IBDP Terms – You Need to Know


The IB (International Baccalaureate) System

At the start when it was founded in 1968, IB was known as International Baccalaureate Organization and now simply International Baccalaureate (IB). It is headquartered in Geneva Switzerland. It is an education system operating at the international level in almost 159 countries. It offers four different programs for children in the age group 3 -19 years, operating at different levels.

  • IB Primary Years Program (PYP) – for students between the ages of 3 and 12 years
  • IB Middle Years Program (MYP) for students between the age of 11 and 16 years
  • IB Diploma Program (IBDP) -for student between the age of 16 and 19 years
  • IB Career Related Program- for the students between the age of 15 and 19 years

This board does not have any formal examinations. Certificates are issued to students who fulfil their standards at the different levels. Also, there are no prescribed textbooks nor there is a curriculum. Hence present is the flexibility for the teachers to personalize it and make the teachings for each concept as per the requirements of the students. The advantage lies in increasing the creativity and imaginative skills to maximize the learning outcomes. After completing the diploma programs, the students can look forward to getting admissions in universities and completing their graduations.

The basic terminologies associated with the IB Diploma program that the parents need to be aware of:


The Full IB Diploma

The IBDP (IB Diploma Program) is an international high quality two-year IB course offered to students who aged 16 to 19 from all over the world. To receive the full IB Diploma, students must

  •  Take three higher level (HL) courses and exams from the six subject areas
  •  Take three standard level (SL) courses and exams from the six subject areas
  •  Complete the DP core requirements
  •  Be awarded a minimum of 24 out of the possible points


The Diploma Program Core (DP) Core

In addition to completing courses from the six subject areas, full IB Diploma candidates are required to complete the DP Core made up of three required components.

  • Theory of Knowledge (TOK): Students consider the nature of knowledge and how we can be certain of what we say we know.
  • Extended Essay (EE): Students work on an independent self-directed piece of research finishing with a 4000-word essay
  • Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS): Students complete a project related to the three concepts of CAS


DP Courses

The students need to choose subjects each from the six subject groups

  •  Studies in Language and Literature
  •  Language Acquisition
  •  Individual and Societies
  •  Sciences
  •  Mathematics
  •  The Arts

There are different courses within each subject group. All Diploma program students must take part in these courses which aim to integrate the overall learning experience.

Internal Assessment (IA)

An IA is an individual assessment evaluated by the subject teacher with a list of criteria and is focused on some related work. Alongside the criteria, samples of the student’s work (Oral presentations, portfolios, lab reports and essays) are also submitted to the IB. The rating may benefit from and be influenced favorably by the teacher’s familiarity with the student.

External Assessment (EA)

These assessments are graded by trained examiners. External Assessments include the written IB examinations taken by the student at the end of a DP course, normally in their second year of the Diploma Program. In some courses including film, assessment is a textual analysis. In visual arts, studio work is assessed. The examiner is not a part of the school and in no way in contact with the student. So, he is able to evaluate objectively.

Higher Level and Standard Level

For each possible subject a student can take from the six subject groups, there are two versions: a Higher Level (HL) and Standard Level (SL). The difference between the HL and SL boils down to the difference in difficulty, but that doesn’t mean HL is inherently scary and needs or be avoided. In simple terms SL will revolve around what of any concepts whereas HL will discuss the ‘how’ and ‘why’ of the concepts? The SL requires 150 teaching hours for each subject and the HL would require 240 hours.

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IB Exam Results

The subject grade is usually the result of both Internal assessment (work done and assessed within the school and moderated by external examiners) and External assessment (final exam and other work assessed by external examiners). Based on this work, the student receives a grade from 1 to 7 for each of the sic diploma subjects totaling to a score of 42, where grade 1 is the lowest and grade 7 is the highest. In addition to this the student scores a bonus point of 1 each for the three core elements of Theory of Knowledge, Extended Essay and Creativity, Activity, Service. So the maximum score on the IB Diploma is 45 points. Minimum required score is 24.


Predicted Grades

These are the submitted scores that the teachers believe each student will achieve on his DP exam in a given subject.


Learner Profile

The aim of all the IB programs, including those offered by the best IBDP schools in India, is to develop internationally mined people who, recognizing their common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet, help to create a better and peaceful world. The IB learner profile describes a broad range of human capacities and responsibilities that go beyond the academic success.

As an IB learner, the student strives to be

  • Inquirer: Nurture curiosity, developing skills for inquiry and research. He knows how to learn independently and in groups and sustain the love of learning
  • Knowledgeable: Develop and use the conceptual understanding, exploring knowledge across range of disciplines
  • Thinker: Use the creative and critical thinking to analyze and take responsible action for a complex issue
  • Communications: Express confidently and creatively
  • Principled: Act with integrity and honesty
  • Open-minded: Appreciate his cultures and histories and well as the values and traditions of others
  • Caring: Show empathy, compassion, and respect
  • Risk-takers: Approach uncertainty with forethought and determination
  • Balanced: Understand the importance of balancing the different aspects of life-intellectual, physical, and emotional
  • Reflective: Work to understand his strengths and weaknesses in order to support his learning and personal development


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What are 4 programs in IB?

  • Primary years program
  • Middle-year program
  • Diploma Program
  • Career-related Program

Can I take 7 subjects in IB?

A student is advised to select six subjects, three of which must be at the Higher Level (HL) and three of which must be at the Standard Level (SL).

What are 3 types of command in IB?

  • Group Management Command
  • Array Management Command
  • Global Commands

How do I prepare for IB program?

  • Assess your IB subjects
  • Get to know your new subjects
  • Keep up the English
  • Keep up the Language B
  • Explore extra-curricular activities

What is average IB score?

The Global average IB score is 30 points. Universities frequently provide IB students who want to take language and math bonus points or credit waivers.

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