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Some important Terms for IB Parents

The full IB diploma

The IB diploma is a World wide -recognized qualification awarded to students who fulfill all required components of the 2-years IB Diploma Programme (DP). To receive the full IB diploma, students must

    • Take three Higher level (HL) and three Standard level (SL) courses and exams
    • Complete the DP core requirements, and
    • Be awarded a minimum total score of 24 out of 45 possible points.

The DP core

Instead of completing courses in 6 subject areas, full IB diploma candidates are require to complete the 3 core components:

  • Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS)
  • Extended Essay (EE), and
  • Theory of Knowledge (TOK).

Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS)

For CAS, a student completes activities that allow their learning to extend beyond the classroom. Many students choose to fulfill CAS requirements through community service or athletics, but additional possibilities exist so long as the project includes one of the 3 categories:

  • creativity
  • activity
  • service

Extended essay 

The EE is a written research project of no more than 4000 words. Students select their own topics and the complete essay is send to IB moderators around the world for grading.

Theory of knowledge (TOK)

TOK is a course in which students discuss and examine the concept of knowledge– its worth, veracity, and forms.  It requires DP students to submit an essay for external assessment.

DP courses

All IB Diploma Programme (DP) students can participate in DP courses. The strength of the DP is the way in which learning is interconnect across individual subjects. Combine with the core requirements, DP courses are one part the DP’s holistic approach to teaching.

Schools may allow students to selectively complete IB courses and/or sit for individual exams rather than opt to complete the full IB diploma. In any given course, students will complete a subject’s coursework regardless of their status as a course student or a full diploma candidate.

External assessment

These assessments are grade by trained IB examiners. External assessments include the written IB exams taken by the student at the end of a DP course, normally in their second year of the Diploma Programme. In some courses, including film, the external assessment is a textual analysis.

Higher level (HL)

HL courses are teach over two years and include a rigorous study of the course material. HL exams, given to second-year students, may provide students with university credit or advance standing with an individual grade of 6 or 7, and in some occasions with a 5.

Standard level (SL)

SL courses are design to teach over two-years, with some exceptions. SL exams are slightly shorter compare with HL exams.

IB exam results

IB exams, whether they are HL or SL, are grade between 1-7, with 1 being the lowest and 7 being the highest level. Many schools and universities describe IB exam levels as IB exam scores, however each of the seven grade levels offer a detail description of student performance and understanding.

Internal assessment (IA)

An IA is an individual assessment evaluate by the subject teacher with a list of criteria and is usually focus on some subject work. Samples of the student’s work are also submit to the IB.


These are course-specific expectations or criteria for performance evaluation used by the teacher. They exist in every subject to aid in the grading of IAs.


This is the process of evaluation for IA’s used by an appointed IB assessor. Moderation ensures that the IB’s reliable global standards are maintain at all IB World Schools.

Learner profile

The IB learner profile is a list of traits that the IB wishes to nurture in its students. These traits are center around international-mindedness, inquiry, and reflection. For a complete list of learner profile traits click here.

Predicted grades

These are scores that teachers believe each student will achieve on their DP exam in a given subject.

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