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Stress and Success: The IB Diploma

By Cameron Walsh and Emma O'Leary in Opinion & Politics


“I decided not to do the diploma because it’s a massive waste of time,” senior Andrew Thorson said about the IB Diploma.

“The only reasons anyone would decide to do the diploma,” Thorson said, “is because one, it looks good on colleges, which is pretty much false and two, [their] parents want them to do it.”

According to the IB Diploma Programme, the IB Diploma is an “academically challenging and balanced educational programme that prepares students to succeed in postsecondary education and life beyond.”

A study done by the International Baccalaureate Global Research Department on IB Students in the UK and their  “A level peers” after high school concluded that IB students were “significantly more likely than their A level peers to attend a top twenty university in the UK and to receive a first-class honours degree.”

Bridget Kraus, a senior, said that the IB Diploma might be necessary to get into “certain colleges,” but she believes that for most colleges it “doesn’t really matter.”

“I mean, it might look good to have on your applications, but I don’t think it’s the deciding factor,” Kraus said.

This begs the question: is the IB Diploma worth all of the stress? 

Many students that graduate from Summit Middle School are recommended by their teachers to take all Pre-IB classes, like Qing Hu, a freshman. The workload that comes with 5 Pre-IB classes has not been stressful to Hu so far.

“ [The Diploma] is necessary to get into a good college,” Hu said. “Because you can get good careers from there.”

While Hu believes that the IB Diploma is necessary to attend a good college, Izzy Greenhut, a senior, says that “the only reason you do the IB Diploma is if you’re going out of the country.”

Perhaps the conflicting opinions results from the fact that Hu is on the diploma track, while Greenhut is not.

“I think the only kids who should take the IB diploma are the kids who want to take the IB diploma,” Principal Stensrud said. “School should be a marathon, it shouldn’t be a sprint.”  



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