IB Diploma at B-CC

The IB Diploma Programme

Preparing Students to be Successful in Higher Education and to be Active Participants in a Global Society

IB Diploma Coordinator: Michelle Dean  (Michelle.D.Dean@mcpsmd.net)

The IB Diploma Programme prepares students for effective participation in a rapidly evolving and increasingly global society as they:

  • Develop physically, intellectually, emotionally, and ethically
  • Acquire breadth and depth of knowledge and understanding in studying courses from six subject groups
  • Develop skills and a positive attitude towards learning that will prepare them for higher education
  • Study at least two languages and increase understanding of cultures, including their own
  • Make connections across traditional academic disciplines and explore the nature of knowledge through the programme’s unique theory of knowledge course
  • Undertake in-depth research into an area of interest through the lens of one of more academic disciplines in the extended essay
  • Enhance their personal and interpersonal development through creativity, action, and service



    Students take written examinations at the end of the course of programme, which are marked by external IB examiners. Students also complete assessment tasks in school, which are either initially marked by teachers and then moderated by external moderators or sent directly to external examiners. 

    Marks awarded for each course range from 1 (lowest) to 7 (highest). Students can also be awarded up to three additional points for their combined results on theory of knowledge and extended essay. The diploma is awarded to students who gain at least 24 points, subject to certain minimum levels of performance across the whole program, and to satisfactory participation in CAS. The highest point total that a Diploma Programme student can be awarded is 45 points. 

    Assessment is criterion-related, which means student performance is measured against pre-specified assessment criteria based on the aims and objectives of each subject curriculum., rather than the performance of other students taking the same examinations. The range of scores that students have attained remains statistically stable, and universities value the rigor and consistency of Diploma Programme assessment practice.

Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School

Sample 4 year Plan

Each four year plan is tailored to the needs, interests, and strengths of the student. The plan below is only a sample.

9th grade 10th grade 11th grade 12th grade
English 9 English 10 IB English Lang & Lit  HL 1 IB English Lang & Lit  HL 2
World Language (level 2, 3, or 4) World Language (level 3, 4, or 5) IB World Language SL (level 4, 5, or 6) Elective (Some students will continue their world language)
Hon U.S. History AP N.S.L. IB History HL 1 IB History HL 2
Hon Biology Hon Chemistry IB Physics SL 1 IB Physics SL 2
Hon Geometry Hon Algebra 2 Hon Pre-calculus IB Math SL
Technology Education Fine Arts IB Film HL 1 IB Film HL 2
Physical Education Health (one semester) TOK/ Extended Essay TOK/ elective

Workload for IB students:

    • Every IB class will end with an exam in May (except IB Film, IB Theatre, and IB Art),  
      • SL classes are one year courses, which means students will take the exam at the end of the year (either Junior or Senior year).
      • HL classes (with the exception of Math HL) are two year courses, Students will take the exam at the end of his or her Senior year.
    • Every IB class has an Internal Assessment (IA), which students will complete throughout the school year, teachers will grade, and then send to IB examiners to be moderated. The IA’s are a part of a student’s final IB score.
      • Depending on the course, IA’s are due to IB between January 15th and April 10th. 
      • English and Theory of Knowledge require a written assignment to be completed and uploaded to IB by March 15th. 
    • All full diploma candidates must submit an Extended Essay.


  • Students are required to complete his or her Extended Essay by the end of Junior year; however, it will not be uploaded to IB until January of the student’s Senior year. Students may revise or polish his or her essay after Junior year; however, teachers must “authenticate” each essay, meaning we must assert that the student did not engage in any academic misconduct while writing the essay. Students who change his or her entire essay may not get the essay authenticated by the teacher.


  • All full diploma candidates must complete CAS requirements by March 31st of Senior year.
    • CAS activities can be recorded on ManageBac
    • CAS activities require students to self-monitor and complete outside of school. Students will spend very little class time working on CAS.


Fees for IB students:

  • IB exam fees are about $119 per exam. 
    • Full DP students will take 6 exams. Some students will take 2 Junior year and 4 Senior year; others will take 1 Junior year and 5 Senior year; others will take 0 exams Juniors year and all 6 Senior year.
    • IB certificate students do not have a required number of courses and will only pay for IB exams for the classes they are taking.
  • B-CC does not want the fee for IB courses to be a reason for a student not to take a class. We will work with anyone, regardless of their financial situation, so that students get the full experience of an IB class.
  • Financial aid is also available to students who meet certain state and county criteria.


Quick Guide of IB Terms

CAS- Creativity, Activity, and Service. One of the core components of the IB Diploma Program that students are required to complete. 

DPDiploma Program, also known as full IB. Students who are aiming to get their IB Diploma are part of the DP.

EE- The Extended Essay is a 4,000 word research paper in which students can choose to explore anything in which they are interested. This is also a requirement for all Diploma students.

HL/SL- Higher Level & Standard Level; of the six exams that students must take at least three must be at Higher Level; some students choose to take 4. HL exams require the equivalent of two years’ IB instruction, standard level can be one or two.  All B-CC students take English at Higher Level.

 IA- Internal Assessment is typically an oral interview (English and Foreign Language) or a paper or portfolio (science, history, math, the arts), turned in to the classroom teacher who then assesses the work using an IB rubric.  A sample of Internal Assessments are sent to IB examiners for external moderation, to make sure that the assessments are being graded as other IB teachers would grade them. Students complete these for an MCPS grade AND as part of their final IB score for that subject.

TOK- Theory of Knowledge is the third core component of the Diploma Program. Students complete a presentation and written work that are submitted to IB. Students must pass TOK (which means they don’t get an IB grade of an E on their written work) to earn the diploma.