IB Diploma students buckle down during last week of exams

Maddie De Pree

Senior Payton Kornder completes some last-minute studying in the hallway before her Higher Level history exam. She and others took the Paper 1 exam last Friday, a test which presented students with historical documents and asked them to answer several prompts.
Senior Payton Kornder completes some last-minute studying in the hallway before her Higher Level history exam. She and others took the Paper 1 exam last Friday, a test which presented students with historical documents and asked them to answer several prompts.

After two years of homework, procrastination and Theory of Knowledge, the IB Diploma candidates have entered their most dire hour: exams.

“It was the dirt,” senior Bhavya Mital said after his Higher Level physics exam. “I have all sevens in that class, so I thought I was good. Then, I opened the written part [of the test] and realized I had just gotten dumber.”

Mital, who has the highest possible grade in his current physics course, said the exam seemed like graduate-level material. Senior Alan Adams agreed, calling the exam “the worst test I’ve ever taken.”

“Sadness,” Adams said. “That’s all the physics test is. Sadness.”

Adams also has high grades in math and physics, but like Mital, felt unprepared during the test. Even the best-prepared students are cramming. Regardless of how much they studied the night before, students quiz each other in the hallways before every exam.

Senior Alan Adams recovers from his IB physics exam in his fourth period lit class. "It was the worst," he said.
Senior Alan Adams recovers from his IB physics exam in his fourth period lit class. “It was the worst,” he said.

IB testing is affecting almost every area of the school, especially class sizes, which fluctuate with the exam schedule. In some smaller periods, an entire class has shrunk to just one student, making lesson plans difficult. Some small classes simply go outside or watch a movie.

Senior Davis Crenshaw feels that attending class is pointless, both this week and next. Crenshaw is not a Diploma student, but she does take IB biology, literature and psychology.

All of her exams are finished except psych, which is “up next.” After this week, though, she sees no point in coming to school.

“Am I even going to come to class next week?” Crenshaw said. “I don’t know. Probably.”

Regardless of testing schedules and last-minute panic, the IB exams will conclude this Friday. After that, Decatur students must wait until July 5th to view their scores see if they secured the IB Diploma.