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June 4th, 2010


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08:44 am - International Baccalaureate
My daughter has just finished her final exams for the International Baccalaureate. It seems like a good qualification to me, though I think it's more demanding than A levels. She has studied biology, chemistry, maths, English, history and Russian. Normally there is only one science subject and an art subject, but there is flexibility for some specialisation, because she wants to study biomedical science at Uni. It seems to be well recognised by Universities (with one or two exceptions), though she is being asked for high points in A Level terms.

It's an expensive course to offer and the college she studied at is going to drop it from next year, unfortunately. I'm glad she had the chance to experience it, though at one point she said 'It's the biggest mistake I ever made in my life' (this was when she was revising for the final exams; it seemed a huge task).

I think the demanding nature of the course - as well as the academic subjects you have to do community service, a physical activity, and an expressive art - will prepare her well for University. It's also been good to study with students from many different countries. Of course we haven't had her final grades yet, but I think she'll do OK.

The reason I post this is because I remember discussing the decision to take this qualification, two or three years ago on this blog, and I thought people might be interested in the verdict - as you can see it is an endorsement, to anyone considering this option, with the caveat that it's tiring and demanding.

(15 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


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From:altariel
Date:June 4th, 2010 07:49 am (UTC)
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Congratulations to your daughter, it sounds like a tough course. How long a wait for results?
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From:communicator
Date:June 4th, 2010 07:58 am (UTC)
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It's earlier than A Levels, as the exams are earlier - I think July some time
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From:electricant
Date:June 4th, 2010 07:58 am (UTC)
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Thanks for the update and glad to hear that your daughter ended up thriving on the course (even if she had moments of wishing she'd taken an easier path). Fingers crossed for her results, though it sounds like she's done all the hard work necessary to do really well.

I have a colleague at work whose daughter is in her final year of the IB also and he gives me regular updates on her progress, as I'm the only person he knows who's been through the IB system rather than the Australian HSC system. I like that having an international qualification makes me a little bit of an outlier everywhere I go, but also helps me fit in a little at the same time.
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From:communicator
Date:June 4th, 2010 08:24 am (UTC)
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Yes, it was good that you could offer some first hand experience when we were dithering about it a few years ago. And I liked that she was doing the same exams as people in Africa, South America, Japan and everywhere.
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From:lamentables
Date:June 4th, 2010 08:59 am (UTC)
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Congratulations to your daughter.
It sounds like an alternative that the young lamentables would have welcomed.
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From:communicator
Date:June 4th, 2010 09:04 am (UTC)
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Yes, I can just see that, from what you have said about your younger self. And I think there's a nice collegiate atmosphere in the course.
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From:gfk88
Date:June 4th, 2010 10:19 am (UTC)
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My old maths teacher was some sort of top examiner for IB maths. I remember he gave us the papers to do and we were all "ooh, this is a bit hard". Admittedly this was twenty-odd years ago but it sounds like it's still the same. Hopefully the universities will recognise that.
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From:communicator
Date:June 4th, 2010 10:49 am (UTC)
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You do three subjects at higher level and three at standard level, my daughter has taken maths at the lower level (the sciences and history at higher) so that will make a difference
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From:glitterboy1
Date:June 4th, 2010 04:32 pm (UTC)
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Congratulations to her! She's managed to cover a wide and interesting range of subjects - I'm sure that the breadth *was* demanding, but I hope it will be a good foundation for her over time - as I'm sure will be the non-academic parts.

I hope that she'll get the results that she needs for her points.
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From:communicator
Date:June 4th, 2010 04:37 pm (UTC)
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Thanks, glitterboy. Manchester is first choice, and Newcastle one point behind that. If it's lower than that, we'll have to see.

she says she would like to continue with Russian at Uni. I said there might be some sort of informal course or group you can join? Not sure how it works nowadays.
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From:glitterboy1
Date:June 4th, 2010 04:53 pm (UTC)
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I don't immediately see a specifically Russian-oriented student society at Manchester, but their Language Centre provides for self-study, and also runs accredited courses. Newcastle has self-study materials in Russian, but looks to have a smaller range of language courses.

Sorry, I got carried away with my own curiosity to know! I'm sure that there'll be self-study opportunities wherever she goes, and, depending on the size of the language centre, it wouldn't be surprising if there were informal courses, too.
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From:communicator
Date:June 7th, 2010 10:09 am (UTC)
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Thank you I have just been showing that to my daughter and she says 'That looks good actually'
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From:katlinel
Date:June 7th, 2010 09:58 am (UTC)
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Thanks for the update - I remember the previous discussion and it sounds like the IB has been a good experience for her, academically and otherwise. I hope your daughter gets the results she needs for the University courses she wants to do.
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From:communicator
Date:June 7th, 2010 10:10 am (UTC)
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So do I. Also that I am well off enough to support her through it. A new worry that didn't exist when I was a kid.
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From:pinkdormouse
Date:June 9th, 2010 09:25 pm (UTC)
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Go her!

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