Whenever finals would approach, I would figure out what grade I needed in order to maintain my GPA. In high school, I spent my time working on numerous assessments and giving countless oral presentations.
All that work and preparation was leading up to my International Baccalaureate (IB) exams. I was part of the IB program all four years of high school.
From the start of freshman year, my teachers told me that the IB exams would be the most important thing that I would ever do in my high school career.
That was a lot of pressure to place on a 15-year-old, but it pushed me to excel in my classes.
I recall those two weeks of exams being the worst thing that I could have possibly endured. I didn’t enjoy taking the SAT or ACT; however, the IB exams made those seem like nothing in comparison.
I had to take them in another location and be transported from the school to the testing site. My backpack was taken, and my phone was placed in a box and stored in another room.
Proctors would walk through the rows of desks constantly checking on you. This went on day after day for two weeks.
Once it was over, it was all a matter of time before we got our results. I figured that we would get them immediately just like any other standardized test, but we did not.
It was not until months after I graduated that I found out whether I passed or not. Can you imagine going through all of that stress and pressure of taking these exams and not even knowing your results right away?
My teachers couldn’t even tell us what we got because they were not the ones who graded them. My exams went to graders from various states and countries and all they knew about me was my identification number.
Going into college, I figured that finals would not scare me as much as my IB exams did. I’m a first-year here at Hofstra and finals are just around the corner.
I look around and see people frantically going to the library and talking about how many finals they are taking while eating in the Student Center.
Since I’ve been through IB exams, the fear of finals doesn’t apply to me.
To put it into perspective, IB exams are like O-levels and A-levels, which are exams that many students from the United Kingdom take.
While this will be the first time that I take finals in college, I know that all the hard work and assessments that I went through in high school have already prepared me for them.
I’m a little bit nervous about my finals, but I’m not afraid, and that is all because of the IB program. Without it, I would be just like most of the students at Hofstra worrying about whether they will pass.
I did not necessarily understand my high school teachers when they said that, “Once you enter college, you’ll thank the IB program for everything it taught you.”
I used to spend countless nights studying and sleep for a few hours before the cycle started all over again.
Now that I’m in college, some things have changed but I can now see what my teachers were saying. I didn’t like being part of the IB program – nobody did – but now I’m glad that I was part of it. Without it, I wouldn’t be the student that I am today.