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What Is The International Baccalaureate Organization

1. What is IB? (International Baccalaureate) – Introduction

The International Baccalaureate Organization was founded in 1968, and it is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. The IB Diploma Programme for high school upperclassmen was the first program offered by the organization. It was followed by three others, including the Middle Years Programme for 11- to 16-year-olds and the Primary Years Programme for students ages 3 to 12. In 2012, the Career-Related Programme, the fourth and last IB program, debuted. This program, like the IB Diploma Programme, is for high school students. Because few high schools in the United States offer it, however, this article will focus only on the IB Diploma Programme. For more information about other IB programs, explore this website.

What Are The Benefits Of The Ib Program

One of the chief benefits of the IB program is that it provides academic preparation for college. IB courses are known for being interdisciplinary, requiring a good deal of independent thinking, and assigning oral presentations and original researchall characteristics of college courses.

Spoiler alert: college-level research involves a bit more work than just Googling something.

Especially if you earn the full IB Diploma, your IB courses will be a great way of showing that you have taken tough courses in a range of subjects, from math to English to history to science, and are able to manage college-level coursework.

As we discussed before, colleges want to see that you’ve taken the most advanced classes available to you. And taking IB is a great way to do just that.

In addition to getting preparation for college, you can get credit for college classes by passing IB exams. Again, you don’t need to complete the full IB Diploma to earn credit, so if you don’t think you can fit the IB Diploma into your schedule, it might still benefit you to take a few individual IB classes.

Unfortunately, taking an IB exam isn’t cheap. There’s a $119 fee per exam. While this is a lot of money, it’s still much less than the tuition you would pay for the same intro-level college course.

Many schools also have their own financial aid programs for IB. Learn more about IB costs here.

How Do I Join The Ib Programme

Over 900 high schools in the United States offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme. This is a two-year program for eligible juniors and seniors. Typically, high schools allow only students with a certain grade point average who have taken specific preparatory classes as freshmen and sophomores to take part in the program. You can search for high schools that offer the IB Diploma Programme here. Once youve verified that its offered at your high school, be sure to look into any specific requirements that your school may have by exploring its website or talking to a guidance counselor.

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May 2020 Examination Results

In March 2020, the IB announced that exams for the May 2020 session had been canceled as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It claimed that the final grades would instead be calculated based on course work, students’ teacher-predicted grades, and historic school data. “Prior to the attribution of final grades, this process was subjected to rigorous testing by educational statistical specialists to ensure our methods were robust. It was also checked against the last five years sets of results data,” an IB spokesman said. In July 2020, the IB released its results for Diploma Programme and Career-related Programme candidates enrolled in the May 2020 session. Over 17,000 signatories signed an online petition calling for a clarification of the grading methodology, and for free remarking and retesting. Several educators have criticized IB’s approach to the 2020 grading.The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation stated it would “scrutinize” the grades. The Norwegian Data Protection Authority asked the IB to provide data under the General Data Protection Regulation.

Some argued that using a school’s historical data to produce grades was unfair to black or low-income students, or students from smaller schools. Others complained about the lack of transparency and fair process of the grades’ appeal process.

Ib Exam Changes Due To Covid

iB Language Classes in Jamia Nagar, Delhi

Because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the IB has decided to extend the adaptations which were put in place for 2021 to 2022. May 2022 IB assessments will have two routes, exam and non-exam, depending on which your school chooses. Stay up to date with the latest information on what this means for IB diplomas, course credit for IB classes, and more with our our IB COVID-19 FAQ article.

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The Difference Between Ib And Ap

Although widely seen as an alternative to Advanced Placement classes, IBs different for a few reasons. For one, IB is offered at the elementary and middle school levels. AP is not. Whats more, IB can be the curricula for a handful of classes or it can be an intensive school-wide program .

The AP comparison only fits in a high school with an IB diploma program where students are allowed to take one or more IB classes in their strongest subjects. Even then, IB and AP classes tend to differ in teaching method and testing. Some see AP as more focused on rote learning and standardized tests. In contrast, IB classes and assessments tend to involve more research, writing, and hands-on evaluation. A key difference is the final exam. IB exams are set up to challenge students to apply what theyve learned in new scenarios, such as analyzing a case study, in an effort to test students ability to react to new information in a limited period of time. The tests are then sent to one of 6,000 trained international examiners to be graded alongside work from other IB students worldwide.

However, AP courses may carry extra benefits that not all IB courses do. For instance, AP class grades may be weighted , which boosts students GPAs for college applications, and passing grades on AP exams can provide college credit, whereas passing grades on IB course exams may not. As a result, many students who take IB courses and exams also take the related AP test in order to secure college credit.

Ib Exams And Assessments

The IB Programme is unique in that final scores are a combination of internal and external assessments.

Internal assessments

IB Internal Assessments takes the form of long-term projects such as papers, reports and presentations. For example, in Group 5 , you complete lab reports, and in Group 1 , you write papers.

These internal assessments usually comprise 15-25% of your final IB score for that subject and are graded by your teachers. Your school later sends a small, randomly selected sample of student work to the IB for âmoderationâ, a process that ensures your school is grading fairly.

External assessments

The rest of the IB is externally assessed, mainly in the form of final examinations. IB exams are cumulative, with assessments in all topics taken in one exam at the end of your second year of study.

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Similarities Between Ap And Ib

Along with the differences, there are a few similarities between them which are as discussed below.

  • Both the AP and IB programs allow you to take a challenging course followed by an exam.

  • AP and IB are generally the most challenging courses available to high school students.

  • Both programs will help students in leading to college credit.

  • Both programs will help students leading to placing out of entry-level college coursework.

Is There Any Cost Involved In International Baccalaureate

IB Diploma Beginner TIPS: Everything You Need to Know Before Starting the IB Diploma

It does not cost anything to become an IB student. However, the IB assessment tests, which can lead to college credit with a passing score, do have fees ranging from $10 to $170. Learn more about registration fees and subject fees at the International Baccalaureate website. is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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What Is International Baccalaureate And Other Faqs

International Baccalaureate is a worldwide, nonprofit education program founded to give all students the opportunity to receive an education fit for a globalizing world. There are four IB education programs, all of which are intended to develop students’ intellectual, emotional, personal and social skills. High school students will mostly be concerned with the IB Diploma Program and the Career-related Program , which consist of six main subjects.

Can I Take An Ib Exam If I Took An Ib Class But Im Not Enrolled In The Ib Programme

Yes, students who take an IB class, regardless of whether they participate in the IB Diploma Programme, can sit for the associated IB exam.

Students who take only a couple of IB courses throughout their high school education will earn individual grades on each exam, like students aiming for diplomas. However, their scores will not be averaged to calculate subject scores and instead will stand on their own. Students can submit these scores to prospective institutions to determine if they will be awarded any college credit. Check with your institution to see if it accepts IB exam scores and rewards high scores with credit. Even if a school does not give credit for IB exams, the IB curriculum is internationally recognized, and taking IB classes and doing well on the associated exams enhances a students competitiveness on their college applications.

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College Credit For Ib

Normally three of the IB program areas are studied at the “higher level,” which is considered equivalent to college work. Students typically must attain at least a score of 5 out of 7 points on an exam for a higher-level course to be eligible for college credit. Most colleges recognize the academic strength of the IB program, but each college has its own policies about granting credit for IB exams.

Advice From An Expert: Is International Baccalaureate Right For Me


Dr. Robert Bouressa

Dr. Robert Bouressa is the Director of College Guidance for Saint Andrew’s School in Boca Raton, FL. He is the former Diploma Coordinator for IB Students at Saint Andrew’s, and now counsels IB students on college choice. Prior to joining the school, he spent 10 years as the Director of Admission and College Counseling and worked within the IB program at the Escola Americana do Rio de Janeiro.

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What Are The 6 Core Courses In The Ib Program

To earn the full IB Diploma, you have to take courses from six subjects, one each from groups 1-5, and either one from group 6 or a substitute from groups 1-4:

  • Group 1: Studies in Language and Literature
  • Group 2: Language Acquisition
  • Group 3: Individuals and Societies
  • Group 4: Sciences
  • Group 5: Mathematics
  • Group 6: The Arts

Between three and four subjects must be taken at the Higher Level and the rest at the Standard Level in order to earn the Diploma. Higher Level courses are more challengingIB recommends a minimum of 240 hours of instructional time for HL courses, and 150 hours for SL courses.

Some schools handle the HL requirements by having students take the SL or AP version of a course first and the HL version second, thereby forming a two-year sequence. For example, you might take AP English Literature as a junior, and then HL IB English as a senior.

Also, note that many high schools with IB programs have recommended four-year plans to help students fit in all the requirements, since there’s a lot to keep track of. Therefore, you won’t necessarily have to do a bunch of schedule-planning on your own.

If your school or a school you’re interested in has an IB program, get in touch with the guidance counseling office to find out whether they have recommended IB class sequences. This can help you if you’re deciding which high school to attend, or if you can’t decide whether you want to take IB classes or not.

Tips For Choosing And Thriving In International Baccalaureate

Preparing for IB can be an intimidating and, at times, confusing process. Both deciding on an IB program and doing well once enrolled takes a lot of early preparation. These tips can help students determine whether or not IB is a good fit for them, and can help ensure they stay on track and get the most from their IB program without getting overwhelmed.

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Ap Vs Ib: Which Is Right For You

Ultimately, most colleges do not consider AP or IB better than the other. Consider what classes are offered at your school to determine which program is right for you.

The IB diploma includes additional requirements, so factor in whether you have time to pursue this credential alongside your extracurriculars and other commitments. If you want, you can take IB courses without pursuing the diploma.

Although the IB diploma is impressive, taking several AP courses could allow you to earn more college credits and graduate college early. If your school doesn’t offer either IB or AP options, you can study for and take AP tests without enrolling in the courses.

Is 42 A Good Ib Score

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Figure 1 shows that the higher an IB students overall points score the greater their likelihood of a good result in Cambridge Arts & Social Sciences courses. A score of 41 points suggests an at- average likelihood of a II. 1 or a First a score of 42 points suggests a better-than-average likelihood.

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Ap Vs Ib: Choosing Advanced Placement Or International Baccalaureate

Students and families who are looking into more challenging alternatives to the traditional high school curriculum may come across Advanced Placement options along with IB. Both programs offer college-level courses to high school students, but there are many key differences that should be examined before determining whether one is a better fit over the other. Noting the similarities and differences between these programs can help students make the right decision for them and their academic and personal goals.

Why Are Ib Classes Worth Taking

The IB classes are unique from other advanced classes, like an honors-level class or Advanced Placement courses, because they fit into the educational ecosystem created by IB. The classes are part of the IB diploma and intentionally developed to promote interdisciplinary learning and critical thinking across different fields of study.

Furthermore, all classes within the IB diploma program advance the goals of developing students within the learner profiles, and this consistent approach further enhances the relationship between all classes within the IB program.

What are the IB Subjects?

The IB diploma begins in Grade 11, and focuses on three core elements

  • the theory of knowledge, where students reflect on how we know what we know
  • the extended essay, which requires students to write an independent research paper, and
  • the CAS project, which stands for creativity, activity, and service, which requires students to create a project based on those three themes.

The classes within the IB diploma fall under six subject groups: studies in

As part of the diploma, students select classes from each of these subject groups to create their own academic path. Some of these classes are one year courses , which require 150 hours of study. Other classes take place over two years, , and require 240 hours of study to complete.

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What Are Ib Exams

For each of those six core classes, you also have to take an IB exam.IB exams are given in May . They have two parts: an external assessment and an internal assessment.

The external assessment is the more traditional exam portion and consists of two or three “papers,” typically done on the same day or a few days in a row. A paper is essentially an exam section, and they usually have a combination of multiple-choice, short-answer, extended-response, and data- or case-analysis questions.

You won’t spend much time bubbling in answers on an IB exam.

The papers are graded by independent examinerssimilar to how AP exams are graded by certified AP graders.

The internal assessments, however, are done by the teacher. These can include oral presentations, practical work , or other written work. Around 5% or more of the internal assessments will also be graded by a moderator appointed by the IB, and based on this moderation, the grading curve of that subject at the school will be set.

IB exams are graded on a scale of 1-7, with 6 and 7 considered an A, and anything 4 and up generally considered a passing score . Most colleges give IB credit for scores of 5 and higher.

To earn the IB Diploma, you need to score an average of 4 on each exam to get the minimum 24 needed points. You can learn more about IB exams on the IB website.

Core Requirements And Subject Groups

Ms. Gray

Theory of knowledge Creativity, action, service

To be awarded an IB diploma, candidates must fulfill three core requirements, in addition to passing their subject examinations:

Subject groups

Students who pursue the IB diploma must take six subjects: one each from Groups 1â5, and either one from Group 6 or a permitted substitute from one of the other groups, as described below. Three or four subjects must be taken at Higher level and the rest at Standard level . The IB recommends a minimum of 240 hours of instructional time for HL courses and 150 hours for SL courses.

While the IB encourages students to pursue the full IB diploma, the “substantial workload require a great deal of commitment, organization, and initiative”. Students may instead choose to register for one or more individual IB subjects, without the core requirements. Such students will not receive the full diploma.

The six IBDP subject groups and course offerings are summarised below. More information about the subject groups and individual courses can be found at the respective subject group articles:

Environmental Systems and Societies SL is an interdisciplinary course designed to meet the diploma requirements for groups 3 and 4, while Literature and Performance SL meets the requirements of Groups 1 and 6.

Online Diploma Programme and pilot courses

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