparenttkoparent 262 replies3 threads Junior Member
    If the full IB program appeals to you, I don't think you should let the workload scare you off. My son did the full IB Diploma program and is now a college first-year. The program was a lot of work at times, but he is finding that the IB Diploma's emphasis on research and writing really worked to prepare him for college. We also found that the colleges he applied to last year liked the fact he did the IB Diploma, as they recognize it is a rigorous program. His IB courses looked somewhat like what you describe - he did Psych, Biology and Theatre as his HL classes, and also took English Language and Literature, a language, and Math Studies. He had a long commute two and from school each day (more than two hours in total), and even with that, he had time for extracurriculars, including a varsity sport and a couple other things. At the outset, we had the same kind of worries you are having now, and I initially recommended he take Math Studies rather than SL or HL math because it seemed to be one good way to release some pressure from the program. I was never sure about the decision, as he clearly could have handled the more difficult courses, but in the end, it did not hurt him. I understand that Math Applications is kind of like Math Studies crossed with SL Math, so it might be a good way to go unless you think you will be applying to serious STEM programs for college.
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  • RayMantaRayManta 217 replies8 threads Junior Member
    edited December 2019
    I agree with the above. The IB program is rigorous, but is recognized for its rigor and many schools admit a higher percentage of applicants who are IB diploma candidates than they do non-IB students--there's a chart from ten years ago I can pass on if you're interested. But whether you can thrive truly depends on your personality--you have to be very self-motivated. My older daughter is in her last year and has done very well; but my younger daughter, who is eighth grade, would likely struggle and probably won't attempt IB. I personally would not have been able to do well.

    I don't know what, if any benefits the partial IB program would have, to be honest. What makes IB special is that you have the same teachers for two consecutive years, and the independent research project (and I guess the service component). Otherwise, there's probably no difference from taking occasional AP classes.

    You really have to self-assess yourself. Talk to people who have gone through it, including those who have struggled, and try to figure out how you fit. Being miserable and stressed isn't worth it.
    edited December 2019
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  • helpingmom40helpingmom40 199 replies6 threads Junior Member
    My D’s school offers full IB and a large number of AP classes. She had a pretty good idea of where her interests were (history and economics). She was able to read the in-depth course descriptions in the school handbook and made her decision based on that. She couldn’t imagine being in a history class trying to have a discussion about a topic that wasn’t covered in the 4 decades taught in the IB class. Choose what matches your interests and goals (D found she would benefit from more AP and DE credits because most of the colleges on her list only give credit for HL classes).
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  • MidwestmomofboysMidwestmomofboys 4050 replies27 threads Senior Member
    Another parent of a full IB kid -- my kid's college app experience was that the full IB meant his college counselor checked the "most rigorous curriculum available" box on the college form, which is something highly selective schools are looking for. And college admissions officers certainly expressed that they like IB Diploma students because they have already managed heavy work load with lots of reading and writing. But more importantly, for him, he enjoyed the discussion and analysis format in his IB classes and he liked doing the Extended Essay. As far as managing ECs outside of IB, he was a 4 year varsity athlete (and recruited/plays his sport in college) and performed year round in his school's music program, so he could certainly participate in extra curriculars, as those 2 activities added probably 20+ hours a week to his schedule, year round.

    If you can choose a schedule which keeps you on the full IB track at least until you actually start IB classes in junior year, then you will have the most flexibility going forward. If, as a junior, you find that the schedule/focus doesn't work for you, then you can adapt going forward.

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