What is International Baccalaureate (IB)?

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International Baccalaureate, IB, Diploma Program, DP



What is International Baccalaureate (IB)?

The International Baccalaureate (IB), previously referred to as the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO), is a non-profit institution established in 1968 and headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. The International Baccalaureate (IB) was initially created to provide a consistent curriculum for high school students who frequently relocate. Over the past 50 years, its mission has evolved to develop individuals who possess qualities such as sensitivity, awareness, tolerance, curiosity, self-assurance, and a commitment to lifelong learning. Today, the IB program is implemented in 159 countries and over 5,400 schools, with around 2 million students enrolled. The International Baccalaureate (IB) Education Program is now utilized in 65 educational institutions throughout Turkey.

The International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum centers around students aged 3 to 19. The International Baccalaureate (IB) collaborates with governments and international organizations to ensure the efficient execution of the applicable curricula and to deliver high-quality evaluations of students' achievements. The International Baccalaureate (IB) Education Program is an intellectually difficult yet balanced program that prepares students for success in their school life and beyond. Prestigious educational and training institutions all over the world highly regard and value the International Baccalaureate (IB) Education Program. It is specifically designed to foster the holistic growth of students, encompassing their intellectual, social, and emotional development. The International Baccalaureate (IB) Education Program consists of four fundamental components.

  1. PYP – Primary Years Programme for students aged 3 – 12
  2. MYP – Middle Years Programme for students aged 11 – 16
  3. DP – Diploma Programme for students aged 16 – 19
  4. CP – Career-related Programme for students aged 16 – 19

PYP – Primary Years Programme

The International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme (PYP) is designed to cultivate the development of young children aged 3 to 12 into conscientious, compassionate, engaged individuals who demonstrate reverence for both mankind and the natural world throughout their lifelong pursuit of knowledge. Students aged 3 to 12 can partake in this program, which serves as the foundation for their personal development and subsequent education. Around 60% of program participants achieve higher grade point averages in middle and high school compared to non-participants.

MYP – Middle Years Programme

The curriculum of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Middle Years Programme (MYP) is an academically demanding educational curriculum designed for students aged 11 to 16. It serves as a continuation of the PYP Program and aims to foster students' ability to establish objective connections between their academic studies and real-world applications. The International Baccalaureate (IB) Middle Years Programme (MYP) is a 5-year program available to students aged 11 to 16 who have finished primary school. It comprises eight subject groups that offer a well-rounded and inclusive education for participating students.

DP – Diploma Programme

The International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program (DP) is a program of study specifically tailored for students aged 16 to 19, who are in the final years of their high school education. The primary objective of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program (DP) is to provide students with a comprehensive education that encompasses a broad spectrum of knowledge and fosters the cultivation of physical, intellectual, emotional, and ethical abilities. High school students enrolled in the International Baccalaureate (IB) education program can obtain the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma, which is globally recognized, alongside their high school diploma. Around 40% of Turkish students who complete the International Baccalaureate (IB) Education Program in Turkey pursue higher education at foreign colleges.

The International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program (DP) offers students the opportunity to study a minimum of two languages, fostering their comprehension of their own culture and facilitating their engagement with diverse cultures. The program aims to foster students' creative and behavioral development by facilitating in-depth research in their chosen subject and by providing the opportunity to delve into the nature of knowledge through the Theory of Knowledge (ToK) course, which is included in the program's curriculum. The International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program (DP) is designed to educate students who possess the ability to successfully adjust to a swiftly evolving and globalized society. It primarily comprises six course groups as well as a collection of components known as the "DP Core" and Extended Essay.

The DP Core consists mainly of the elements and course groups listed in the tables below.

Theory of Knowledge (ToK)

Extended Essay (EE)

Creativity, Activity, and Service (CAS)

Students are encouraged to think about the nature of knowledge.

A 4,000-word essay completed as an independent research project.

Students are encouraged to participate in extracurricular activities.

The table above demonstrates that Theory of Knowledge (ToK) is one of the fundamental group courses in the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program (DP). The Theory of Knowledge course encompasses fundamental subjects like culture, civilization, language, and philosophy. It has a holistic approach to the curriculum, integrating various academic fields. Through the promotion of critical thinking, ToK empowers students to comprehend the essence of knowledge and enhance their comprehension of the concept of knowledge. As evident from the chart provided, the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program (DP) mandates students to engage in several activities alongside their academic coursework. As a result of the structure and purpose of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Education Program, certain activities require students to engage in community service both locally and internationally. The activities depicted in the aforementioned table are referred to as CAS, which stands for creativity, activity, and service. The information included in these parts can be succinctly stated as follows:

  • Creativity
    • Students are encouraged to engage with arts and creative thinking
  • Activity
    • Students are encouraged to learn how to lead a healthy lifestyle through physical activity.
  • Service
    • Students are encouraged to take part in a voluntary project that represents a learning potential for him/her, in which the rights, dignity, individuality and independence of every individual involved are preserved.

CAS has three instructional elements that facilitate students' personal and social growth through hands-on learning experiences, enabling them to explore their individual identities. CAS empowers students to exercise autonomy and engage in collaborative endeavors, fostering a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction with their achievements and successes. Conversely, CAS serves as a significant counterweight to the academic demands imposed on students by the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program (DP).

Subject Groups in the Diploma Program (DP)

The course groups taught within the scope of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program (DP) are as indicated in the table below.

Studies in Language and Literature

Language Acquisition

Individuals and Societies

E.g.: Language A: Literature, Language A: Language and Literature, Literature and Performance

E.g.: Classical Languages, Language Ab Initio, Language B

E.g.: Business Management, Digital Society, Economics, Geography, Global Politics, Philosophy, Psychology, etc.




E.g.: Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Design Technology, Environmental Systems and Societies, Physics, etc.

E.g.: Analysis and Approaches, Applications and Interpretation

E.g.: Dance, Film, Music, Theatre, Visual Arts, etc.

Group 1: Studies in Language and Literature

The Language and Literature courses in this group provide instruction on British and American literature, as well as translation studies that encompass examples from various global cultures.

Group 2: Language Acquisition

Language ab initio is exclusively offered at the standard level and is designed for students who have limited or no previous experience in their chosen language. On the other hand, Language B encompasses language courses for students who have prior knowledge of the language they are studying.

Group 3: Individuals and Societies

The courses in this group encompass the study of social, political, and ideological advancements in the domains of business, economics, geography, global politics, history, information technology in the global society, social and cultural anthropology, and world religions.

Group 4: Sciences

Courses in this group include the study of subjects such as biology, computer science, chemistry, design technology, physics, sports, exercise and health sciences.

Group 5: Mathematics

The courses in this group aim to teach students mathematical knowledge, mathematical concepts and principles, to develop students' logical, critical and creative thinking skills, and to enable students to use abstraction and generalization skills.

Group 6: Arts

Students can choose to take an additional course from the science, individuals and societies or language groups instead of the courses in this group. The course topics offered in this group of courses are adapted to different cultural contexts, and the core of the courses is creativity in the context of disciplined, practical research in the relevant art forms.

International Baccalaureate (IB) Career-Related Program (CP)

The International Baccalaureate (IB) Career-related Program (CP) is an educational curriculum tailored for students aged 16 to 19, which aligns the courses offered within the International Baccalaureate (IB) Education Program with the specific requirements of students focused on their future careers. The International Baccalaureate (IB) Career-related Program (CP) is a tailored curriculum designed for students seeking a career-focused approach to their education. It equips students with lifelong skills in applied knowledge, critical thinking, communication, and intercultural interaction.

Assessments and Exams

The International Baccalaureate (IB) Education Program distinguishes itself from other programs by including both internal and external exams in determining students' final results. Internal assessments typically encompass long-term initiatives such as reports, articles, and presentations. Internal assessments typically account for 15 to 25 percent of the final International Baccalaureate (IB) grade for the course and are evaluated by teachers. A school that adopts an International Baccalaureate (IB) Education Program then sends the evaluation and assignments of a student chosen at random to a center for revision. The primary objective of this procedure is to elucidate that the educational institution has conducted a just and unbiased evaluation and grading. Additional evaluations within the International Baccalaureate (IB) Education Program are carried out by third-party entities. These evaluations are conducted progressively, primarily through the administration of comprehensive examinations. To clarify, every course is evaluated through a solitary examination administered at the conclusion of the second academic year. This can impose additional stress on pupils as it necessitates them to assess two years of effort solely through a single examination.


Within the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program, every academic course is evaluated using a 7-point scale. The maximum achievable grade is 7, while the remaining elements being assessed are graded on a range of A–E. CAS is a mandatory component of the International Baccalaureate (IB) education program, where students are evaluated on a pass/fail basis. At the conclusion of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program, students are assigned a grade based on a scale of 45 points. Out of the overall score of 45, 42 points are obtained from academic courses. The remaining points, which range from 1 to 3, are based on a combination of Theory of Knowledge (ToK) and Extended Essay (EE) scores.

Advantages of International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program (DP)

The International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program offers numerous benefits to students as they transition to higher education, university life, and beyond. The International Baccalaureate (IB) Education Program, accepted by over 5,000 universities across 100 countries, grants students holding an International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma preferential treatment in university admissions. However, students enrolled in the program have the opportunity to qualify for scholarships based on their academic performance in the International Baccalaureate (IB) Education Program. These scholarships are awarded based on the students' grades. Additionally, students have the privilege to transfer credits and be exempted from specific university courses.

  • Global Recognition
    • The International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program is universally acknowledged by all renowned colleges across the globe. This diploma program equips students with the necessary skills and knowledge to become global citizens, enhancing the value of their applications.
  • College Prep
    • The International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program can be considered as a program designed to prepare students for university. The program's curriculum imparts the necessary skills, prior knowledge, and learning methodologies to equip students for achieving success at the higher education level. At the conclusion of the two-year period, students have developed fundamental abilities, including composing scholarly reports and essays, referencing sources, and conducting independent research. The primary objective of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program is to cultivate students' proficiency in time management and their capacity for comprehensive research through a rigorous and fast-paced study curriculum. The primary focus of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program is to cultivate the essential cognitive abilities required for success in a university setting, where students encounter diverse thoughts, notions, and individuals.
  • Sophisticated Education
    • An objective of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program is to provide a comprehensive education to students. With the aim of achieving this objective, the curriculum encompasses a diverse range of courses that offer students the opportunity to select and engage in their studies. This diversity encompasses choices that demonstrate pupils' versatility, resilience, and capacity to push their limits. In the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program, students are required to complete certain courses at a higher level, which involves 240 hours of study, and other courses at a standard level, which requires 150 hours of study. Determining the appropriate courses and their corresponding levels for students is a crucial decision that must be made during the program. This decision should be based on the specific department in which students are enrolled at the institution.
  • Personal Growth
    • The primary objective of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program is to foster the growth and development of students, both academically and personally. CAS activities, designed to achieve this objective, strive to enhance emotional and social growth by involving students in a diverse range of extracurricular activities. These activities enable students to cultivate essential social skills, such as empathy and teamwork.

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