IB - Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the IB about?

   The International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma course is an exciting course offering well-rounded education together with experiences not found in other courses leading to individuals who will, hopefully, be more thoughtful, caring and compassionate people who will respect others and their environment, as well as gaining academic credentials necessary for a future career.
   The IB Diploma is recognized as evidence of ability by academic institutions and employers worldwide, and in many cases University entrance examinations are waived and sometimes credits for first-year University courses are given, eg. in the USA, to students who have passed these examinations. The IBO was founded in 1968 and is an educational organisation with headquarters in Geneva. There are over 2405 schools in 129 countries which have IBO authorisation (data as on October 2008).
   The teachers teaching develops into a partnership between teacher and pupil – in which the teacher is flexible to the needs of the student and the teaching evolves according to the individual requirements of the student – allowing the student to fulfil his/her potential and get the best examination grades possible.

2. What is the difference between the Polish system and the IB?

   The most obvious difference between the IB Diploma and the Polish Matura is that the IB Diploma requires the student to study 6 subjects plus activities which are termed CAS = Creativity, Action, Service; TOK = Theory of Knowledge; and EE = Extended Essay. These provide additional challenges and experiences which are not found in other courses. CAS involves outreach into the community and allows the students to think and empathize with their actions and interactions with other people. TOK involves developing a questioning attitude towards all forms of knowledge. The Extended Essay provides an introduction to deeper study of an issue.
   A second difference involves the ethos and practicalities of  the teaching. The IB encourages development of skills and techniques of manipulating knowledge, rather than rote learning. This means for example that in the sciences a great deal of practical work is done and concepts are taught to be understood and used rather than simply memorised.

3. How many points do students need to get an IB Diploma ?

   The minimum pass for an IB Diploma is 24 points out of a maximum of 45. There are lots of other rules – for example you cannot get a higher level grade 2 or a standard level grade 1. Hopefully the full rules can be found on this web site.

   On  average  you  need  IB  grade  4 in every subject - but  please  note it  is  best  to aim  for  IB grade  5  in  the  higher  levels.

  a) What happens if students do not achieve this?

   If a student does not gain the IB Diploma then I.B. Certificates are awarded in all subjects taken. Please note that we have many students who have gained places at University with Certificates only, although obviously the Diploma gives more choice of University and country, gives a valued qualification for life, and for future employers.

4. What is the reason of having 3 HL and 3 SL subjects?

   I suppose the IB would like you to study half of the subjects at greater depth. If you are super clever then you can actually study four subjects at higher level – or even an extra subject – but this is only allowed in exceptional circumstances.

5. What is the CAS, EE and TOK about?

Please see answer to question number 2.

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