Private Schools Better Prepare Students for University...


... Especially IB World schools. This is because many private schools share similar characteristics with universities. The most obvious example is the rigorous academic environment at IB private schools. Many first-year students entering university from the public education system are overwhelmed by the increased workload and thus witness a drastic grade drop; Maclean's has a fantastic article about this phenomenon. In addition to being unprepared for a university workload, public school students often receive inflated averages at high school which provides an unrealistic assessment of their skill to their detriment. University professors mark much more strictly because they are holding their students to a much higher standard; as evidenced by a real life scenario, in which a grade 12 public high school teacher gave an A+ letter grade to an English essay and an English professor evaluating the same paper assigned a B- letter grade instead. This disparity in grading systems makes the transition from grade 12 to first year much more difficult for students and demonstrates a severe lack of preparation.

Alarmingly, in addition to unrealistic grade assignments in public high schools, Ontario university professors in the sciences are reporting massive knowledge inconsistencies amongst their incoming first-year students. That is to say, in first-year science classes there is a huge diversity in background knowledge of core concepts with many students being insufficiently prepared for undergraduate chemistry and physics courses (which is reflected in their grades).

This is because Ontario has a huge spectrum of high school types and localized learning is leaving students unprepared for, and unaware of, university expectations. That is why I cannot stress how important IB private schools are for offering an international standardized education. This is the greatest solution for preparing students for university, by equipping them with all of the necessary tools to survive first-year courses. Private school students perform better on standardized tests than public school students, and by receiving a rigorous and advanced education they are less likely to experience a grade drop or learning gap when they enter university.

To all my readers, I hope you have a fantastic long weekend! And please let me know, what was your experience like making the switch from high school to university?

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