The Perks and Pitfalls of the CAS Experience


If you’ve ever taken the IB, you know that fulfilling your CAS requirements is one of the most tedious and surprisingly difficult tasks that you have to do to get your diploma. Along with balancing all your academics, tests, IAs, EE, and homework, now you also have to worry about CAS and the CAS project. In my opinion, if done right, CAS can be a lot easier than one might think and, even if you constantly have to worry about doing stuff after school, it can be easily scheduled, posing little to no problems. Now that CAS is finishing up for the seniors, I wanted to share some helpful tips and tricks to help you pass your CAS with ease. 



  • CAS Project


The CAS project can be the most tedious task of the whole CAS requirements, but if done right, you can get it out of the way straight away and not worry about it for 2 years. Firstly, I would highly encourage you to only do one CAS project. You may be inclined to join two groups of friends, but in the end, doing two is just double the work. Most people that I know that did two have started to regret it when they just finished one and now have to focus on another. 

Additionally, I would recommend you to do something that you enjoy. Doing a boring CAS project can just seem like a useless waste of time, but if you do something that you and your group enjoy, finding motivation is easy and you can have fun while doing it. For example, if you and your friends like to cook and bake, you can easily integrate that into your project and have a cooking session every couple months. Or for example, if you like video games, you can have a video game tournament with the younger grades. 

In my opinion, the best way to do your CAS project is to get it out of the way in grade 11. If you do it around the middle of grade 11, academic stress won’t be as bad, and you can just forget about it for the rest of your time at the IB. If you do it early, your future self will be very thankful for your decisions. In addition, you get the bonus of laughing at your friends that haven’t finished yet. However, if you postpone your CAS project until senior year, you will soon realize that, along with IAs, the EE, and exams, the CAS project is definitely not something you want to do. 

The last piece of advice for the CAS project that I can give you is to do something easy. Doing something that is hard to plan and time-consuming brings little extra benefit compared to just doing something simple: you have to fill out the same details for both, and that’s what actually counts. If you have an idea that may seem a bit too complex, you can water it down a bit to make it easier. However, if you really do have the passion to achieve a difficult CAS project, be ready to take the time and thoroughly plan before executing it.



Creativity is probably the easiest out of the 3 objectives for CAS. All you have to do is something that is fun for you. This includes anything from rubix cubes to FISH. Unbiasedly, I recommend you to join the FISH and have fun writing articles for the school newspaper. Honestly, to fulfil this section of CAS, just find something that you enjoy and that you have no problem doing maybe once every couple of weeks. The best advice I can give here is to do something that’s easy and you have fun with. Also, do something that you can easily talk to your CAS coordinator with. You should be able to say what goals you are achieving and how exactly you are improving/finding new weaknesses. So make sure that it’s not too simple that you cannot talk about it for at least a couple of minutes. 



For some people, activity is something that you don’t even have to worry about. If you do any exercise or sports, you are already set and basically only continue doing that. However, if you use personal fitness as your activity, it gets a bit more complicated. Firstly, you have to do these fitness tests, which are easy, but still somewhat time-consuming. All you have to do is 5 minutes of cycling and 1 minute of sit-ups. Then, a score is generated, which you can talk about in your CAS portfolio. Here, there isn’t much advice to do. All I can recommend is for you to do sports and stay healthy, then this will be easy and nothing to worry about. 



In my opinion, service is the hardest of the CAS requirements. Here, most people won’t already be doing something to fulfil it and have to start something new. To fulfil this requirement, you have to join a service group of your choice, inside or outside school. Luckily, FIS offers many options that you can choose from and you should have no trouble finding something that interests you. When you join a service group, keep in mind that you have to stay for at least two years, so you should choose something that you find interesting and are willing to join. Make sure that you actually participate in that group and volunteer to do activities, such as bake sales and trips. I would also recommend you to have friends in that group since it makes it more enjoyable and less of a chore. Additionally, you can motivate each other to continue participating and organize and partake in events together. 


Overall, the best advice I can give you for CAS is to just do it and have fun. Whether you like it or not, you are going to have to do it to pass the IB, so you might as well enjoy yourself. For the CAS project, get it out of the way early, so you don’t have to worry about it anymore. As for creativity, activity, and service, find one group or activity that you enjoy taking part in and stick with that for two years or more. As long as you properly update your portfolio and write your reflections, anything you do will be enough. If you have any doubt, remember that you can always talk to your counsellors, teachers, friends, and Mrs Jungnitsch.