IB Survival Guide Part 3: Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS)

CAS is a mandatory part of the IB Diploma program, and we will conclude our “IB Survival Guide” with some tips on how to survive and succeed in CAS!

What is it?

Although many people complain about CAS, it is actually a great opportunity to step out of your comfort zone and learn new things. Take advantage of this opportunity! 

For the creativity aspect there are many clubs you can join at SIS and meet new people. For the activity section you can take up something like boxing or painting; try to challenge yourself! 

For service, there are many amazing organisations you can join to help out with, such as helping out the homeless in the mornings or joining the Nepal group. 

Throughout 11th grade, try to pick at least 3 experiences (of which one is creativity, one is activity, and one is service) and stick to them throughout all of 11th grade. Then in 12th grade you can pick one of those experiences and continue with it for the remainder of the 18 months. Often, people choose to stick with the sport they are doing, considering this offers a good amount of stress relief throughout 12th grade. 

A key piece of advice is to start your CAS as soon as possible, preferably in the first few weeks of 11th grade, so that when the final exams in 12th grade roll around, you won’t have to worry about CAS anymore.


CAS Reflections

CAS-reflections are necessary in order for you to obtain your IB diploma. They give you the opportunity to reflect on your experiences. Not only do you need to provide evidence that you are actually doing your CAS experiences, you also need to reflect on the 7 learning outcomes. Rather than describing and giving a narrative explanation, you need to reflect. The key to perfecting your CAS reflections is to remember that quality is more important than quantity. 


The CAS Project

The CAS project is something that requires taking initiative and teamwork. This year’s grade 12s had a great variety of CAS projects. 

One of them was to introduce the UN’s GirlUp initiative to teach students in the MYP and IPC program at SIS about women’s rights and inequality in other countries as well as hosting fundraisers to raise money for women in countries that face oppression.

Another CAS project was the introduction of Roots and Shoots at SIS to create a campaign to work on environmental, humanitarian, and conservation issues. 

You can also create a CAS project within a CAS experience you are already doing. For example, one group created workshops to make bracelets with the MYP students to sell them to the IPC students. With this money they are putting together toiletry bags with necessities for the homeless in Stockholm. They were already volunteering for the Hemlösa.se organisation for the service part of CAS, and they created their CAS project within this experience to further help out with this organisation. 

Your CAS project should be something you’re passionate about. Another group of grade 12s organised a basketball tournament for people at SIS, and created a schedule with a bunch of mini-games. As long as you show initiative, creativity, and collaboration, your CAS project will be a great learning experience.