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A former High School Student’s IBDP… R E T R O S P E C T I V E

By: Eggo Velasco (Keys Cohort 2021)

So, the IB!

Firstly, YES, IB can DEFINITELY get you into colleges. And yes, you may credit your IB score as college units, allowing you to attain your degree that much faster. I have experienced these benefits, having been accepted to universities, both domestic and abroad, and currently pursuing a minor degree a year earlier than normally allowed. This is all well and good, but when it comes to IB, there are more important questions to ask:

What exactly is it? Is it worth it? And most importantly, is it for YOU?


The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) is recognized by many universities and colleges worldwide, making it far easier for students to pursue higher education abroad.

A few years ago, I, too, was faced with the choice of whether to pursue the IB Diploma or not. I chose the former, and I'm more than happy to share my experiences with you!

Here are the two questions that concerned me the most:

  1. How could this help me DURING college, and beyond?
  2. Having been in Keys all my life, how could I deal with this sudden, seemingly INTENSE shift in academic regimen?

1. Rigorous, Well-Rounded, Specialized

College is demanding based on two criteria: A student's foundational knowledge, and a student's specialized knowledge. IB develops these in MULTITUDES!


  • How do we know what we know?
  • How can we know more?
  • How can we express what we know?


The differences between disciplines are distinct and deliberate. Every field of study calls for different writing, organizing, or research skills. The IBDP offers rigor in each subject, whether at the Standard Level or the Higher Level. With such a curriculum, I was allowed to explore and hone these skills at my own pace.


  1. Language and Literature
  2. Language Acquisition
  3. Individuals and Societies
  4. Sciences
  5. Mathematics
  6. The Arts
  7. IB DP Core Elements 

The subjects to specialize in are YOUR CHOICE, the content of which is so extensive you can carry what you learn to excel not only in College but in ACTUAL PRACTICE as well!

The IBDP develops these questions in students through its CORE subjects: the Extended Essay, and the Theory of Knowledge. In College, these are evident in EVERY course, no matter the discipline. 

2. A Tradition of EXCELLENCE

The IBDP standards are high, its strict structured program is deeply rooted in its world spanning academic knowledge of scholastic excellence and it kicked my butt several times over! However, the parallels between the IBDP and the Keys Curriculum gave me the foundation to not only persevere but strive for the top 5%, having earned a diploma high score of 36 in course result. Not the top of my class, but a personal goal achieved.

The Keys Curriculum instilled in me the desire to question and explore.

The IBDP expanded my ability to act and administer on this desire.

My learning experience in Keys evolved and intensified, with IBDP my educational journey was MAGNIFIED.

To INQUIRE, to COLLABORATE, to ANALYZE and to SERVE. Each of the tenets of the IBDP are compatible with the Keys core values of Spirit of Inquiry, Respect, Collaboration, Excellence and Advocates of Social Justice. Creativity, Activity, and Service (CAS) , one of the core subjects in IBDP, is a great example of how my classmates and I were able to work together to help our community by raising funds to aid the BUKID KABATAAN welfare outreach during the pandemic.

For me, IBDP in KEYS prepared me for college by training me how to write, think and analyze in a standard that is exemplary at the university level. I believe it gave me an edge over my peers and allowed me to prosper with Dean’s List honors for the last 3 semesters but still maintain a good life balance with time for adventures with my friends. I wholeheartedly recommend it to my underclassmen!

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