IB Diploma: Basics

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IB Diploma: Basics

Date posted: May 03, 2017 11:04:38       Posted by: Teachers-to-GO!

IB Diploma: Basics

Written by: Beulah Joy Lejano


If you are a student determined in securing an IB Diploma, there are certain non-negotiable requirements that you need to understand. This quick guide will help you find out if this challenging program is right for you.

1.    You need to take 6 subjects - simultaneously.

The thing that puts a lot of students off taking the IB is its breadth. There are 3 subjects at the Standard Level (SL), and another 3 subjects at the Higher Level (HL). And you cannot choose just any subjects of your liking – you have to choose from the six main areas of study, namely:

Group 1: Studies in Language and Literature

Group 2: Language Acquisition (a foreign language course)

Group 3: Individuals and Societies (History, Economics, Geography, other social sciences)

Group 4: Experimental Sciences (Biology, Chemistry, Physics, other sciences)

Group 5: Mathematics

Group 6: The Arts (Dance, Theater, Visual Arts, etc.)

This sounds the perfect combination for the genius all-rounder but not so awesome if you know you’re much stronger (or weaker) in some areas than others. Nevertheless, the IB structure does allow a degree of specialization in such a way that you can take your stronger subjects at HL, and the weaker ones at SL.

2.    IB scores operate on a 1 to 7 scale.

7 is the highest score that can be given to an IB subject.

The most vexing part of this truth is that even if there is a particular subject you don’t like, or you find difficult, you can’t just ignore it. If you do badly in it during the exams, it will affect your overall score and won’t look too good with your university application.

Each subject has its own percentage grade boundary which you have to reach in order to obtain a 7. 

3.    In addition, your IB success is largely dependent on your performance from the three core elements – CAS, TOK, and EE.

The first core element is CAS (Creativity, Action, Service), in which students must engage in do art/music/creativity-related activities, sports, or community on a regular basis for a minimum of 18 months.

The second core element is TOK (Theory of Knowledge) in which students are required to develop their critical thinking and inquiry skills which culminates in a final in-class presentation on a topic of the student’s choice, and a 1500-word essay based on one of the set of six to ten Prescribed Titles provided by the IB every year.

The final component is the Extended Essay (EE) in which students must pick any subject area of their own choice, conduct an original research about it, and then write a 4,000-word structured mini-thesis based on the research.


Teachers-to-GO! IB Diploma Program

A world-class provider of online education resources to students in the IB Diploma Program, Teachers-to-GO uses a proven and successful teaching platform to help you reach your full IB potential.

Talk to any of our expert IB advisers for your IB preparation. Visit us at www.teachers-to-go.com/ibdp-online-prep-course/

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