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Sophomore Dilemma: IB, AP or Dual Enrollment?

Pondering+Pathways%3A+Sophomores+Olivia+Chewing+and+Lenox+Johnson+are+just+two+among+many+who+must+decide+how+they+will+spend+the+last+two+years+of+high+school.+%0A
Pondering Pathways: Sophomores Olivia Chewing and Lenox Johnson are just two among many who must decide how they will spend the last two years of high school.

Pondering Pathways: Sophomores Olivia Chewing and Lenox Johnson are just two among many who must decide how they will spend the last two years of high school.

Maddy Carter

Maddy Carter

Pondering Pathways: Sophomores Olivia Chewing and Lenox Johnson are just two among many who must decide how they will spend the last two years of high school.

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At one point or another, it is safe to say that nearly every student that goes to North Atlanta has felt pressured into participating in an IB program. Parents and administrators alike often make it seem like IB is the best route — and for some people, it is.

However, this prominent pathway is not one size fits all. Whether you’ve known since day one that you want to take IB or you would much prefer to picture yourself dual enrolling, it’s starting to be that time of the year where students must decide if they actually want the rigor that comes with the hyped-up IB programs or if they want a different path, like taking AP classes or dual enrollment. As counselors are hard at work scheduling, sophomores must make the highly anticipated decision.

Taking AP classes offers many benefits — there is more variety in course topics and you can choose to take as many, or as little, AP classes as you want. For people like sophomore Natalie McNamara, AP offers the just the right amount of rigor. “I’ve had good experiences in AP classes so far, and I love that I don’t have write an extended essay or take Theory of Knowledge,” she said.

Meanwhile, others would rather go straight into our school’s dual enrollment program under which they take classes at local colleges like Georgia State University of Atlanta Technical College. Sophomore Zevin Vic, an aspiring musician, likes that dual enrollment lets him finish his high school credits fast. “I really just want to focus on my music, so getting classes out of the way is definitely a top priority,” said Vic.

Then there are some that want to do the traditional IB path, the Diploma Programme. Although this path is infamous for the amount of stress and work it demands, many sophomores still want to be a part of it. “I’m up for the challenge. I know it’s going to take up a ton of time, but getting into a top school is really important to me,” said sophomore Hannah Hume.

However, many students would rather be a part of North Atlanta’s newest option, the IB Career Programme. While it offers many of the same challenges of IB, it is geared more toward specific fields. “I didn’t want to give up graphic design or yearbook, so I knew that the Diploma Programme was not for me. I still wanted to take IB classes though,” said sophomore Laila Nicholson.

Even though there are many options for students to choose from, they all offer unique advantages, and all of them are designed with the students’ best interests at heart. The goal is that all the students will end up at the same place: graduation!

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Sophomore Dilemma: IB, AP or Dual Enrollment?