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Deciding between ap vs ib, are my extracurriculars manageable with full ib?

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Hey guys so I'm in grade 9 currently and deciding between ap and ib. I am currently at a very good ap school and have finished math and science 10. I am hoping to finish math 20 and bio 20 by next semester. My current school only has about 400 students in grades 9-12 and I am fairly close with all of the admin and teachers. I have looked into IB and if I decide to transfer to an IB school, I would take bio, chem, and math HL and English and social/philosophy SL. The IB school in question has an excellent reputation but it has over 2000 students and 700 alone in grade 10. I also am part of a very prestigious dance company and am flooded with rehearsals. I have roughly 4-6 days of dance a week and about 16-18 hours on a regular week and up to 30 closer to various showtimes. Keep in mind that it also takes me about an hour to get from the studio back to my house. I want to pursue my undergrad in neuroscience then apply for med school in Canada (McGill). Is IB worth it because I have many friends who are in IB and they complain religiously about the workload. I know that if I do IB I would have to tone down my dance schedule for sure but can anyone give me a rough outline of how much homework and what kind of assignments I can expect? Is it worth it for me to transfer? 

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Full IB is a lot of work. I have managed to go a full season of soccer as a full IB student and it wasn't very easy, but I managed. You risk being overwhelmed should you choose to transfer to the IB school since your dance is also quite demanding as well. Homework and studying should be expected daily and assignment are usually quite long as well - let's just say that there are more extended response questions than multple choice on a typical homework assignment. You must stay on top of classes and do not fall behind in assignments at any cost, or you will struggle for the rest of the semester. I believe if you are determined to work very hard and not procrastinate with school work then you will succeed in IB. 

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Is IB worth it? No. 

It depends a lot what "it" is, though.

Being realistic, I don't know you, but right know, given 2/1 odds, I'd wager that you'd get into McGill regardless of your decision because you seem like a good student.

I have a lot of experience with IB and extracurriculars. Dance I'd say you should cut down to at least 10 hours per week. I tried to work 15 hours per week–and that was with the "luxury" of mainly working weekends–and it just doesn't work. Ten is the max, I'd say. I also played hockey and burnt out of that a bit as a result of stress with managing assignments and travel.

The day to day workload of IB can vary due to different schools and teachers assigning more or less homework, but we all have a good idea of about how much work each class demands and the unique experience of IA's (IB's big projects) and the EE.

First off, CAS. My advice: don't worry about it. It's genuinely not bad and fairly easy. One of the parts of IB that I appreciated. It'll be painless for you as you'll be doing dance. You'll need to just a bit of community service and you'll be good. 

EE: It sucks. Especially if you procrastinate. Everyone kind of procrastinates. But don't worry about writing a good one. Once you send that thing off, it's gone, and at that point, —deleted for vulgarity—. It is nice though to have that experience under your belt and although it may be bad, just confide in your friends and you'll support each other through it.

IA's: There are some painless IA's in IB, for example, the Language B IA's, and there are some awful one's–I'm looking at you, Math HL. The longer ones take a lot of time and like the EE you can't just do them in a few nights. You can, but it's not easy and your score probably won't be great. That being said, it didn't stop some of my friends.

The problem is that you have normal homework all around these and and your normal obligations. Studying for externals (your final tests at the end of the program) is also time consuming. Math HL–one of the most intensive IB subjects probably requires and hour to an hour and 30 minutes of homework/study each day. Being realistic, any math class that you take senior year–IB or non-IB–is going to require at least forty-five minutes. So IB really isn't horrible in terms of day-to-day worksheet homework. It will be more, but the real point of discontent tends to be the projects, the longer term stuff, and studying enough to do well on quizzes because the material on the quiz is usually more difficult.


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