IB has its pros and cons

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Within the last few years, the International Baccalaureate program, known as the IB program, has been growing speed and catching the eye of many students and parents worldwide.

The IB program took flight in Geneva, Switzerland over 40 years ago. Since then, over 500 schools in the United States has adopted this program.

However, in the Roseville Joint Union High School District, Granite Bay High School and Oakmont High School are the only two schools to offer IB.

The IB program was introduced to the Granite Bay community and faculty at the high school less than seven years ago.

Because of this relatively new alternative in choices when it comes to picking advanced classes, there is much speculation among many students regarding the success of the program. Already, those that take the program have picked up a few stereotypes.

“On campus, I believe that many people think of (the IB students) as the ‘super-nerds’ of the school,” senior TJ Conway said. “They also probably think that (IB students) have no social lives.”

Because IB is indeed an advanced level program, matching the difficulty to certain college courses, they oftentimes have the same amount of homework seen in a typical college setting.

Conway said the amount of homework along with the time allotted for extracurriculars, clubs and sports makes it difficult to balance a social life, but not impossible.

“We do have breaks (from school work) that we know we have to take,” Conway said. “I don’t think that’s something that everyone thinks that IB students get to do.”

There is also controversy among some students about which is better - Advanced Placement classes or IB classes?

“I don’t think that there’s much more of an advantage taking IB (over AP),” sophomore Afrah Tahir said, who will be taking IB classes in her junior year.

However, Megan Le, a sophomore who was planning on starting the IB Program in her junior year, decided to drop out of it and thinks differently.

“(The AP program) isn’t necessarily better than IB but I feel like a program that’s been here (at GBHS) longer has definitely gained more experience,” Le said.

While many believe one program is better than the other, there are definitely significant differences between both.

Unlike the AP program, some IB classes span over two years, and there are different types of IB classes as well.

In IB there are classes marked as Higher Level, which count towards the IB diploma received at the end of senior year, and Standard Level classes that do not.

However, people that take IB are not restricted to taking only IB classes. Any AP classes that are taken are counted as weighted electives.

Because of what some might see as a restriction on their schedules, some students who have considered taking IB have opted out for AP.

As well as different classes, the IB Program differs from AP due to its requirement of a certain amount of community service hours.

Regardless of what a student chooses when it comes to picking out advanced courses, both require a lot of work and commitment.

“It’s the student that makes the program what it is,” Conway said.

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