Freaking out about IB next year

<p>So I'm starting IB at a new school next year. Today I spoke to a girl that graduated from IB a few years ago, and she warned me about how difficult it's going to be to get good grades. Suddenly, I remembered that colleges look the most at your junior year grades, and I'm worried that IB is really going to affect my grades next year and thus, affect my chances at getting into a good college.</p>

<p>Are there any IB-ers/ex IB-ers that can offer a few words of wisdom as to how to do well in IB? I understand that each school's IB program is somewhat different in terms of grading and such, but any advice would be appreciated :)</p>

<p>Thanks in advance.</p>

<p>Currently in IB. Lets say, I know you're going to hear this a billion times, but TIME MANAGEMENT! IB has a lot of analysis, and such. Takes time... BS is really obvious, so be sure to manage time... Otherwise, IB really isn't too bad. Its manageable, but if its not the right program for you, then it just isn't the right program, and you should drop out. IMHO, there's a prominent skew (perhaps only at my school) toward the humanities vs. the math/sciences, due to the amounts of written explanation required not only in the humanities, but also in math/sci. </p>

<p>Otherwise, its a nice program, though if my school offered it, I would prefer AP... IB is too restrictive IMO...</p>

<p>Be prepared to do a lot of writing. If you're not a good writer, learn how to be one. The rubrics can be complicated (especially for the math portfolios, those are death), read them carefully, love them, ingest them, etc. Choose a topic you LOVE for things like the IOP, the history IA, the world lit papers and of COURSE the extended essay. Don't procrastinate on big projects. TOK is different at every school, but make sure you contribute to class discussions. Have a support system of friends who can help you study for subjects you struggle with. Don't be afraid to ask your teachers for help. Make sure you put the "study" in "study parties", they can be really helpful. Do practice problems even if they aren't required. Sleep as much as possible. Have faith, my friend, I just finished my junior year and my GPA has actually gone up.</p>

<p>It's work. Period. Time Management is critical, as I've helped out my Junior Friends with their IB work. You do have External Assessments, but you should be fine.</p>

<p>Depending on how many SLs you take junior year, there will come a time around January/February, when all your IAs are due. You may start to feel junior burnout at this time, due to severe sleep deprivation and consequent grade drops. This is only intensified if you play a winter sport. My recommendation for this time is what I wish I had done...perhaps my GPA wouldn't be so on the line then. I'm now walking the line for an A in two of my (IMPORTANT!) classes...</p>

<p>Make sleep a priority. Ask teachers for extensions if you need them. Get off the internet unless its for research. Don't procrastinate. Ask teachers for help if you're falling behind in classes. Realize that by May it will all be over.</p>

<p>Good luck!</p>

<p>Thanks everyone for the great feedback! (:</p>

<p>I know it's different for every school, but how many hours of work do you have on average when you get home from school? (including test preparation etc.)</p>

<p>Okay, everyone told me "TIME MANAGEMENT!!!!" and I have to say I'm just not that kid with an organizer and planning out when I'll study/do homework. </p>

<p>Instead I'll tell you how it worked for me (I'm already done with school! sweeeet). I just did everything the second I got it. I mean, instead of thinking "okay, it's due in 2 months so if I write so many words this week and then..." I just went home that day and worked on the 2000 essay that second with what I knew. I'd walk away from it at that, maybe come back to it later and add some information, fix it up, proof read, etc. and then didn't touch it again and went about my business. Overall my EE of +4000 words took me 5hrs. It's more a matter of doing it, sitting down and doing it. Think of that with CAS hour reviews and summaries, the day/week you do some hours write it down and later on go get the signature/proof. I had a regular journal that was always in my backpack and I'd just write down my drama dates and activities/community service/action/whatever and then my teacher would "CAS check on thursday!" and everyone would try writing it all up real quick and I'd just go get signatures.</p>

<p>You just have to get in the habit of doing something once someone tells you to do it and not think of doing it over the weeks till the deadline. It was hard at first and it was more my mind would say "c'mon, you could do it on the weekend" and then I'd just say "screw you mind!" and I'd sit my butt and work. These essays really aren't that hard, really it's kinda just getting together the information and repeating it out in a way to prove your theory. CAS hours will fill up quick, just pick 3 clubs: one sport, one community service club, and one art club (for me it was a mix of interact, drama, tennis, basketball, and good samaritan center, I had 3 times the actual 150 hours required and I never felt like I worked much because I really enjoyed those clubs).</p>

<p>Also I hated hearing "you need to be a great writer!". Mainly because I feel like I'm a terrible writer. But the writing in IB is just analyzes and it's all described in the rubrics, if you do exactly as the rubrics say then it's easy. A lot of times I was actually shortening my essays because I went over the word limit. Just follow the rubric, follow 'em, don't think "well I'm sure this is fine also", no. Follow the rubric.</p>

<p>And don't worry so much about the grades because IB is usually weighted. If it's not at your school the colleges will still see that and it looks better to have Bs in the hardest course possible than As in an easier one.</p>

<p>Which subject did you do for EE lucky?</p>

<p>^^ I like your method of IB. That might help when I start killing myself next year.</p>

<p>^^English literature about the creation of gothic romance and similarities within "Jane Eyre" and "Wuthering Heights". Yeah, terrible subject because I wanted to do it on Sherlock Holmes or comic books (maybe the Sandman graphic novels since they're so well awarded) and my IB coordinator said "NO! too modern! pick something more classic" and I tried to argue but she just said "siguele!" and threatened to call my mom, then she remembered I was reading Jane Eyre for a scholarship and told me to do an analyzes on the Bronte sisters. I hated my EE, but!...again, done in a hours the last day of last summer. I didn't really read Wuthering Heights, kinda just skimmed it some and looked at some books that had already analyzed it. Filled it with quotes from the two books and sited from a biography on the writers (basically, they're house was a dark place and they both had romance issues and were both ugly) and then analyzes of common romance books at that era and done! More than 4000 words and I had to cut it down some.</p>

<p>Basically, if you hate lifetime movies and Nicholas Sparks, thank the dull and darkly romantic bloody Bronte sisters with their ugly, fictional and a-hole byronic lovers.</p>

<p>FINISHED IB! :)</p>

<p>But...time management. Seriously. Just please.</p>

<p>Also, I don't know if this is true at your school, but the 100 IB kids at my school quickly bonded into a giant support system. Make not only plenty of friends, but significant ones as well. <--an sometimes neglected part of IB life that is paramount to having not only a good time but also help right before IAs are due.</p>

<p>Personal Experience edit:
I was a workaholic fish and soph year but that really declined, along with my GPA. I still got into a great college and into a pretty selective program. Don't worry too much about Junior year GPA (contrast - fish year I had a 3.9, Junior year only I had a 3.1). Just do your best, do things on time, and don't forget to breathe.</p>