. Calgary Board of Education - Henry Wise Wood High School

Calgary Board of Education

International Baccalaureate

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are the advantages of taking an IB Programme?

The benefits of being in an IB programme are considerable. IB courses are exceptional in their advanced preparation for post-secondary studies. They exceed Alberta Education standards and allow for a smoother transition to post-secondary studies. Most universities will credit Higher and Standard Level classes. Policies do vary, so students need to contact each university they are interested in to obtain their updated recognition policies. IB does have a web site (www.ibo.org) where this information may also be accessed.

Essentially students in the IB Programme will:
• be focussing on skill development
• benefit from enrichment
• be working with like-minded peers
• explore the international perspective
• be involved in a well-rounded program
• experience fewer transition problems from high school to university
• have increased access to scholarships
• have access to advanced placement (credits)

2. Can I automatically carry on from Pre-IB into IB?

Following completion of Pre-IB, students will be selected to enter into the formal IB programme if they:

•demonstrate a solid understanding of a subject area
•exhibit a positive work ethic, commitment to their program and continue to be highly motivated
•have full parental support
•receive a positive recommendation from their Pre-IB subject teacher

3. What is the difference between IB and AP?

IB is a world wide rigorous two-year pre-university program of studies that provides students advanced university credits with a balanced education to facilitate geographic and cultural mobility. It also promotes international understanding and involvement. Only an IB authorized school can offer the IB Programme. AP is American based but courses are locally developed to meet a national standard set by mostly multiple choice exams.

Although both programs promote a level of academic excellence for students who excel in their studies, the IB Programme promotes students to pursue extracurricular activities and stresses time management in areas outside academic studies. In IB, students are expected also expected to be active members in the community, as well as deal with long term projects such as the Extended Essay and Theory of Knowledge course.

4. How are IB students evaluated?

In general, 75% of an IB subject mark is external (exams and essays) and 25% is school based. In May of their Grade 11 and 12 year, students are assessed by IB subject examinations. Most examinations involve multiple testing sessions. The papers are sent worldwide for external marking. IB students also write Alberta Diploma exams at the end of either January or June.

5. What is the workload for an IB student?

IB is a rigorous program in which students gain credits for universities. As a result it poses challenges in time management. Students have to be committed as the workload exceeds that of the regular Alberta program of studies. Each subject teacher’s course outline will provide you with the expectations for their respective course.

6. Can students take IB courses over the summer or online?

Only an authorized school can offer the IB Programme. This is also true for IB courses. The two examination periods are in May and November to accommodate the both hemispheres. IB is exploring the possibility of offering some courses online but this is only in the planning stage.

7. Will I have a life if I am in the Diploma Programme?

Each individual is different and each will find ways to balance school and home life. In the past many students have been able to still participate in sports, band and all sorts of other activities. IB students are usually very involved in school life. If you are concerned, contact your IB Coordinator or a Guidance Counsellor.