One of the biggest uncertainties that IB takers and graduates have is: How do I know if I have a chance at getting into the uni course I want?
In Singapore, universities like NUS and NTU usually publish what is called Indicative Grade Profiles (IGP), which show the scores of the 90th percentile and 10th percentile of students who are admitted into a particular course. This is the case for A Level results and polytechnic grades. The IGP is a useful gauge to high school students and applicants, making known the marks they should score in order to have a good chance to enter a course.
However, there is yet to be any official IGP for students coming from IB backgrounds. This makes it tough for IB students when choosing their university and courses, as they do not have that information to give them the confidence and certainty that they will be accepted.
Why local unis don’t publish IB IGPs
Unfair as it may seem, the unis have a pretty legit reason for not publishing IGPs for IB results. Because there are relatively fewer IB students in Singapore, the sample size of IB students who apply to each university course is also quite small. If you understand statistics, you will then understand that using such a small sample size to arrive at any average, 90th, or 10th percentile will not be very representative.
Alternatives to the IGP
So, is there any other way for IB students in Singapore to gauge their chances of getting into the uni courses they are interested in?
For a rough sense of how competitive each university course is, it is quite sufficient to go back to the A Level IGP. For example, a course with AAA/A at both the 90th and 10th percentile is super competitive, which is typically the case for courses like medicine, law, and dentistry. Accordingly, you can expect the corresponding IB scores of successful applicants to be perfect or near-perfect scores.
In contrast, a course with a lower bound of BCC/A will be comparatively less competitive, even if the 90th percentile is also AAA/A. Thus, you can deduce that there is still a decent chance of entering the course with less-than-stellar IB grades – but other factors like your portfolio may also come into play.
Another way of gauging your success rate of entering a particular course is based on anecdotal evidence of past applicants. We’ve scoured several online forums (e.g. reddit, quora) and found some self-reports of IB scores and local uni acceptances. Although some of these were shared a couple of years ago, we think the information is still useful to provide a rough sense.
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