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The International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program - how to get into !

[OP]
Newbie
Mar 3, 2016
57 posts
4 upvotes

The International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program - how to get into !

Hi all.

I want my grade eight son to take The International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programam as i have heard its the best program for students who want to get into the University to pursue an engineering degree.Please give me some necessary info that how my son can get into this program. He is in a Public School now. Appreciate your feedback.
Regards
29 replies
Deal Addict
Mar 11, 2016
1438 posts
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Its overrated....from the parent of a self-driven, somewhat OCD, anxiety filled high school grad....how about letting your kid be a kid?...life is too short...what has led you to believe HE wants to be an engineer? Has he participated in summer engineering camps at Queens, U of T or Waterloo?? This program is really only relevant if he plans to attend University in the US....ironically, acceptances AND entrance scholarships may be reduced for these kids as they are based upon grades, not participation in the IB program...ie...taking IB program and ending with an 91 average vs no IB and 97 average=fewer acceptances and lower scholarships $$....this was the case for our daughter...she took engineering summer camps at both U of T and Queens and by grade 10 we encouraged her not to do IB ...less pressure and more time to be a teen...she still ended up with 97 average but we are glad she did not do IB...anyways, just email your son's Guidance Counselor....they will know which local schools offer IB...

If your son is really gifted and is not at all challenged by regular school academics then please disregard my comments above and good luck to your son!...Our daughter was bright but not gifted...she just worked far harder than we ever encouraged her to...

P.S. my wife is a school board superintendent so I do know a bit about it...
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Mar 4, 2011
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Kitchener. Ontario
Fjr2005 wrote:
Jun 14th, 2016 6:27 pm
Its overrated....from the parent of a self-driven, somewhat OCD, anxiety filled high school grad....how about letting your kid be a kid?...life is too short...what has led you to believe HE wants to be an engineer? Has he participated in summer engineering camps at Queens, U of T or Waterloo?? This program is really only relevant if he plans to attend University in the US....ironically, entrance scholarships may be reduced for these kids as they are based upon grades, not participation in the IB program...ie...taking IB program and ending with an 91 average vs no IB and 97 average=lower scholarships $$....this was the case for our daughter...she took engineering summer camps at both U of T and Queens and by grade 10 we encouraged her not to do IB ...less pressure and more time to be a teen...she still ended up with 97 average but we are glad she did not do IB...anyways, just email your son's Guidance Counselor....they will know which local schools offer IB...

If your son is really gifted and is not at all challenged by regular school academics then please disregard my comments above and good luck to your son!...Our daughter was bright but not gifted...she just worked far harder than we ever encouraged her to...

P.S. my wife is a school board superintendent so I do know a bit about it...
+1. Having gone thru the IB program, I can definitely agree. It's a waste of time. You can do better in non IB and get much more scholarships and university acceptances. Universities in Ontario don't give a crap about the program. I personally dropped the program for the 12th grade and saw my marks go up roughly ~10-15%. I knew many people in the program, and some of them, that decided to pursue the IB Diploma for the 12th grade, ended up getting fewer acceptances, and ultimately, were at a disadvantage when it came to grades for university acceptances.
Jr. Member
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May 14, 2016
104 posts
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I did Grade 9/10 "Pre-IB". Still paid for it but I would recommend everyone to go through it. It preps you well for university and it lets you get out if it in time before it affects your university decisions.
Only one person I know actually benefited from IB because he went to the States. Everyone else stayed in Canada and got screwed.

Someone else I heard of actually got screwed badly for a States program because IB forces you to take some Grade 12 math in Grade 11. He was known as the one guy to get the highest IB grades ever in my school, but the unreasonable universities he wanted to go to auto-disqualified him since he didn't do all his high level math courses in his final year.

Doing pre-IB will kinda force your kid to work hard and grind when entering high school and provide a more positive environment for your son. Your kid is going into high school and (definitely not saying this to scare you) high school is a place where kids experiment new groups and meet new people. Putting your son in pre-IB will mitigate (not prevent) your son from hanging around the wrong crowd. In my honest, honest opinion though, don't put him through Grade 11/12 IB if he wants to study in Canada.
Sr. Member
Aug 7, 2011
556 posts
112 upvotes
To add on to the great advice given above, taking AP in grade 12 is a better idea because you get university credits. Again, have to make sure the student can still maintain a high mark as to not jeopardize the overall average.
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Mar 11, 2016
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DeShaun wrote:
Jun 14th, 2016 8:33 pm
I did Grade 9/10 "Pre-IB". Still paid for it but I would recommend everyone to go through it. It preps you well for university and it lets you get out if it in time before it affects your university decisions.
Only one person I know actually benefited from IB because he went to the States. Everyone else stayed in Canada and got screwed.

Someone else I heard of actually got screwed badly for a States program because IB forces you to take some Grade 12 math in Grade 11. He was known as the one guy to get the highest IB grades ever in my school, but the unreasonable universities he wanted to go to auto-disqualified him since he didn't do all his high level math courses in his final year.

Doing pre-IB will kinda force your kid to work hard and grind when entering high school and provide a more positive environment for your son. Your kid is going into high school and (definitely not saying this to scare you) high school is a place where kids experiment new groups and meet new people. Putting your son in pre-IB will mitigate (not prevent) your son from hanging around the wrong crowd. In my honest, honest opinion though, don't put him through Grade 11/12 IB if he wants to study in Canada.
I just don't see the logic in this response or advice....the last thing I wanted for my daughter was to "grind " her way through high school...life is too short....you can have a successful academic and professional future and avoid hanging out with the "wrong " kids without the pressure of I B..Society places so much pressure on teenagers in this day and age that the incidents of anxiety, depression and other forms of mental illness in teenagers is increasing at an alarming rate...my wife is an expert in mental health as a superintendent in our school board and it is her life's work....trust me, unless the child is self-driven, and gifted to the point of wanting and needing the extra challenge of IB as they are bored, don't add more pressure and expectations..
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Dec 6, 2006
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Both of my daughters went through the IB Program in the French Catholic system. It is great preparation for first year university with the amount of homework there was in IB. My youngest daughter is off to university in September and she got an entrance scholarship based on her marks in the IB Program.
Jr. Member
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May 14, 2016
104 posts
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Fjr2005 wrote:
Jun 14th, 2016 9:32 pm
I just don't see the logic in this response or advice....the last thing I wanted for my daughter was to "grind " her way through high school...life is too short....you can have a successful academic and professional future and avoid hanging out with the "wrong " kids without the pressure of I B..Society places so much pressure on teenagers in this day and age that the incidents of anxiety, depression and other forms of mental illness in teenagers is increasing at an alarming rate...my wife is an expert in mental health as a superintendent in our school board and it is her life's work....trust me, unless the child is self-driven, and gifted to the point of wanting and needing the extra challenge of IB as they are bored, don't add more pressure and expectations..
You sound a bit offended by what I wrote - I didn't mean anything to come off as offensive, I apologize if that happened by accident.

I think you're taking my words too literally and that's kinda just how I talk. I don't actually mean "grind" as in she'll be working 24/7 like a machine, I just mean work hard. As a student myself, I would never give bad advice to another fellow student (or in this case, a parent advising their child). Pre-IB is NOT stressful or something that could bring anxiety or depression.
To break this down for you in a bit more detail so I clarify where the misunderstanding occurred:
Pre-IB is only one or two IB courses. The rest of the courses you'll take with your peers. ACTUAL IB is like 8-9 IB courses and maybe one regular.

The purpose of me saying to do Pre-IB is because you get accustomed to university. I went to a university that required a 90%+ average entrance and felt nothing upon entering the program while my peers struggled. I also landed a top-end scholarship and pre much got a free ride through. Not trying to boost myself here, I'm trying to provide context and give thanks to my parents for the advice to take IB in Grade 9/10 and drop it in 11/12. It was the perfect mix. Unsurprisingly, my good friends that I still have now are from the IB classes I had with them. The others fell off the radar (which I hear is a pretty common occurrence).

1theguy1 actually agreed with this, as well, and I am assuming he is a student:
1theguy1 wrote:
Jun 14th, 2016 9:32 pm
To add on to the great advice given above,
I would like to suggest that this is a good option and advice from one student to another. I can see how if I explained this to a parent, it might seem a bit odd, but I am definitely not trying to put someone through depression. I think this is a solid way to prep yourself for the future. Kids get stressed in Grade 11/12 with grades, but the Pre-IB kids seemed to just go through this and university without too much trouble (completely generalizing based off the experience my friends and I had). It honestly was a huge advantage and I hope it helps anyone who reads this post :)
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Mar 11, 2016
1438 posts
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DeShaun wrote:
Jun 15th, 2016 12:57 am
You sound a bit offended by what I wrote - I didn't mean anything to come off as offensive, I apologize if that happened by accident.

I think you're taking my words too literally and that's kinda just how I talk. I don't actually mean "grind" as in she'll be working 24/7 like a machine, I just mean work hard. As a student myself, I would never give bad advice to another fellow student (or in this case, a parent advising their child). Pre-IB is NOT stressful or something that could bring anxiety or depression.
To break this down for you in a bit more detail so I clarify where the misunderstanding occurred:
Pre-IB is only one or two IB courses. The rest of the courses you'll take with your peers. ACTUAL IB is like 8-9 IB courses and maybe one regular.

The purpose of me saying to do Pre-IB is because you get accustomed to university. I went to a university that required a 90%+ average entrance and felt nothing upon entering the program while my peers struggled. I also landed a top-end scholarship and pre much got a free ride through. Not trying to boost myself here, I'm trying to provide context and give thanks to my parents for the advice to take IB in Grade 9/10 and drop it in 11/12. It was the perfect mix. Unsurprisingly, my good friends that I still have now are from the IB classes I had with them. The others fell off the radar (which I hear is a pretty common occurrence).

1theguy1 actually agreed with this, as well, and I am assuming he is a student:


I would like to suggest that this is a good option and advice from one student to another. I can see how if I explained this to a parent, it might seem a bit odd, but I am definitely not trying to put someone through depression. I think this is a solid way to prep yourself for the future. Kids get stressed in Grade 11/12 with grades, but the Pre-IB kids seemed to just go through this and university without too much trouble (completely generalizing based off the experience my friends and I had). It honestly was a huge advantage and I hope it helps anyone who reads this post :)
no offense taken..no worries
Member
Mar 30, 2011
498 posts
99 upvotes
North York
Graduated somewhat recently (2014) from undergrad so heres my experience from IB:

Don't bother doing it unless you are considering school in the US.

Most people I've known that went into the IB program dropped out by grade 9 / 10 due to the increasing amount of mandatory courses in later grades. The program doesn't allow for much flexibility if I can recall ... (e.g. you pretty much have to follow their mandatory course load) and you get stuck taking the "core courses" (e.g. math/ english/ sciences/ French). This was probably the worst part for many students because not everyone wanted to take specific courses (its like taking pointless general education courses in university). I find people who did bother to go through with it to the end did struggle to find acceptances in universities. If your son wants to take computer engineering but is not allowed to and is forced to take ... History because of the IB limitations, how would you feel?

Which is better - an IB student who has like 80% averages OR a regular stream student who took academic courses who has a 88% average with extra-curricular activities/ part-time jobs on their resume only because they didn't spend all their time studying? (I personally would say the regular stream student in terms of university acceptances). This was the scenario I saw at least from my peers.

Also, I would recommend AP courses (which I personally took) over IB. It has so much flexibility as in you could take
applied English, Academic Computer Science, and AP Calculus at the same time

You pick whatever you are comfortable with! I personally took the courses I were weaker with in Academic (e.g. English) and stronger ones in AP (e.g. Economics). Going into university, first year stuff was literally just a repeat of the AP courses (actually a bit easier imo ...).
Newbie
Nov 26, 2013
85 posts
29 upvotes
Toronto, ON
I graduated from the IB program. It definitely taught me time management skills and first year of undergrad (in a health science program) was a breeze compared to grade 12. It was also nice to get transfer credits from IB HL courses. However it wasn't a life-changing program and while I don't regret being in the program at all, I am 100% confident that I would still be where I am today even if I was in the regular academic stream.
[OP]
Newbie
Mar 3, 2016
57 posts
4 upvotes
Friends it's been quite informative seeing different opinions about having or not having IB here. Besibes this i am more interested in knowing how a student studying in public school can qualify for IB programs. Are there any entry test, or past seven grade % counts. Are there designated schools who offer IB programs, what subjects he need to prepare if there is a test, and are there any sample tests available from schools or online. Dear webworm, as you have been through it, please guide, thanks
@ neverless, please educate me about AP courses also. This is something i was not aware of.
PS. i want my son to take mechanical engineering degree course in university and want to set a track for him so that he enters the uni with ease
Member
Mar 30, 2011
498 posts
99 upvotes
North York
ycanada wrote:
Jun 19th, 2016 12:10 pm
Friends it's been quite informative seeing different opinions about having or not having IB here. Besibes this i am more interested in knowing how a student studying in public school can qualify for IB programs. Are there any entry test, or past seven grade % counts. Are there designated schools who offer IB programs, what subjects he need to prepare if there is a test, and are there any sample tests available from schools or online. Dear webworm, as you have been through it, please guide, thanks
@ neverless, please educate me about AP courses also. This is something i was not aware of.
PS. i want my son to take mechanical engineering degree course in university and want to set a track for him so that he enters the uni with ease
I'm not sure how it is for other schools but here is what I experienced from my high school for AP courses:

They are essentially grade 12 courses that teaches the same material as first year university. Its like an accelerated class where you have to learn all the grade 12 stuff and then the university stuff. For example, if you took AP Calculus, you'll get rushed through the grade 12 curriculum and then you'll start learning the first year university calculus stuff. Most likely they'll somewhat skim/ skip some of the Ontario curriculum and be more favored toward the AP material. At the end of the course, the student has an option to take the "AP" exam. This is essentially an optional exam where you are graded from 1-2-3-4-5 (5 being the best). You can THEN use these results as actual credits for your university (so you could skip Calculus 1 in university if you scored a 5). Each university has their own preferences on how they accept AP credits, check them individually.

My friends who went to Waterloo and took AP Calculus, AP Statistics, AP Bio, AP Chem, AP Physics literally partied the first year since it was a repeat of everything they learned.
If money isn't an issue, then you may as well take the first year courses again to "refresh" your memory and get an easy A+ (thats what I did to get easy scholarships).

By the way: you don't HAVE TO BE in grade 12 to take AP courses. You can be in whatever grade you want to be provided its approved by the school. I remember there was some 10th grader from some random high school in Ontario who already took like 9 AP courses and was being awarded for it.

In my school, many people took AP Human Geography / AP Psychology in grade 11.

To give an example: I took AP Microeconomics and my teacher literally asked all his contacts from like YorkU, Ryerson, UofT (etc.) to give him practice exams. Those were the tests (or ... at least a modified version) of what we were being tested on. We were also given practice from previous years exams and nearly everyone who took the AP exam scored a "5" (since it was the same content essentially).

I'm not sure what you learn in mechanical engineering but I can see your son taking these AP courses: Calculus, Physics, Chem, Bio, Statistics, Computer Science
Member
Nov 15, 2015
315 posts
405 upvotes
Richmond Hill, ON
ycanada wrote:
Jun 19th, 2016 12:10 pm
Friends it's been quite informative seeing different opinions about having or not having IB here. Besibes this i am more interested in knowing how a student studying in public school can qualify for IB programs. Are there any entry test, or past seven grade % counts. Are there designated schools who offer IB programs, what subjects he need to prepare if there is a test, and are there any sample tests available from schools or online. Dear webworm, as you have been through it, please guide, thanks
@ neverless, please educate me about AP courses also. This is something i was not aware of.
PS. i want my son to take mechanical engineering degree course in university and want to set a track for him so that he enters the uni with ease
Only certain schools offer the IB program, so you will have to figure out if any schools do in your area. There is also a certain test that you son will need to take, and they will also take a look at his 8th grade marks to see if he is fit for the program.

As other people said, the IB program puts a lot of stress onto your son. You also keep on mentioned that you want your son to pursue a degree in engineering? It sounds selfish forcing your child onto one career path.
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Oct 6, 2005
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ycanada wrote:
Jun 14th, 2016 6:07 pm
I want my grade eight son to take The International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programam as i have heard its the best program for students who want to get into the University to pursue an engineering degree.
There is no need for an IB Diploma to get into an Engineering program. In fact, most students don't have IB.
ycanada wrote:
Jun 19th, 2016 12:10 pm
Are there designated schools who offer IB programs, what subjects he need to prepare if there is a test, and are there any sample tests available from schools or online.
Yes, there are schools that offer IB, and yes, you need to apply. Which school district / city are you in? In York Region, Bayview Secondary holds an IB information session for students in October for Grade 8 students. Students write the IB entrance test in November.

If your child does get into IB, you really better start brushing up on your Googling skills - most parents in these programs are quite informed.
ycanada wrote:
Jun 19th, 2016 12:10 pm
i want my son to take mechanical engineering degree course in university and want to set a track for him so that he enters the uni with ease
No need for IB - just score 90% in a regular program and your son will get in. I think your reasons for entering IB are wrong ... or perhaps not fully formed.

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