by Jolijt T '11

A Breakdown of Junior Year

  Juniors are always warned that Junior year, especially at BSGE, is the hardest and most important year of high school. In an only partially scientifically valid manner, based solely on my personal evaluation of each assignment’s difficulty, I kept track of the work during my Junior Year from September 21st on.

Method: Each homework assignment was given a point value, from 1-3, based on difficulty. Difficulty was assessed by time spent doing it and mental effort exerted. Quizzes were worth 3 points and tests and essays were worth 5 points. The points were added to come up with weekly totals for each class. For each day off, 1 point was subtracted. The Extended Essay was treated as a class.

Errors: This method did not take into account the time given to do major assignments. For example, on week 22 a math portfolio was due. That portfolio was assigned two weeks earlier, so if the 5 points were spread out over 2 weeks, it would have a lot less of an effect. However, in true IB-student fashion, I doubt I actually did that portfolio over the 2 weeks, so often the point value is more of a reflection on my work habits than it is a reflection on the teachers’ efforts to spread out assignments. Also, as I got used to the workload, it became easier to handle more. That explains why the 4th week is one of the highest scoring weeks, I just wasn’t used to it yet. Another flaw in the method is in it’s inability to calculate other factors. The graph shows an overall drop in difficulty in June. Yet, I remember the May-June stretch being one of the more difficult times. This discrepancy exists because the point system doesn’t account for assessments outside of the classroom. May and June were difficult because the IB exams, SATs, SAT IIs, Regents, World Lit papers and the History essay, were all happening at the same time.

Conclusion: All of Junior year is difficult. There will be some weeks that are harder than others and some that are easier. During those easier weeks, my recommendation is that Juniors do their best to work ahead. The teachers, in general, did a good job of coordinating assignments to minimize student breakdowns. However, it didn’t always work. Just remember that it will all be okay.

Least Difficult Weeks:
(1) Sep 21- Sep 26
(2) May 31- June 5
(3) May 17- May 22
(4) June 14- June 18
(5) Jan 4- Jan 9

Most Difficult Weeks:
(1) Oct 12- Oct 17
(2) Oct 9- Oct 14
(3) Dec 7- Dec 12
(4) Feb 22- Feb 27
(5) Apr 19-24
(6) May 3- May 7
(7) Mar 1- Mar 6
(8) Jan 11- Jan 16

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