Learn to ‘Speak IB’

Like any culture or civilization, the International Baccalaureate has its own language. Here are some of the basics to help you get around the land of IB.

  • “Cardiff” – IB has its Curriculum and Assessment Centre in Cardiff, Wales, UK
  • CAS – “Creativity, Action, Service” – this is the 5-6 activities plus one major project completed by IB diploma students  as a requirement to receive their diploma.
  • Certificate program – students study one or more IB subjects, but not all six. Certificate students do not study Theory of Knowledge, write an extended essay, or accrue CAS hours.
  • Diploma program – students study subjects from all six groups, as well as Theory of Knowledge. In addition, diploma program candidates write the extended essay and accrue 150 CAS hours.
  • Extended Essay – All diploma candidates are required to write an extended essay on a researchable topic of their choosing. The extended essay is 3500-4000 words and at B-CC is largely completed in Extended Essay class in 11th
  • HL/SL: Higher Level and Standard (or Subsidiary) Level Exams. Of the six exams that students must take, at least three must be at Higher Level. As many as four exams can be higher level. HL exams require the equivalent of two years’ IB instruction, standard level only one.  All B-CC students take English and History at Higher Level.
  • IB Exams – students have to take an exam in each of the six subjects. They sit for the exam in May of their final year studying the subject. Exams have two parts:  Internal and External Assessments
  • Internal Assessments – which are 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.
  • External Assessments are not graded at school, but sent directly to an examiner for marking.
  • IB – the International Baccalaureate, which is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, and has 3 regional offices, including IBA (Americas), in New York. IBA will be moving the New York office to Montgomery County sometime in 2010.
  • Invigilators – exam proctors.
  • Middle Years Program (MYP) – all students in the B-CC cluster in grades six through ten are automatically part of the Middle Years Program, which culminates in a Grade 10 Personal Project. It differs from the Diploma Program in Grades 11 and 12 in that all students are automatically included in MYP, and Diploma Program students have to opt into the program.  In addition, MYP students do not have to take MYP exams at the end of their course sequences, only the usual final exams and HSA’s where appropriate.
  • Papers are sections of examinations. For example, the IB English Exam has two papers, each 2 hours long.