What are the core elements of the full diploma?

  • Theory of Knowledge (TOK) - this course (taken both junior and senior years) encourages students to think about the nature of knowledge, to reflect on the process of learning in all the subjects they study as part of the Diploma Program and to make connections across them.

  • Extended Essay (EE) - The extended essay, a substantial piece of writing up to 4,000 word, enables students to investigate a topic of special interest that they have chosen themselves.  It also encourages them to develop the skills of independent research that will be expected at university.

  • Creativity, Activity and Service (CAS) - Full diploma students must engage in experiences outside of the program that allow them to be creative, active and responsive to authentic community needs.

Can a student receive college credit for an IB course?

Each college has its own policies when it comes to granting college credit.  Therefore, I always suggest that a student contact the admissions department of the college to get specific answers.  The IB has worked diligently to gather information on many universities, so you can also go to this website: http://www.ibo.org/recognition/university/index.cfm and search for the particular college you are interested in.  

 

What are the requirements of an IB course?

Certain courses are to be completed in one year, while others are to be completed in two years. At the end of each course, students will be required to take the IB examination. The examinations occur over a three week period in May.  In addition to exams, there are also mandatory internal assessments (IAs) that occur throughout the year.  

 

Please note two important practices we have instituted to ensure that students maintain the high level of effort needed to be successful:

  • Students must complete all requirements of the first year of study in order to move on to the second year of study. This includes IAs, final exams, projects and any other assessment given by the first year teacher.

  • At the end of the first 5 weeks of course, a student’s progress will be evaluated. If insufficient effort or achievement is evident, a conference will be scheduled and the student will be placed on probation for 5 weeks.  If improvement is not seen at the end of this probationary period, the student may be removed from the course.

How much does it cost?

There is a sliding scale for fees.

 

The school district pays the remaining portion of the exam fee.  If a student qualifies for free/reduced lunches, the school district will pay the entire exam fee as long as all the paperwork is filed with Food Services.  

Does a student need to have straight 'A's to take an IB course?

No.  It is our philosophy that any student that is interested in challenging themselves should be afforded the opportunity to do so.  IB teachers value hard work, progress and growth over high grades.  Some courses are sequential and do require successful completion of prerequisites.   Talk with a Guidance Counselor or refer to the course handbook for more information.

What are the benefits of the full IB Diploma track versus taking individual courses?
The full diploma track does offer some advantages.   Many colleges (especially highly selective ones) will give the IB diploma more weight in the admissions process.  It signifies that a student is highly committed to a challenging course of action.  Some colleges will offer more scholarship money or financial aid to students who are awarded the full diploma.  A full diploma student is also more rounded in that they are required to complete the CAS, TOK and Extended Essay requirements.

 

When are scores released?

Scores are released on or around July 6.  See the "SCORES/TRANSCRIPTS" page for more details.  

What does an IB score mean?

A student’s overall IB score is based on their performance on external assessments (examinations/written assignments) and the IA. Students are rated on a scale from 1 to 7 points according to the following scale:

 

7 = Excellent
6 = Very Good
5 = Good
4 = Satisfactory
3 = Mediocre
2 = Poor
1 = Very poor

How can I get a transcript of my results?

Make sure you inform the Guidance Office of where you are going to college.  I submit a request to IB to send a transcript automatically to the college you indicated.  These transcripts are usually sent to colleges by mid-August.  If you would like additional transcripts, you can order them from the IB website at:   https://rrs.ibo.org/replacement_orders/  

How does IB compare to AP (Advanced Placement)?
This is probably the question I get the most, and it is one of the most difficult to answer concisely.  IB and AP are both challenging courses of study.  From reading many articles, it is clear that colleges take both seriously.  The bottom line is that colleges want to see that students have challenged themselves.  When they see students with IB/AP courses on their transcript (even if their grades are lower), they know that the student is motivated.

IB does offer some important benefits, in my opinion.  The IB exams require a significant amount of higher-level thinking.  Students must answer essay questions with command terms such as compare/contract, distinguish, evaluate, analyze, discuss, and explain.  Being able to construct responses to these types of questions is a highly valued skill in college.  If an IB exam does have multiple choice questions, they contribute only a small part to the total score.  The opposite is true for AP exams.  In addition, IB courses require an internal assessment component that is typically a real-world application of the material being studied.  

I see IB as a program with clear links between classes and faculty, not just individual classes a student can take.  The IB aims to educate the whole student; therefore, full IB diploma students, in particular,  benefit from an entire experience to prepare them for college.

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