International Baccalaureate candidates shouldn’t have to take the same SOL test as other students.
By: Samantha Lett, Online Editor
High school offers many different paths for students to take. There are different diplomas with different requirements, different electives for different minds, and there are different classes for different minds who think alike. But the issue with different curriculum begins to bubble to the surface as students start to feel unprepared for SOLs.
“I feel very unprepared. Not because of the teachers, but because of what we’re expected to know – it’s unfair that we have to take an SOL that our curriculum doesn’t cover,” junior Kaitlyn Hillard said.
The International Baccalaureate diploma (or certificates) requires certain classes to be taken during certain years to ensure that the candidates can get all their needed classes during high school. This means skipping World History I freshman year and instead taking Pre-Baccalaureate (Pre-Bac) World History II. This then leads to taking Pre-Bac Government during sophomore year, and taking two years of IB-History of the Americas (IB-HOA) during junior and senior year.
With this happening, this definitely messes with how the students enrolled in the HOA class have to learn the material for their SOL, and often causes them much more stress than it should. The IB curriculum is different and calls for the skipping over of “crucial” (based on SOL prep and review) classes like World History I as well as Advanced Virginia and United States History. World I and World II as well as Modern Global Studies have SOLs that go with their curriculum, as well as Virginia/US history, so teachers can teach without having to go out of their way and make time for review that directs attention away from the curriculum.
“We aren’t prepared for the SOL, and we can’t afford to play catch up with the rest of our curriculum,” junior Kailee Lesko said.
Because of the way the IB system works, the prerequisite of taking IB-HOA HL-A (meaning the first year of IB-HOA) is extremely important, and is obviously the base for the next year. And with all the pressure falling on the shoulders of the kids who almost always write an essay for the test, it also makes them just that much more worried about if they’re going to be unprepared for the IB-HOA test at the end of their senior years.
“The SOL system seems to be really redundant to me. I feel like we’ve already taken a similar SOL in the past. And that on top of the fact that we have to learn more things in more detail, it’s unfair for us to take the same SOL,” Hilliard said.
While many of the students feel as though they shouldn’t have to take an SOL at all, they do understand how unfair that is and would simply rather take an SOL that covers more of the events and vocabulary they are already learning, and less of items that they are forced to go over in class, taking precious time away from their timed test next spring.