International Baccalaureate (IB) is a non-profit educational foundation created in 1968 and is based in Geneva, Switzerland. It is currently offered in 3,490 schools around the world. IB schools include public, private, and international schools which have met certain requirements. It is a rigorous pre-university course, designed for motivated students of average and above academic ability who hope to attend university.
IB Diploma candidates are required to select one subject from each of six subject groups that include elements of language, culture, history, artistic expression, plus political, economic, and belief systems of the world. Exams are given in each area.
Three, and sometimes four, subjects are taken at Higher Level (HL) and three others at Standard Level (SL). Higher Level courses cover 240 teaching hours and Standard Level courses cover 150 teaching hours. Hence, over a two-year period, some subjects are studied in depth and some more broadly. IB courses at SSIS are two-year courses and students are obliged to commit to both years. Each year, SSIS will add or delete courses and offer some courses at HL or SL according to student demand and staff availability. In some IB courses students are able to take the AP examination in that subject at the end of Grade 11.
The IB Diploma is recognized around the world and is a highly regarded pre-university entrance qualification. There are opportunities for students to gain a bilingual diploma, based on a student’s strengths in linguistic ability and level of fluency. A bilingual diploma can be obtained through completion of two languages selected from group 1 with the award of a grade 3 or higher in both or completion of one of the subjects from group 3 or group 4 in a language that is not the same as the candidate’s nominated group 1 language. In order to qualify, the candidate must attain a grade 3 or higher in both the group 1 language and the subject from group 3 or 4.
The IB grading scale ranges from 1 (low) to 7 (high) for those who are enrolled in the diploma program (or taking IB courses for certificates.) Students in these IB courses also receive SSIS grades for these classes (A, B, C, D, or F). Many universities around the world give credit for IB scores of 4 and above.
For more information about the IB program and schools that undertake the IB, please check their website http://www.ibo.org/