What does it mean to be a DP student?

What does it mean to be a DP Student ?

The psychologist Carl Rogers said “that which is perceived to be real will be real in it’s consequences”. I think that he was referring to the human emotion of fear at the time, as such he was saying that if I perceive danger then I will experience fear, even if there is no real danger (just think about how a horror movie can scare us).

So what’s this got to do with the Diploma ? Well, the same principles apply – if I perceive that the DP brings an overwhelming study load then I will feel genuinely overwhelmed. To stop myself from feeling overwhelmed I need to re-define my perceptions of studying. Language is important here. If we label learning as ‘work’ then it will be something which tires us out. If we labelled it as ‘exploration’, or ‘ ‘escape’ we may experience it in different ways. Imagine when you are involved in something that you love doing (e.g. playing a musical instrument, sport, or creative activities) time passes quickly, you’re in your flow. The key to doing well in the DP is to find your flow.

“The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.” – Steve Jobs

However, being a DP student is not about ‘getting work done’ and meeting deadlines – although it may often feel like that. The IB has much higher aspirations for a DP education, even beyond the aims of the IB Learner Profile.

The DP aims to develop students who have excellent breadth and depth of knowledge – students who flourish physically, intellectually, emotionally and ethically.

What is the IB DP ? by IBO

The aims of the DP are aspirational, and require a rigorous process of intellectual engagement to achieve them. However, accumulated research now demonstrates that DP students demonstrate a range of advantages in comparison to non-DP students:

  • DP Students are more likely to get offers at selective universities than non-DP students.
  • DP students are awarded higher degree classes than non-DP students.
  • DP students are less likely to drop out of university than non-DP students.
  • DP students have a higher average starting salary post-uni than the average starting salary of non-DP students.

Find out more at this research paper.

Being a DP student is about so much more than “doing IA’s” and meeting deadlines, being a DP student is a fantastic opportunity to learn about the world. So, during the holidays, when you are surveying the “learning exploration” before you, try to keep your mind on the bigger picture, and the potential prizes which await you down the path.

Mr Daniel,

IB DP Coordinator.


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