The International Baccalaureate Program
The International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) was started by a group of dedicated teachers, including many Americans, at an international school in Geneva in 1968. Since international schools are not tied to a particular country or state, they wanted to develop standards and a curriculum that would meet university requirements around the world. They also wanted a curriculum which centered on critical thinking, open-mindedness and “big picture” thinking.
Students earning the IB Diploma receive advanced college credit at prestigious universities around the world. Many highly competitive colleges and universities recognize the IB Diploma for admissions and/or advanced standing. University of California schools award a full year’s college credit to a diploma student who scores 30 out of 45 on the IB assessments.
The courses are classified as Higher Level (HL) or Standard Level (SL). Higher Level courses require two years of study in advanced courses and Standard Level courses require one or two years of study in advanced courses. At least three and not more than four of the six subjects are taken at the Higher Level (HL), the balance of courses are taken at the Standard Level (SL). This allows students to explore some subjects in depth and some more broadly.
IB courses are also open to students who do not choose to take the full two year IB Diploma program, but are interested in taking some of the IB classes offered. These students must complete all class requirements and pass the IB exam in order to achieve the recognition of universities for participating in an IB course.
Achievement of the International Baccalaureate Diploma is assessed using international standards. Each examined subject is graded on a scale of 1 to 7 with 7 being the highest score possible. Additional points may be earned for completing the required Extended Essay and Theory of Knowledge essay. The award of the Diploma requires a minimum total of 24 points. IB test scores have no effect on the final grade in the class, only on the awarding of the diploma.PLOM