All I Wanted to Know About IB



IBDP: Indian University recognition guide
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Breaking the Myth:
IB & Indian Universities

General

Q. All International/ World Schools are not IB World Schools. What makes a school an IB World School?

Q. How many IB schools exist in the world and in India?

Q. When, how and why was IB started?

Q. What are the core competencies of IB?

Q. How many programs does IB offer?

Q. Is it mandatory for an IB school to offer all three programs?

Q. What is the IB Learner’s Profile?

Q. Can a student who has gone through another system (such as CBSE/ ICSE etc) join the IB program? What are the challenges? Is the
     student able to cope up?

Q. Does a child from the British system have to lose a year to join an IB school in India?

Q. What does IB offer to students?

Q. What does IB mean for the Parents?

Q. What does IB mean for the Teachers?

The Curriculum

Q. How is the streaming done in IB?

Q. What if the school does not offer one’s mother tongue as one of the options in the languages?

Q. What if one does not want to do or is not good at Math or Science or Humanities?

Q. Where does then, the specialization come from?

Q. Can you take 3 sciences (physics, chemistry, biology) for the IB?

Q. What is unique about the IB DP program?

Q. What characterizes IB classes?

Q. What does the IB (DP) programme provide?

Q. How is the final assessment done in IB schools?

College Admissions

Q. Do universities recognise the IB Diploma?

Q. Is the IB Diploma recognized?

Q. What are the reasons for placement success?

What is the validation for authenticity of these claims?

Q. How do IB students fare in college acceptance?

Q. Does a grade-based marking put IB students at a disadvantage for college admissions vis a vis their peers from Indian national
     systems that offer percentages? Are there any exceptions made for IB DP students to gain admissions in Indian Colleges?

Q. Are colleges in India ready for IB?

Q. How does the late declaration of IB results affect the students who would want to continue in India?

Q. Can an IB student take on the challenge of Indian competitive exams such as IIT JEE, PMT etc.?

Q. What subjects should you take if you want to study engineering/ medicine?

Q. Are SATs/TOEFL exams required for IB students?

Q. What is a "gap year" or a "year off" or a "third-year option"?

Q. Do students who have done the IB get advanced placement or credit at university?

Q. Can you get a "full scholarship" to study at a foreign university after graduating from a world school? What is "financial aid"?

Q. Do IB and PWS help the students to get admissions in Universities especially in Indian universities?

 

General

All International/ World Schools are not IB World Schools. What makes a school an IB World School?
  • 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 a maintain generous budget for ongoing professional development
  • School should meet the progressive infrastructural requirements of rich research resources in laboratories and library
How many IB schools exist in the world and in India?
  • There are 2,094* schools spread over 125 countries all along the globe
  • There are 62* IB schools in India.
When, how and why was IB started?
  • 1968 in Geneva, Switzerland
  • A group of leading educators from different countries grouped 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
What are the core competencies of IB?
  • 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
How many programs does IB offer?
  • 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)
Is it mandatory for an IB school to offer all three programs?

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

What is the IB Learner’s Profile?

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
  • Knowledgeable
  • Thinkers
  • Communicators
  • Principled
  • Open-Minded
  • Caring
  • Risk-takers
  • Balanced
  • Reflective
Can a student who has gone through another system (such as CBSE/ ICSE etc) join the IB program? What are the challenges? Is the student able to cope up?

The first program envisaged in the IB curriculum was the Diploma (DP) program 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 well consistently.

Does a child from the British system have to lose a year to join an IB school in India?

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 British system and grade 12 of IB since the additional is actually in the early years. Though it might sound that a child is repeating the same grade, it is actually the next grade/level the child takes admission into, in the Indian system. What one has to understand thus is that if one is moving into the IB Diploma programme from the British System in the UK to India, one 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 you 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!

What does IB offer to students?
  • 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 & 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
What does IB mean for the Parents?
  • 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 practice, both through the written curriculum documents and by sharing ideas among authorized schools
  • It incorporates a range of assessment, recording and reporting strategies
What does IB mean for the Teachers?
  • Teachers are not expected to discard years of well-earned skill and experience, rather teachers engage in reflection on their own practice, both individually and in collaboration with colleagues, with a view of sharing ideas and strength
  • Whole school planning – 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
  • The more substantial innovations of recent years can flourish
  • All teachers are committed to Internationalism and continue to learn

The Curriculum

How is the streaming done in IB?

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 2 B (Second language)
  • Mathematics Individuals and Societies
  • Experimental Sciences
  • Individuals and Societies Mathematics and Computer Science
  • Arts and Electives*

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

What if the school does not offer one’s mother tongue as one of the options in the languages?

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.

What if one does not want to do or is not good at Math or Science or Humanities?

IB believes that till 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 mandatory, IB offers multiple options within each group to accommodate individual preference and future academic/professional needs) e.g. there are three math Levels on offer; The Sciences group includes subjects such as Design and Technology etc.

Where does then, the specialization come from?

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 make combinations for HL subjects from different groups (e.g. Physics, Chemistry, Math or Business & Management, Economics, English etc.) for specialization.

Can you take 3 sciences (physics, chemistry, biology) for the IB?
  • Yes, but only by special application where national governments or university systems require it.
  • Students need to take prior approval from IB to get three sciences for the admission in specific undergraduate course. Students will be getting irregular diploma for this.
What is unique about the IB DP program?

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

What characterizes IB classes?
  • Concurrency of Learning
  • International mindedness
  • Positive attitude to learning
  • High quality/high standards
  • System of Continuous and comprehensive Assessment
  • Challenging questions, critical thinking, research skills
  • Most rigorous pre-collegiate curriculum
What does the IB (DP) programme provide?
  • A challenging programme of international education and rigorous assessment

    - Professional Development to administer program
    - International assessment process that looks at a student’s portfolio over two years in addition to examination performance
  • A blueprint that helps to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to 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
How is the final assessment done in IB schools?

Examinations at the end of IB DP program 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 criterion referencing 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 of the end of the program 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

Do universities recognise the IB Diploma?
  • 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 holds 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 its 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).
Is the IB Diploma recognized?
  • 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 being 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
    - University Recognition of IB in India
What are the reasons for placement success?
  • Most rigorous pre-collegiate curriculum
  • IB students outperform their peers on assessments
  • IB Diploma students have higher acceptance rates
  • IB students perform better in post-secondary education
  • IB has a positive impact on school culture

What is the validation for authenticity of these claims?

How do IB students fare in college acceptance?

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 (say in the range of 31 to 36) are also well accepted in Universities worldwide. (24 is the normal 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.

Does a grade-based marking put IB students at a disadvantage for college admissions vis a vis their peers from Indian national systems that offer percentages? Are there any exceptions made for IB DP students to gain admissions in Indian Colleges?

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 allows interested students to pursue three sciences (PCB) while dropping one subject from Individuals and Societies as an exception.

Are colleges in India ready for IB?

While IB DP is fully recognized for entry into the Bachelor’s degree program in all higher education institutes in India, 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 undergrad programs in some 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, Mumbai, Fergusson College, Pune, Lady Shri Ram College in Delhi, Loyola, Chennai, Stella Marie, 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, SRCC, NID, Manipal, and Sri Venkateswara College

How does the late declaration of IB results affect the students who would want to continue in India?
  • IBDP results are published on about the 5th of July each 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 phenomenon is accepted universally at University level, in places like University of Delhi, the student/ parent has to pursue individually with the respective college.
Can an IB student take on the challenge of Indian competitive exams such as IIT JEE, PMT etc.?
  • 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.
What subjects should you take if you want to study engineering/ medicine?
  • 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.
Are SATs/TOEFL exams required for IB students?
  • 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.
What is a "gap year" or a "year off" or a "third-year option"?
  • Not going on to university immediately after finishing schooling. 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.
Do students who have done the IB get advanced placement or credit at university?

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 undergrad program. The exact amount of credit awarded varies from university to university.

Can you get a "full scholarship" to study at a foreign university after graduating from a world school? What is "financial aid"?
  • 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.
Do IB and PWS help the students to get admissions in Universities especially in Indian universities?
  • 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 an information session 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 in 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 result declared.

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