IB Background

The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme, established in the 1960s and recognized as the worldwide gold standard of education, provides an academically challenging and balanced program of study to talented and motivated 11th and 12th graders around the world. IB coursework balances subject breadth and depth with a concern for an understanding of the connectedness of disciplines and intentionally fosters international mindedness. Its reputation is based on rigorous external assessments which emphasize the development of the whole student: physically, intellectually, emotionally and ethically.

International Baccalaureate Diploma candidates are expected to do IB coursework in six major areas, including literature, languages, social studies, the experimental sciences, mathematics and elective of either arts or an additional course from one of the other subject areas. At least three and not more than four subjects are taken at higher level; the others, at standard level.

The Diploma Program has three additional core requirements intended to broaden the educational experience and challenge students to apply what they learn in personally and socially meaningful ways. These requirements include a 4,000-word extended essay (EE) on a subject of the student’s choice; a course called Theory of Knowledge (TOK)  that examines the nature of knowledge and different ways and kinds of knowing, and a requirement called Creativity, Action and Service (CAS) which requires 150 hours of personally and socially relevant activity beyond the classroom and, in many cases, beyond the school.

IB examinations are taken at the end of the two-year program and are marked by external examiners around the world. Internal assessments are marked by classroom teachers; samples of those are “moderated” by external examiners to assure consistency and quality of assessment.

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