IB or "A-level"? Watch

FlorenceV
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Hi everyone,

I am in desperate need for advice on something.

I am Florence, currently 16 years old. I go to school in Belgium, I'm in the fifth year of high school. (probably grade 11 in the UK if I'm not mistaken) I follow Latin studies.
Here, we don't really have a thing called "A-levels", but the grading system practically comes down to the same thing. Next year, I would like to apply for Oxbridge (law). My average is about 82 - 85 percent.

It happens that I have the chance to switch from "A-level" to IB. (International Baccalaureate) I've been talking to people and have done a lot of thinking, but I am really in doubt. Some say the IB system is better than the "A-level" system we use in Belgium because universities know what to expect from IB students. Others say I should stick to the Belgian system because it is one of the best education systems in Europe.

If I switch to the IB system, it means that I have to leave my current school (and all my friends), but I am prepared to do so if it's worth it. Also, since the IB system takes 2 years, I will not be graduating at the age of 18 but at the age of 19.

So, my questions are : Is it true that IB students are more likely to get accepted than students from a normal secondary school in Belgium? And doest it matter that I might "lose" a year?

Does anyone have experience facing this problem?

Please let me know!

Thank you !
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uniqsummer
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Oxford will accept entries from applicants who have studied the following providing you have an overall average of 8 or more (9 is preferred for many subjects):

Diploma van Hoger Secundair Onderwijs
Certificat d'Enseignement Secondaire Supérieur
Abschlusszeugnis der Oberstufe des Sekundarunterrichts

IB's are of course more well known to UK institutions, but that does not mean that you are at a disadvantage. Students from across the world will be applying, and their grades are all carefully evaluated so that you can be compared with each other.

You have to be careful about just moving schools. It can be a very disrupting time and it may actually harm your studying especially if you have close friends and a good support base at your current school. I would also say that losing the year would put you at a disadvantage, as from the sounds of it you would be essentially retaking a year just to get a different sounding qualification and not really gaining much else.

Wouldn't be worth it in my opinion.
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FlorenceV
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(Original post by uniqsummer)
Oxford will accept entries from applicants who have studied the following providing you have an overall average of 8 or more (9 is preferred for many subjects):

Diploma van Hoger Secundair Onderwijs
Certificat d'Enseignement Secondaire Supérieur
Abschlusszeugnis der Oberstufe des Sekundarunterrichts

IB's are of course more well known to UK institutions, but that does not mean that you are at a disadvantage. Students from across the world will be applying, and their grades are all carefully evaluated so that you can be compared with each other.

You have to be careful about just moving schools. It can be a very disrupting time and it may actually harm your studying especially if you have close friends and a good support base at your current school. I would also say that losing the year would put you at a disadvantage, as from the sounds of it you would be essentially retaking a year just to get a different sounding qualification and not really gaining much else.

Wouldn't be worth it in my opinion.

Would you even consider it "not worth it" if I told you that at my current school, I get no preparation whatsoever on how to write essays or motivation letters, or even on how to write a simple formal letter in English?
Of course, this means I have to do it myself, but wouldn't it be better if I would get "professional" help of teachers?
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uniqsummer
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Yes my answer would still be the same.
In the UK their are many students who go on to apply to Oxbridge and other top universities with next to no teacher help.
The actual basics can be picked up online for the most part. There are so many people around TSR that can help you with all the aspects that you discussed, that it almost becomes a non issue.

Since you want to apply for Law, I would seriously focus your efforts on gaining the best grades you can within your current studies and also gaining the knowledge and skills needed to complete the LNAT (http://www.lnat.ac.uk/) successfully. All of which can be learnt in your own time - no teachers necessary!
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