IB frequently asked questions

How is IB examined and administered?

The headquarters of the IBO are in Geneva but examinations for UK candidates are set and marked by the International Baccalaureate Curriculum and Assessment Division, which is based in Cardiff. The whole programme is classified by the UK government as a Level 3 qualification by the DCSF. However, it is entirely free of government control in terms of curriculum and marking.

How do universities regard the IB?

The IB is accepted by all UK universities and also universities in the US and across the world. UK university admissions officers state the IB Diploma provides the best preparation for university and ranked the IB top in 14 out of 16 different factors that best prepare students for university (University Admissions Officers Report 2016).

How does the IB compare to A-levels?

Overall the IB is more comprehensive and demands more organisation than A-levels but the content is no harder. The IB is not subject to ‘grade inflation’ and average scores and pass rates have remained consistent over several years. Research on the impact of the Diploma Programme has shown that IB Diploma students in the UK are significantly more likely than their A-level peers to attend a top 20 university and receive a first-class honours degree (HESA 2016).

What does an IB pupil’s timetable look like?

Boys are likely to spend six periods per week on each of their three Higher Level subjects and four periods per week on each of their Standard Level subjects plus time allocated to theory of knowledge. Boys still participate in games on a Wednesday afternoon and the Friday afternoon activities programme, both of which can contribute to the CAS element of the Diploma.

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