What do Past Cooper Graduates Have to Say About IB?
I talk with people all day every day about the things that matter -- the purpose of life, how to deal with hardships, overcoming moral quandaries, differentiating between good and bad... and to do this I need to be able to put myself into the position of others and to see the world through their eyes. And, as demanding as it might have been, the time I spent in IB classes helped me gain the ability to do so. Through literature, I saw into the minds and hearts of people of other nations, backgrounds, ages, and cultures. And I learned to understand them while maintaining and building my own identity. It's crazy what a few books can do.
Thanks for helping me open my eyes to the wonders of the world -- all of them, and not just the ones that I was comfortable with before.
~ Tyler Driskill, 2014
I remember sitting in English dreading all the hard work that was ahead of me. Then you read off some emails that your recent senior graduates, newly college freshman students, sent to you about how they think college is easy. Well, here I am sitting in political science writing you this, and I am so thankful that I took all those IB courses. I don't have to take English my freshman year. And for sophomore year I'm placed in a junior year rigorous writing rhetoric class, in which I read the syllabus and guess what's on there?! SOLILOQUIES! Yes, all that highlighting and marking the text is going to pay off!
~ Grace Ramlakhan, 2014
IB has made the first three weeks of college way easier. I am in a War in Lit class and I understand how to look at an author’s use of language and how that shapes meaning, which is the basis of most of our discussions. This has made this class way less scary and surprisingly enjoyable. Also, my math class is a breeze because of how well Mr. Kind had prepared me. Everything I learn this year in math is review from the last two years of math. I got IB credit for English, so I don’t have to take a literature class, and I got history credit, so I don’t take any history. I am petitioning my Chemistry score to receive credit. If your scores are close to what the university looks for for credit, I suggest appealing your scores to the school to try to get credit; you often times can. These credits are extremely important because I am double majoring out of two different colleges and graduating in 4 years with this double major will take about 170 credits.
~ Hunter Froehlich, 2014
I just wanted to thank you for how well you prepared me for college English! I already have a semester's worth of credit under my belt (pardon the colloquialism) thanks to the IB test and am now succeeding in my second and final semester of English! I knew that you would prepare me well, but what I did not know is that you would predict our reading list for this semester. We just started reading Lucy and after sitting through my first lecture, I thought to myself, "I could teach this lecture." As fate has it (although hopefully mine does not play out quite like Ophelia's) I will be leading a discussion on another of Kincaid's works, A Small Place.
~ Jon Page, 2012
Since coming to college, I've truly come to appreciate IB English HL 12 - not that I didn't while taking it! Showing up to my writing class (which I unfortunately didn't test out of, although I did test out of my literature credits), I can honestly say that I feel beyond prepared to handle whatever the professor throws at me. Back in August, we were told that the class would entail critical analysis of poetry, literature, and film, including having to make oral presentations in front of our classmates. While my fellow classmates are all pretty terrified of doing this, I feel totally confident that I can do this - even though at this time last year, I was in the same boat as them! I wanted to thank you for throwing all of us in the deep end and teaching us how to really find our voices as writers, specifically when it comes to writing/speaking about the critical analysis of writing, music, etc. That being said, I received an A- on my first paper for this class - where the class average was a C+.
Whether or not they feel confident about it now, they should know that this class is beyond helpful for everything that college throws at you. Not only is it nice to get some free credits through testing, but whether or not you get the 6s and 7s you aspire to, the training the IB program gives you for college-level academics is incredible. I know that now is a difficult time with alternating between analyzing Hamlet and poetry (on top of everything else senior classes and college apps throw at you this time of year), but to all of the seniors, know that they've totally got this. It may seem difficult, but that's okay - it's how you grow as a writer and a student. Just wait until you get to college and impress everyone with the fact that you've talked about a Robert Frost poem for 20 minutes straight!
~ Simone Ritchie, 2014
Seniors should really appreciate the IB program. I got more out of my IB classes than any of my other classes. Overall, the college classes I’m in are very critical thinking and discussion based. A lot of my friends did the AP program or other honors classes and were not prepared for this aspect of classes. I highly advise that they practice staying engaged and involved in class and class discussions because it’s great practice for when you are in a class full of 26-year old grad students and have to hold your ground academically.
Also, so many texts from IB English have been referenced in my classes! Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe; Native Son, by Richard Wright; Beloved, by Toni Morrison… These books are all highly relevant and it is super cool to see that IB content actually connects into all of my college courses.
~ Sofie Fitzsimmons, 2016
I just got out of a meeting with my freshman writing teacher and he told me he smiled while reading my paper and that I write really well. This is the same teacher that told our class “50% of students fail the first paper.” I can attribute my success to the countless essays we had to write for IB English and the amazing guidance received. I’m so grateful that you prepared me so well for college.
Students, take IB English seriously and work on your writing skills! The ability to write well will serve you in any career path. Plus, I got all my literature credits taken care of by my IB score. So if you don’t plan on majoring in literature, you can knock out those liberal education requirements before college even starts.
~ Mary Knudson, 2016
The texts we read in English will come up again in college. Already in my readings there have been references to Toni Morrison and Richard Wright AND one of the novels in my syllabus is Haroun and the Seas of Stories which I read my sophomore year. I just wanted to express my gratitude for your teaching because it really has inspired me to continue taking courses that are building off of your great foundation.
College Credit: Hopefully this is on your radar because you can save a LOT of money by getting a good score on the exam. Personally, I received 6 credits from English HL alone (that’s two semesters of a class right there) that are fulfilling a portion of my generals, meaning that in the future any literature class I take will go towards my major. The great thing is that it's not even that hard to get credits from the exam! I know that the UW system specifically will accept a 4 or higher as worthy of college credit.
College Prep: My workload so far in college has been significantly lighter than in high school, even though it's a college course. Fellow classmates of mine have complained about how much we've had to read in our English class (for a point of reference, last Thursday I was assigned to read 58 pages of a novel which is due Tuesday). It's pretty funny actually to think about how much I was reading last year compared to this year.
The curriculum: I know I'm an English nerd but wow was English HL a great class to take. You're going to gain so much experience in analytical thinking throughout the year. The commentary is going to seem like a monster, but being able to think on your toes and articulate your ideas verbally is such an important skill. Come second semester, the novels are going to open your mind up A LOT about important societal issues that many other schools don't even begin to consider looking at in high school. Even if you got no college credit from the class, the lessons from the novels that you'll read are some of the most important ones that I've come to learn thus far.
~ Seth Thompson, 2015
IB actually pays off. Wait what? IB really is worth it? I know, it's a crazy thought. But guess who pushed through IB English and scored a 6? This girl. And guess who was then exempt from both Communications A and Literature requirements? This girl. IB English allowed me to skip 8 English general education credits which comes out to be $4,477. Coming from a poor college student, that is a big chunk of change. So know that the time you put in this year will literally translate to dollar signs next year.
~ Taryn Wessel, 2015
College is great! IB has helped me SO much… I get asked almost every night to review a paper or help someone with an assignment. Another bonus about those exams in May, I found out that I got out of not 1 but 2 english classes! Now everyone I know is busy working on papers and I’m sitting back watching Glee. Score!
~ Kelsey Crofoot, 2012