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The Warsaw Voice » National Voice » September 30, 2013
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Preparing Your Child for Entry to University
September 30, 2013   
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We are often asked how students can secure entry to the best universities in the world. We are frequently questioned on the different programmes on offer in schools to open the doors to higher education. We are interrogated about the value of learning in school compared to the skills required to be successful in the workplace.

The answer to all these questions lies in the decision by schools to offer local courses, A levels, but most of the best schools offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP). The IBDP is a rigorous pre-university course of studies that meets the requirements for entry to the best universities in the world and provides a holistic learning experience that builds on academic and community experiences to prepare students for their place in our global society.

This comprehensive, two-year course allows its graduates to fulfil the requirements of a wide range of educational systems across the world. This is because it was designed to be a world-wide course that incorporates the best elements of several national curricula. In this sense, it provides the “renaissance” model of education to all its students:

“The IB Diploma is a timeless classic, an icon of educational sense and high standards in a world where educational fashion shifts like hemlines…Practical, instructive and aspirational, it is the best possible preparation for university, for the workplace, and more importantly, for life.”

The Independent, 20 February 2013

The main objective of the IB Diploma Programme has been to develop young people who possess ten essential attributes, which constitute the IB Learner Profile. Students should be inquiring and knowledgeable thinkers who communicate well and are principled, open-minded and caring risk-takers. They should be well balanced and should have the ability to reflect on their action:

“The IB develops students that top universities want: students with expert subject knowledge; with the skills good students require—research, essay writing, footnoting; but above all, with the spirit of intellectual inquiry and critical thinking, the ability to challenge, argue and ask questions.”

The Independent, 20 February 2013

Each of the six subjects is graded on a scale of 1 (minimum) to 7 (maximum). Grades reflect attainment of knowledge and skills relative to set standards applied equally to all schools. Assessment of work is both internal and external. In addition to the six subjects (offering a maximum of 42 points), an additional 3 points can be gained in Theory of Knowledge (TOK) and an Extended Essay, an individual, subject-based research paper (4,000 words). Exceptional students can achieve a maximum total of 45 points. Only a very small proportion of students manage full marks (0.2 percent globally), and the best schools achieve an average point score in excess of the 29-point global average. Performance beyond the global averages only comes about through careful planning, high quality teaching, developing confidence and self-belief among students and a total commitment to high performance learning.

As well as the academic study, every Diploma student is required to complete a programme of community service and personal development through following a personalized journey of Creativity, Action and Service (CAS).

This is why IB Diploma holders gain admission to top universities throughout the world. Some colleges and universities even offer advanced standing or course credits to students with good IB examination results.

“IB is well known to us for its excellent preparations. Success in an IB program correlates well with success at Harvard. We are always pleased to see the credentials of the IB Diploma Programme on the transcript.”

Director of Undergraduate Admission, Harvard University

“When it comes to tutors making decisions on applicants, students taking the IB stand a better chance.”

Dr. Geoff Parks, Director of Admissions, Cambridge University, The Telegraph, 3 August, 2013

IB Diploma schools are proud of their dedicated and well-experienced teachers, highly committed to the success of their students. Many of the teachers in these top-performing schools are also IB trainers and examiners, sharing their expertise with other teachers in other schools.

The good IB Diploma schools offer a wide and diverse selection of IB courses, thus allowing for a wise choice of subjects. In addition to those offered at the school, students can access online IB courses through the Open World Schools Programme. There are only four schools worldwide to hold this status.

All IB students are well cared for, receiving help and advice when needed. A strong sense of community within the IB programme and school-wide, ensures a supportive and positive learning environment with a focus on celebrating success and nurturing individual strengths.

If you want to learn more about the secret of success in gaining access to top universities, then look no further that the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme. IB World Schools are always happy to help parents, students, employers or universities learn more about the value of this programme and how it can be successfully delivered to achieve consistent high standards. If you would like to know more about this programme, contact your local IB World School, who will be happy to help.

Dr. Jacek Łatkowski is Deputy Principal and IB Coordinator at The British School, Warsaw. This is a fully recognised IB World School and one of only four schools globally that are classified as Open World Schools to deliver online learning programmes in addition to the taught programmes in school.

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