International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma
The IB Diploma Program is an internationally accredited diploma program for 16 to 19 year-old secondary students who want to enter their home country or abroad.
This course is highly regarded by universities worldwide for its inclusive education and rigorous evaluation system, so that most of the best universities will give priority to the degree-seeking students, receive special admission and award scholarships.
Currently, 3,000 schools in 130 countries around the world implement IB programs, with 3 programs covering 560,000 people aged 3 to 19. IB schools offer both IB courses as well as the secondary curriculum the host nation, enabling students to choose either curriculum to study. Also, if an IB student finds the course to be too challenging, he can choose to complete the national secondary curriculum or simply take the school qualification examination to go to college.
This program is a 2 year course for year 11 and 12 students, offering a comprehensive and strict education, with an emphasis on balanced content in terms of educational, geographical, and cultural aspects, as well as the understanding of and responsibility as a global citizen.
The courses are offered in English, French, and Spanish.
This program does not focus on rote teaching and testing content knowledge, but rather focuses on how students acquire knowledge. Students will mostly learn by devoting much personal time to conducting research and writing essays. To receive an IB diploma, you must meet the subject standards stated below. If you want certificates for the individual IB subjects, you can study individual subjects according to your school code. Because you are only studying individual subjects, there are no mandatory completion standards, and you cannot have the same benefits as recipients of the diploma.
Becoming an IB student
Although differences exist, most IB schools offer the Pre-IB program to year 10 students, in order to ensure that the students are capable of taking the 2 year IB course to earn the diploma. Generally, you can register for the Pre IB program in year 9, and your grades and recommendation letters are considered.
In your Pre-IB course, you will take 6 mandatory subjects from each group and 1-2 additional subjects. These subjects will be similar to those in the IB program.
You can sign up for the official IB program in year 10, and although the Pre-IB is not necessary, students who have completed the pre IB are given priority. Depending on your school, you might have to take a test to enroll in the IB program. For sign-up dates, contact an IB school or an IB counselor.
Mandatory subject groups
- Group one – Studies in language and literature: Classes aimed to reinforce cultural ties of your mother tongue (English in the case of BC), and develop oral and written linguistic skills.
- Group two – Language acquisition: You can choose a second language, and depending on your proficiency, you can choose one of three levels. The levels offered vary depending on the IB school’s program.
- Group three – This group includes subjects such as business management, economics, history, information technology in a global society, geography, global politics, philosophy, psychology, social and cultural anthropology, and world religions.
- Group four – Sciences: This group includes subjects such as biology, chemistry, physics, design technology, etc. A compulsory project encourages students to appreciate the environmental, social, and ethical implications of science. This exercise is collaborative and interdisciplinary and provides opportunity for students to explore scientific solutions to global questions.
- Group five – Mathematics: In this group, four courses in mathematics are available: mathematics, further mathematics, mathematical methods, and mathematical studies.
- Group six – The arts: Subjects in this group include: visual arts, music, and theater. You will understand the dynamic and changing nature of the arts, and explore the diversity of arts.
However, if you don’t want to choose a subject from group 6, you may choose an additional subject from groups 1-4 instead, or choose further mathematics, mathematical methods, or math studies from group 5. Also, according to the school-based syllabus (SBS) you can enroll in a subject offered from the group as a standard level subject, replacing one of the IB subjects from groups 2-6.
Other required courses
In addition to the six groups above, students must complete all of the following:
- Theory of Knowledge: TOK is a course that reinforces students’ abilities to reflect on the knowledge and experience gained both inside and outside the classroom. Through the course, students learn to make rational arguments by posing fundamental questions about knowledge, gaining a greater awareness of their personal and ideological assumptions, and analyzing a wide range of evidence. Students also develop the ability to integrate and transcend academic themes and apply them to other cultural perspectives through a systematic approach to learning. In other word, TOK is a course that delves into how we learn knowledge.
- Creativity, Action, Service (CAS): Known more widely in its abbreviated form, CAS is an external activity course aimed at heightening the students’ awareness of the importance of non-academic life or activities. Students spend at least 150 hours performing external social activities that harness their energy and talent. CAS helps students break away from the pressures of studying, maintain a balanced life, and develop collaborative relationships with others.
- Extended Essay: Students independently research areas they are interested in and write an academic paper of 4,000 words. Extended Essays prepare students for writing academic papers in college
Ratings and Scores
In year 12, all IB students take IB exams on the subjects they have taken. The exams take place worldwide in May (usually for Northern Hemisphere schools) and in November (usually for Southern Hemisphere schools). Externally assessed by the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO), the IB exam composes the highest part of student’s final course grade.
The final course grade, which uses absolute grading, compiles both externally marked summative assessments at the end of the course (such as the IB exam) and internally marked formative and summative assessments. The grade descriptors for each subject group range between 1 and 7, with 1 being the lowest and 7 being the highest grade. The perfect score for the IB Diploma is 45 points, with 42 points for 6 subject groups (6 groups * 7 points = 42 points) and an additional 3 points for the Extended Essay and TOK. Students can acquire an IB Diploma if only they pass a minimum of 24 points and receive at least a ‘Satisfactory’ (A C Grade) for the additional three subjects..
- Grade Descriptors for 6 Groups - Very poor - Poor - Mediocre - Satisfactory - Good - Very Good - Excellent
- Grade Descriptors for the Theory of Knowledge and Extended Essay - No Grade - Elementary - Mediocre - Satisfactory - Good - Excellent
Keeping pace with the rapidly changing educational trend, Steven academy offers a variety of classes preparing not just for the high schools and universities in the United States and other parts of the world, but also for the domestic international schools and universities admissions. The classes are offered in various levels so that the students not only can prepare for the admission tests which include recognition evaluation, English in-depth interview, and essay, but also can keep up with the intensive classes for SAT, AP, IBT, and other school subjects.