If you're looking for a way to challenge yourself academically, the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program is the most rigorous option. On the other hand, A-Levels offer a level of flexibility while still providing a challenging and rewarding experience. Ultimately, deciding between the IB Diploma and A-Levels should depend on what the student wants to achieve, both academically and in life. Both A-Levels and the IB Diploma can benefit students who have decided to pursue a specialist degree. The IB Diploma can be an advantage in keeping options open and providing a broader education, which prepares students well for university studies and the workplace.
Developing general knowledge across a broader subject level up to the age of 18 undoubtedly provides an invaluable skill set for the future, and the experiences offered by the additional building blocks of PD can give the student that critical competitive advantage in their career by entering the university of choice. It's important to understand the main difference between these two programs. While the IB is designed to develop a well-rounded student, those studying A-Levels can specialize. For example, the IB does not normally allow students to study more than two sciences to make room for other subjects in the program.
However, students who choose the A-Level route would have no problem studying three sciences (Physics, Biology and Chemistry, for example), especially if that prepared them well for a particular course at the university with their hearts set on their hearts. This route would prepare them well to have a very in-depth knowledge of these complementary areas of Science. Therefore, for students whose strengths lie in a very particular academic area, A-Levels provide an opportunity to specialize earlier. The IB Diploma program is different in that it focuses on a set of core competencies, skills and values that are important to each student's development. While these figures should be read in the context that IB students are more likely to belong to the middle class, likely to have been selected from a group of high-achieving students and received private education, they are still impressive. Those who are firmly in the IB camp claim that it offers a better grade as it provides a more comprehensive education.
People worry about their final grades because they do the IB to go to college. In addition, the IB also tends to prepare students for college-level work more effectively, as there are research papers that count towards the final grade (internal evaluations and extended essay) over the course of the two years, and not just exams at the end. In the UK, it is increasingly recognized as a more rigorous intellectual preparation for university than A-Levels. It's easy to understand why the IB Diploma appeals to those with talent in a wide range of subjects. The IB Diploma offers a different assessment method and an alternative philosophy to how Sixth Form should be approached.
To help with this process, this week's blog outlines the basics of the IB and why it might be worth considering as an alternative to the more traveled A Level path. The IB program is ideal for students looking for challenges, but can be overwhelming for those who are not used to a similar workload. The IB aims to have wider international acceptance than A-Levels, but in practice most IB students in Greece want to study in the UK.