International Baccalaureate: A Guide For Parents (Part -2)

International Baccalaureate

Table of Contents

The International Baccalaureate (IB) stands out as a highly preferred and globally recognized program among various international curriculums. With an extensive offering of 7,500 programs in over 5,500 schools worldwide, the IB coursework is designed to instill a commitment to lifelong learning in candidates. For parents and students eager to explore the nuances of the IB, this quick ultimate guide is your go-to resource.


Delve into the IB education system and discover the distinctive advantages that set it apart from other international curriculums. Recognizing the significant impact of the IB program on a student’s life, particularly in the age group of 3 to 19, it becomes imperative to seek essential academic support.


Unlocking the Advantages of an IB Education

For Students:

The benefits of IB programs for students are immeasurable. Here are just a few highlights: students cultivate independent thinking, becoming masters of their own learning journey. They become part of an educational system that opens doors to some of the world’s top-ranking universities, fostering the acquisition of a second language, cultural consciousness, and the ability to engage respectfully on an international scale. Moreover, they often demonstrate superior academic performance compared to students in other programs.


For Teachers:

The IB recognizes teachers as essential contributors to school success and integral members of a professional learning community. To support them, IB educators enjoy a plethora of benefits, including access to high-quality professional development, innovative education frameworks, and a wealth of teaching resources.


For Schools:

Schools embracing the IB philosophy gain substantial benefits. As IB World Schools, they access high-quality educational programs, fostering the development of knowledgeable and inquiring students. The benefits extend to professional development, supporting effective educators and fostering collaborative professional learning communities. Joining a worldwide network of highly respected IB World Schools enables the sharing of best practices.


For Universities:

Universities and colleges find several advantages in recruiting and admitting students from IB programs. IB programs nurture the knowledge, skills, and disposition students need for success throughout their university careers. Research indicates, for instance, that IB students are more likely than their peers to complete undergraduate degrees, pursue graduate work, and actively engage in various aspects of university life.


Navigating Subject Choices in the IB Diploma Programme

In the IB Diploma Programme, students are empowered to shape their educational journey by selecting subjects from six distinct groups, each offering a unique focus and a diverse array of courses:


1. Language and Literature:

    • English A Literature
    • English A Language and Literature

2. Language Acquisition:

      • IB French B
      • IB Spanish B

3. Individuals and Societies:

    • IB History
    • IB Economics
    • IB Geography
    • IB Psychology
    • IB Social Anthropology

4. Sciences:

    • IB Biology
    • IB Chemistry
    • IB Physics

5. Mathematics:

    • IB Mathematics: Analysis and Approaches
    • IB Mathematics: Applications and Interpretation

6. The Arts:

    • Visual Arts
    • Music
    • Theatre


Beyond these subject groups, the IB Diploma Programme introduces interdisciplinary subjects like Environmental Systems and Societies, seamlessly integrating knowledge and skills across multiple areas.


When making IB subject choices, students are encouraged to reflect on their interests, strengths, and future academic or career aspirations. They have the flexibility to choose three subjects at the Higher Level, delving into more in-depth study and covering a broader range of topics. The remaining three subjects are taken at the Standard Level, establishing a robust foundation while allowing exploration of other interests or a focus on subjects aligning with career goals.


Opting for a well-balanced combination of subjects from different groups ensures a comprehensive education, fostering a broader understanding of various disciplines. It’s wise for students to consider the difficulty level of certain subjects and strike a balance by selecting a mix of challenging and more accessible IB subjects.


To attain an IB Diploma, attendance at an IB-approved school is mandatory. This involves taking courses in all six subjects, successfully passing the corresponding exams, and fulfilling additional core requirements. It’s worth noting that some IB schools offer the flexibility of taking individual IB classes without the commitment to the full two-year IB program.


While the arts subject is not obligatory for IB students, there is the option to explore additional courses in science, individuals and societies, or a foreign language in lieu of an arts course.


Subjects within the IB program are categorized into two levels: Higher Level (HL) and Standard Level (SL). The distinction lies in the extent and depth of topics covered. It is recommended that each student opts for at least three (but no more than four) subjects at the higher level.


Evaluating Performance in the IB Diploma Programme

Assessments and examinations within the IB Diploma Programme are pivotal in gauging students’ knowledge, skills, and understanding across their chosen subjects. Here are key insights into the assessment process:


1. Internal Assessments (IA):

    • An integral component conducted by subject teachers.
    • Comprises coursework, projects, investigations, and oral presentations.
    • Marked by teachers adhering to strict criteria set by the International Baccalaureate.


2. IB External Examinations:

    • Held globally in May, serving as the culmination of the IB Diploma Programme.
    • Evaluates students through a mix of written exams and subject-specific components.
    • Graded by trained examiners worldwide.

The IBDP adopts a 7-point grading scale, where 7 is the highest and 1 is the lowest. Students’ performance in both internal assessments and external examinations contributes to their final grades, with a total achievable score of 45, encompassing points from subject assessments and core components.


Where does the Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS) component fit in? Excellent inquiry! While the CAS component doesn’t contribute to the overall points total, it is a mandatory requirement for obtaining the diploma. This implies that, even though you won’t earn additional points for CAS, completing this component is obligatory for the successful completion of the Diploma Program.

In essence, you’ll need to sit exams in six subjects and fulfill the requirements of two core components. So, what’s the maximum score a student can achieve?

The diploma displays the total scores for each subject, yielding a maximum score of (6 courses * 7 points/course + 3 additional points from TOK and EE) = 45 points.


Recognition by Universities:

The IBDP enjoys widespread acknowledgment from esteemed universities in the United Kingdom, the United States, and globally. Renowned institutions like Oxford, Cambridge, LSE, Harvard, Stanford, MIT, and the Ivy League recognize its academic excellence, emphasis on critical thinking, and commitment to independent research.


Global Recognition:

The global recognition of the IB Diploma Programme opens doors for students worldwide. Over 150 countries house the IB community, with more than 4,900 IB World Schools delivering the program. This recognition proves advantageous for students aspiring to study abroad or pursue international educational opportunities.


Locate the IB Community:

Explore the IB’s presence in your country through this website, detailing the number and names of IB World Schools. Stay informed about upcoming professional development events.


University Recognition of IB Programmes:

Upon completing the Diploma and/or Career-related Programs, students can apply to universities or colleges recognizing IB programmes. Admission criteria may vary, and country-specific details, along with a list of universities accepting IB students, can be found in the country recognition statements.


Understanding the Global Recognition and Transferability of the International Baccalaureate Curriculum


Is the International Baccalaureate Curriculum Recognized Globally and Transferable?

Yes, the International Baccalaureate (IB) program holds global recognition and is highly esteemed by universities and employers worldwide. Accepted in over 140 countries, including prestigious institutions, the IB diploma is transferable. This means students can seamlessly transition between schools and countries without the need to start over or repeat coursework.


Key Considerations in Choosing a Great IB School:

When selecting an IB school, various factors should be considered:

  1. Authorization:
    • Ensure the school is authorized by the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) to offer the program.
  2. Curriculum:
    • Look for a school with a comprehensive and challenging curriculum aligned with the IB philosophy.
  3. Teachers:
    • Seek qualified and experienced teachers who have undergone IB training and are committed to the IB philosophy.
  4. Resources:
    • Choose a school equipped with the necessary resources and facilities to support the IB program, including technology, library resources, and extracurricular activities.
  5. Community:
    • Opt for a school fostering a strong sense of community.


Who Can Take IB Exams?

For IB students, meeting exam requirements is not a concern. However, if a child outside an IB school wishes to take an exam, special permission is needed from their home country’s national authority for that subject area. While there are no such authorities for US states or Canadian provinces, obtaining special permission from the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) is necessary.


Flexibility in Taking IB Exams:

Exams can be taken in any order, allowing flexibility in completing them all at once or spreading them out over several years. Exams can be taken at home or at an official test center. Language restrictions apply to exams, with specific languages designated for instruction.


Understanding the International Baccalaureate (IB):

The IB is a global program offering high-quality education to over one million students in 140+ countries. Aimed at developing inquiring, knowledgeable, and caring individuals, the IB spans ages 3-19, fostering intellectual, personal, and social skills. The curriculum encompasses six core subject groups, with three optional groups, providing a well-rounded education. Terms like ‘The Diploma Programme’ or ‘DP’ refer specifically to post-16 courses involving two years of higher-level study.


More FAQs About the IB Program

Students can integrate a selection of IB courses into their US high school diploma. Below are common questions and answers related to the program.


How does the IB Diploma prepare me for university?

The IB Diploma offers comprehensive explorations of subject areas, providing exposure to university-level assignments. Its rigorous and independent study style instills vital habits for university success. Research indicates that IB Diploma graduates are more likely to apply for further education, gain acceptance into selective universities, stay enrolled in educational programs, perform well during university studies, and ultimately graduate.


Why should I study the IB Diploma at an international school?

Eclassopedia students benefit from consistent support and learn in a multicultural and diverse student environment. Studying the IB Diploma at an international setting enhances the educational experience, aligning with the global citizenship concept the IB curriculum aims to achieve.


Where is the IB Diploma recognized?

The IB Diploma holds international recognition and benchmarking, allowing graduates to pursue higher education worldwide. Graduates can apply to a diverse range of colleges and universities in almost 90 countries.


Is the IB Diploma better than the US High School Diploma?

Both the IB diploma and the US high school diploma require students to study a broad range of subjects until their final year of high school. The IB Diploma demands a greater time and individual motivation investment, while the US high school diploma allows more flexibility for co-curricular activities and test preparation. Each program has its advantages, and the Eclassopedia team can assist in determining the best fit for individual needs.


Does choosing HL result in a higher score than SL?

No, IB awards an equal number of points for both HL and SL. However, individuals with high HL scores showcase a more extensive knowledge and deeper comprehension of the subject, given that HL is more demanding than SL.


How can I attain a bilingual diploma?

Achieving a bilingual diploma signifies proficiency in multiple languages. Students who achieve a grade 3 or higher in language and literature studies and a grade 3 or higher in an individuals and societies or science subject, completed in a different language, will be eligible for the bilingual diploma.


How do I know if the IB Diploma is right for me?

The provided guide helps determine if the IB Diploma suits your needs. Geared towards motivated students, the IB diploma course is ideal for those who are driven, curious, and eager to inquire and reflect across various subjects. If uncertainty persists, the Eclassopedia team is available to discuss the program and explore options with you.


The role of workload demand in the IB programme is paramount, shaping a rigorous schedule for students. With each subject featuring an internal assessment, reflecting a comprehensive project, the total course load reaches approximately 300 hours, exclusive of final examinations. This breakdown encompasses tasks such as finalizing assessment drafts, crafting the Theory of Knowledge (ToK) Essay, preparing for internal orals, engaging in Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS) activities, and planning for the extended essay. Fortunately, leading IB schools not only emphasize these demands but also guide students in developing effective study habits, personalized revision strategies, and time management skills. In essence, IB students emerge as well-rounded individuals, sought after by top universities for their practical exposure, critical thinking, and problem-solving abilities, making them future-ready contributors to a positive impact on the world.



The IB Diploma Program offers a unique and enriching educational experience, preparing students for the challenges of university life and fostering a global perspective. Whether you choose the IB path or another, the team at Eclassopedia is here to guide you through your academic journey. Embrace the opportunity for growth, exploration, and excellence. If you have further questions or need assistance in making your decision, don’t hesitate to reach out – we’re dedicated to helping you succeed. Your educational adventure awaits, and Eclassopedia is ready to be your partner in achieving academic success and personal development.

Open chat
Team Eclassopedia
Dear Parents/Student

Get in touch with us by typing a message here.