What is IB?

The IB (International Baccalaureate) is an international educational program offered to students from ages 3 to 19.  The International Baccalaureate is a non-profit foundation that provides 3 educational programs in its curriculum: primary years program, middle years program and the diploma program.    The IB program aims to provide students with a well-rounded education and to help students develop intellectually, personally, emotionally and socially.

Students of the diploma program (16-19 years of age) are required to choose subjects from 5 groups – languages, social studies, experimental sciences, maths and the arts in addition to three core requirements, which include the Extended Essay, Theory of Knowledge, and Creativity, Action, Service.

  • Extended Essay: a research project that will be crafted into a 4000 word essay.
  • Theory of Knowledge: compulsory obligation for IB students that offers subjects like, natural sciences, human sciences, mathematics, arts, ethics and history that aims to cultivate logical reasoning and learning skills.
  • Creativity, Action and Service:  requires IB students to do 150 hours of activities related to creativity and community service.

The International Baccalaureate Diploma is only awarded to those students who gain a total of 24 points or above.  The maximum amount of points that one can earn is 45.  Assessments in the diploma program include external assessments, such as tests and written essays, and internal assessments, which will be conducted in class during the diploma program.

Why is the IB important?

Schools in over 140 countries are currently enrolled in the IB program.  The IB program promotes a rigorous and balanced education, which can make your education level more advanced.  Completing the IB curriculum and a high score in the IB assessments can prove to institutions and universities your capability in high level education and may thus, increase your chance in getting into the world’s finest universities.  As an international education program, IB offers a diverse perspective on your academics, and better enhances a well-rounded education.

When are the IB examinations held?

Every year, there are 2 sessions of IB examinations, one in May and one in November.  Results come out in July and January respectively. Below is a link to the IB examination schedule:


Where to register for IB?

Students must undertake the IB curriculum in order to take the IB examinations.  If your school runs the IB program, you will automatically be registered to take the IB exams and assessments.

How is the IB scored?

The IB uses a 1-7 scoring system (1 is the lowest and 7 is the highest score).  The IB diploma is awarded to those who have achieved 24 points or above.  The overall points that a student can earn is 45 points.

Different universities may have varying standards about what IB scores they accept.  Make sure you check with the universities that you are seeking admission to about what range of scores they are looking for.

Types of assessments include written exams, which are marked by IB examiners, and in class assessments.  The contents and format of external assessments include:

  • Written essay
  • Structured problems
  • Short responses
  • Data and text responses
  • Case studies
  • Limited number of multiple choice.

Internal assessments include:

  • Oral (language)
  • Fieldwork (geography)
  • Lab (science)
  • Math problems
  • Art and performance


There are many subjects that students can choose from.  The following link shows you the different possible subjects.  Each subject on the list will have an outline to its syllabus and assessment requirements.


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