I'm 13 and in year 9 currently and I was hoping to perhaps do the IB programme in year 11 (prep) at Auckland International College.
A friend of mine, who goes to Queen Margaret College, tells me that at QMC year 9s complete NCEA level 1 at year 9, level 2 at year 10 and level 3 at year 11. She has also told me that they are prepped for the IB programme (taught in the same style) from year 1 and that they take the actual IB course in years 12 and 13 so they are double qualified (full NCEA and IB).
This makes me wonder if only being IB qualified is better than just being NCEA qualified. Should I stay at my current school and complete NCEA or go to AIC at year 11 to do IB? I'm worried and quite confused.
Adding to the issue, due to current family circumstances I would need to get a scholarship to go to AIC. The Hill Top scholarship sounds like the only one I could get and I need to pass an entry exam for AIC to apply for it, plus write an essay on how the scholarship would help me achieve my lifelong goals within my community (or something like that). My current plan is to do the exam and examine my options after that.
Thanks for that. I did look at the Aspire Scholarships but my parents' earnings are in the bracket that is too high for me to be accepted into the school but not in a position to afford the school fees ($4000 a term).
Having NCEA Level 3, especially with an excellence endorsement, will get you into any university in NZ and many others around the world. IB is not essential and very few schools do it. If you have your heart set on IB, great, but don't feel that you must have it to get into a good university or that it will prepare you better than NCEA will for university study.
Hi Oliver. I think the IB programme sounds great and I would like my son to have done it. Very academic, but a holistic approach as well. I have heard of a couple of disadvantages but you would need to check them out because they might be inaccurate or things might have changed. The first is that students apparently have to do English and maths (and maybe a foreign language) until the end of the course which is probably a disadvantage to those whose talents are more single-focus. (I must say that I approve of such a broad education!) The second is that, if you decided to leave school at the end of year 12, you would have no IB qualification at all because it is a two year thing (unlike Cambridge which gives you AS exams in year 12 and A2 exams in year 13, together giving you the full A level).
While it is true that NCEA at Level 3 with excellence gets you into universities in New Zealand, it is not as widely accepted overseas. I know of Australian universities which only look at NCEA if Scholarship is there too. I think you need to consider whether you would like to study at a university overseas, although it could be a bit early for you to have even thought about that.
Cambridge is well regardred internationally. I think the IB is excellent, but you also need to think of which course would suit you, your interests and the way that you learn best. Consider the course, not just the qualification.
It's exciting that you are already considering your options.
@ another anon - could you please say what universities those are and perhaps a link to back up what you said? As I understand it NCEA 3 is fully accepted as a tertiary entry qualification internationally - if that is not true it certainly needs to be more widely known.
naturally for particular highly competitive entry courses, Scholarship may be very helpful - as it no doubt is for such courses here - but that is rather different from saying that some universities disregard NCEA 3 altogether.
According to the Ministry, there is no problem using NCEA to gain entrey to Australian universities. http://www.minedu.govt.nz/NZEducation/EducationPolicies/InternationalEducation/ForInternationalStudentsAndParents/NZEdOverview/School_Assessment_and_Qualifications.aspx
What I've heard about Scholarship comes from somebody in admissions. Perhaps it depends on whether you are applying for a competitive programme.