Juniors Complete Their First Semester of the Diploma Programme

by Defne Apaydin

As this year’s Junior class finished its first semester of the IB Diploma Programme, Warrior News decided to chat with some of the students about what they think about the DP so far.

The DP is a two-year programme which offers an internationally accepted qualification to enter higher education and is recognized by many universities throughout the world. For this program, students were required to choose 3 higher level and 3 standard level subjects. Aside from the six subjects that they had to choose, there is also the CAS (Creativity, action, service), TOK (theory of knowledge) and EE(extended essay) components in order to complete a full IB diploma.

Choosing the higher level subjects was a hard decision for some of us, we knew that we were going to spend most of our time on those three subjects so we had to be really careful picking the ones we really liked.

According to Jacqueline R., IB is going fairly fine for her, but obviously she feels challenged like every single one of us. “The courses are very challenging but even though they are challenging, I am trying to do my best in them and I am trying to be passionate about them to perform as well as I can to be able to succeed.”

As the semester goes, some students change their HLs or they drop a level down. From the students that we have interviewed we see a trend that they are all satisfied with their HLs.

Jacqueline R. is content with her HLs. “ In general, yes I am happy with my HL’s and I would definitely not change them even if I could. At first I was worried that I wouldn’t perform too well but overall now I am really happy with them.”

Geunseok S. states that he is also feeling good about his HLs. “I’m pretty happy with my HL courses although I found it pretty challenging at the beginning of the year.”

The transition from MYP to DP was also a big challenge. We were introduced to different types of assignments and projects.

Jacqueline describes the transition from MYP to DP as hard but not undoable. “I was definitely not used to such a great amount of workload, deadlines, tests, projects–all at the same time. Even though MYP was also a challenging course, DP is even harder in level of difficulty. At the beginning, it was definitely very hard for me to adjust, I was very stressed all the time and anxious with the amount of work. But now, in this point in time, I can happily say I adjusted mostly to the workload. There are days where I am feeling overwhelmed by the workload. However, overall, I finally can say I got adjusted to the programme and the level of difficulty.”

Geunseok feels the same way as Jacqueline. “The DP program is definitely harder and tougher than MYP. I think it’s partly because I have more assessments & assignments.”

We hear from the Seniors that the CAS component of the IB diploma can also be hard to fulfill sometimes.

The Juniors, however, disagree.

Geunseok describes CAS as interesting. “CAS has been actually pretty interesting for me. It’s sort of a new genre that I have never done in school life. It’s interesting to document and reflect on what I do for the school community or for myself.”

Now that we are almost in the second semester, the Extended Essay component of IB is coming up. We as a class haven’t looked into this yet, but some individuals have some general ideas about what they want to write their EE about.

Jacqueline R. stated that she has a couple of ideas based off of her interests and favourite classes. “I am currently brainstorming but my preferred subjects to write my essay on would be English, psychology or business, but I’m not too sure. Possibly on interests such as fashion, literature, marketing, advertisement, the human brain, some kind of psychological concept, etc.”

Geunseok S. said that he is “not 100% sure, but he’s planning to write something about math or science,” which he is going to decide soon.

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