Is Full IB Worth It?


Carly Kaneshiro

IB students attentive in Mr. Nipps Theory of Knowledge class.

Carly Kaneshiro, Staff Writer

With the next academic year just around the corner, many underclassmen are wondering if the full International Baccalaureate Diploma Program (IB) is a route that’s worth taking.

The IB program offers many demanding classes for students that includes all of the core subjects as well as many other educational classes. As its name implies, full IB requires that all eight periods of the school day are IB courses.

In addition, the program also includes a couple of projects for students to accomplish.

They include the Extended Essay (EE) and the Creativity Activity and Service Experience (CAS). The EE extends for two years and covers one subject area, with a written essay of 4000+ words. The CAS promotes students to do community service every quarter of the year and log down their experiences.

While some students are concerned about the commitment needed with this program, others only find positives in it.

“I think it is definitely worth it in the sense that it’s very rewarding in many areas. The fact that you’re taking the most rigorous courses that Mid-Pacific offers is already putting you on a different pedestal,” junior full IB student Sydney Woolley said.

Along with this, students find full IB very enjoyable.

“I enjoy the EE because it allows me to dive deeper in a certain subject area that I think is interesting. Also the CAS experiences are always fun,” junior full IB student Caleb DeSoto said.

Additionally, many value the community and relationships built with their peers.

“The IB kids are in the trenches with you, working alongside you, and know what you’re doing. This really builds a tight knit community which I really enjoy,” DeSoto said.

Alumni from Mid-Pacific also reflect on their time in the IB program and appreciate the environment they were in.

“Being able to create relationships with others in the IB community, talk about our struggles, upcoming assignments, and collaborate with one another was a nice experience,” full IB Alumni Lauren Jardiolin said.

Although, finding a balance between full IB and outside commitments can be difficult for those who take on this course.

“It’s challenging having to balance between sports, school, and outside of school sometimes. There are times I find that I get caught up with all the work,” junior full IB student Chanel Awai said.

While the majority like the full IB program, it’s not necessarily for everyone, said the Head of International Baccalaureate Coordinator, Kymbal Roley.

“It’s challenging for some students if you want to do other classes like Orchestra or Hula, which are not IB classes. Although I could make a special schedule to fit that in, it’s still making a big commitment having all eight periods of IB classes plus an added on class,” Roley said.

As if preparing oneself for the rigors of full IB is not enough, students must also be committed to meeting the high expectations in many subjects.

“Another thing that can hold back students in full IB is that you can’t be good in just one subject. Since every class is an IB course, you don’t have to be great at all the subjects, you just have to be a little bit good, ” Roley said.

For those who take up the challenge of full IB, the benefits pile up.

Full IB students become more efficient students. Their work ethics and time management develop over time to combat struggles such as procrastination.

“I’m progressively learning more about how to operate when I have a lot of stuff to do. For example, I go home, have free time for around an hour, then I get to work. IB gave me a better understanding of my work ethic and taught me how to pay more attention to little details about myself, like my internal clock,” DeSoto said.

Not only do students become more academically efficient, many develop mental resilience.

“IB gave me the ability to develop a growth mindset instead of having it fixed all the time. Now, I’m open to a lot more things mentally and academically,” Awai said.

When taking up the full IB course, one is never left alone.

There are numerous ways teachers and Mrs. Roley continue to support the full IB students to help them succeed.

“I’m always available, and during the Fall, I’m working with the kids in their IB meetings with their EE. High School Science teacher, Charles Wade, is helping the students with their CAS experiences. Finally, High School English teacher Kerri Meade is working with the students and advisors on the EE” Roley said.

Additionally, many students get recognized within the Mid-Pacific community for enduring such a rigorous course of study.

“There is visibility with being in full IB and getting noticed by your teachers. You also get selected for things, such as being a Mid-Pacific Student Ambassador, to represent our school,” Roley said.

Something that never fails is how full IB continuously works to prepare a student for the level of work that college requires.

“Once you get to college, I believe you will feel much more prepared to be there instead of being lost. This is because you have already done a lot of stuff the colleges have asked for you to do already during the full IB program,” Woolley said.

The college credit can not only get you ahead academically, but can aid a student financially as well during college.

“IB credit is good especially if a family isn’t financially fit. Many of the IB credits will give you an advanced standing during freshman year of college and may have you surpass your freshman year of college all together. This can save a lot of money in tuition,” Roley said.

When all is done, alumni find that receiving their IB diploma is very worthwhile.

“It was extremely rewarding walking down the aisle with the IB chord knowing that all the pain, stress, and tears paid off” Jardiolin said,

All things considered, the full IB program at our school offers undeniable pay offs for students.

“I think full IB is one of the best things you can do for yourself at Mid-Pacific,” DeSoto said.