DP Frequently Asked Questions


 School must be authorized by the International Baccalaureate (IB) of Geneva

 School must offer at least one of the three programs offered by IB

 School should have a cohort of IB trained Teachers and maintain a generous budget for ongoing professional development

 School should meet the progressive infrastructural requirements of rich research resources in laboratories and library

 There are 2,094* schools spread over 125 countries all around the globe

There are 62* IB schools in India

* This is not a finite number and keeps changing

 1968 in Geneva, Switzerland
 A group of leading educators from different countries came together to develop a contemporary international school curriculum that could be followed universally across the world
 One of the main objectives was to provide a rigorous, consistent high school curriculum for the children of globally mobile families
 In true spirit of its name ‘Baccalaureate’, a French term meaning pre-University, the curriculum was designed with a focus to prepare students to enter and successfully pursue tertiary programs offered by premier universities of the world

 Development of a curriculum which is essentially dynamic and continuously evolving to remain relevant in the face of continuous change in all areas of the world
 Training of teachers to deliver the ever changing curriculum
 Assessment of the students based on the ever changing curriculum

 IB Diploma Program (DP) – a two year rigorous pre-university course (grades 11-12) that prepares students to enter top Universities in the world including India. IB offers a formal external examination at the completion of the DP program for age group 16 to 19 years
 IB Middle Years Program (MYP) – a program for age group 11-16 (grades 6-10)
 IB Primary Years Program (PYP) – a program for age group 3-12 (grades Nursery-5)

Schools can choose to offer any or all of the programs. Each program has independent process for accreditation. IB offers specific authorization separately for each program

Transcending the curriculum goals, the inculcation of the attributes of the “Learner profile” is the mission of IB. Each IB student is expected to display the traits of the learner’s profile. Lesson plans, units of enquiries and projects are designed to ensure that the learning outcomes expose the students to and prepare them in one or more of the following learner’s profiles:

Inquirers: We nurture our curiosity, developing skills for inquiry and research. We know how to learn independently and with others. We learn with enthusiasm and sustain our love of learning throughout life
Knowledgeable: We develop and use conceptual understanding, exploring knowledge across a range of disciplines. We engage with issues and ideas that have local and global significance
Thinkers: We use critical and creative thinking skills to analyse and take responsible action on complex problems. We exercise initiative in making reasoned, ethical decisions
Communicators: We express ourselves confidently and creatively in more than one language and in many ways. We collaborate effectively, listening carefully to the perspectives of other individuals and groups
Principled: We act with integrity and honesty, with a strong sense of fairness and justice, and with respect for the dignity and rights of people everywhere. We take responsibility for our actions and their consequences
Open-Minded: We critically appreciate our own cultures and personal histories, as well as the values and traditions of others. We seek and evaluate a range of points of view, and we are willing to grow from the experience
Caring: We show empathy, compassion and respect. We have a commitment to service, and we act to make a positive difference in the lives of others and in the world around us
Risk-Takers: We approach uncertainty with forethought and determination; we work independently and cooperatively to explore new ideas and innovative strategies. We are resourceful and resilient in the face of challenges and change
Balanced: We understand the importance of balancing different aspects of our lives – intellectual, physical, and emotional – to achieve well-being for ourselves and others. We recognize our interdependence with other people and with the world in which we live
Reflective: We thoughtfully consider the world and our own ideas and experience. We work to understand our strengths and weaknesses in order to support our learning and personal development

The first program envisaged in the IB curriculum was the Diploma program (DP) which is offered in grades 11 & 12 (grades 12 & 13 of the British system). PYP and MYP followed in the 90s. Each of the three programs and more specifically the DP program is designed in a way that students from different streams could adapt to the program requirements. Students find application based curriculum and project work quite encouraging and interesting. Each year many students join IB schools in grades 9 and 11 and have performed consistently well.

No. The British system follows the Key Stage concept and has 13 years of post pre-primary schooling (11+2). The Indian system follows the 10+2 system and schooling finishes in grade 12. The graduating age is however similar between grade 13 of the British system and grade 12 of IB since the additional year is actually in the early years. Though it might seem that a child is repeating the same grade, it is actually the next grade/level the child takes admission into, in the Indian system. Therefore, if a student is moving into the IB Diploma programme from the British System in the UK, he/she has to complete Grade 11 there to sit for the O levels or IGCSE exam, whereas in many countries including India, the same British curriculum exam is done at the end of Grade 10 (IGCSE). What a student can’t do is finish Grade 10 in the UK (which means doing just one year of a 2 years programme) and join the IB Diploma programme.

 A comprehensive program with inter relatedness between different subjects and themes
 Opportunity to engage in structured, purposeful inquiry thus helping students to construct their own learning and understanding
 Develop a deep understanding of important and enduring concepts
 Conduct research into knowledge which has local and global significance
 Ability to relate classroom learning to real life situations and apply it in the here and now to bring about immediate change in own life & environment
 Acquire and practice a range of essential disciplinary and trans disciplinary skills
 Be encouraged to develop positive attitudes towards learning, the environment & other people
 Have the opportunity for involvement in responsible action and community service
 Develop independent thinking, yet appreciating that people with different views could also be right
 International mindedness by getting exposed to other world languages, cultures and practices, yet remain rooted in one’s own
 To become an informed participant in world affairs

 The programme inculcates values and builds character
 The curriculum is working to define a balanced program of concepts, knowledge, skills, attitudes and actions for children
 The curriculum sets high standards for and has high expectations of students
 The teachers plan the program together, providing a coherent education
 The curriculum promotes good teaching practices, both through the written curriculum documents and by sharing ideas among authorized schools
 It incorporates a range of assessment, recording and reporting strategies

 Teachers are not expected to discard years of well-earned skills and experience. They are instead encouraged to reflect on their own practice, both individually and in collaboration with colleagues, with a view of sharing ideas and strength
  Collaborative planning structured around open-ended questions
 A wide variety of teaching strategies and styles can be accommodated, provided that they are driven by a spirit of inquiry and a clear sense of purpose
  Commitment to Internationalism and continued learning

The Curriculum

In the IB DP program (grades 11 & 12) students are not divided in standard streams. Each student is required to do at least one subject from the following six subject groups:

 Language A1 (First language)
 Language 2B (Second language)
 Mathematics
 Experimental Sciences
 Individuals and Societies
 Arts and Electives*

*there is an option to drop this group and pick up another subject from any of the five groups above

IB offers examinations in more than 110 world and regional languages. A student can take up his/her choice of language as a self taught subject in the First language group, i.e. Language A1. School provides basic outer support and guidelines.

IB believes that up to high school level it is very important to develop a wide knowledge base and thus IB maintains adequate breadth in the curriculum. Whatever career one eventually pursues in life, some bit of math or science or understanding of humanities is necessary to manage world/one’s own affairs and be successful in life. While making a minimum choice from each discipline is mandatory, IB offers multiple options within each group to accommodate individual preferences and future academic/professional needs. For e.g., there are three math Levels on offer; the Sciences group includes subjects such as Design and Technology etc.

Each subject in IB DP is offered at two levels, Standard Level and Higher Level. For the Diploma program it is mandatory to opt for at least three subjects at Higher Level. One can combine HL subjects from different groups (e.g. Physics, Chemistry, Math or Business & Management, Economics, English etc.) for specialization.

 Yes, but only by special application where national governments or university systems require it
 Students need to take prior approval from IB to take three sciences for the admission in a specific undergraduate course

Three mandatory core themes of Theory of Knowledge (TOK), Extended Essay and Creativity Action Service (CAS) form the nucleus of the IB Diploma program.

 Concurrency of Learning
 International mindedness
 Positive attitude to learning
 High quality and high standards
 System of continuous and comprehensive assessment
 Challenging questions, critical thinking, research skills
 Most rigorous pre-collegiate curriculum

 A challenging programme of international education and rigorous assessment – Professional Development to administer the programme  – International assessment process that looks at a student’s portfolio over two years in addition to examination performance
 A blueprint that helps to develop inquisitive, knowledgeable and caring young people who help create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect – Embedded in the curriculum – CAS/TOK/Extended Essay process – Assessment process that aligns student self-assessment, classroom teacher assessment and an external assessment source – Standardization of rigor and a wider lens for demonstration of meeting international standards
 A vehicle that encourages students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right

Examinations at the end of IB DP programme are conducted by the IB Research Unit presently based out of Cardiff, UK. All IB schools around the world conduct examinations simultaneously choosing one of the two examination cycles, May or November. Each school is assigned approved IB Examiners based in different parts of the world for different subjects. Grading is done based on reference criterion and moderation is done by the Cardiff Office. Assessment is based on student’s actual learning, understanding and interpretation of a topic and not merely on memory recall ability. The final grade is not merely the achievement score at the end of the programme examination but is a combination of the student’s project work and performance through the two years of the DP program + the final examination. There are two kinds of assessments:

Formative
 Teacher assessments
 Internal IB assessments (taken at school, scored externally)
Summative
 External examinations (taken at school, scored externally)

College Admissions

The IB works closely with universities in all regions of the world to gain recognition for the IB diploma. To aid this process, university admissions officers and government officials have direct online access to all syllabuses and recent examinations
 To assist IB diploma students in making appropriate choices, the organization maintains a database containing contact details of universities around the world together with up-to-date information about their requirements for admission
 Students applying to a particular university may also grant permission for their grades to be accessed directly from the IBO’s secure web site
 Universities value IB’s combination of depth with breadth, its rigour, its emphasis on developing analytical thinking and critical skills, and its special features like CAS (Creativity/Action/Service requirement), TOK (Theory of Knowledge course) and EE (Extended Essay independent research project)

 INTERNATIONAL IBDP is an internationally accepted and acclaimed Pre University Course. Leading Universities in the world offer preference and even accelerated credits to high scoring IB graduates
 INDIA IBDP is recognized by the Association of Indian Universities as equivalent to the +2 stage qualification of an Indian Board giving access to the Bachelors Degree programmes at any Indian University. IBO India is University Recognition of IB in India

 Most rigorous pre-collegiate curriculum
 IB students outperform their peers on assessments
 IB Diploma students have higher college acceptance rates
 IB students perform better in post-secondary education
 IB has a positive impact on school culture

INTERNATIONAL – As per the statistics available, an IBDP student with 37 and above points (maximum possible being 45) accumulates good enough credits to get admissions in the best universities around the world. Students with a score lower than 37 (in the range of 31 to 36) are also well accepted in Universities worldwide. 24 is the passing aggregate and each subject has a score range of 0 to 7 with 7 being the highest.

INDIA – The Association of Indian Universities (AIU) recognizes IB DP as a qualifying secondary school diploma for admission to Indian universities. The AIU also has a conversion formula to convert the IB grading scale (1 to 7) into percentage equivalents.

For students wishing to apply to Indian Universities, upon a special request, IB offers a percentage mark sheet along with the grade based Diploma. Specific percentages are assigned to each subject leaving no room for varied interpretation of grades. Moreover, to facilitate students to pursue the medicine program in India, IB makes an exception and allows interested students to pursue three sciences (PCB) while dropping one subject from the group Individuals and Societies.

IB DP is fully recognized for entry into the Bachelor’s degree program in all higher education institutions in India and with growing awareness of the merits of the IB DP program, more and more colleges are welcoming IB DP students. IB students are successfully pursuing their undergraduate programs in some of the top colleges of the country such as:

Atma Ram Sanatan Dharma College; College of Vocational Studies; D.Y Patil College; St. Xavier’s, Mumbai; HR College of Commerce, Mumbai; Wilson College, Mumbai; Fergusson College, Pune; Lady Shri Ram College, Delhi; Loyola, Chennai; Stella Maris, Chennai; Baroda Art Institute; NIFT; Daulat Ram College; Gargi College; Indraprastha College for Women; Jesus and Mary College; Kamla Nehru College; Mahatma Gandhi Medical College; Maitreyi College; Osmania University; PGDAV College; Podar World College; Ramjas College; Shri Ram College of Commerce; RCC; NID, Manipal; and Sri Venkateswara College.

IBDP results are published around 5th of July every year for its May examinations. The admission process in Indian Colleges is on till about the third week of July. However by 5th July, the 1st list of most colleges is out.
 However, all IB DP students are assigned a ‘Predicted Grade’ before sitting for the examinations. Accuracy of this predicted grade vis a vis actual grade (in a variance of +/- 1) is about 93%. Provisional admissions are granted to IB DP students based on the predicted grades which are confirmed upon submission of the final grade
 While in Universities such as University of Mumbai, this is accepted universally at University level, in places like University of Delhi, the student/parent has to pursue respective colleges individually

The course content of IB DP for the Sciences and Mathematics is in line with the prescribed syllabus of all India open entrance tests for Engineering or Medicine undergraduate studies. All IIT’s and other specialized institutes recognize IB.

Physics, Chemistry, and Math at the Higher Level are recommended for students interested in engineering, either in India or overseas. Physics, Chemistry, and Biology are required for studying medicine in India. Medicine in the UK requires 2 Higher Level sciences. Medicine in the US and Canada is a postgraduate degree.

The IB is not a substitute for these standardized university entrance tests. Most U.S. universities require the SAT-1 (math & verbal ability) test. Many also require the SAT-2 (individual subjects) test. Most universities in the U.S., Canada, and Europe require proof of adequate English ability for non-native speakers of English through the TOEFL exam.

Not going on to university immediately after finishing school. A “gap year” or a “year off” is an excellent opportunity to take a break from studies, gain valuable work experience or volunteer experience, and strengthen your resume for university applications thereafter. Unlike in India, in most places in the world this is not seen as “losing a year” but rather gaining valuable non – academic experience and an opportunity to further discover one’s own strengths and preferences before making choices for university courses.

Yes, they often do. Since the IB standard is considered to be quite high, many US Universities offer advance credits (or advance standing) in well scored subjects in IB DP. A good student can accumulate these credits to save up to one full year of the four year undergraduate program. The exact number of credits awarded varies from university to university.

 A very strong all-rounder has a good chance of getting a good scholarship or financial aid package to study at a foreign university
 US universities are the most generous with scholarships/financial aid. Most scholarships are awarded on the basis of “financial need” which is calculated by each university’s financial aid office, based on detailed financial information that parents have to provide with the student’s application

 PWS has a dedicated College Placement Cell which starts engagement with students and parents from grade 9 onwards
 PWS organizes many University Fairs in the school wherein colleges/universities from India and overseas present information sessions for students and parents
 IB and PWS work closely with Indian Universities in order to acquaint them with the rigour and strength of the IB program and the richness IB students add to the overall student body of a college
 PWS provides students with a letter from the school explaining the timing of the IB results, predicted grade accuracy, etc., which could help in seeking Indian university admission
 PWS provides the students with copies of ‘The Association of Indian Universities’ (AIU) recognition letter to help with admissions
 PWS provides percentage equivalence of the IB grades within two weeks after the results are declared

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