IB or Not to IB?

Abby Wittler, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

At Notre Dame, students have the option to enroll themselves in a program called IB or International Baccalaureate.

These are advanced level classes that help prepare students for college and even grant college credits if they do well enough in the course.

If students wish to challenge themselves, they can choose to take a few IB classes or even go “full IB” where they take six IB classes and graduate with a separate IB diploma.

These students take a mixture of SL (standard level) and HL (higher level) classes, where they will take exams at the end of one year for SL and two years for HL.

Rachel Bal, an NDA junior said, “I decided to go full IB because I wanted to challenge myself with my classes. I also was interested because I will receive college credit if I do well in my courses. Lastly, my sister took several IB classes and said that she wished she had gone  full instead. She influenced my decision a lot.”

Students often go into full IB thinking it will be nearly impossible for them to manage their school, sports and social lives.

So far, Bal mentioned that for her IB “has been slightly easier than I expected due to my high expectations before.”

On the other hand, Helena Parmar, another NDA junior said, “It is harder than I thought it was going to be, but with a little extra work it should be manageable.”

This being their first quarter of IB, they have had to adjust and make sure they are applying themselves enough.

They both mentioned having friends in their classes helps them stay in a good place because they can talk about the work with them and can have some fun in class.

“My favorite class is SL Math with Mr. Konshak,” mentioned Bal about her class load.

Parmar mentioned, “My favorite class is English. It is a hard class, but I like the way Mrs. Thillman runs the class.”

The girls mentioned that they chose their classes based on what they were interested in and what requirements they needed to fill.

“I would recommend it to younger kids if they are willing to work hard and want to challenge themselves,” said Bal.

Parmar approached the subject of recommending IB a little more tentatively but knows that if someone is up for a major workload, they should do it.

“I would say that if you are thinking about going full IB, you need to be sure you are willing to work hard for your grades and realize that it is a time commitment. Anyone who wants it and is hard working could definitely do it. I think that if you want to do it, go for it,” she said.