Mala Verge
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Hey guys,
I start IB next year and I'm a little stressed about what to expect from it. I've heard horror stories but what is it really like? And what's the deal with those 3 extra points of TOK and the EE. I never quite understood what each of them are. Help!
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Eric_TS
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IB is not as bad as people make it out to be, really. The work load is much higher than GCSE (or whatever system you took), but it is definitely manageable. What's useful is that the IB (and your school) should build extra-curriculars and sports into the actual curriculum, so that is mostly dealt with. I would recommend that you try to lead/create a project or society in the first two terms of the IB, when you're the most free.

It is true that the last term (or second to last half term) is a grind, and isn't much fun. However, you feel very accomplished after you finish it, especially if you get the grades you want. With regards to the core points, you get them from writing an Extended Essay (4000 words) on one of your subjects, as well as your grade in the Theory of Knowledge (TOK) course. The TOK course is a bit strange, and I'm not sure I really see the point of it. However, it is a requirement, and you have to write an essay and create a presentation to get the marks. Mine are actually due next week, so wish me good luck!

Your TOK and EE grades give you up to 3 points. If you get an A and a B in the two (or higher), you will get 3 such points. If you get a B and a B, or a B and a C, you get 2 points. Anything below that gives you 1 points. Very few people get 3 points, because an A in either subject is very difficult.

Finally, remember that the first year of IB is arguably the most important. This is where you get your predicted grades, which is all that universities have to go on. Many universities, especially in the US, will accept you unconditionally based on these grades, so you must work as hard as you can in the first year. The second year is less stressful, but still important. Anyway, if you have a good work ethic and are organised with your time, it will be manageable and even rewarding. Otherwise, it won't!
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Mala Verge
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So you are saying that US universities based on your UPG will give you a guaranteed place even if you don't make that in ib?
Also do other places like the UK & Netherlands give unconditional offers?
When do you send out applications to the universities and when do you hear from them?
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Eric_TS
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(Original post by Mala Verge)
So you are saying that US universities based on your UPG will give you a guaranteed place even if you don't make that in ib?
Also do other places like the UK & Netherlands give unconditional offers?
When do you send out applications to the universities and when do you hear from them?
US Universities often give unconditional offers, and will only revoke them if you get much worse than your predicted grades. The UK often gives conditional offers - either the same as your predicted grades or near them. I am not sure about other countries. For early decision in America, I know that you send the applications in as early as November 1, although it is usually later. Not 100% sure about the exact dates, though, and it will differ for each university.
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ockclay
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Hey!

FWIW, I'm doing the IB too.

The main piece of advice I'd give you is: don't fall behind. OR, at least, do your best to catch up if you do.
I mean, I never did GCSEs, so I don't know what the workload is like prior to the IB in the UK, but for me, the sheer amount of content to learn was a really big jump come starting IB. If you fall behind with it, it can drag you down really pretty quickly.

Another piece of advice: the general consensus seems to be that CAS sucks. And, tbh, I have to agree... But, if you keep up to date with it - trust me - it's a lot easier to manage. Just do reflections here and there, and if your school doesn't give you guidelines for how many reflections you should have by a certain date, then maybe try to schedule them for yourself.

But, overall? I've really loved the IB.
The workload is manageable as long as you work hard and keep yourself on top of your subjects! Don't stress and take things in your stride - you'll be fine!

(And the three extra points:
Okay - so. It's a culmination of your TOK and EE grades. I think someone above mentioned what grades you need to get the points. As for what the points come from... You have your EE - you probably know about that already? 4,000 word essay on your own topic etc etc.
Then TOK. The TOK grade is made up of two parts: the TOK essay and the TOK oral. The TOK essay is a set of prescribed essay topics from which you pick one and basically analyse it in a TOK way? And then the TOK oral is choosing your own topic (or choosing with up to two others for a maximum of three people) and then analysing that topic in a TOK-ish way. Each person is 10 minutes in the oral. So, if you do it alone - 10 minutes, if you do it in a pair - 20 minutes, you get the idea. But, honestly, the TOK stuff will all make a lot more sense once you've started the course. As the teachers liked to tell my class: if you're confused, you probably get it more than you think).
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