dooglebirden
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I live in new zealand and at my school next year we get the option of taking IB or continue with the national qualification of NCEA. I want to go to uni in the UK and I am wondering what is best. Most people in NZ say it doesn't matter but....
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grassntai
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i thought in new zealand it was a levels?
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Dexterous
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IB would be a good choice, but it's not for everyone, I don't really know how NZ works with the NCEA so I wouldn't be able to make a fair judgement on it.
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edog300
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Hi, current IB student here. I'm only a term into the first year of it, but I can lend you some information and advice. I'll assume you know how subject choices work for IB, in terms of Groups 1-5 + 6/wildcard and HL/SL.

For reference, the maximum grade for an IB subject is 7 points. (No letters involved)
7*6 = 42, then +3 for the core (discussed below) gives a maximum of 45 points.

First of all, IB is hard work and a challenge. If you want to do really well (35ish+ points out of 45) then it's a solid 2 years of study. I'm not knowledgeable about NZ but here in the UK, my friends taking A levels (British in-house qualifications) do have more free time than me, since they only do 4 or 5 subjects vs. 6 in the IB. Not only that, they will drop one of those subjects after one year, whereas we're studying all six subjects for two years.

On top of that, Higher Level subjects cover more material than the equivalent A level, especially in sciences and even more so in mathematics. So even if my A level counterparts spend the same two years learning the subject (and actually get A level exams in June instead of IB's May - an extra month or so to learn and revise!), we have to learn more material on top of that. Even then, SL subjects may well go beyond the study area of the British AS levels (where you study for a year and drop, like I mentioned) simply because we spend almost twice as much time doing the subject - in reality though, it's not two years' worth of material so SL subjects are incredibly relaxed at times.

General gist - there is more stuff to study, by far!

Note on further maths if you're considering it:
Spoiler:
Show
(note: further maths is a HL-only subject and is CRAZY. Only 200ish people take it worldwide, 2 of which sit next to me in maths... the only two in the UK purely because no other school in this country offers FM, or at least to my knowledge. It's a subject which challenges the teachers let alone the students.)


Of course, this may all differ if the NCEA is different in terms of number of subjects or how in-depth the study of each subject is (and indeed how it may vary depending on which 'level' you elect to study at), but I suspect the level of work in NCEA is quite less than IB.

However don't let this put you off IB: the fact is that UK universities love the IB. It's something that is well-recognised and respected by all the good universities. Universities in other countries, including NZ, will undoubtedly be much the same. There is no rigid equivalence system here, at least, where 766 in HL subjects is translated by a university into A*AA (A level grades): the offer you get is in terms of IB points and no other hokey-pokey.

Plus, there's a lot of fantastic benefits to IB. The 'core', if you don't know it already, involves Theory of Knowledge (ToK), the Extended Essay (EE) and CAS, or Creaticity, Action, Service. It lies aside from your subjects but ties to them in quite a bit. It is a mandatory requirement to complete the core in order to get the diploma, but the EE and a ToK essay you write and ToK presentation you give are assessed to contribute an extra 3 points towards your final results.

ToK encourages and teaches methods of knowing things (sounds weird, I know) and critical thinking (how can we know something is really true? Can we prove it? Or is it just very likely to be true?).

The EE is a long essay you write on a topic of your choice with relevance and focus on one (only one!) of your study subjects. You have a teacher to help and guide you, but it is in the end a 4,000 word (maximum) task for you to complete yourself. If it's on history, then that means a lot of research and reading. Scientific subject? Probably a lot of experiments involved. You get the idea.

Finally, CAS is a record of any regular activities you do outside of lessons - extra curricular stuff. Sports activities count, even if they're in school, whether that's PE lessons or team matches. Music lessons count as creativity. Service can be volunteering, or helping in school. Fulfilling your CAS requirements is mandatory to get the IB diploma, but if you have a fairly busy or active lifestyle then it's no concern at all.

The benefit of the core is that you gain skills in the EE and ToK, and CAS keeps you on your feet! It means you will generally be an interesting person, and those skills are incredibly useful at university (e.g. independent work from the EE, critical thinking from ToK) and in later life.

In short, you can use IB as a springboard into a good university, especially if you want to go international with your applications - after all, it is an international diploma with an internationally-minded curriculum and pedagogy.
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dooglebirden
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(Original post by edog300)
Hi, current IB student here. I'm only a term into the first year of it, but I can lend you some information and advice. I'll assume you know how subject choices work for IB, in terms of Groups 1-5 + 6/wildcard and HL/SL.

For reference, the maximum grade for an IB subject is 7 points. (No letters involved)
7*6 = 42, then +3 for the core (discussed below) gives a maximum of 45 points.

First of all, IB is hard work and a challenge. If you want to do really well (35ish+ points out of 45) then it's a solid 2 years of study. I'm not knowledgeable about NZ but here in the UK, my friends taking A levels (British in-house qualifications) do have more free time than me, since they only do 4 or 5 subjects vs. 6 in the IB. Not only that, they will drop one of those subjects after one year, whereas we're studying all six subjects for two years.

On top of that, Higher Level subjects cover more material than the equivalent A level, especially in sciences and even more so in mathematics. So even if my A level counterparts spend the same two years learning the subject (and actually get A level exams in June instead of IB's May - an extra month or so to learn and revise!), we have to learn more material on top of that. Even then, SL subjects may well go beyond the study area of the British AS levels (where you study for a year and drop, like I mentioned) simply because we spend almost twice as much time doing the subject - in reality though, it's not two years' worth of material so SL subjects are incredibly relaxed at times.

General gist - there is more stuff to study, by far!

Note on further maths if you're considering it:
Spoiler:
Show
(note: further maths is a HL-only subject and is CRAZY. Only 200ish people take it worldwide, 2 of which sit next to me in maths... the only two in the UK purely because no other school in this country offers FM, or at least to my knowledge. It's a subject which challenges the teachers let alone the students.)


Of course, this may all differ if the NCEA is different in terms of number of subjects or how in-depth the study of each subject is (and indeed how it may vary depending on which 'level' you elect to study at), but I suspect the level of work in NCEA is quite less than IB.

However don't let this put you off IB: the fact is that UK universities love the IB. It's something that is well-recognised and respected by all the good universities. Universities in other countries, including NZ, will undoubtedly be much the same. There is no rigid equivalence system here, at least, where 766 in HL subjects is translated by a university into A*AA (A level grades): the offer you get is in terms of IB points and no other hokey-pokey.

Plus, there's a lot of fantastic benefits to IB. The 'core', if you don't know it already, involves Theory of Knowledge (ToK), the Extended Essay (EE) and CAS, or Creaticity, Action, Service. It lies aside from your subjects but ties to them in quite a bit. It is a mandatory requirement to complete the core in order to get the diploma, but the EE and a ToK essay you write and ToK presentation you give are assessed to contribute an extra 3 points towards your final results.



ToK encourages and teaches methods of knowing things (sounds weird, I know) and critical thinking (how can we know something is really true? Can we prove it? Or is it just very likely to be true?).

The EE is a long essay you write on a topic of your choice with relevance and focus on one (only one!) of your study subjects. You have a teacher to help and guide you, but it is in the end a 4,000 word (maximum) task for you to complete yourself. If it's on history, then that means a lot of research and reading. Scientific subject? Probably a lot of experiments involved. You get the idea.

Finally, CAS is a record of any regular activities you do outside of lessons - extra curricular stuff. Sports activities count, even if they're in school, whether that's PE lessons or team matches. Music lessons count as creativity. Service can be volunteering, or helping in school. Fulfilling your CAS requirements is mandatory to get the IB diploma, but if you have a fairly busy or active lifestyle then it's no concern at all.

The benefit of the core is that you gain skills in the EE and ToK, and CAS keeps you on your feet! It means you will generally be an interesting person, and those skills are incredibly useful at university (e.g. independent work from the EE, critical thinking from ToK) and in later life.

In short, you can use IB as a springboard into a good university, especially if you want to go international with your applications - after all, it is an international diploma with an internationally-minded curriculum and pedagogy.
Thanks this definitely helped give me a better idea about IB
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edog300
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(Original post by dooglebirden)
Thanks this definitely helped give me a better idea about IB
Glad I could help! Just ask if you want any more information

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username1756433
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(Original post by grassntai)
i thought in new zealand it was a levels?
Nah, it's NCEA all the way through unless you go to a private school where you may do CIE or IB.
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dooglebirden
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(Original post by gracieb2218)
Nah, it's NCEA all the way through unless you go to a private school where you may do CIE or IB.
Actually quite a few of the schools around my area offer CIE or IB and they are state (what we call public in NZ) schools
I go to a state (public) school and we get a choice
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username1756433
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(Original post by dooglebirden)
Actually quite a few of the schools around my area offer CIE or IB and they are state (what we call public in NZ) schools
I go to a state (public) school and we get a choice
Yeah but I'm guessing you're in Auckland and I can assure you that outside of some areas of Auckland it would be really rare to find state school that does IB or CIE. There's only like 10 IB schools in the country for god's sake.
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