In This Section

IB Highlights: IB Humor

Here are some examples of IB jokes and humor. With IB exams starting shortly, the juniors and seniors can relate!

After IB Physics, I will throw a textbook off a cliff… and calculate the momentum when it hits the ground.

TOK: Dogs like peanut butter. I like peanut butter. Therefore, I am a dog… do dogs even know they like peanut butter? Do I know that they know? What do I even know…?

Chemistry pick up line: I got my ion you <33

IB problems are real. The only long term relationship you have is with your Extended Essay.

Now I understand why 42 is the answer to life!! (42 is the max points you can receive for each of the 6 courses)

Students have almost finished the IB program, but still use Google to spell “baccalaureate” correctly. 🙂

IB Highlights: English Exam Questions

IB Question of the Week: What do English A Literature exam questions look like, and what is the percentage of exams for the student’s IB grade?

Here is the breakdown of the weightings for the IB assessment components for English A Literature HL in a normal year, when there are no COVID accommodations. Note: Papers are the exams taken in May of senior year.

Here is an example of the Paper 2 exam question:

Answer one essay question only. You must base your answer on at least two of the part 3 works you have studied and compare and contrast these works in response to the question. Answers which are not based on a discussion of at least two part 3 works will not score high marks.


  1. Explore the techniques used by at least two playwrights you have studied to portray characters constrained by social expectations, and the effects created.
  2. In the works of at least two playwrights you have studied, compare the ways in which plot and structure are used to engage the audience.
  3. Explore the techniques used to interweave elements of comedy and tragedy in the work of at least two playwrights you have studied.


  1. In the work of at least two poets you have studied, compare the techniques used to reveal the speaker, and the effects achieved.
  2. With reference to the work of at least two poets you have studied, compare in what ways and to what effect language has been used to create intense and/or unforgettable moments.
  3. Some poets shine a light on particular issues, while others criticize explicitly. Compare these different approaches in the work of at least two poets you have studied.

Prose: novel and short story

  1. Compare the different approaches to narrative that are used to create suspense in the works of at least two authors you have studied.
  2. Some works end with a neat resolution; others are less clear cut. With reference to the work of at least two authors you have studied, compare the techniques used to create such endings and the effects achieved.
  3. With reference to the works of at least two authors you have studied, compare the ways in which trapped or confined characters are used to highlight social issues.

Prose other than fiction

  1. How and to what effect are seemingly minor details resulting in major consequences presented in the work of at least two authors of prose other than fiction you have studied?
  2. With reference to the works of at least two authors of prose other than fiction you have studied, compare the techniques used to portray misunderstanding and its effects.
  3. In the works of at least two authors of prose other than fiction you have studied, discuss the creation of setting and its role in providing an emotional landscape for the reader.

IB Highlights: Theory of Knowledge Questions

CORE Highlight:
For Theory of Knowledge (TOK), readers might be interested in seeing a selection of some of the Knowledge Questions students explored in their exhibitions. They explored questions like the ones below in terms of themes, such as knowledge and language, technology, politics, religion, or indigenous societies:

To what extent does having a sense of purpose affect how we view the world?
What effect does history have on our views of privilege and power?
How does our outer appearance interact with our inner life to make us who we are?
What is the role of sound in society?
How does our culture affect our emotions?
To what extent does religious belief help or hinder us?
What does the quote “One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter” really mean?
What role does aggression play in society?
What role does seeking pleasure have in a teenager’s life?
To what extent does our social class define how we are viewed and treated in society?
To what extent does racism affect religion?

To what extent does culture affect our perception of right and wrong?
What role does “agency” have in people’s lives?
To what extent are all languages connected and how does that affect our overall knowledge?
To what extent does humor reflect our ethics and morals?
Does the pursuit of money help or hinder us in our efforts to become the best people we can be?
What drives people to be cruel?
To what extent is someone’s poverty their own fault?
Under what circumstance are people willing to be consistent or non-consistent with their sense of morality?
What is the price of happiness?
To what extent do we let our emotions dictate our actions?

IB Question of the Week: What are five pieces of advice from a lifelong IB learner?

This question (and the answer) comes from an IB blog:

IB Highlights: Extended Essay Reflection

The juniors working on their Extended Essays (EE) are setting up a time to have their first formal meeting with their supervisor. This meeting is a 20-minute discussion about the research question, methodology, and any difficulties they might be having.

The students will then write a reflection about the meeting in ManageBac where they outline:
• Their ideas regarding the topic in general;
• The research question they have in mind;
• Initial background reading or research they may have conducted;
• Possible approaches;
• Initial thoughts about the answer to their research question.

This is the first of three reflections throughout the process of writing their EE. The initial reflection should be about 100 words and can answer any number of the following Guiding Questions:

What exactly do I want to find out?
What possible question(s) might I research?
Do I have sufficient knowledge of the subject area to fulfill the criteria of an EE?
Is there sufficient focus to my research area?
What am I interested in researching and why?
What are my motivations for undertaking research in this area?
How will I begin the research process?
What problems do I anticipate in my research?
What resources do I plan to use?
Have I found any sources with conflicting viewpoints?
Have I been able to find relevant sources from different eras?
What challenges did I encounter in finding relevant sources?
How do I think I might use my sources?
What possible answers might there be to my research question?

CAS Experience Highlights: CAS experiences for all of our Upper School students include writing a scholarship essay, participating in track and field, planning a workout, playing tennis, helping correct Spanish tests, bringing jelly sandwiches, playing basketball, painting pottery, creating posters for Joya Penny Drive, creating a March Madness bracket, learning guitar, a knitting project, helping out with the SGS yearbook, setting up the climbing gym, helping with scouting reports, helping with a smash tournament, donating blood, helping a friend whose leg is injured, moving logs at school, and making art.

IB Highlights: Beware The Ides of March!

Teachers have internal dates for assignments, but the International Baccalaureate has dates that are set in stone when certain items must be uploaded. March 15 is the upload date for Written Assignments in the Language A Literature HL courses, the essays from the Theory of Knowledge course, and the 4,000-word Extended Essays. They will be uploaded by Tuesday, March 15 for our current seniors who are in these courses!

Congratulations to teachers and students for this first benchmark! The next due date is April 20, where subject teachers upload predicted grades for students and the internal assessments from each course. Then IB exams for seniors begin April 28.

IB Question of the Week: How has SGS created a CORE class so that some of the extra work to earn a full IB Diploma can be completed within the school day?

The CORE class meets three times a week for full diploma candidates and is built into their schedule. TOK, CAS and EE share time in this CORE class, so students can get a lot of the work done during school hours.

o CAS Project: Our full diploma students complete Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS) projects that follow an 18-month portfolio, full of reflections. The CAS coordinator (Melanie Mildrew) begins meetings with the students in Semester 1 of junior year during the CORE class time.
o EE: Starting second semester junior year, full diploma students meet during the CORE class time and begin researching and writing a 4000-word Extended Essay (EE) on a topic of their choice. Deadlines are set, and students are given time in this class to do their work. The EE will culminate at the end of Semester 1 in senior year.
o TOK: Starting second semester junior year, full diploma students begin meeting for the Theory of Knowledge (TOK) class during the CORE class time. The TOK essay and exhibition will culminate at the end of Semester 1 in senior year.

CAS Experience Highlights: Recent CAS experiences for our Upper School students include running, picking up trash, and playing tennis.