For those who are not immediately familiar with it, the International Baccalaureate program is a system of education implemented worldwide for students between the ages of 3 and 19 years old. Originally developed as an educational standard for the children of expatriates, the IB system has since grown in popularity among a wider demographic. According to the figures on the International Baccalaureate public website, there are more than 7,000 IB programs being offered in partner schools around the globe, including in the Southeast Asian country of Singapore. In 2020 alone, 174,355 students from different countries were awarded IB Diploma Programme (DP) and Career-Related Programme (CP) credentials.
Why should these facts matter to you as a prospective student of International Baccalaureate Singapore education? The short answer is, it may be one of the best decisions you pursue for your university-level education, especially if you plan to study abroad. To illustrate, here’s a quick overview of the IB programs offered in Singaporean schools and how IB education can help you achieve a better future.
The International Baccalaureate Programs: A Briefer
IB education is overseen by the International Baccalaureate Organization, which was founded in 1968 and is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. Its original objective was to provide a universally accepted qualification framework for the children of diplomats and other expatriates, since they would have to do their elementary and secondary schooling abroad. Today, the end goal of an IB education is to offer students of an IB partner school the chance to earn an internationally recognized diploma. IB’s educational philosophy highlights critical and independent thinking from its students, all of which are demonstrated in the arts, humanities, sciences, and modern languages.
There are four key programs in the IB system, all of which can be found in Singapore IB partner schools:
- The Primary Years Programme. This is the IB program that caters to young children between the ages of 3 and 12 years old.
- The Middle Years Programme. This is the IB program that’s for students in their middle school years, or between 11 and 16 years old.
- The IB Diploma Programme. This is by far the most well-known among IB’s programs. It is a two-year pre-university program that students can take in their penultimate year of high school.
- Career-Related Programme. This is another prominent IB program that encourages its constituent students to take up higher education apprenticeships or other vocational opportunities upon completion.
Of course, there are alternatives to IB education, which include the College Board’s Advanced Placement (AP) program and the Business and Technology Education Council (BTEC) vocational program. But choosing to go the IB route and graduating from the IB Diploma Programme may offer you some significant advantages.
How Do You Know That You’re Cut Out for an IB Education?
You Don’t Mind Working Towards the Full Program
The IB Diploma Programme is different from the AP program in that it requires two years of study, as opposed to just a few optional classes. If you don’t mind pursuing the whole program and you think you’ll gain a lot from the variety of IB subjects, then by all means, you should pursue an IB education. Finishing it will reward you with better chances of getting into the top international university of your choice. The acceptance rate is up to 18% higher for IB students in America’s elite Ivy League universities, and the IB Diploma is widely recognized in European universities outside of the United Kingdom.
You Want a More Challenging and Rigorous Academic Life
It’s no secret that choosing an IB education means that you’ll complete coursework of an academically challenging nature. In addition to the core subjects, you’re also expected to join civic activities and develop soft skills like communication and teamwork. But if you are up for the challenge and want a more rigorous education, you should pursue an IB diploma. This will surely work in your favor when it comes to applying for university. If admissions officers see that you can keep up with the demands of IB, they will be more likely to accept you into their own exclusive programs.
You Trust in Your Writing and Critical Thinking Skills
IB education has a special focus on the intellectual exploration of its students. You will dive right into this pedagogy by engaging in activities like writing research papers and joining school debates. Due to the emphasis on these skills, many IB students say that their writing and critical thinking facilities improved after they took IB classes. So, if you think that you have good base skills for writing and critical thinking, you can enroll in an IB Diploma Programme and hone them even further.
Think carefully about your decision, because your education is an investment that affects you above everyone else. But for the breadth and quality of instruction you’ll get, as well as the improvement in your chances of getting into your dream university, IB may be a good choice for you. Find out what you need to enroll in an IB program in Singapore, and learn the IB way!