IB Overview What is IB?

How are the 2 years of IB structured? (USA)

The two year plan will be heavily dependent on your school. Some schools solely have the IB curriculum, so you would probably take your 6 IB Courses over the course of two years, as well as TOK. At my school (a public high school in Texas), we have AP, IB, and on-level curricula, but we could only do IB if we were in the Diploma Programme.

We also have the trimester system, so some of our IB classes were only offered for two of the three trimesters. Alternatively, some of the classes were all three trimesters for one year, and some were for two trimesters for both years. Choosing your IB subjects is also specific to your school, because many schools do not offer all subjects. For example, my school only offered HL English Literature as our Group 1 subject. Schools will also have different times to complete IAs for each subject, the EE, CAS, and TOK. 

Everyone’s two years look a little different. Mine was quite full, as I took 8 IB subjects (HL English Literature, HL Spanish, SL Psychology, HL Biology, SL Math, SL Economics, and two additional subjects HL History of Americas, and SL Visual Arts) and some AP classes on top of this. However, I took two of these SL courses in Year 1, so I only had 6 IB courses in Y2.

Taking additional subjects was something I did to fill the release periods in my schedule and challenge myself. I took some courses solely to try something new and step out of my comfort zone. You do not have to approach course selection as I did though! Some students take classes that they think will be easy, and although that can be beneficial to some, it may not expose you to the full potential of IB. Don’t stress about your two-year plan, though! Your IB coordinator will plan your courses with you, and your teachers will inform you of deadlines. Your two year plan will likely change throughout your two years in IB, but it will all work out if you put in your best effort.

• Marisa’s post on how the IB is structured in the USA is here
• Imogen’s overview of the IB program is here

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