Why spend time on the IB bonus points? For those of you already doing 6 subjects in the International Baccalaureate, worrying about the 3 bonus projects it requires can seem pretty low down on a long list of priorities. The Extended Essay (EE), Creativity-Action-Service (CAS), and Theory of Knowledge (ToK) are worth just one point each after all. However, they are so valuable for your future, as well as, your academic and personal growth.
This is your best chance during school to write about something you have a passion in. The length and detail makes it really similar to university essays. The EE is like a mini-dissertation. The researching, writing and referencing skills you learn here will be invaluable both in higher education and the workplace. It also teaches you that some things simply cannot be left until the last minute! Essay-writing after this won’t seem so daunting with a 4,000-word masterpiece under your belt!
Completing the hundreds of hours CAS requires clearly demonstrates your ability to commit to a project. These are qualities that will give you a leg up above other candidates in both university and job applications. CAS also provides the perfect opportunity to interact with people you otherwise might not even have met, or try something completely new!
ToK might seem a bit random… so what is the actual point? Well, epistemology (the fancy word for the theory of knowledge) is a huge part of learning to be critical in a constructive way. Finding the best way to structure and articulate your thoughts. Which underlies university studies.
It may seem frustrating to juggle everything and put a lot of effort into the extra 3 points, but in the end, getting all 3 is not an impossible achievement. Having them could well be the nudge you need to get you the final score you’re aiming for. Winning you that place at your dream university.
As much as these three elements of the IB are hugely beneficial to your academic and career prospects, they are also important for your personal development. You can learn important lessons in self-discipline and thinking outside of the box.
So don’t neglect them! Make sure you’ve chosen a good EE title, and getting a move on with those CAS hours.
Written by Maia H.