A’ subject. In fact, it is a course requiring lots of hard work, determination and effort, but that is also ultimately both valuable and extremely rewarding.
Deciding what IB Subjects to choose is a daunting task which requires much thought and consideration; after all, the courses chosen each last two years. A good way to start then is perhaps to determine what subjects you prefer the most.
If you enjoy making and learning about art, it is important to know both the pros and cons of taking the course, ranging from the most difficult aspects to the most enjoyable ones, in order to decide whether or not you want to enroll in the class or not.
In order to do so, a basic understanding of the Art course is rather helpful. The course is essentially divided into two components that each relies heavily on the other: the Portfolio (which is externally graded) and the Investigation Workbook (graded internally). Depending on the option you choose, either component can be weighted more heavily and thus make up a larger portion of your final score.
However, in order to do well in the course as a whole, doing well in both parts is essential. The Portfolio is the final collection of all of the studio work you create over the year and a half before the final Video Interview (which the IB examiners will use to gain a better understanding of the ideas and techniques behind your pieces), and the Investigation Workbook (IWB) is simply put a sketchbook containing research on various artists, cultures and techniques (amongst other things) that relate to your pieces. The IWB is important in finding and developing your ideas for each studio piece, making both halves of your final grade heavily reliant on one another.
Because of both the Portfolio as well as the IWB, there is an extremely heavy workload; out of the six IB courses I am taking, Art requires the most time. This is not because the material itself is more difficult than other classes, but instead because doing research, planning ideas, and completing studio work simply takes time. It is often the case that free periods and many hours after school are spent doing studio work in the art room – if you are not willing to put in the time and effort that this course requires, then it is perhaps not in your best interests to take it.
Another potential disadvantage to taking Art is that some universities – especially in Switzerland – will not recognize it as a “real” subject, though this is also highly dependent on the course you may eventually apply to; not to mention that the universities that do not accept art are far and few in between. It may be prudent to keep this in mind whilst choosing next year’s classes, though.
Despite the difficulties associated with IB Art, however, there are countless benefits that, for a student passionate about the subject, most definitely outweigh the disadvantages. Namely, not only does the course teach future university students valuable research, analytical and writing skills, as well as being an excellent challenge in time management, but it also provides students with a creative outlet.
Most importantly, though, is the fact that the course is fun. If you truly enjoy creating and learning about art then the trials and tribulations are most definitely worth it, because ultimately the course is incredibly interesting as well as creatively stimulating.
In the end, only you will know what you enjoy and love most, and if art is one of those things, I most definitely recommend the course for you!
By Emma Svensson