CAS – How to Get Started With It

CAS can be as daunting and intimidating as it can be inspiring. It’s an opportunity to do all the cool stuff you’ve wanted to do. CAS is your chance to convince your parents that video games might *genuinely* be school relevant (if you do it right). But what is it, and how do we get started with it correctly? We will, in this post, look at what you can do to prepare yourself for a year of productive CAS experiences.

What Is CAS?

Simply put, CAS (creativity, activity, service) is the IBO’s attempt at making their students live life a little during their studies. It forces you to try new things and reflect on how those make you grow as a person. Every experience will target one of the seven learning outcomes, which you will demonstrate through writing reflections. 

If you want some excellent examples of what activities can look like, check out our blog post that offers 100 CAS ideas

Set Up a CAS Plan

Once you have familiarised yourself with what CAS is and how it works, set up a rough plan for which activities you will get done and when. This plan can always be subject to change, but it is good to have a rough idea of what you will be dealing with throughout your IB course. When you write a new activity on the plan, think about which category of creativity, activity or service it falls under and which learning outcome(s) you can target with this activity. Also, think about what your CAS project could be! It is an aspect of it that is often overlooked but vital to completing CAS. 

Find YOUR Way of Writing CAS Reflections

Your teacher will probably guide you on where and how you have to write your reflections. Some do it digitally, and some write them by hand. Either way, there are a few things you need to consider. 

  1. Be honest and self-examining. People can tell when your reflections oversell your achievements. And that’s not entirely the point with CAS, either. You do not have to convince people you have done something extraordinarily great. Reflect on what you have done and how it has helped you develop.
  2. Target a learning outcome in your reflections (either directly or indirectly). Quickly re-acquaint yourself with the learning outcome you meant to target with your activity before and consider how you can demonstrate that you have targeted it.
  3. Don’t be verbose. It is quality and not quantity that is crucial in your reflections. There is no need to write a whole essay if you can get your point across in a few sentences.

This blog post provides an in-depth rundown of reflections.

Make a Habit Out of It

Often people feel that CAS is challenging because they think they have to change their day-to-day to fit it in and that writing reflections is a hassle. It does not have to be that way. Make the activities easy for you to start, especially in stressed periods of IB. 

You can also massively help yourself by setting up reminders to write regular reflections. It is vital to have regular updates in your CAS portfolio, so if you can get yourself in the habit of maybe writing a reflection every Sunday after football practise or every Thursday after dinner, you will be golden. 

Remember, CAS is not your enemy. CAS can be your friend in the IB. We know how annoying it can seem, but it can be the best way to be active and do fun stuff you otherwise would deprioritise during your studies. Best of luck with it from us at Lanterna!

If you are struggling with any specific subject, you can always get in touch with our excellent tutoring team here

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