How to make your IB credentials stand out in the university application process?

As an International Baccalaureate (IB) student, your individualistic skills will bring a unique set of attributes to whatever university or college you ultimately attend. The challenge is to bring those qualities, in addition to grades and standardized test scores and the attention of admission officers. There are a lot of key points to be taken into consideration that will best describe your high school achievements in your university application.

IB Diploma (IB) and Career-Related Programme (CP) students

  • Know how to do an independent research
  • Have a demonstrated foreign language skill
  • Provide a global perspective on current events
  • Give back to their communities by volunteering and through community service
  • Study the language, history and arts of different cultures and approach problems from multiple perspectives
  • Have above-average time management skills and are exceedingly well prepared for college assignments and projects

In addition to the above-mentioned attributes, the students take yearlong coursework to develop critical thinking, analytical thinking and explore ways of knowing the Theory of Knowledge (ToK) while CP students bring work-related experience and a career-specific set of skills to their university application or resume.

Listed below are a few ways to emphasize the strengths of the students:

1. Accentuate your advanced writing skills

Completion of multiple essays is an easy task for IB students due to the emphasis laid by the programme on self-expression. They can capitalize further on this by using the interdisciplinary model of learning to respond to the questions put in by the admissions department.

2. Consider universities that accept individual portfolios

Some universities also allow students to submit individual portfolios of work. The DP and CP programmes emphasize the development of a student’s abilities over time. IB students will have gathered a significant body of work in their portfolios during their programme. Portfolio applications allow admission officers to understand how a student is reflective and critical in their work.

3. Nail the interview

DP students give multiple presentations during two-year coursework. The level of confidence and experience they develop in these public speaking opportunities will translate into a big advantage when interviewing for university admission, internship and work. Besides this, the students should not forget to mention their creativity, activity and service project in addition to their academic credentials.

4. Letter of recommendation

It remains a pivotal component of the application package. When soliciting recommendation letters that stand out, the students must consider providing the teachers with an easy to reference profile of their high school history beyond academics. It should include extended essay topic, CAS project, foreign language abilities, participation in any international programmes of study, extra-curricular activities and course workload.

5. Show your global perspective

IB students have a strong sense of cultural identity and respect the values and act locally. They are required to participate in civic engagement through a community service project that harmonizes some aspects of their coursework.

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