Into The Unknown: AP To IB

Into The Unknown: AP To IB

School is hard–there’s no doubt about it. This is a statement that certainly resonates with NAHS students who endure the rigor of AP, and aim to tackle IB. Projects, assessments, and assignments come in droves, with demands and deadlines given by every teacher. An overload of work results in many late nights followed by early mornings–an eternal cycle of sleeplessness. As it goes, high school years produce the worst and best times of your life. IB however, may only contribute to the worst. 

Freshman and sophomore years are spent in honors and AP courses that have been a challenge in and of themselves. AP exams test a student’s comprehension of a year-long course on a 1-5 scale–a concept that, to many, seems absurd and unfair. However, it is no comparison to IB’s two-year long course with more than one cumulative exam. Individual Orals, Internal Assessments, Extended Essays, and other limitless requirements torment students’ lives as they strive for high grades. “I thought Dr. Hasty’s class was hard,” said Junior Charles Ray, “I seem to have been mistaken.”

The IB program is about more than being a good student, it’s about an individual employing themselves beyond academics and taking what they’ve learned and applying it to real-world contexts. Students who participate in the program are required a specific amount of volunteer hours, and numerous IB and TOK projects which ensure a well-rounded student and require a hard-working one. “I like having the opportunity to take unique courses,” said Junior Raleigh Pyron, “even though I know it’s going to be difficult.”

At a paramount time in students’ lives, the IB Dubs attempt to both succeed and have fun. Easy in theory, but a huge misinterpretation of reality. Though AP was tough, it served as only a mere taste of an undeniably difficult future. 4 weeks in, and Dub’s are running out of space in their agenda, and running out of hours in the day. “It’s insane,” said senior Addie Nash. “I’ve spent so many sleepless nights just trying to keep up, or catch up.”

As juniors begin their reign as upperclassmen, their time as youthful AP students comes to an end. With the future now in mind, the time to build resumes and boost applications is diminishing. As students search for ways to set themselves apart in the eyes of college admissions officers, they are reaching beyond AP credits and striving for the ultimate IB diploma. Whether in the IBCP or IBDP, a hefty two-year journey awaits the class of 2024. The question is– Do the juniors have what it takes?