IB Diploma Program
The International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme is... a comprehensive two-year program - delivered in grades 11 and 12 - using an internationally standardized curriculum.It is academically challenging, emphasizing critical thinking, intercultural understanding, and exposure to a variety of points of view.
The program is not intended just for academically talented students. Typical IB students:
- are motivated,
- enjoy academic challenges,
- are capable of success in the high school academic courses,
- are committed to putting in the effort necessary for success, and
- intend to to go university
And, Nova Scotia students are up to the challenge! In 2011, Nova Scotia IB graduates outperformed North American IB students in 28 of 29 subjects.
The IB Diploma curriculum is comprised of 3 core requirements and 6 subject groups.
3 Core RequirementsThe 3 Core Requirements of the IB Diploma Program are compulsory, and are central to the philosophy of the Diploma Programme. They are what make the IB Diploma program unique. They are:
- The Theory of Knowledge (TOK) Course - an interdisplinary course designed to develop habits of critical reflection, clarity of thought, and moral judgment
- The Creativity, Action and Service (CAS) Program - a minimum of 150 hours of participation in creative programs, athletics or other physical activities, and community service
- The Extended Essay (EE) - a 4000-word piece of original research on a topic chosen by the student
6 Subject Groups
- Language A - literature courses in the student's first first language
- Language B - a second language such as French, Spanish, German or Latin
- Individuals and Society - subjects such as history, geography and economics
- Experimental Sciences - subjects such as physics, chemistry and biology
The Arts - subjects such as music, visual arts and theatre arts
Overall Curriculum - Over the course of the two-year programme, students:
study 6 subjects (chosen from the 6 subject groups),
- 3 courses taken at the Higher Level (HL)
- 3 courses taken at the Standard Level (SL)
- complete an Extended Essay (EE),
- follow a Theory of Knowledge course (TOK), and
- participate in Creativity, Action, Service (CAS).
At the end of the two-year program, each IB Diploma student will:
Take written examinations in each of the 6 subjects
- These examinations and assessments are marked / moderated by external IB examiners
Each subject is graded on a scale of 1 -7 (for a maximum possible total mark of 42 points)
Submit 2 Essay Papers
- 1 essay paper in the Theory of Knowledge (TOK) course
1 essay paper to complete the Extended Essay component
- Essay papers are sent to external IB examiners for marking.
The papers will contribute up to 3 bonus points for the student.
The highest total that a Diploma Programme student can achieve is 45 points.
The IB Diploma is awarded to a student who:
- has achieved a total point score of no less than 24 out of a possible 45 points, and
who completes the Creativity, Action, and Services (CAS) Requirements.
Students who earn the IB Diploma are also awarded the Nova Scotia High School Graduation Diploma.
Eligible students may also earn the IB French Bilingual Diploma as well as the French Immersion Certificate.
Final Grades / University Admission
- IB Diploma student transcripts, with teacher anticipated grades, are sent to university admissions offices in February.
- Official grades are awarded by the International Baccalaureate Organization in July and sent online to universities and to each IB Diploma student.
The ultimate is that IB graduates are literate, articulate, confident young adults with an understanding of global issues and other cultures.
University admissions and scholarship committees are increasingly taking into account an applicant's entire school record, not just marks. The IB Diploma program's emphasis on citizenry and extracurricular activities speaks aptly to those criteria.
IB Diploma graduates receive excellent recognition from university admissions offices in Canada, the USA and abroad. This recognition in Canada includes early acceptance, advanced standing, and eligibility for special IB scholarships, as well as traditional university scholarships.
IB graduates consistently perform well once at university with many advancing to post- graduate programs.
John Messenger's essay explores how the IB Diploma Program is beneficial to graduates beyond university life.