Elite IB UCAS Roadshow!

Elite IB is taking to the road, once again, offering free presentations and advice to IB students across the world!

Building on our successful roadshow in South East Asia in September our Director, Tim and Head of Courses and Events, Ebba will be welcoming all IB students to events across the Middle East, UK and Europe. Our IB & UCAS Roadshow is an invaluable opportunity to take advantage of free advice and guidance on applying through UCAS to the top UK Universities, including Oxford and Cambridge. Whether you’re just starting the Diploma or entering your final year, our presentation is designed to provide you with an in depth insight on the IB, UCAS and Oxbridge, and how the Programme is viewed by the top UK Universities.

Throughout the presentation you will be guided by our expert University Consultants through the application process, including:

Often getting an outside perspective, from a current undergraduate or recent graduate, can offer immeasurable value to your application. As they’re immersed in the University or College, they can provide you with additional advice on current research trends and interests, and what will catch the admission tutor’s eye.

There have also been many changes to the UCAS tariff weighting system this year. This has given greater respect to the top IB grades and the hard work achieving these requires. You, therefore, need to consider how these changes may affect your application and our expert consultants can guide you through the application process, and how to draw on your strengths and those of studying the Diploma.

So, where are we gathering our expertise from? Not only do we hire recent high-achieving graduates from the UK’s top universities, but we have interviewed and supported countless IB Graduates from over 300 schools preparing for their final exams and university applications. This has given not only a comprehensive understanding of what IB students need to do and prepare for, but unique insight into how to prep for subject courses from Engineering to English, and Physics to Psychology.

As the application process can often be confusing as you’re presented with a whole new vocabulary of phrases and acronyms, part of our presentation will be focused on demystifying these terms and giving you a firm understanding of what these mean. Next, you’ll gain knowledge of what a University offer is, what it looks like and how different institutions might present them.  

You need to be aware of the application timetable as well. Don’t forget, for example, that Medical (including Dentistry and Veterinary) and Oxbridge applications have to be in on the 15th October, while the final UCAS submission deadline is the 15th January.

In the meantime, we have several brilliant resources to help you through the IBDP:

  • UCAS IB entry requirements spreadsheet for the UK’s top 50 internationally ranked universities
  • The IB calendar
  • The IB Bible

Please get in touch if you would like any of the above, all are available on request.

After each presentation we will be offering a limited number of free 15 minute consultations – sign up early!


Dubai, UAE, Monday 11th September – tickets
Abu Dhabi, UAE, Tuesday 12th September – tickets
Doha, Qatar, Wednesday 13th September – tickets
Manama, Bahrain, Thursday 14th September – tickets

London, UK, Monday 18 September – tickets
Brighton, UK, Wednesday 20th September – tickets
Bristol, UK, Thursday 21st September – tickets
Birmingham, UK, Monday 25th September – tickets
Oxford, UK, Tuesday 26th September – tickets
Cambridge, UK, Wednesday 27th September – tickets
Manchester, UK, Thursday 28th September – tickets

Lausanne, Switzerland, Monday 2nd October – tickets
Geneva, Switzerland, Tuesday 3rd October – tickets
Zurich, Switzerland, Wednesday 4th October – tickets
Amsterdam, Netherlands, Thursday 5th October – tickets


Mid-IB: A Day at the Courses

With less than two months away, spaces are filling up at the Mid-IB Summer Course in London. The Mid-IB Course is a residential camp, hosted in London at the beautiful Box Hill School. You’ll meet other IB students from around the world, living and learning together in small groups and laying the groundwork for success before embarking on your final year of the IB. Crafted solely for students about to enter their final year of the International Baccalaureate, this is a perfect opportunity for students to revise the material and subjects they covered in the first year of the IB, and to get a head start on your subjects before the second year kicks off.

The Course begins on Sunday the 6th August, with arrivals to Box Hill School from 17:00. Whether you will be coming from central London or flying in from abroad, we are here to assist with everything from airport transfers to collective travel from Waterloo station. When you arrive, you will get a chance to settle in and get to know your fellow IB students and the Elite IB Course team ahead of the start of the workshops on Monday. By the time you go to bed on that first night, you should be buzzing and ready to go for a week of workshops, university tours and organised activities!

Each day at the course will begin at 8:00 with a joint breakfast over at the back of Dalewood House in the main cafeteria. Following the traditional English breakfast (or a more continental option for those who fancy it), we will have a team talk ahead of the start of the workshops at 9:00.

Each day a different workshop will await you. You might be starting your EEs & Theory of Knowledge master class, or a day of Biology tuition. With a break for lunch midday, the workshops will continue until 16:00, with an exception of the Tuesday when the whole group will head into central London for a tour of some of London’s central Universities as well as a chance to see a theatre show in London’s famous West End!

Workshops end at 16:00 each day, followed by a chance to relax, spend time with the other students, or playing sports on the grounds at Box Hill School. You can also choose to receive additional support in almost any subject of the IB with an Elite IB tutor, or consolidate your tuition for the day with your workshop tutor.

Every evening there’s something to do. We have a complete programme of organised activities and trips for you to enjoy each evening. English afternoon tea and cricket on the lawn of Dalewood House? How about the Leavers Formal Dinner on the last day, where students fine dine before fireworks in the gardens at Dalewood? Or why not test your nerve on Box Hill School’s very own High Ropes Course?

After a day of revision, university consultations, and an evening of entertainment, you’ll likely want some sleep. Lights out at 11:00 to make sure you’re ready for the next day!

Once you reach the end of the week, you should leave feeling empowered to take on the final year of the IB! We can’t wait until August and look forward for yet another successful season of IB revision!

To find out more about the Mid-IB Summer Course, visit: https://www.eliteib.co.uk/mid-ib-course.php

If you are interested in the Pre-IB Summer Course, visit: https://www.eliteib.co.uk/pre-ib-course.php


You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know: Are You Prepared for Your EE and TOK?

Two of the most challenging aspects of the IB Diploma Programme are the Extended Essay (EE) and Theory of Knowledge (TOK). Most IB students begin the IB prepared to take on their six chosen  academic subjects. However, it is easy to forget that on top of these six subject choices, just as important for the completion of an IB Diploma is CAS, the 4,000 word EE project, oral presentation and 1,600 word essay for TOK. Since the implementation of the Elite IB Summer Courses, the Extended Essay and Theory of Knowledge workshop has been a key, component of the Courses.

Completing these two aspects of the Diploma are of great benefit to students. However, as Elite IB Director Tim Hoffmann explains, students are often unprepared for beginning to tackle the EE and TOK. Recently  the IBO  changed the structure of the IB resulting in a greater focus on TOK, intending to make students more aware of how it works, the deadlines and the benefits. As a result, it has a greater importance in the IB, but still as Tim puts it, “students often don’t know why they’re writing an Extended Essay and completing the TOK.”

The Elite IB Summer Courses help students to begin to consider what the value of these aspects are, allowing students to explore a topic of interest in more depth and gain valuable research skills, which are of advantage in applying to university. One of the things which the Mid-IB Course provides is a chance for students to explore subject selection for the Extended Essay, whilst taking part in a combination of subject selection workshops with an essay writing workshops allowing students to build a solid foundation for approaching essay writing.

Being an IB graduate himself, Tim extols the benefits of the Core Elements of the IBDP, which encourage students to “learn how to solve problems, write essays and approach research across six different subjects means students are generally well prepared to approach both their Extended Essay and TOK when the time comes.” Over his many years of tutoring and running Elite IB, Tim has found that one skill that perhaps needs a bit of extra effort and thought is picking a very specific research question for the Extended Essay. Most students will pick quite broad title, meaning their research is then to wide-ranging and results and answers may come across muddled. 4,000 words initially looks enormous, but having the foresight to see that this can really only touch the surface of an area of research is a skill in itself. For both the EE & TOK assessing the reputability of sources is important – with the wealth of information now available online, through Google and Wikipedia, it takes a keen eye to ascertain which routes to explore and to extract nuggets of key information in what can otherwise seem an endless supply of contradictory sources.

One of the key aspects of the Pre- and Mid-IB courses is to assist students in focusing their ideas. Constructing research questions correctly helps students conceptualise their research essay correctly, and in a focused and productive way.

While completing these Core Elements of the Diploma might seem stressful, they do bring many benefits. Being able to carry out independent research is a real hallmark of the IBDP, and sets students apart from those in other equivalent school-leaving systems. As Tim points out, ”it is a skillset absolutely necessary for university, and a necessary transition from some rote learning to more inquisitive and research-driven learning. As all students need to do them, it is also a nice leveller between the more humanities focused students, and more scientifically minded.”

So, don’t think about the EE and TOK as a tiresome task, but as an opportunity to explore areas of interest in greater depth and build useful skills. Because remember, as Tim says, you don’t know what you don’t know.

If you are interested in joining our Pre- and Mid-IB Courses, why not contact us on [email protected] / [email protected] / [email protected] or find out more on our websites UK / Swiss / SG.


Crafting the Perfect Personal Statement

Writing a great Personal Statement can be tough. With only 4,000 characters, there’s very little space to describe some of your more interesting experiences, or elaborate on your love for a subject. However, it is these features of your Personal Statement which will help your application stand out to admissions tutors and, hopefully, keep you in the tutor’s mind and push you to the top of the pile. Consider that Oxford advises that they;

want to see that you are truly committed to the subject or subjects you want to study at university… you need to show tutors how you have engaged with your subject, above and beyond whatever you have studied at school or college.

The first thing you need to consider when beginning your Personal Statement is the structure. Although it is rather formulaic and bland, there is a general structure that admissions staff expect to see. This will help you in writing clearly and concisely, which is key. Try and start by writing down some of your key interests, achievements, and importantly, why you want to study the subject you are applying for and what enthuses you about the subject. UCAS offer advice and have developed a useful worksheet to help you design and structure your writing.

Once you have done this, you need to consider how you can fit your experiences roughly into the following structure:

  1. What do you want to study, and why?
  2. What are you currently studying, and how have your studies prepared you for University?
  3. How have your hobbies/achievements/volunteering/work experience helped you develop useful skills?
  4. What are your future job aspirations?

Which? University suggest that you focus about 75% on academics and 25% on extra-curricular activities.

This structure can be played around with a little. The main thing to try and avoid is using stock phrases, or plagiarising other pieces of work. Be concise, try and be different without always using a thesaurus, and be descriptive. Consider what James Seymour, Director of Admissions at the University of Buckingham, has said;

a well-written personal statement with a structure that has clearly been planned and refined will not only make the information within stand out, it will demonstrate to the reader that you have an aptitude for structuring written pieces of work, a crucial skill that’s required for all university courses.

Secondly, throughout your Personal Statement you should be referring to your love for the subject, and how the experiences you’re referring to are helping you develop into a well-rounded and confident student. Liz Hunt, undergraduate admissions manager at the University of Sheffield, has argued that the;

best statements will show that a student is interested in the subject; that they’ve studied it [or considered what undergraduate study involves], that they’ve developed an interest in it outside school, and that they’re developing their skills and abilities outside academia.

Remember, that this is likely to be the only impression the University will have of you, as most will not interview. You, therefore, need to make sure that your conveying that you’re interested in further study and that you have the right qualities and skills to progress. Don’t be afraid to sell yourself, while not embellishing your experiences, you should be constantly aware of how your experiences are helping you develop into a great student.

Interested in UCAS Personal Statement consulting and guidance? Contact the Elite IB Team on [email protected] / [email protected] / [email protected] or visit our websites UK / Swiss / SG.


EIB Featured School: Box Hill School

This year’s Elite IB Summer Mid-IB Course will be hosted at the beautiful Box Hill School in Surrey. We caught up with Mr Julian Baker, IB Coordinator at Box Hill to hear a bit more about the school and its IB Diploma Programme.

EIB: Please tell us a bit about Box Hill School…

Box Hill School has a long heritage of delivering first-class learning in a warm, supportive, holistic and nurturing atmosphere.  For nearly sixty years we have proudly remained a truly independent school. A founder member of ‘Round Square’ alongside Gordonstoun in Scotland and Aiglon College in Switzerland, we promote international understanding, democracy, a care for the world around us, a sense of adventure, and the qualities of leadership and service.  We see excellent academic results as an outcome of a focus on character.

Over 400 students attend Box Hill School.  We are a co-educational 11-18 day and boarding school which offers GCSEs, A levels and the International Baccalaureate diploma programme. Two thirds of our students are from local British families, and come from towns and villages surrounding Box Hill. Our community of 150 boarders represent 36 different countries around the world.

EIB: How long has Box Hill been teaching the IB?

Box Hill is proud to have been offering the IBDP for ten years.

EIB: What is the benefits of taking the IB at Box Hill?

Our students study in an internationally-minded, supportive community whose own ethos ties in perfectly with the philosophy of the IBO. From a Coordinator’s perspective, the best thing about their IB experience is how much they grow as individuals, becoming academically and socially open-minded people who approach learning as a lifelong pursuit, who are tolerant and ready to face challenges in an ever more globalised world.

EIB: What are past IB graduates from Box Hill doing today?

Our IB graduates go on to study in some of the best universities in the UK and abroad, the vast majority of them getting into their first choice university. Having acquired a taste for living in the UK, many stay in and around London after university. You will find Box Hill IB graduates in every walk of life from Medicine or Law to Hotel Management or setting up their own companies.

EIB: What advice would you give IB students ahead of their exams and preparing for summer?

Since three weeks of that final month would be taken up by their final diploma exams, good advice would be to keep a clear head, take exercise, use relaxation techniques, and get a sensible amount of sleep – all whilst ensuring that exam preparation is their priority.

EIB: What does the future hold in store for Box Hill?

In the future we will continue teaching our students with the same core ethos whilst enhancing the development of facilities around the school campus, starting with a sports hall, which will open up opportunities for our students as well as members of the local community.

If you are interested in joining our Mid-IB Summer Course at Box Hill this August, why not contact us on [email protected] or find out more on our website.