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International Baccalaureate (IB Diploma)

26 August 2021

IB or International Baccalaureate is an educational programme developed in 1968 with the support of UNESCO. It covers all levels of study:

  • Primary Years Programme (PYP) for children from 3 to 12 years old,
  • Middle Years Programme (MYP) for children 11–16 years old,
  • Diploma Programme (DP) for students from 16 to 19 years old.

In addition, instead of DP, you can study the Career-related Programme. It is mostly focused on professional training.

The British International School is an accredited educational centre for the IB Diploma programme. We teach it to the senior classes at School 3. Now we will tell you about it in more detail.

IB Diploma Programme

The curriculum is designed for 2 years and serves to give high school students deep theoretical knowledge and good practical skills that will be needed for further study and work. The programme is a good choice for those who are going to a foreign university after school as it is highly appreciated by educational institutions around the world.

Before starting the programme, students choose six subjects, one from each subject group. Three of them will be studied at the standard level, and three more at the advanced level. Students can get a maximum of 7 points in each of the six subjects.

It is also obligatory to take courses in the theory of knowledge (TOK); the creativity, action, service (CAS) and, lastly, to write an extended essay of 4000 words (approximately 10–11 A4 pages). They are the core of the programme:

  • The theory of knowledge helps to form the students' ability to think critically, to show them how the learning process works and to teach them to apply theoretical knowledge in practice. It studies the nature of knowledge and understanding as human mental activity. The course takes about 100 hours over two years.
  • Creativity, action and service enriches the academic knowledge and engages in active work. Students are given 18 months to work on a portfolio that confirms that they have identified their strengths and developed new skills, become motivated and responsible, learned to plan and work in a team, and dealt with problems of global importance.
  • An extended essay involves a thorough study of a specific topic, during which students develop research skills.

You can get 3 additional points to the diploma if you successfully pass the theory of knowledge and essay.

To receive an International Baccalaureate diploma at the end of 2 years, you are to:

  • Score at least 24 points (out of 45).
  • Get grades above 1 in all the six subjects completed.
  • Have no more than one grade of 2 in subjects studied at the standard level.
  • Receive no more than three marks of 3 and below.
  • In total, score at least 12 points in advanced subjects (for each not less than 3).
  • Get at least 9 points in subjects of the standard level.
  • Obtain at least a D grade in the theory of knowledge and for your extended essay (if A is the highest, and E is the lowest).
  • Comply with all CAS requirements.

The higher the total final score is, the more chances you have to enter a prestigious university. To go to study, for example, in the USA, it would be nice to have at least 34-38 points. You can enter the economics department at Moscow State University with 36 points, having received at least 6 in each subject of advanced level.

Benefits of International Baccalaureate

IB is taught in more than 5,000 educational institutions around the world. Let's figure out why it is so popular:

  • The best universities in more than 150 countries are ready to accept International Baccalaureate graduates. Many of them prioritise the IB scores, and applicants with A-levels are asked to take additional entrance exams.
  • The programme not only provides good academic knowledge, but also develops the most important qualities necessary for university studies and future work: independence, responsibility, critical thinking and the skills of research work.
  • Some prestigious universities believe that IB prepares for higher education better than A-level.
  • Foreign universities often offer special scholarships and grants for IB graduates.
  • The English course passed within the programme is counted on admission instead of IELTS and TOEFL.

Disadvantages of International Baccalaureate

When deciding to study IB, a high school student should weigh the pros and cons. Despite the large number of advantages, you need to take into account the disadvantages that the programme has:

  • Although the IB diploma is approved in many countries, in Russia, for example, it is only possible to enter with it at Moscow State University, PRUE and MGIMO.
  • There are about 50 IB accredited schools in Russia. The majority is situated in St. Petersburg and Moscow as well as the BIS.
  • It is not easy to study according to the programme. The student will be required to show independence and good research skills.

Post-IB Opportunities

The creators of the International Baccalaureate programme work closely with schools, colleges and universities around the world. The content of the courses, the grading system, and the requirements for applicants are being improved from year to year. The goal is to educate curious, smart and caring young people who will help to create a better and safer world based on intercultural understanding and respect. Guided by this common goal, universities have specific requirements for IB graduates.

Most UK universities, including Oxford and Cambridge, accept IB as readily as they do the traditional English A-levels.

In Canada, for example, some universities enrol graduates of the International Baccalaureate directly to the second year.

In Germany, universities often impose additional requirements to applicants: to retake a foreign language exam, to pass specialized mathematics, etc.

Some countries, such as Turkey and Peru, do not consider DP to be the equivalent of a high school diploma. So there can be problems with admission to local universities.

Australian universities are happy to accept IB diplomas and often offer scholarships and credits to those who have high IB scores.

In France and China, students after the International Baccalaureate can also enter universities without difficulties.

IB at British International School

The British International School was first accredited as an IB Learning Center in 2002. Since then, we have successfully passed every re-accreditation. You can get an International Baccalaureate diploma in our School 3. Pupils study the programme from the twelfth to the thirteenth year under the guidance of experienced coordinators. No matter how difficult the learning may seem, the results of our graduates are usually very high. For many years, The British International School 3 continues to outperform global averages, both with the school average IB result and subject average grade results. The world average IB Score for May 2021 was 33 and our school’s average score was 34.

If you want to graduate from DP and continue your studies abroad, be sure that the British International School can help to make your dreams come true. For 10 years of working with IB, we have developed the most effective teaching system. Our educators are experts who have many years teaching experience. Our graduates are now students of the best universities in the world.

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