Sunday, April 17, 2011

IB: What is so awesome about it actually?

Okay, since everyone seems so into this post-SPM thing, I feel like I want to gebang about mine as well.

Semua pun promote course masing3. A-Level, foundation/asasi, Matrik, UPU, semua3 lah. Tapi try mention IB aka International Baccalaureate, semua pun muka tak bersalah. APAKAH??

Let's talk IB, shall we?

International Baccalaureate or better known as IB defines its own name - Internationally Busy. Now those non-IBian must be very skeptical. Apa kau ingat kau sorang je busy? Aku buat Foundation/A-level hatta Matrik pun susah jugak. Gelabah je lebih.

So what is it about being an IB student, really?

IB as a whole
It's actually a pre-university program, something equivalent to A-level, STPM, Matriculation program and whatnot. Despite the name itself as IB Diploma, no, it's NOT equivalent to the Diploma that you do in public/private universities after SPM. So if you're applying for a job with your IB Diploma as your highest qualification, you are still referred as an SPM-leaver, which means that your salary range falls in the SPM as highest qualification range.

We have to do 6 subjects, in comparison to A-Level where they have to do 3 or 4 (another additional subject). Depending on which course you're taking, the most common distinct would be between Biology / Physics, which soon determines either you're in Medicine or Engineering stream. At KMB, the common/normal subjects are
- Malay A1
- English
- Business & Management 
- Economics
- Information Technology in Global Society (ITGS) SL
- Biology
- Physics
- Chemistry
- Mathematics
Please note that I say these are the most common subjects since now KMBot is offering different courses which I'm not sure what the subjects are.

Other compulsory subjects
In IB, apart from those 6 subjects you take, there are also 2 other things that you have to complete to get your Diploma - Theory of Knowledge (TOK) Essay and Extended Essay (EE). These two things contribute to your bonus points. Note that TOK is actually a subject that you learn in class, while EE is a research-based paper that you have to do with guidance from your EE supervisor, done outside class hour.

The highest score for each subject is 7. That is equivalent to A+. So as the point goes lower, 6, 5, 4, the grades are lower as well. That makes up to 42 points (7 pts x 6 subjects). But in final IB exam, there's something we call bonus points - which depends on your TOK Essay and Extended Essay. The total bonus points is 3, so that makes the total points for IB final equivalent to 45.

All subjects are both available in Higher Level (HL) and Standard Level (SL). Which level you have to take, again, depends on your university requirements. During my time, English was the only subject where you will have to take a test to determine if you should do HL or SL. Other subjects are usually as they are.
- Malay A1 (SL)
- English A2 / HL / B SL
- Business & Management SL
- Economics SL
- Information Technology in Global Society (ITGS) SL
- Biology HL
- Physics HL
- Chemistry HL
- Mathematics HL
But a year after, the college has decided to leave the option open- you can choose either to take English SL and Mathematics HL, or vice versa, i.e. English HL and Mathematics SL. Take note that Mathematics SL doesn't have Statistics while Math HL does.

I personally think the reason behind this is because of the severity of Math HL grades among students. So they decided to let students choose - since honestly, I would say  English HL seems to be more achievable than Math HL. Alah, macam zaman sekolah dulu lah, subjek English for Science and Technology (EST) selalu mencacatkan grade sekolah, last3 drop je subject tu, at least dapat staight A, takde B, ye dakk?

Like I said, the two main courses are Medicine and Engineering. But there are also Biotechnology, Actuarial Science, and those Geo3 thing (e.g. Geology, Geophysics). Latest I heard they are offering Sastera Ikhtisas which I have no idea apakah.

Subjects according to Courses
So what subjects do we do actually? Okay, first and foremost, we have to do at least 3 HL subjects, and another 3 SL. You can always have 4 HL with 2 SL, and I would say this is not easy but gives you a real advantage in the end. But a typical normal student would go for 3 HL and 3 SL. Two main streams - Medicine and Engineering, later divided into 3 options - Business & Management, Economics, ITGS.
Say if you're an Engineering student doing Economics, then your subjects would be Malay, English, Economics, Physics, Chemistry and Maths. Senang cite, main divider dekat Bio/Physics, then pecah lagi kat Business/Econs/IT.

So kalau orang tanya you dak apa, cakap lah I Medic Business, tak pun Engine IT, and so on. But basically course Economics memang paling laku, sebab senior cakap senang, followed by Business and lastly ITGS. I'm in Medic Business, so macam tu lah.

Biotechnology students take sames subjects as Medic, while Geo3 thing follows Engineering. Actuarial Science students are a bit special, they have to do both Business and Econs. Sastera Ikhtisas, well, memang taktau.

Most universities will need at least 3 HL, and the Conditional Offer usually lies on these 3 HL subjects. For Medic students, the requirements are usually like
- 3 HL subjects at 6,6,6
- 3 HL subjects at 7,6,6
- 3 HL subjects with at least 18 points (meaning that you can have 7,6,5 as your score)
and so on.

For SL subjects paling3 pun universities akan cakap, at least 5, or 6 or apa jelah. Tak pun uni bagi total points like, 36 points without bonus. Please be aware that this is strictly based on personal experience, and since I'm a UK bound student, the requirements stated are mainly for UK universities. I'm not so sure about Ireland, Australia, Canada, USA, New Zealand, Czech Republic and so on.

Funny how an internationally recognized program is actually not recognized by public institutions in our country. For example, once you did IB but didn't meet the university requirements then decided to go local, you have to apply for private institutions like International Medical University (IMU), CUCMS, Nottingham, Taylor's, Monash, Sunway, etc. If you want to be in public universities like UKM, UM, UPM (and so on), you have to start from scratch. Sad, isn't it?

For Diploma program, it takes two years. And be prepared to pour all your blood and sweat during that two years. Also, pray hard that in the end, you'll survive with minor physical and brain injuries.

Last but not least, this website will direct you the truest definition of IB yet. Serius. Dak3 IB yang tak usha website ni memang kesian. Sila klik dengan perasaan teruja untuk mendalami IB.


I guess that's all for now. Any dispute, arguments, nak tambah tolak, nak betulkan, feel free to let me know. I'll continue further on what life was like at KMB during my time, tapi tengok lah bila. Post ni pun dah panjang tak hengat adoi.

DISCLAIMER: These views are strictly based on personal experience. The writer did her IB at Kolej MARA Banting (KMB) for two years since June 2008 to May 2010 (08/10).

Edited in May 2013 --- I've posted another entry on IB at KMB - the routine, classes etc. You can read it HERE. Alternatively you can click on the label IB and search for relevant/useful information - if there's any, good luck. However the latter has its own risk where you might find totally unnecessary pieces of junks I wrote during my IB years. Oh well you've been warned.

Also, I did IB 2008-2010, so yes, that's a million years ago. Things change (I know it sucks isn't it),  hence you might want to find more recent information on the glory of KMB and IB. Bahahah.


The Medical Duo said...

Salam ziarah..hye there.

I kenal sumwan called Hakimah, i rase dia ex-IB banting gak. Now she is my junior kat MSU shah alam taking MBBS.

U kenal dia x?

Bella. said...

hakimah? do people call her kim? kalau dia batch 08/10, then i guess that's her :)

Sarah Iman said...

sastera ikhtisas is economics and finance course :)

Siti Khodijah said...

Salam. saya dapat offer from Mara buat IB in KMB. mm, i read ur post above, and u said that ur a UK bound student, well, how did u noe that ur uk bound? can i noe which country I will be going too?

Bella. said...

you akan tau your country of placement usually in early sem 3, sebab country placement depends heavily on your sem 2 results. congrats anyway! ;)

Anonymous said...

Can I know brpe bnyak points yg saye kne dpt utk fly?

Bella said...

Depends on uni and sponsor's requirement. Probably around 35-36.

Anonymous said...

any actuarial sciences offered there?

Bella said...

Sorry for the laaate reply! There used to be, then it was stopped during my time. Not so sure if they have it back now.

Anonymous said...

How much points did you get?

Bella said...

Enough to land me here in the UK.

Emil Abidin said...

hye bella . in case i want to continue my study in pharmacy , do i need to take the same subjects as medicine

Bella said...

Hi Emil.

I'm pretty sure that's the case though you might want to check further.

Anonymous said...

Hi kak bella!! I just got accepted into kmb and I'm planning to take medic. People are saying that it's kinda hard to study abroad during my time but I still have faith in my dreams. How much marks out of 45 do I have to get for me to fly? And is it hard?