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Do you think it is worth doing the IB program to get into a top 20 school?

I selected my classes for next year and chose to do the IB program. I am starting to regret that choice. I would rather do partial IB. Do you think It’ll look bad if I drop out of the IB program to do partial IB? My goal is to get into a top 20 school. Also my school is an IB school so they do not offer AP classes.

I am currently in 10th grade.

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Ryan’s Answer

Hi Aisha!

My name is Ryan and I am an IB Diploma graduate. The IB Diploma Programme might have been the single most enriching and developing program I have ever been a part of. I cannot speak more highly about the IB Programme and still carry it as a badge on my resume today and always plan to! The public speaking, writing, analysis, and free thought experience provided throughout the program has been vital to my career and educational success! Regarding your goal of being accepted to a Top 20 School, I was accepted to some very prestigious universities which I fully attribute to my development and preparedness stemming from the IB Diploma Programme.

The rigor of IB Diploma will fully prepare you for university in which you will feel many years ahead to the core classes and writing expectations from your professors. I highly recommend sticking through the program if you aspire for university and career success. The program also involves multiple supplemental classes on frame of thought such as "Theory of Knowledge" and the opportunity to complete an Extended Essay over the course of a full year or more! If your school offers you these opportunities, I would highly recommend taking advantage of them for your personal enrichment.

I had friends who took AP Classes which are essentially more rigorous curriculum of the same base topics studied in high school. IB Diploma goes multiple steps further in my honest opinion by providing numerous opportunities on students' holistic development such as public speaking, research and writing in multiple fields. You will write essays in mathematics, science, and other fields in which it is required you thoroughly understand the concepts and expressions/numbers you are solving and be able to explain in words.

The ability to explain and thoroughly articulate your thought and meaning behind your work is vital in a career and something I use at Amazon every single day in my work as a financial analyst. Yes, I mostly deal with numbers and data, but it means nothing if I am unable to articulate the importance and business applications of the numbers and data to my business partners so that they may take action and more effectively and efficiently run their business. I attribute my 2 years in IB Diploma to many of these attributes I have today and highly recommend you complete if you are interested in a prestigious education and career success!

All the best!
Ryan
Thank you comment icon Thanks for your encouragement! Aisha
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Summer’s Answer

Hello Aisha,

Having been an IB Diploma student myself, I can assure you that the decision to shift from the diploma to the certificate might not be as monumental as you perceive. Regardless of whether you're pursuing the diploma or the certificate, you're still partaking in the esteemed IB program. This is a noteworthy achievement that can add significant value to your application.

The notion that colleges will reject you because you switched is nothing more than a myth. I've witnessed classmates who were certificate students secure admission into prestigious Ivy League schools, while some diploma students found it challenging to gain entry into state schools.

Ultimately, it's all about your capabilities and how much you can manage within the IB program. It's important to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages, and identify what truly captivates you and what doesn't.

Being a part of the IB program is a game-changer in itself, regardless of the path you choose. I am a firm believer in its unique and rigorous learning style, which is a refreshing departure from AP studies. I hope my insights have provided you with a sense of relief or perhaps, a glimmer of hope!
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much, Summer! Aisha
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Lauren’s Answer

If Advanced Placement (AP) isn't available, then the International Baccalaureate (IB) is a valuable alternative. The IB program not only broadens your academic horizons but also opens up opportunities at global schools. Even if you only participate in part of the IB program, it's still beneficial. However, remember that your overall grades are of greater importance.
Thank you comment icon Thank you, Lauren! Aisha
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Ashley’s Answer

There's no surefire way to guarantee acceptance, so it's best to pursue activities that you find both enjoyable and challenging. If you're unsure about the International Baccalaureate (IB) program, consider creating a list of its advantages and disadvantages. Additionally, research the universities you're interested in attending and note down their admission requirements. You can also read online discussions about how others have successfully gained admission.
Thank you comment icon Thank you! Aisha
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Mike’s Answer

Hey Aisha!

You should trust your gut! In the end its all about your experiences, performance in classes, and ability to seek new opportunities. Getting into a top 20 college is a great goal and I think you should continue to challenge yourself. However, I remember when I was in high school I dreamed of being an engineer. I took some engineering classes and quickly learned it was not for me. While IB is a little different, if you are not happy in the program then find what you are passionate about and follow it. I think doing partial IB sounds like it could be a good idea as long as you enjoy the other classes more.
Thank you comment icon Thank you! Aisha
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Karissa’s Answer

AP classes are always more important. Graduate school won't even look at high school. Most careers for ambitious students require a Masters or Doctorate.
Thank you comment icon Karissa, thank you! Aisha
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Michelle’s Answer

Hello, Aisha !

My advice is to follow your instincts. Contact the person who is in charge of situating your classes for next year and switch to what you want to switch to. Will it "look bad" ? Who is going to know that you did that ? No, it won't look bad. And it's for next year so there's probably time to make changes.

Nothing will guarantee you acceptance into a low acceptance rate college. On the internet, look to see what the colleges you want have for their acceptance rates and get an idea of how many applications they receive and out of that number how many are accepted. There are several factors that contribute to college admissions acceptance and many people who did not do IB are accepted and people who did do IB can be not accepted. It's not a guarantee. This is why I advise going with your idea of changing your classes for next year as you already want to do so.

Read the admissions requirements of the colleges that you intend to apply to. This will shed some light on exactly who they consider a good candidate and what you'll need to do to submit an application. After you send in your application, it's just a matter of waiting to hear back from them. No matter what classes you take in high school, keep your grades high, participate in extracurriculars and sharpen your written and verbal communication skills. That will help you for college applications. It's not necessary to take college courses while you are in high school. It does not weigh upon being accepted into a top college. But it is good that you have a choice to do so if that's what you really want to do personally. Always go over your decision with your high school academic counselor.

I think if you are concerned about "getting into" a top college that reviewing the acceptance rates now and than right before applying (because things change) will help you out the best. Keeping in mind what you'll need to do to apply and also what is needed to be accepted into your major program if that is the type of college you plan to attend. As long as you can fulfill the classes you need to take in high school, the GPA, the SAT score requirement and extracurriculars, that should be good and there's no need to rush things or cut corners.

I wish you all the best going forward !

Michelle recommends the following next steps:

2024 COLLEGE ACCEPTANCE RATES https://research.com/education/list-of-college-acceptance-rates
COLLEGES WITH LOW ACCEPTANCE RATES https://www.usnews.com/best-colleges/rankings/lowest-acceptance-rate
TOP COLLEGES ACCEPTANCE RATES https://bemoacademicconsulting.com/blog/college-acceptance-rates
HIGH ACCEPTANCE RATE COLLEGES https://www.usnews.com/best-colleges/rankings/highest-acceptance-rate
Thank you comment icon Thank you for your advice! Aisha
Thank you comment icon You are very welcome, Aisha ! Michelle M.
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Amy’s Answer

Hello there!

I can definitely relate to your uncertainty about whether to continue with the full International Baccalaureate (IB) program or switch to a partial one. I also studied at an IB school in Canada, and it significantly influenced my educational path in a comprehensive manner.

From my personal journey, I'd suggest you stick with the full IB program if it has been advantageous for you so far. It's a demanding course, but the rewards can be substantial, particularly when it comes to securing a place in top-tier institutions. Additionally, the all-encompassing nature of the IB program might be in sync with your aims.

A good strategy might be to select high-level IB courses that resonate with your passions and possibly your prospective college major. This can showcase your dedication to a specific area and provide you with a robust foundation for advanced studies.

However, I'm fully aware that everyone's circumstances are different. If you have solid reasons for wanting to transition to a partial IB, such as a desire to concentrate more on certain subjects or pursuits that better align with your objectives, that's completely valid too.

In the end, it's all about discovering what suits you and your ambitions best. So, consider your choices, consult with school advisors, and perhaps even engage in conversations with peers who've experienced both full and partial IB. This could give you a clearer perspective on what might be the best fit for you. Trust your gut feelings and choose the route that seems most in line with your future aspirations. Best of luck!
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