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International Baccalaureate Program PHUHS

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IB FAQs

(Frequently Asked Questions)

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* Will Math Studies prepare me well enough for college?
---Math Studies includes Pre-Calculus - considered an advanced math course in most high schools.

* If I take the lowest level math course will it look bad on my record?
---More than adequate preparation for most universities. Florida's state university system only requires three years of math which could terminate with Algebra II. More demanding schools may require 4 years of math.

* Can only former MEGSSS students take HL math?
---No, but non-MEGSSS students will need to attend squeeze in Geometry H before taking Pre-Calculus in 10th grade.

* How should I choose my sixth subject?
---You should choose your sixth subject based upon your career goals and your strength in the six IB subjects.

* What is the difference between the two subsidiary level math classes?
---Math Studies approximates the instruction in Pre-Calculus; Math Methods is Calculus AB.

* On which exams do students typically score highest?
---This differs from year to year and school to school.

* If I want to major in science is it a waste of time to take HL Psychology?
---No. Psychology is a science.

* If I want to major in science would it be too difficult to take HL Chemistry and SL Biology?
---That depends on how strong a science/math student you are. It is not unusual to take two sciences. Our students' success rate would indicate that this is definitely do-able.

* Is it possible to take four subjects at higher level.
---Yes. You would, therefore, take only two SL classes, but still take three HL and three SL exams.

* Is higher level Spanish too difficult for a student without at least one parent who is a native speaker?
---No. Most of our students are very successful in both HL and SL Spanish (and French).

* What is the difference between subsidiary and higher level courses?
---The difference is described in the preceding sections by subject areas.

* What is the advantage of taking Physics I in tenth grade?
---Physics I is your gateway to higher level courses in sciences as well as to careers requiring extensive scientific study.

* How will I benefit from graduating from the IB Program?
---You will be better prepared for university studies and will also have attained a higher level of critical thinking which is valuable in everyday life.

* Why is class scheduling the way it is and what is the point of having a block schedule?
---The current IB schedule allows students the opportunity to pursue traditional program electives, provides additional study/research/tutoring time, while still allowing room for Inquiry Skills and TOK.

* Will the schedule be the same for the junior and senior years as it was for 9th and 10th grades?
---We can not predict what the IB (or PHUHS) schedule will be like in the years to come. We will, however, always strive to provide a schedule which is most beneficial to our students and which is conducive to their continued success.

* How do colleges compare IB students with Bs and Cs to traditional students with As and Bs?
---Please refer to College Admissions & the IB Student.

* Is it better to have high grades in the traditional program or okay grades in IB?
---Please refer to College Admissions & the IB Student.

* How important is the IB diploma to colleges when deciding whether or not to accept a student?
---What is important to colleges is the rigor of a student's courses. The IB curriculum represents the highest level of rigor of any high school program. Remember that you will have been accepted by colleges many months before the results of the IB exams become available. Your college acceptance is based upon your academic performance in 9th through 11th grades, and the promise of successful completion of 12th grade. Of course, solid scores on college entrance exams are also important.

* Will I have to take both IB exams and final exams?
---The normal Pinellas County exam exemption policies apply for final exams. One can not exempt IB exams and qualify for the IB diploma.

* How long do we get to study for IB exams?
---Four years.

* How many CAS hours are required in pre-IB? in IB? How early can one start getting CAS hours?
---100 hours in pre IB; 200 in IB. One can start accruing CAS hours beginning with the first day of ninth grade.

* When must pre-IB and IB CAS hours be completed?
---Pre IB hours must be completed by August following tenth grade;
IB hours must be completed by April 1 of the senior year.

* What is the extended essay and when is it due?
---The extended essay is explained in another page of this web site.

* Does the extended essay affect whether or not we get the IB diploma?
---Yes. The score you receive for your extended essay is combined with TOK grade to add often-needed bonus points to IB test scores.

* How can I use my summer time to be better prepared for the coming school year?
---Read next years English works

* What kind of scholarships does IB give to students?
---IB gives no scholarships. Completion of the IB curriculum, however, makes students attractive to those who offer scholarships. Most PHUHS IB students will qualify for Floridas Academic Scholarship under the Bright Futures program.

* Can IB students qualify for the Florida Undergraduate Scholars Fund?
---By nature of following the IB curriculum and achieving a good SAT/ACT score one can qualify for the FUSF.

* Will information from TOK be on IB exams?
---No.

* Will we still have coaching in 11th and 12th grade?
---Yes.

* What major projects like the mini extended essay will there be in the IB program? How can I prepare for them?
---The mini extended essay will pave the way for the extended essay.

* How do we decide which SL and HL courses to take?
---Read the Primer, consider your strengths and weaknesses, confer with your teachers, IB upperclassmen, parents, and consider your college and career options.

* Can we take an elective every year?
---Not in 11th grade, when you must take TOK.

* Can we drop coaching in order to take an elective?
---No. Academic coaching is an inteegral, mandatory part of our IB program.

* Why do we get our IB diploma after we have already been accepted into college? What is the point?
---You get IB scores (and the diploma?) at the same time you get AP exam grades. In order to get them earlier, you would have to take exams earlier, leaving less time for preparation.

* What does one accomplish in earning the IB diploma?
---Pride, a credential that proves beyond argument that you rank among the very best in the world.

* Do you have the same teacher both years of a higher level course?
---Sometimes yes, sometimes no.

* What is required to get into higher level courses?
---Your desire to take them - after consultation with your academic coach and subject teachers.

* What does your GPA have to be in order to get the IB diploma?
---The IB takes no interest in your GPA, but in your scores for exams, TOK, extended essay and completion of CAS.

* Why does an absence in IB count double?
---Because one block class meets two periods. This is according to county policy.

* How do IB courses compare to AP courses?
---They differ from course to course, but are always highly regarded.

* How does our IB program compare to other programs throughout the world?
---Our students have so far scored well above the world average, making us one of the best programs in existence.

* If we dont get the IB diploma are we still eligible for scholarships?
---Yes

* What is the average amount of time one should expect to spend on homework each night in pre-IB and IB, and how should we study?
---From one to four hours per night. Your study style is your own, but it is advisable to exercise good time-management skills.

* How many credit hours for college do IB students typically earn?
---Credit granted by colleges can vary widely, from none, to in excess of 50 credits. Our state universities generally award up to 30 credits for the IB diploma.

* What is Baccalaureate?
---In English, its bachelors the term typically used in European schools for a high school diploma.

* Why should one go into the IB program?
---Because one cares to get the very best education and preparation for university and career.

* What is Inquiry Skills?
---A course whose purposes include time management strategies, study strategies, stress management strategies and research skills.

*Is it more difficult to enter the program in the middle of the year than in the beginning?
---Yes.

* Why do we take the same foreign language for four years?
---To become fluent and thoroughly knowledgeable, and be able to succeed on the IB exam.