Scott Chen

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Taking the IB in highschool will definitely help the 1st semester of college. Class wise, you can place out of introduction classes to make full use of your tuition on learning material that you haven’t learned before. You will also find the transition from highschool to college easier. Firstly you will be much more ready to handle college courseworks, be it writing literature essays or science reports. Then you will find that the IB, especially DBS’s IB program provides you with ample skills to deal with tests and exams in college. Finally, because I was well prepared for rigor of classes in college from the IB program, I found myself studying very little in comparison to my peers and had hence had a lot of time to socialize and join campus activities that I enjoyed.

Potential students should demonstrate self-motivation to learn and distinct goals be it the classes they aim to take or the possible programs of study after the IB program. They must also be able to handle their time well independently since a successful student will be juggling many commitments at once throughout the program. Most importantly, students should know what they are signing up for – the IB program will help you with your future unless you let it through their own hard work and determination.

Before the diploma program, know your strengths and weaknesses and research into what programs of study you might want to study, and make sure that the IB subjects you take fulfill as many of the requirements of all the possible programs of study.

Starting from the beginning of IB1 year, make IB2 friends and know what they are preparing for their respective university applications. Also, start thinking about what and where you would like to study by talking to university counselors, IB2 students, alumni, teachers and your family.

Have the colleges you want to apply for planned out before the end of IB1 year. Schedule a casual chat with the college counselors after they are finished with their hectic period of preparing IB2 university applications just before the end of the 2ndsemester. Decide which colleges and what programs of study you want to apply for, and know all the application requirements and deadlines.

During the summer between IB1 and IB2 you must start brainstorming ideas and come up with first drafts of your application essays to the programs of study you will apply to. Then show these ideas and drafts with your family and alumni. You will most likely scrap those ideas and essays eventually, but it is an important process to go through in order to know what about you will be significant to admissions officers. This summer is also prime time to do an internship or gain research experience, since your employer or professor will have fresh memories (hopefully good ones) of you when they are writing your recommendations a few months later. Also, the experiences during this summer will probably be most relevant to the programs of study you are applying for, so you will be writing in your applications about experiences that are still fresh in your mind.

SAT schedule
Before the start of IB1 you must complete all the preparation for the SAT1 test, since once you enter the IB program it will be hard to dedicate large amounts of time to this time-consuming process of preparation. Ideally you should take your first test in the first semester of IB1 to either get over it or have the Christmas holidays to reevaluate your test-taking strategies and retake it in the second semester. Colleges usually allow 3 SAT1 test scores, so it would be ideal if you spread them across IB1 1stand 2nd semester and IB2 1st semester, assuming that you will not achieve the ideal score until the last one. You can prepare for the SAT2 tests in the 2nd semester of IB1 if they are required since you will cover a lot of its material in the IB program, but if you planning on taking an SAT2 test whose material will not be covered in your IB subjects, you must also complete the preparation before start of IB1. Try to spread out the SAT2 tests across test dates. It would be a good idea to take all 2 or 3 SAT2 tests in the second semester of IB1, so you have time to get over it or re-evaluate your testing strategies in the following summer and retake it in first semester of IB2.