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Is anyone else IB or NPIB? - July 22nd 2010, 06:00 PM

Next year I'm going to my freshman year in high school and I'll start the NPIB programme. I'm a little nervous because I'm going to try and do drama while getting good grades, so I just wanted to know if this is even a realistic goal. I also just wanted maybe advice in general about IB/NPIB diploma programmes. Gracias.

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Re: Is anyone else IB or NPIB? - July 25th 2010, 03:18 PM

Well, I'm not in IB but I was in the AP (Advanced Placement) program throughout high school. In American (USA) high schools, they have AP courses individually. Their AP is different than the Canadian AP. The Canadian AP is more of a program for students who have actually been identified as gifted, whereas the American AP is more of individual courses that students take when their goal is university/a prestigious university. This is what I've been told, anyway.

Now, we have IB here in Canada as well and it is very much like the AP program so I can offer my insights. Going into high school in grade nine, I was really worried about being placed in the AP program. I did well throughout elementary school but, let's face it, that was elementary school. High school would be a big change for me and being in the AP program on top of the regular changes was worrying me.

I've actually just graduated high school this past June and I can tell you that enrolling in the AP program was one of the best decisions I've ever made. I've had tremendous teachers in my AP courses throughout the course of my high school career, especially in the last two years of high school. I've learned so much from my AP courses that I would not have learned otherwise. I am now going to one of the best universities in the country in September and feel a bit more at ease because I've had the preparation throughout high school from the AP program.

Re: grades, I was extremely worried about this - especially in grade twelve when they're super important for university. I had consistent averages of above 90% throughout all of high school - even in grade nine, when I was trying to adapt to the new learning environment. I contemplated dropping out of the AP program for grade twelve because I was worried I would get low marks and thus not be admitted to university. My grade twelve GPA was 95%, even in the AP program. I worked really hard but the end result was worth it - not only did I get admitted to all of the universities I applied to (all of which are among the very top in the country) and received thousands of dollars in scholarships, but I also gained knowledge and experience that I would not have had I not been enrolled in the AP program.

I guess the bottom line is, have a little bit of faith in yourself. You were obviously put into the program because somebody feels you can handle it. You simply need to work hard and believe me, the grades will come. Some subjects will not be for you but you will quickly find your niche and work with it. I guarantee that being in the IB program will not hinder your chances at being admitted to any post-secondary institution, nor will it harm your social life (contrary to what many students think). In fact, it improved my social life. I became really close with the twelve AP students in my grade as we were together in almost all classes for four years. I consider this group my life-long friends.

Don't listen to anybody who says anything negative about this opportunity. There really is no point. I ignored people who told me that 'AP was for nerds' or 'AP won't get you into university' or anything like that. Just go into high school with an open mind, do your thing, work hard, be yourself, and I guarantee that you won't regret it. If worst comes to worst, you can always switch out if you're ever feeling tremendously overwhelmed. Nothing is set in stone.

Good luck!

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