4700 Medford Drive
Annandale VA 22003
A: Taking IB classes will give you a world-class education, help you get into college, and it may get you credit, advanced standing, or scholarships in college.
In deciding whether to take IB classes and whether to complete the Diploma or Certificate requirements consider your goals, your interests and your abilities. The IB program is a challenging course of study for highly motivated 11th and 12th graders who usually plan to attend a 4-year college after graduation.
A: Taking IB classes will prepare you for college and for life.
The primary objective of an IB program is to provide students with a world-class education that will prepare students for college and for the rest of their lives. The challenging curriculum, the requirement of the extended essay, the Theory of Knowledge course and the Creativity, Action, and Service component aim to produce well-educated citizens who can think critically, write well, speak articulately, and manage demanding schedules. Students who choose to do an IB Certificate instead of the full IB Diploma will still benefit from having been exposed to the demanding college-level curriculum. This world-class education is the primary reason students choose to take IB classes. In addition, the IB program can help you gain admission to college and can get you credit, advanced standing and even scholarships.
A: The right number of IB classes depends on your personal goals.
In general, students should take the most challenging classes in which they can earn mostly A’s and B’s. To earn an IB Diploma you must take six IB courses during your junior and senior years. (See the attached description of the program.) The more selective colleges expect students to take 5 solids each year. (English, foreign language, social studies, science, and math). The IB program at Annandale allows students to choose one or more IB classes and to combine the IB classes with courses from all the other program offerings to create a 4-year sequence that is tailored to the individual students interests and abilities.
A: Here are some of the qualities of a successful IB student
A: You don’t need to make the final decision until the end of junior year.
If you aren’t sure what you want to do, leave your options open by taking the classes you will need during 9th –11th grades. Then, if you decide to continue, you will have all of the prerequisites. If you decide you want a certificate you’ll have a very solid transcript to present to colleges. There are three key elements to remember as you plan your 9th-11th grade courses.
This is one time when procrastination won’t hurt you. As long as you are taking the right classes, whether you’ve made your final decision early and never change your mind or waffle all the way through junior year, it really makes no difference. You’ll very likely be participating in extra-curricular activities anyway, so go ahead and document them for CAS hours. You don’t have to make the final decision until it’s time to start your extended essay in the spring of your junior year.
A: When it comes to college admissions, there are no guarantees, but the IB program is a widely recognized and well respected by colleges and universities.
Colleges throughout the United States and internationally recognize the IB program as representing world-class university preparation. Students going to a university or college outside of the United States are well advised to complete the IB Diploma. Within the U.S. the weight given the IB program in admission decisions varies widely. Some schools show a preference for IB Diploma candidates in the admissions process. In Virginia, the College of William and Mary and Virginia Tech, for example, have expressed a preference for the IB Diploma. In general, the IB is recognized as a challenging course of study that is certainly viewed favorably in the admissions process. Selective institutions are looking for students who have taken the most challenging course of study available in their high school. At Annandale, this is the IB Diploma program.
A: It depends on the institution.
While, some schools express a preference for the IB Diploma, others simply look at whether a student has taken IB courses. Students are advised to consult with their counselor as they plan their IB programs to determine the preferences of individual colleges and universities. In the same way that students consider factors such as size, location, majors and cost, students should also look at a university’s IB policies in determining where to apply. By the same token, if a student has a “dream school” it makes sense to look at how that school views the IB in making the final decision about what IB courses to take during their four years at Annandale High School.
A: Students completing IB courses and examinations may be granted credit by colleges and universities.
Policies regarding credit for high school courses are developed by individual colleges and universities, not by the International Baccalaureate Organization, and vary widely among different schools. Some schools, such as Virginia Tech, Oberlin College, and Harvard University will grant students sophomore standing with the completion of an IB Diploma. Students who wish to receive credit for their work in the IB program should consult with their counselors and the IB Coordinator for advice in planning their IB programs and planning which colleges to apply to. A web site is available which provides the recognition policies of universities around the world. This site can be found at www.ibo.org. The site also provides links to the college and university web pages and e-mail addresses of individuals at universities or colleges who may be contacted with specific questions about IB recognition at their institution. Students and parents should be aware that the individuals responsible for making admission decisions are not usually the same people who make decisions regarding the awarding of credit. Annandale counselors and the IB coordinator are pleased to work with students to inform colleges of the rigor and the nature of their work in the IB program in order to insure that students are awarded a fair amount of credit for their work in IB.
A: Students may "place out" of introductory college classes based on their work in the IB program.
Again, colleges and universities, not the IBO, make placement policies. Students and parents should consult the web site or consult with the IB Coordinator for information about specific institutions. Even colleges that are reluctant to award credit may be willing to allow students to use their IB scores to place into more advanced classes that would otherwise be closed to them.
A: Some schools offer scholarships for earning an IB Diploma.
A growing number of institutions are awarding scholarships for students who earn an IB Diploma. For information about specific institutions contact Shirley Campbell, the IB Coordinator at (703) 642-4254.
A: www.ibo.org/ IBO Home Page or Shirley Campbell, IB Coordinator, (703) 642-4254
Address comments and questions to AHS IB coordinator, Shirley.Campbell@fcps.edu