- February 26, 2022
Research Skills in the IBDP – EE and IA:
Research skills and academic writing are essential throughout the entire IBDP programme, however there are two major facets that demand this the most, irrespective of subject : The Extended Essay (EE) and the six Internal Assessments (IAs) – one in each subject.
The Extended Essay can be in any IB subject of the candidate’s choice, wherein they write a 3000-4000 word academic essay on their chosen topic area in that subject. The EE in English, for example, involves analyzing a literary work and collating as well as citing a multitude of sources. It is recommended that students ensure that they have an airtight essay plan with an unassailable structure. Making subsection headers within a draft (and then removing them later) assisted in achieving perfect flow. Writing multiple drafts, troubleshooting errors and doing multiple checks yield optimum results. For students who have taken CourseLeap’s Pre-IB Core Programme or who have worked with CourseLeap before, it greatly adds value because of the consistent academic guidance offered. In fact, CourseLeap provides special workshops and personal tutoring for research work during the year to ensure our students receive as much guidance as possible – in an ethically appropriate measure that maintains the boundaries of academic honesty.
There are multiple Internal Assessments (IAs), which serve as explorations of specific syllabus matter in the form of a ‘project’ done in each of the student’s six subjects. The type of research (primary or secondary) and the assessment criteria vary according to the given subject, however, students generally formulate a research question and investigate a certain concept according to the demands of the subject. For instance, sciences usually have laboratory reports based on experiments conducted by students, languages have oral assessments, etc.
The 4 SS’s of IBDP: Sleep, Stress, Skills and Success Strategies:
There are multiple strategies to stay strong during the rigorous journey through the IBDP. Taking breaks, capitalizing on a support system of friends and family as well as ensuring that one’s mental health is stable to combat the stress of IB Exam Preparation are just some of the ways to ensure success.
Adjustment at the beginning is crucial, and coming from a national curriculum background is not a disadvantage – instead of restricting oneself a student should work on adapting to the required skill set. This is where the genesis of CourseLeap’s Pre-IB programme begins – no matter the curriculum (ICSE, IGCSE, MYP, etc.) the IBDP is rigorous enough that a challenging transition needs to be made in any case. Our Pre-IB programmes are focused explicitly on bridging that gap and implicitly on making students excel in each subject and component of the IBDP. This gives them confidence in their academics and helps them pursue non-academic activities such as sports, internships and artistic interests that develop a holistic profile suited to individual development and university applications.
Connecting Colleges after IBDP and Subject Choices during IBDP- ‘Major’ Decisions:
Students and their families rarely know which universities and majors they wish to attend at the beginning of their journey with the IBDP and do not usually choose subjects according to that knowledge. Subject choices are of varying importance in the college application process based on multiple factors, such as the regions they are planning to apply to. For example, certain universities (or undergraduate programmes at those institutions) in the United Kingdom require Mathematics, Economics or certain other subjects at the Higher Level for an applicant to even be considered, and in some cases, a 6 or 7 in those subjects is a prerequisite as well. For applicants to the United States, the subject choice does not have a direct impact. However, if one is aware that they would be pursuing STEM and mathematics in particular during college, they should consciously choose Mathematics at the Higher Level. From a career- building perspective for example, if a student has always been drawn towards Economics or Mathematics, they can choose those subjects at the Higher Level. This relates to any subject. If English is also another subject which one is simply deeply passionate about, it can become another Higher Level subject. However, higher education is only one factor on which subject choices are dependent, our Welcome to IBDP blog sheds further light on this matter.
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