IB Tutor Interviews: Olivia

Timothy Hoffmann

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.

Tutor: Olivia
IBDP score: 45
University: English Language & Literature (2016), University of Oxford
Subjects: English, Philosophy, TOK, Oxbridge Applications

EIB: Why did you choose to do the IB?

Olivia: I chose the IB because of its international quality. Although I did my IB in England, I had been at an international school in Spain before, and I wanted to continue in an international environment – this meant peers from all over the world and a curriculum that considered and incorporated cultural awareness into academics.

What did you enjoy about the IB?

I enjoyed being able to specialise my interests with HL vs SL classes, while still maintaining a breadth of subjects. I also enjoyed the teaching style, which encourages independent thinking and discussion, instead of regurgitation of memorised material.

What was the most challenging part of the IB?

Although I was glad for the breadth, the most challenging part of the IB for me was having to take Maths and a Science subject. I’m not naturally good at or particularly interested in these disciplines, but I think it was good for me long term to not give up Maths at 16, as many students do in the A-level system. It was also a challenge, and so more rewarding to score highly in these subjects.

What did you do for your CAS/TOK/EE?

Some students struggle with TOK, but I really enjoyed it. It is essentially a Philosophy class, which was one of my favourite subjects. I believe it is a great chance to reflect on why and how we learn what we do, instead of barrelling forth and learning because we are told to. I also found my EE to be quite a fun, empowering project. A bit like a precursor to a dissertation at University, it is exciting to be able to pick whatever you like to write about and to know about that topic in depth. Not to mention how the EE was VERY helpful for University applications and interviews. I studied English Literature, and so knowing a lot about Nabokov’s Lolita was impressive and helped me seem knowledgeable and passionate about my subject.

What are you currently studying?

I have recently graduated from the University of Oxford – I studied English Language and Literature.