IB Tutor Interviews: Alisha

Timothy Hoffmann

Tutor: Alisha Gadhia

IBDP score: 42

University: King’s College London

In our Tutor Interview series we put the spotlight on members of our outstanding tutoring team. From IB graduates to teachers and Examiners, we share their stories and their advice about the International Baccalaureate to help you make your own IB a success.

 

Why did you choose to do the IB?

Put simply, I chose the IB because I have a passion for learning. I didn’t see why knowing that I wanted to study dentistry at university meant I had to narrow my areas of interest down to three or four subjects. I loved that the IB allowed me to pursue the subjects I needed for uni while allowing me to continue broadening my knowledge of the areas I had enjoyed during my iGCSEs, such as Latin and Philosophy. Additionally, I liked the breadth within the syllabus of each subjects. For example, the IB English course encouraged a wider understanding of novels, plays and poetry and Philosophy covered both modern and ancient concepts. For me, it seemed that choosing the IB was a way to keep my academics, and myself, well-rounded.

What did you enjoy about the IB?

I enjoyed the process of my Extended Essay. As I did a Chemistry EE I had the chance to design and carry out my own experiment in an area I was interested in. This was new, challenging and entirely refreshing to find a topic I was interested in and be in control of how I explored it. With a wider perspective, I enjoyed the variation of the IB. Rather than the seeming monotony of doing the same few subjects throughout the week, with the IB my timetable felt full and interesting as I moved from subject to subject.

What was the most challenging part of the IB? 

IAs! Endless IAs! Producing the perfect IA felt like an art I couldn’t seem to master. But, with a little guidance and a lot of practice and proofreading, they do get better. I also found ToK pretty hard to wrap my head around – but that’s okay! ToK is supposed to make you think and for me it did exactly that. The IB in general challenges anyone’s organisational skills – you have six subjects to keep on top of and that isn’t always easy, but it encourages you to develop skills that you are infinitely grateful for in later life.

What did you do for your CAS/TOK?

My Extended Essay looked at the chemistry behind tooth whitening and how effective different chemicals are in achieving the desired result. It was a great talking point in my uni interviews!

For CAS, I made good use of all the extra-curricular activities my school had to offer. I ran a Young Enterprise company, edited the school magazine, and played golf and netball. For Service, I volunteered at a Barnado’s in my area and visited a care home once a week.

My final ToK essay looked at whether ethics restrict the production of knowledge in the sciences and the natural arts. This required me to look at both sides of a very interesting argument while picking out the relevant knowledge issues and using real-life examples.