Has IB lived up to the hype?

November 5, 2018

Like any good novel, one’s first 13 years of education will consist of a beginning, middle, and end.

In the beginning, school is easy-going and light-hearted. Then, a conflict is introduced — actual work. You leave elementary school, and things in the middle get a bit harder. And finally, by the end, at the climax, the workload is at its highest and hardest.

For the oldest students at ISB, this is just called IB. 

And this year’s set of juniors have just gotten their first taste of it.

To see if IB has truly lived up to the hype for the Class of 2020, PantherNation interviewed a handful of students, who will be referred to anonymously, about their experiences with the IB so far. Here are the responses they gave.


IB has been

“It has been hard, but that’s also what I expected.” – Person C (voted “Exactly what I expected”)

“I think I overestimated my time management skills.” – Person A (voted “Harder than expected”)


People were hyping it up as super super hard, but so far, if you have multiple free periods and good time management, it’s doable.”

— Person E (voted “Easier than expected”)




What is your hardest HL?

*hardest was defined as the most effort spent on one class

*chart shows how many times it was picked, not necessarily how hard it is (for example, while Math HL is very difficult, it was only picked once because it is not a popular HL)

*mean grades given are the average final grade across all candidates in the world and are from May 2017. They can be found here

“Lang Lit is pretty hard and time-consuming, but it’s also really fun.” – Person A

“I’d say Chemistry is my hardest HL, and this might also be because I don’t find that it’s always interesting or engaging to me.” – Person H


What is one thing you wish you had known before…

Signing up for your classes?

“I know everyone says this, but choose what you’re interested in.” – Person D

“Do. Not. Take. Any. Electives. You. Need. Two. Frees.” – Person A

“Difficulty shouldn’t be the priority. Choose the classes you want to take.” – Person G

Starting the school year?

“Try to organize all your things and do homework the day you get it.” – Person I

“Only do the after-school activities you feel strongly about. Otherwise, you will be miserable during them!” – Person D

“Try to read, whenever possible” – Person J

Don’t let yourself fall behind in terms of content. If something confuses you, arrange an appointment with the teacher. This also shows them that you care.”

— Person B



Simply describe IB so far…

“Hard. IB is hard.” – Person J

“While also hard, the stuff we learn is actually pretty interesting.” – Person E






The latest time you’ve gone to sleep on a school night so far? 

While juniors have gotten their first taste of the IB experience, it is far from over. With new projects like the Extended Essay approaching, these results (especially the sleep chart) are sure to change. But, just like the dozens of graduating classes before them, the Class Of 2020 will find a way through it, and will be better students because of it.

Final message:

Juniors: Remember, if it weren’t for challenges or conflicts, books would be very boring.

Whether you are a senior approaching the end, a junior whose journey is just starting, or anyone else, be sure to share your opinions in the comments below! 


1 Comment

One Response to “Has IB lived up to the hype?”

  1. Kevin Callahan on November 5th, 2018 10:20 am

    Great article Craig! Very informative and the info is coming from a variety of sources. I enjoyed it very much but it pains me to see the sleep chart!!

    Mr. Callahan

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