Written By Rashi S.
1-Good Preparation for University
After two years of practice, it is fair to say that you will have mastered fundamental skills such as university-style report and essay-writing, source citing, and how to conduct independent research. Although citing is something that you can learn by yourself too, let’s be honest: who takes a few hours out of their day to actually do it? Several students have a hard time getting accustomed to the considerable leap in difficulty, but not DP students as IB subjects (particularly the HL ones) are somewhat on par with the rigor of university workload, which will also make your transition easier.
The DP helps you develop soft skills which are valuable when starting university. For example, you learn critical thinking and complex problem-solving, which is particularly useful for university as you drive your own learning there. Furthermore, DP students learn time management which is vital as it aids in establishing good study habits, individual revision techniques, and resisting distractions – students who master these skills will be one step ahead when they progress to university-level education. Moreover, DP students are often liberal-minded; they understand and appreciate different cultures and are open to perceptions, values, and traditions of other people. This may also be because they are more culturally aware through the development of a second language and are able to engage with people in an increasingly globalized, rapidly changing world (this is, of course, if you take the language course seriously and actively make an effort to learn it instead of simply switching languages when you feel like it).
After all, the reputation of the program does matter and the IB definitely has this. It is internationally recognized and offered by around 150 countries globally and recognized by colleges and universities from almost 90 countries. This includes prestigious US universities such as Harvard, Yale, and Stanford. The acceptance rate of IB students into Ivy League universities is up to 18% higher than the total population acceptance rate. This demonstrates how universities consider the skills and values that the DP fosters in its candidates, thus giving them an advantage over non-IB candidates
The IB Diploma is a rigid curriculum with a six-subject allowance dispersed across six categories, or rather five if you forgo the arts category, which is about as flexible as it gets. If you do not take an arts subject, you can “double-dip” in another category, but there is no triple dipping. This means you can take, for example, two sciences (e.g. Biology and Chemistry) or two social science subjects but cannot take History, English A Literature/ and Language, Psychology, and Economics (what I wanted to do). The DP, makes you study a wide range of subjects which will support you to develop all-around knowledge on a wider level of subjects than if you were studying science A-levels in Physics, Biology, and Chemistry or Art A-levels in History, Music, and Sociology. The broad-brush approach will appeal to universities if you would like to study degrees in Business, Economics, and Politics, for instance as it showcases your ability to learn across many different subjects.
However, if you are thinking of a degree in for example Medicine, Veterinary Science, or Engineering, you may achieve more by pursuing another program with a narrower range of subjects, but in more depth. This will enable you to have specialist knowledge and skills at a deeper level when you start university. Nevertheless, most students are unsure of what they would like to study at university. In this case, pursuing the DP can be a good solution as you will study a wide range of subjects which can open up more options to choose from.
Finally, remember that the amount of subjects available to you depends on what your school offers. In this case, there are some solutions; for instance, I did HL Psychology on Pamoja because my school did not offer it. At first, I thought that taking a course online would not be a good idea; however, I ended up liking the subject and teaching style of it even more than some of the subjects I took in person at my school. Thus, do not be afraid to try a new learning format.