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IB FAQ

Find out the answers to frequently asked questions about our school's International Baccalaureate programme.

Should I attempt the Full Diploma or Individual Certificates?

It is critical that each student and his/her parents invest sufficient time and energy to make an informed decision about how IB can best meet the student's needs. At NAISR, we encourage students to take the challenging (and rewarding) IB courses, but there is an expectation that students apply the required time and effort to achieve success. Students have a right to attempt IB courses; however, the demands of the Diploma Programme and specific courses should not be underestimated. An ideal IB Diploma candidate must be highly motivated and must meet deadlines for their Extended Essays and other coursework.

One reason why students take the Diploma is to enhance their chances of college and university admission. (Many European universities require the full IB Diploma.) An alternative to taking on the demands of the full Diploma programme is to take individual IB subjects. Students who pass exams in individual IB subjects are awarded IB Certificates in those subjects. Any IB class can be taken as an individual certificate.


Can an IB candidate take two sciences?

Yes, she can.  A student must take one course from each of the first five groups (Group 1: Studies in Language and Literature, Group 2: Language Acquisition, Group 3: Individuals and Societies, 4: Sciences, 5: Mathematics, and 6: The Arts), and her sixth course can either be in Group 6 (The Arts) or can be a second course in any of the first five groups. In the interest of producing well-rounded students, at NAISR we recommend that students attempt a Group 6 course. It is also the case, however, that some university programmes (medical schools in the UK, for instance) recommend that students take two Group 4 courses.

 

My son is dyslexic, or at least reads really slowly.  Can his IB exams be modified?

Candidates with diagnosed (and properly documented!) learning difficulties can apply for special consideration on the IB exams. This is usually limited to extra time, but the IB Coordinator can apply for any of a number of special considerations depending upon the recommendation of the psychologist or physician who has made the recommendation (e.g., sometimes students with poor motor function or severe dyslexia students can be allowed to type their exams, etc…)

 

What is a bilingual diploma, and how can I get one?

Students who fulfill certain requirements can get a Bilingual Diploma. The most common ways to qualify for a Bilingual Diploma are as follows:

  • A candidate can successfully complete two Language A courses (for example, Dutch A and English A, which a number of our candidates at NAISR have done or are doing).
  • A student can write his Extended Essay in either of the two official IB languages other than the language of instruction (at NAISR that would mean writing the EE in French or Spanish).

 

My daughter LOVES to study.  How many courses can she take at the Higher Level?

Officially, she can take no fewer than three, and no more than four. Given the rigors of the IB Diploma Programme, it is strongly recommended that students follow no more than three. Students at NAISR will be allowed to take more than three HL courses only at the discretion of the IB Coordinator, in conjunction with the candidate’s teachers.

 

What is the difference between the Standard and Higher Levels?

In general, students following an HL IB course will study the subject in greater depth and breadth. The specific requirements are subject specific. In English A: Language and Literature, for instance, students are asked to read an additional text or two, to submit an additional Written Task, and perhaps most important, HL students are graded on a rubric that is more demanding. 

The International Baccalaureate indicates that students who are following a course at the Higher Level should spend more time on the course (the IBO recommends 150 hours at SL, and 240 hours at HL).