Story by Hannah Keel
IB classes look good on a diploma and can help one get into colleges they may want, but they are not always easy.
One of many IB classes at Lee’s Summit West is IB Psychology. Every IB Psychology student is required to write an Internal Assessment (IA), like in all IB classes, that encompasses a real-life application of the subject matter. For IB Psychology, students have to perform an experiment.
The IA grade is equivalent to a test but is very important. “It’s part of the IB grade to get an IB diploma. You only do one in IB Psychology,” said Stacy Meyers the Psychology teacher at West. “You come up with a research question and you have to research that question and answer it,” said Tanner Ferrell, an IB Psychology student.
The IA is not just like any test, it requires some students to take a step out of their comfort zone. “You have to teach while the teacher is sitting there,” said Laura McGehee another Psychology student at West. “You have to get in front of the class,” said Elise Blegen, also a student in IB Psychology. “It can be very nerve racking and it’s very stressful,” says Ferrell. These are just some reasons the IA is hard, but there are many more.
“They have to do a reputable psychological study and go in and try to repeat that with a group of fellow students to get results for data for a conclusion and write a paper,” said Meyers.
The IA also takes a while to finish. “They definitely had homework over break,” said Meyers. Once everyone has submitted their IA’s, the teacher of that class then grades them. After the teacher has graded the IA’s he/she then sends them to IB hopefully getting the same results.
Getting prepared for the IA is also very important. Mrs. Meyers gives the students several experiments that have already been done and the students read through them getting a feel of what the IA is looking for. “It’s important to turn in something that’s worth wild,” said Ferrell.
A lot of the times students aren’t just taking one IB class. Juggling all these classes and assessments can be very overwhelming. “You have to prioritize and don’t expect to get everything done,” says Mcgehee.
Finishing the IA is important but so is scoring high. Blegen’s advice to score high is, “follow everything Mrs. Meyers says because she is the one grading it.” You also need to “plan ahead,” said Ferrell.
Students say the IA is important, but there is a lot more to IB psychology. “I enjoy what we learn and it’s a cool class,” said McGehee.