I Survived IB Testing and All I Got Was This Anxiety

Miranda Curnutt

During the month of May, juniors and seniors start disappearing from their classes. Have they finally had enough and decided to drop out of high school? No, it’s just IB testing. For every IB course SJP provides (except IB Art, as anyone in IB Art is happy to tell you), there is a corresponding test to be completed at the end of either junior or senior year. Each year, some people have as little as one or as many as six IB tests. These tests last anywhere from one to two and a half hours, and often are a source of stress as students struggle to remember something they learned nine (or maybe even twenty-one–sorry IB Bio kids) months ago.

This year, I took two IB tests, IB Philosophy and IB Math SL. For me, preparation mostly included completing practice tests and worrying that IB would disqualify my test scores because I used a pencil instead of a blue or black pen. The half an hour before each test where we stood in the chilly entrance to the Pellegrine was anxiety-inducing, due to the fear of what would happen when we sat down in the red chairs, but I found once I got going on each test I was almost relaxed–more relaxed than when I take my regular finals. Perhaps this is because I knew one could still get a decent score (IB tests are out of seven) while only getting half the marks available. Now that my IB testing is over, I feel a sense of calm that even the looming finals can’t disrupt–though perhaps I will be taking it all back when I receive my scores.