1. IB Diploma FAQ’s
What is the International Baccalaureate?
The International Baccalaureate® (IB) is a non-profit educational foundation,
motivated by its mission, focused on the student.
Our three programmes for students aged 3 to 19 help develop the intellectual,
personal, emotional and social skills to live, learn and work in a rapidly
Founded in 1968, we currently work with 3,294 schools in 141 countries to
develop and offer three challenging programmes to over 972,000 students aged
3 to 19 years.
What is the Diploma Programme?
The IB Diploma Programme is designed as an academically challenging and
balanced programme of education with final examinations that prepares
students, normally aged 16 to 19, for success at university and life beyond. The
programme is normally taught over two years and has gained recognition and
respect from the world's leading universities.
What is the Curriculum?
IB Diploma Programme students study six courses at higher level or standard
level. Students must choose one subject from each of groups 1 to 5, thus
ensuring breadth of experience in languages, social studies, the experimental
sciences and mathematics. The sixth subject may be an arts subject chosen from
group 6, or the student may choose another subject from groups 1 to 5.
In addition the programme has three core requirements that are included to
broaden the educational experience and challenge students to apply their
knowledge and understanding.
The extended essay is a requirement for students to engage in independent
research through an in-depth study of a question relating to one of the subjects
they are studying.
Theory of knowledge is a course designed to encourage each student to reflect
on the nature of knowledge by critically examining different ways of knowing
2. (perception, emotion, language and reason) and different kinds of knowledge
(scientific, artistic, mathematical and historical).
Creativity, action, service requires that students actively learn from the
experience of doing real tasks beyond the classroom. Students can combine all
three components or do activities related to each one of them separately
Read more about the IB Diploma at: http://ibo.org/diploma/curriculum/
How does assessment work?
Students take written examinations at the end of the programme, which are
marked by external IB examiners. Students also complete assessment tasks in
the school, which are either initially marked by teachers and then moderated by
external moderators or sent directly to external examiners.
The diploma is awarded to students who gain at least 24 points, subject to
certain minimum levels of performance across the whole programme and to
satisfactory participation in the creativity, action, service requirement. The
highest total that a Diploma Programme student can be awarded is 45 points.
When are exams taken, when are results available and how do I get my
official exam results to a university?
• Over three weeks in May (or three week in November in southern hemisphere
schools) of the final year of the IB curriculum, students take their IB exams in
six subjects (3 Higher and 3 Standard levels).
• Results become available on 5 July (or 5 January in the southern
• At the time of examination, students indicate to their IB Coordinator which
universities need to receive .their scores. The coordinator completes a
transcript request to the IB
• If the student has not decided where to wish to have results sent, they must
request a transcript independently.
o Instructions for sending to Canadian and US universities – see
o Instructions for sending to all other universities – see
• Annually, a full report on an examination session results is available at
3. What would an IB student expect to have on his/her school transcript for
North American university admission?
• At the point of application to US universities, students in the IB Diploma
should request a copy of their transcript from their school’s IB Coordinator or
Counselor to be sent to universities
• The high school transcript of courses should indicate::
o which programme the student is completing and has completed in
the IB continuum (Diploma and/or Middle Years)
o whether or not the student is a candidate for the IB Diploma
o whether the applicant is an IB Diploma Courses student, meaning
that the student is taking a number of individual IB Diploma courses
rather that meeting the requirement for the IB Diploma
o IB subjects the student is taking and whether they are at Higher or
How do you convert the IB results into a US GPA?
There is no official conversion table for IB results into a US GPA. Universities
review the IB results holistically. Students should contact the admissions office if
there are additional queries.
What is the current status of university recognition of the IB Diploma?
Recognized as the leader in international education, the International
Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme fosters the knowledge, skills and
attitudes that enable students to excel in university.
The IB works with universities in nearly 140 countries to promote broader
recognition of the Diploma Programme for the 120,000 Diploma Programme
graduates entering university each year.
Through the IB Diploma Programme, students gain rigorous and balanced
academic preparation, an ability to draw on knowledge and understanding of
various cultures and histories, and the experience of learning how to think
critically and apply what they have learned in different contexts and across
The IB understands that success in higher education and beyond involves
thinking critically and creatively. The IB Diploma Programme’s challenging
curriculum educates the whole student, developing the capacity for inquiry,
research and problem-solving as well as essential skills for communication and
4. Do US universities award advanced standing for students completing the
• 1137 universities in Canada (http://www.ibo.org/country/CA/index.cfm) and
the US (http://www.ibo.org/country/US/index.cfm) have posted an IB
recognition policy for admissions and university credit on the IB website. In
the US, some universities will award sophomore standing for students with 30
or more points on the IB. Each university determines the level of advanced
standing credit offered and each university determines the equivalence of an
IB subject with a course offered, by university department.
• It is the responsibility for universities to update a policy posted on the IB
website. For the most current policy, students are strongly encouraged to
search for “International Baccalaureate” on the university website and/or
contact the admissions office for more information.
Do universities offer scholarships for students completing the IB?
• 235 universities in Canada and the US offer scholarships specifically for IB
students, and IB students are also known to do well in selection processes for
university merit-based scholarships.
• A list of universities offering scholarships for IB Diploma holders is available
Where can I find out all I need to know about university recognition of the
A complete discussion of university recognition of the IB Diploma is available at