Hi there. In this education post I talk about advanced students. The motivation behind this post is based on a recent experience at my work along with reflections of meeting others over the years when I was a student.
Existence Of IB Schools & Advanced Placement Courses
In my earlier student years I did not know about the existence of advanced placement courses, and International Baccalaureate® (IB) school courses. I was just never informed about it back then. As I work in the private educational services industry I am more aware of advanced course offerings.
Not every school offers advanced courses or the IB program. It is dependent on where one lives. The nearest school that offers advanced placement courses or an IB program may be close or it could be faraway. Highly strategic parents may move to a neighbourhood that is near an advanced school. Another option would be to drive their kids farther to get their kids to a good school.
There are also pre-IB programs where the courses set grade 9 and grade 10 students up for the IB program in grade 11 and grade 12. I am currently working/tutoring some grade 9 mathematics pre-IB students. The grade 9 pre-IB mathematics course definitely has algebra that is noticeably tougher than the algebra in the regular grade 9 math course in the Toronto area. This advanced course does contain a few concepts from the regular grade ten math.
Advanced Student Course Load
I have a bit of an idea of the course load of advanced students from a tutor/educator perspective. All I know is that the advanced math courses cover more topics and are more technical compared to the regular math courses. From my experiences students in these math courses are fairly fast learners and have pretty good algebra skills.
The pace of the advanced course is fast. Instead of a test every two weeks it could be a test every week for just that one course. A more advanced variation would be the course being more technical and the course moves at a fast pace with a test every week. Students in this type of course have to really understand technical concepts at a really fast pace. There is a lot of homework and the homework difficulty is much tougher than normal.
Being Competitive In School
I did have a recent post on parent expectations on their kids when it comes to school. This section does relate to student expectations. Some parents really want their students to be ultra competitive in school and maybe in life. They may encourage their kids to enroll in certain advanced schools or enroll in advanced courses or take higher level courses at an earlier age. There is also the case that the child him/herself wants to do advanced courses without parental influence.
Being ultra competitive in school does increase the likelihood in getting into medical school, dentistry school, law school, master degree programs, obtaining lucrative high paying jobs and so on.
Grade 11 Student Taking Grade 12 IB Math
The next sections feature advanced students that I know of currently and in the past.
At my work we do have a math student in grade eleven who is taking grade 12 mathematics from the IB program. The first semester from September to January was for grade 11 math and this current semester features grade 12 advanced functions mathematics (pre-calculus). As she is in the IB program her course load is really heavy. There is a lot of homework for her to do and there is more topics to learn in less time.
Advanced High School Math Student
We do have this super advanced student in grade 11 who is taking Advanced Placement (AP) calculus. In my province most students who take calculus take the course in grade twelve second semester. This advanced student is one year ahead and the contents of the AP Calculus course is similar to first year university calculus for the natural sciences and engineering. The contents of this course include:
- Limits Of Functions
- Mean Value Theorem
- Integrals (Substitution & Integration By Parts)
- Parametric Equations
- Differential Equations
- Multivariable Calculus in Grade 12 (This topic is usually 2nd year university calculus)
First Year University At 16, Medical School At 19/20 Years Old
There was this girl on my dorm floor in first year. I found out through friends at the time that she was actually 16 years old. She must have skipped some grades and graduated high school early. My university at the time did not have a pre-medical school program so they had health sciences instead. Many health sciences students would try to get into medical school by taking certain courses to meet admission requirements for medical school. You had to take a few introductory math and statistics courses along with chemistry, biology, a few physics courses, obtain a competitive MCAT exam score and have extracurriculars in your medical school application.
One can enter medical school after completing your four year Bachelor's degree or you can enter medical school after your third year of university. This girl ended up being admitted in medical school at 19 years old. Most 19 years old in university would be in their first or second year of university. She fast tracked her way into medical school.
I did bump into her at the university library where she was doing medical school. At the time I was a Master's student at the same school she was in. It was a short hello and nice to see you exchange. She did admit to me that wishes she understood statistics.