Frequently Asked Questions
· What are the advantages of participating in the IB Diploma Program?
- Higher acceptance rates at colleges
- Higher completion rates (lower drop out rates)
- Higher GPA’s in college
- Some colleges give special consideration for IB Diploma candidates
- Special box to check on college applications for IB Diploma students
- Educating the whole person, well-rounded
- Involvement in community
- Increased scores on SAT and ACT
- Assessment component is unique-allows demonstration of knowledge from multiple measures rather than one.
- The IB Diploma is possibly one of the most distinguished academic credentials a high school student can earn. Those who complete this program enjoy a competitive edge in admission to any college or university in the world.
- The IB curriculum is an integrated, comprehensive, and balanced mix of sciences and humanities
- Students receive explicit instruction in critical thinking and learn the interrelationship of academic subjects
- Students develop a respect for culture diversity and gain a broader world view
- Potential early college registration
· How important is the IB diploma to colleges when deciding whether or not to accept a student?
- What is important to colleges is the rigor of a student’s courses. The IB curriculum represents a high level of rigor and is recognized by colleges around the world. Some colleges give special consideration for IB Diploma candidates. Refer to college statements handout for specific views by various colleges, but all of them value and recognize the rigor and level of the IB coursework.
· How is IB different from AP? Is one better than the other?
- The IB is a comprehensive program that requires students to demonstrate knowledge and skills through internal and external assessments in six interrelated academic areas. Schools that are authorized to teach the IB curriculum must be equipped to teach all subject areas plus provide ample opportunity for students to participate in sports, theater productions, and community service. AP, on the other hand, offers over 30 different courses from which students are allowed to pick and choose. Typically, students take only a few AP courses in their area of strength; rarely do they take two years of challenging courses from al areas of the humanities and sciences as is required of IB students.
- While neither program is better than the other, each has a different aim. A student whose main interests are gaining college credit and weighted grades will probably choose to take AP courses, although many IB courses count for college credit and receive weighted grades as well. Students who want to challenge themselves to develop critical thinking skills, an increased awareness of humanity, an international perspective, participate in the global community, a depth of learning that extends beyond the classroom, and a sense of commitment to the local community and needs of the world. Additionally, students who plan to pursue a career with an international outlook or who wish to attend college in another country will choose IB.
· Do IB courses receive weighted grades?
- Yes, most IB courses receive a weighted grade for MVHS GPA computation (see course catalog for details). Some of the SL courses will not be recognized for weighted credit at the University level. Universities will only award up to 8 semesters of weighted credit from AP and IB classes towards their GPA calculations.
· Are there scholarship opportunities for IB?
- IBO does not offer scholarships for IB students. Some colleges do offer scholarships specifically for IB students. Completion of the IB Diploma Program makes students attractive to those who offer scholarships.
· What if I want to drop the IB program once I have started it?
- All MVHS procedures apply when dropping a course. A student who drops will transfer into the most appropriate college prep course. After the two week drop period, a student will not be able to transfer into an AP course from an IB course.
- Any fees paid (registration costs) to the International Baccalaureate Organization by MVHS on behalf of the student will need to be paid by the student.
· Can I be involved in sports, band or other extra-curricular activities and still be in the IB Diploma Program?
- Students are able to be involved in extra-curricular activities, but students may need to make choices depending on their interests.
- For example, if a student wants to participate in a sport that has a class period during the school day and also wants to participate in another elective, such as Virtual Enterprise, then that student will not have room in the school schedule during 11th grade to complete the entire IB Diploma program and both extra-curricular activities.
- Students will have to make a choice during 11th grade, but may have the room in 12th grade to participate in two electives.
· Will I receive special recognition at MVHS’ graduation ceremony (tassels, etc)?
- Yes, all students in the IB Diploma program will have a denotation as such in the graduation program.
- Students will also wear white, embroidered stoles, a medallion and a pin to signify their status as IB Diploma Candidates at graduation.
· Can I earn college credit from the IB program?
- Yes, depending on your score for the course. Credit granted by colleges can vary widely. Many universities award up to 30 credits for students who have earned an IB Diploma (with minimum scores for some colleges). Please refer to the University recognition documents for specific college information or contact the school of interest to find out how that college will apply IB courses for credit. (Similar process for AP.)
· Can I take Theory of Knowledge if I am not an IB Diploma candidate?
- Yes, students can enroll in Theory of Knowledge if a student is also enrolled in at least two other IB courses.
· Can I participate in CAS if I am not doing the Diploma Program?
- Students are always welcome to participate in any of the community service projects that the students will be involved in for CAS and apply those hours to MVHS’ community service requirement.
· What is the average amount of time one should expect to spend on homework each night in the IB program?
All teachers in the IB program are committed to working together to ensure that students are successful in this program and are not over burdened by the amount of work required to complete the program.
Total homework can be about three hours a night, with homework on weekends. Time management skills are necessary to be successful in this program. Some assignments may be required during the summer.
· Is there a class for CAS and EE? When do we meet for CAS and EE?
- No, there is not a class for CAS or EE. There will be seminars held intermittently during the school year to inform students on the requirements, activities and deadlines for CAS and EE. TOK will support students in CAS and the EE. Specific courses in the junior year will support students in completion of the EE.
· When and how will Theory of Knowledge be offered?
- Theory of Knowledge will be offered to best meet the needs of the students. At this time TOK will be offered after school one time a week in the Spring of the Junior year and in the Fall of the Senior year. Students will report to Mrs. Fields their schedules for the upcoming semester and the TOK class(es) will be scheduled at a time to avoid as many conflicts as possible.
· Are there fees for the IB program?
- Yes, there are fees to pay for the exams, which then can save money on college courses. Fees are always subject to change. Fees are paid per subject the year the student takes the exam.
· Will there be payment plans or reduced fees available?
- Yes, payment plans can be arranged if Mrs. Fields is notified in advance of that need. Reduced fees are available for students who are enrolled in the district's Free and Reduced lunch program. The fees would then be reduced to $5 per exam.
· How should I choose my sixth subject for the Diploma Program?
- You should choose your sixth subject based on your career goals and your strength in the six IB subjects.
· When is the Extended Essay due?
- The EE will be due in the fall of the senior year.
· Will I receive help with the Extended Essay?
- Yes, all students will be assigned a supervisor for their extended essay process. Students will be given specific information on how to write the EE, the components to include, the research process, and a deadline calendar to keep the student on track over the two year writing process.
· When are the CAS reflections due?
- The day after spring break in 12th grade
· Can we take a non-IB elective every year?
- Yes, there will be room in the schedule to take one non-IB elective in 11th grade and possibly two in 12th grade. This varies by student interests.
· Will the work load be so hard that it might lower my GPA?
- The work load and rigor will be demanding in the IB program. However, it won't be impossible for you to get an “A” or “B” in these classes; we want you to succeed. But, these are college level courses and as such, students need to be prepared for the advanced curriculum and rigor. Colleges recognize that IB and AP courses are more rigorous, and they encourage students to take on the academic challenge.
· Can I take AP classes and do the full IB Diploma?
- Yes, many students mix and match their AP and IB classes. In many cases, the AP class is the first year of the IB HL course.
· Can I use team sports or participation in drama or dance for CAS experience?
- Yes, most of the activities students are involved in will count for their CAS experiences.
· Does the extended essay affect whether or not we get the IB diploma?
- Yes. The score you receive for your extended essay is combined with your TOK grade to add points towards the IB diploma. Receiving a failing score on the EE, can cause a student to not earn the IB diploma.