Internation Baccalaureate (IB) is one of the newest options available for students after their schooling. Offering a flexible and practically integrated learning experience, students can choose what they learn while learning subjects in a way that can be implemented in real-life practices.
Here are some salient features which distinguish IB from other courses:
IB students take six subjects, three at higher level and three at standard level. These subjects are studied for two years and are examined at the end of that two year period.
These subjects cab be chosen from six subject groupings. Students can take a subject from each of the first five. Which means that students have to study literature in their own language, a second language, a social science subject, a science and mathematics. The final subject can be chosen from any of the Arts - Music, Theatre or Visual Arts or if not, students can also choose another subject from any of the previous categories. Making it possible for students to be flexible or specialize, unlike the other streams.
Alongside their subjects, students are also required to compulsorily complete other requirements:
Students must prepare an extended research project of 4000 words on an in- depth study of a question related to a subject they are studying to complete the IB Diploma.
There is also a compulsory Theory of Knowledge (TOK) course that must be undertaken. The course is designed to train each student to learn the nature of knowledge, the different ways of knowing and different types of knowledge.
Encouraging interaction there is also a CAS programme (Creativity, Action, Service) that involves a minimum of 50 hours each of a Creative activity, an Action activity and a Service to Community activity. Students can undertake an activity that combines all 3 or undertake each one separately.
Schools which offer IB Diploma also offer various sporting, cultural and volunteering courses integrated into the curriculum
The IB Diploma is intensive and highly competitive as compared to other courses. Only about 65 students worldwide achieve the highest score in IB.
Assessment is done at the end of the programme by way of a written examination. The diploma is awarded to students who earn at least 24 points. The highest score is 45 points.
The IB course offers breadth and a world view on education, encouraging ‘International Mindedness’; that is the view of the world as the broadest context for learning and to develop an understanding of various concepts across a range of subjects. It allows for an extensive range of studies and an opportunity to become familiar with other cultures and communities. The Extended Essay and Theories of Knowledge especially, help students to learn the techniques of research and analytical thinking, which universities often look for in students.
As part of the IB Diploma, students can make their own curriculum by choosing a combination of subjects. Thus students can either get a wide base of knowledge by choosing varied subjects or specialize in medicine or business by choosing subjects aligned to those themes. Any one subject of science is compulsory.
Group 1: First Language (English)
Group 2: Second Language (French, Hindi, Italian etc).
Group 3: Social Science (History, Economics, Business and Management, etc).
Group 4: Sciences (Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Environmental Systems).
Group 5: Mathematics and Computer Science.
Group 6: Arts (Music, Theatre or Visual Arts) or a second subject from Groups 3, 4 or 5.
As the IB programme only reaches till an equivalent of Class 12, the students can choose any degree course such as a BCom, BSc, BA, BMS, BMM, or study further in any university worldwide. The future career prospects would then depend on which stream the student chooses.
Can I opt for the IB Diploma after completing my school through a different board?
Yes, you can. The PYP, MYP and DP form different parts of a whole course, but each can be opted for separately too. So after your school you can join the DP for a 10+2 qualification instead of the usual Class 12 exams.
Will my IB Diploma be recognized in India and the rest of the world?
IB Diploma is a thorough and disciplined course ensure that colleges and universities everywhere, i.e. India and the world, recognize IB as a superior programme and as such, a valid university qualification. The Association of Indian Universities (AIU) rates IB on the same level as Class 12 CBSE, ICSE, NIOS or State Boards. Though once in a while, you will hear of IB students having a tough time to get admission in some colleges/universities.
Why should I opt for IB? What advantages does it have?
You may opt for IB for many reasons: The IB Diploma is an internationally recognized programme, thus giving Indian students easier access to top colleges in India and the world. The IB syllabus creates well-rounded students with the tools that are employed in higher education, such as presentation skills, research skills, leadership etc. Many universities are known to offer scholarships to IB Diploma holders. Do ask the university of your choice about their stand on IB. With admission into universities getting more and more competitive, admission officers are looking for students who show promise. Which IB provides to its students with exposure to quality curriculum, research abilities and more.
Is the IB an elite program? How expensive are the fees?
The fees for the IB programme can be quite high, with annual fees as high as Rs. 250,000. The IBO however insists that the IB programme does not support elitism. Pursuing the IB programme can be very expensive, with annual fees as high as Rs 250,000. For example, the IB World School in Ahmedabad, Mahatma Gandhi International School is a 200-student municipal school where slum children study together with expatriate children.