Is University Easier for IB Students?

I'm in grade 11 of the International Baccalaureate (IB) program, and I'm wondering if I get 70% on my report card, will the university give me higher grades? The general perception is that grades drop by 5-15% when transitioning from high school to college, but this may only apply to the academic program. The IB is significantly more difficult than the academic one in my school. My coordinator says that the IB is more difficult than anything you can do in the future, but it's likely biased. I heard that the IB is as difficult as the first year of college, but then college becomes more difficult.

I've heard from different sources that freshman college is the hardest of all four years, and I know IB graduates who end up doing mediocre at university. There's a lot of conflicting information out there. I'd love to hear your opinion on the subject. Your teacher only says that to motivate you to work hard.

If it's a local community college, then the IB has probably been more difficult. If it's Harvard or Oxford, then the IB was nothing. I consider my university course to be more difficult than the IB in many respects. It's hard to call - College has been very difficult, but now I'm taking subjects that I'm good at instead of compulsory subjects where I suck (Mathematics), so in that sense, although it's hard, I feel less out of reach now than before.

Intellectually, I haven't struggled with anything as much as I struggled with IB Mathematics. However, some universities are very bad and don't teach you much, so you can easily graduate. I have a friend who finished the IB last year and is now at Harvard studying English. He came back for Christmas and told us struggling PD boys that high school was harder than Harvard.

On the other hand, he's a supergenius, so it depends on you and what college you go to. In my opinion, after having taken a tough combination of subjects in the Diploma program and now studying Chemical Engineering at the most respected technical university in Finland (Aalto), it's clear that the IB is easier for several reasons. Obviously, the IB prepares you for academic and critical thinking that you won't necessarily include in the normal high school curriculum, which has been useful to me, but the amount of work still doesn't match what I'm doing here. A single-course exam can cover as much material as the entire IB curriculum, for example Chem HL. For example, I did my first organic chemistry course in autumn and the course material was a book from Oxford University; of which the course covered 360 pages of fairly heavy chemistry. And then there's the other practice job that's pretty essential if you want to pass a course without killing yourself before the exam, which is much more than an IB assignment.

I used to hear that the IB is also more difficult than college. But when I experienced college myself, I now have to say that college IS HARDER than the IB. The IB is nothing compared to university. Perhaps all that preparation for college is why research by SRI International found that the graduation rate of IB alumni after four and six years of study at US universities was higher than the national average. It gives students a perspective on the world and encourages them to plan their own activities, skills that help distinguish IB alumni in the university admissions process.

On the IB program, he said: “I didn't want to study three or four subjects, but a whole range of things, which I can do with the IB Diploma program. The mathematics (NS) that I did in the IB proved very useful for Calculus 1, since most of what is discussed there was also covered in mathematics of the IB (NS) (apart from the definitions of limits) and some additional things such as areas of revolution+, Taylor inequality, etc. Like all IB programs, the Diploma Program aims to encourage students to become internationally minded people who recognize their common humanity and shared stewardship of the planet” explains Robert Harrison, Curriculum Director, Continuous Development. Dr. David Conley, Professor of Education Policy and Leadership at the University of Oregon School of Education and founder of the Educational Policy Improvement Center, says that the IB exceeds US standards for critical thinking and research skills required for college readiness. If you got an 88 before conversion, then you got a 7 since the IB limit for a 7 in HL chemistry is about 80%.

A study examining educational outcomes of IB students enrolled in a UK university found that DP students were three times more likely than level A students to enroll in one of top 20 universities and 21% more likely than students at same level A to continue their second year of university studies or leaving after obtaining intended award. IB World Schools help students participate in research, action and reflection on important issues locally and globally. To answer original question: I heard people find it easier in first year because workload on IB and first year is practically same or less. On other hand if you think there's lot content learn for IB you'll laugh how naive you were when you get to university. You get 7 if you get score higher than 80% or whatever grade limit for subject as established by IB. I am in engineering and would say workload much more difficult than IB (I literally relaxed for...

Lucy Tittle
Lucy Tittle

"Lucy Tittle is a seasoned marketing professional and online tutor, recognised for her expertise in driving marketing success across diverse industries. She holds a Master of Arts (MA) in Art History from the University of St. Andrews, where she actively contributed as an art and photography editor for The Tribe Magazine, among other notable roles. Lucy's educational journey also includes A-Levels from Caterham School.With a passion for both education and marketing, Lucy has built a remarkable career. She currently serves as a key member of the Senior Team at The Profs. Additionally, Lucy has held significant roles at The Progressive Technology Centre, Vardags, Dukes Education, and Prior to that Lucy was a professional Tutor, working with Secondary School age students following 11+, GCSE, IB and A-level courses. "

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