This is the second part of your self-evaluation, where you focus on your two-year journey of growth and reflection. Look at things from a "big picture" perspective and write about the major changes or shifts in thinking and perspective brought about by your experiences. This essay is a good opportunity for you to clarify how your evidences in the Completion Form reflect the Learning Outcomes of the program.
The Final CAS Essay IS NOT a re-hash/cut-and-paste/repetition of the Final Reflections from the individual projects. Instead, you can take the major ideas and realizations from your Final Reflections and see if there are any patterns, trends, or concerns that arise from these.
Here are a couple more things to think about as you continue to work on your Final CAS Essay:
- How would you compare yourself, pre-IB vs post-IB (almost)? Any similarities? Significant differences?
- What was the role/function of CAS in your IB years? How? Why?
- What three words/ideas would you use to summarize your experiences in CAS? Please explain each one. (What experiences would fall under each of these three words?)
- What did you like most about your program? What did you like the least? Why?
- What was the strongest point/aspect of your program? Can you identify areas to improve on to make the program more beneficial to the average student?
- Is there an aspect/area of growth/development, or a challenge, that you would have wanted to use for CAS but were not able to? Why not? What prevented you from acting on it?
- Which of the learning outcomes did you touch on the most in your activities? Why do you think this is so?
- Which of the learning outcomes did your program address the least? (Did you miss any of the learning outcomes?) Why? What prevented you from acting on it/them? What could have helped you to accomplish your task?
You can pick and choose any/all of these guide questions to help you reflect on your experiences. They do not have to be answered in any order either.
Your Completion form should provide you with an outline of which experiences match best with your expected learning outcomes. Let this help you provide the necessary insights to deepen your reflections.
Use what moves you, and hopefully these can help bring out what you really want to say. =)