Have your heart set on getting a degree from a world class university? Then maybe it’s time to think beyond the regular boards such as CBSE, ICSC and State Boards and take a look at the International Baccalaureate (IB) for higher education.
Selecting the right course after class 10 may not be an easy task. But if the dream is to go to a top institute abroad, then taking the intensive IB certificate may be the right way to go.
“If the student wants to be globally competitive and wants to leave India for further studies, then choosing a school that offers IB is the best option to get into Ivy League Universities,” says Sunitha Perumal, country head of EF International Academy.
Perumal says that top institutes across the world usually take notice of students who go through the rigourous programme.
In fact, Perumal says that the difficulty of higher subjects is substantially more than subjects offered by boards like CBSE and ICSE. “Most Indian students can’t even keep up with higher math. But the good news is that, international institutes recognise the worth of higher math and other subjects.
“If you do higher math or physics or one of the other subjects, then you can eschew taking foundation course of that subjects when you go to the university as top US institutes count these as credits,” says Perumal.
Students are also evaluated throughout the year through class quizes, homeworks and tests. “Schools give you projected credits, which is what universities take into consideration for admissions. So it is important to be present and alert every day,” she says.
However, choosing an IB school is not the same as doing a Google search of the schools and getting the admissions done.
“The problems is that, many schools don’t have good enough faculty training the students. So, you need to see the kind of placements the schools offer. See if the students get through Ivy League universities and only then go for the admissions,” she says.
“Unfortunately, Indian institutes do not really recognise the kind of hard work students put into IB. So, the course is viewed on par with other Boards and it’s unfair to the students. If you want to study in India, then go for Indian Boards. If you want to study abroad, then IB is what you should be pursuing,” she offers.
Some schools in the city that have the International Baccalaureate (IB) certification are Greenwood International School, Canadian International School, The International School and Stonehill International School. Most schools offering IB certificates have comprehensive websites and contact details for parents and potential applicants to peruse.
“There are six core subjects like math, chemistry, English and more. And then, there are two additional subjects that students have to take. One of them is called extended essay, wherein students will have to write a 4,000 word essay and the other is the theory of knowledge, which is basically research in philosophy,” she says.
While Indian institutes pay more attention to the final academic grades that students get in their Board Exams, most top institutes pay more attention to a student who has a well rounded education that includes extra curricular activities, says Perumal.
“Students should compulsorily be part of five clubs in the school. Plus, they have to take part in sports and do 120 hours of social service,” she offers.
Typically by the IB rules, a classroom should not have more than 15 students and students get to choose the subjects they want to focus on according to their own interests.
“There are higher subjects and lower subjects. If you want to study medicine, then you have to take math, chemistry and biology as your higher subjects, so on and so.