International Baccalaureate Diploma

International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB) is ISR’s most popular school-leaving diploma.

What you need to know about ISR’s IB Program:

  • ISR has achieved high IB grades and on average more than 10 percent above the German average
  • Our graduates are being accepted at TOP universities around the world
  • The IB degree CAN be converted into German Abitur scores (“Allgemeine Hochschulreife”) via the ‘Zeugnisanerkennungsstelle’
  • The IB is accepted by German universities
  • ISR students are supported by a highly qualified and dedicated staff of University and Career Counsellors and Advisors in selecting the ideal university best suited to their needs

ISR was authorized to offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program in November 2008. The course of study is designed to meet the needs of motivated secondary students and to promote international understanding. Almost all highly competitive colleges and universities recognize the IB Diploma for admissions. Have a look at the full list of ISR’s university acceptances.

The effectiveness of the IB program is due not only to the depth of the individual courses but also to the comprehensive nature of the program. In order to qualify for the International Baccalaureate Diploma, students must take examinations in all six subject areas, participate in the Creativity, Activity, and Service (CAS) program and write an extended essay (EE). The diploma candidate must also take a unique course known as Theory of Knowledge (TOK). In this course, students explore the connections and similarities between the various subjects and learn to think and apply interrelated concepts.

The IB Diploma Program is an academically challenging and balanced program of education with final examinations that prepare students for success at university and life beyond. It has been designed to address the intellectual, social, emotional, and physical well-being of students. The program has gained recognition and respect from the world’s leading universities. The Diploma Program 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, studying courses from six subject groups
  • Develop the 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 program’s unique Theory of Knowledge course
  • Undertake in-depth research into an area of interest through the lens of one or more academic disciplines in the Extended Essay
  • Enhance their personal and interpersonal development through creativity, activity, and service in the CAS program

The IB Philosophy:

  • EDUCATION that is broad-based
  • EDUCATION for problem-solving
  • EDUCATION for the whole person
  • EDUCATION towards global citizenship
  • EDUCATION for life
  • EDUCATION for a better world

Aims of the IB Diploma Program:

  • Internationally accepted qualification
  • Promote international education
  • Develop a holistic view of knowledge
  • Educate the whole person
  • Develop inquiry and thinking skills

As IB learners, our students strive to be:

  • Inquirers: We nurture our curiosity, developing skills for inquiry and research. We know how to learn independently and with others. We learn with enthusiasm and sustain our love of learning throughout life.
  • Knowledgeable: We develop and use conceptual understanding, exploring knowledge across a range of disciplines. We engage with issues and ideas that have local and global significance.
  • Thinkers: We use critical and creative thinking skills to analyze and take responsible actions on complex problems. We exercise initiative in making reasoned, ethical decisions.
  • Communicators: We express ourselves confidently and creatively in more than one language, in many ways. We collaborate effectively, listening carefully to the perspectives of other individuals and groups.
  • Principled: We act with integrity and honesty, with a strong sense of fairness and justice and with respect for the dignity and rights of people everywhere. We take responsibility for our actions and their consequences.
  • Open-minded: We critically appreciate our own cultures and personal histories, as well as the values and traditions of others. We seek and evaluate a range of points of view, and we are willing to grow from the experience.
  • Caring: We show empathy, compassion, and respect. We have a commitment to service, and we act to make a positive difference in the lives of others and in the world around us.
  • Risk-takers: We approach uncertainty with forethought and determinations: we work independently and cooperatively to explore new ideas and innovative strategies. We are resourceful and resilient in the face of challenges and change.
  • Balanced: We understand the importance of balancing different aspects of our lives- intellectual, physical, and emotional – to achieve well-being for ourselves and others. We recognize our interdependence with other people and with the world in which we live.
  • Reflective: We thoughtfully consider the world and our ideas and experience. We work to understand our strengths and weaknesses in order to support our learning and personal development.

Learning how to learn and to evaluate information critically is an important part of the IB Diploma Program. Students achieve a depth of study within the broad curriculum and flexibility of choice allows students to follow their interests, whilst the complete nature of the Diploma maintains a breadth of study.

This deliberate combination of breadth and depth equips students with the skills and attitudes they require for higher education or employment and engenders international understanding and responsible citizenship.

Students will develop an understanding of the IB Learner profile. The ten aspirational qualities of the learner profile inspire and motivate the work of teachers, students, and schools, providing a statement of the aims and values of the IB and a definition of what we mean by “international-mindedness.”

According to the IBO, “An authentic piece of work is one that is based on the candidate’s individual and original ideas, with the ideas and work of others fully acknowledged. Therefore, all assignments, written or oral, completed by a candidate for assessment must wholly and authentically use that candidate’s own language and expression. Where sources are used or referred to, whether, in the form of direct quotation or paraphrase, such sources must be fully and appropriately acknowledged” (“Academic Honesty” 2007).

Concepts that relate to academic honesty include but are not limited to the following: Authenticity of work, intellectual property, and proper conduct during testing procedures.

Authenticity of Work

Where sources are used or referred to, whether, in written or oral assessments, they must be fully acknowledged. Students must acknowledge the use of the following: The work and ideas of other versions of another person’s words, CDRom, e-mail messages, Web sites, Chat rooms, Blogs, Electronic media (news feeds, Podcasts, YouTube, etc.) Sources of photographs, maps, illustrations, computer programs, data, graphs, audiovisual, direct quotations, and works of art including film, dance, music, theater arts, and visual arts (“Academic Honesty Policy” 2007)

It is important to note that students are expected to produce authentic pieces of assessed work in all subjects at all times using proper referencing procedures. Another area of concern is the validity of data, particularly in the Sciences. Data must not be fabricated or manipulated falsely to suit a student’s needs. Intellectual Property “The concept of intellectual property is potentially a difficult one for candidates to understand because there are many different forms of intellectual property rights, such as patents, registered designs, trademarks, moral rights, and copyright. Candidates must at least be aware that forms of intellectual and creative expression (for example, works of literature, art or music) must be respected and are normally protected by national and international law” (“Academic Honesty”2007).

The IB continuum of international education is unique because of its academic and personal rigor. We challenge students to excel in their studies and in their personal growth. We aim to inspire a quest for learning throughout life that is marked by enthusiasm and empathy.

The IB aspires to help schools develop well-rounded students with character who respond to challenges with optimism and an open mind, are confident in their own identities, make ethical decisions, join with others in celebrating our common humanity, and are prepared to apply what they learn in real-world, complex and unpredictable situations.

The IB offers high-quality programs of international education that share a powerful vision, informed by the values described in the learner profile.

The IB program is recognized around the world and ensures increased adaptability and mobility for students.

The curriculum and pedagogy of IB programs focus on international perspectives of learning and teaching while insisting that students fully explore their home culture and language.

IB World Schools must undergo an exhaustive authorization process in order to offer one or more of the programs, which includes a study of the school’s resources and commitment to the IB mission and philosophy.

IB teachers participate in a wide variety of professional development opportunities to constantly update their knowledge and share their expertise with colleagues around the world. Students graduating from the Diploma Program find that it enhances their opportunities at tertiary institutions. The IB works closely with universities around the world to gain recognition for IB programs.

The core components of IB programs encourage students to participate in creative and service-oriented activities, while at the same time emphasizing the importance of reflection on a personal and academic level.


IB Diploma Program students must choose one subject from each of five groups (1 to 5), ensuring breadth of knowledge and understanding in their best language, additional language(s), the Social Sciences, the Experimental Sciences, and Mathematics. Students may choose either an arts subject from group 6 or a second subject from groups 1 to 5. Three subjects are taken at a higher level (240 teaching hours), while the other three subjects are taken at a standard level (150 teaching hours). Students can study and take examinations in English, German, French, or Spanish.

In addition to disciplinary and interdisciplinary study, the Diploma Program features three core elements that broaden students’ educational experience and challenge them to apply their knowledge and skills, the Extended Essay, Theory of Knowledge, and CAS (Creativity, Activity and Service).

Core Curriculum and Course Offerings

As our program expands with the interests of our students, our course offerings will as well. The IB curriculum comprises six subject groups. The IB Diploma candidate may select one subject or more from each of the six core groups below.  Students in grades 11 and 12 must successfully complete three Standard Level (SL) courses and three Higher Level (HL) courses:

Group 1  Language A 
  • English Literature HL/SL 
  • English Language & Literature HL/SL 
  • German Literature HL/SL 
  • German Language & Literature HL/SL 
  • Japanese Literature HL/SL 
  • Chinese Literature HL/SL 
  • Self-Taught Language SL 
Group 2  Language B 
  • English HL/SL 
  • German HL/SL 
  • Spanish HL/SL 
  • French HL/SL 
ab initio 
  • Spanish ab initio SL 
  • German ab initio SL 
  • French ab initio SL 
Group 3  Individuals and Societies 
  • Business Management HL/SL 
  • Economics HL/SL 
  • Geography HL/SL 
  • History HL/ SL 
Group 4  Sciences 
  • Biology HL/SL 
  • Chemistry HL/SL 
  • Physics HL/SL 
Group 5  Mathematics 
  • Mathematics Analysis & Approaches HL/SL 
  • Mathematics Applications & Interpretations HL/SL 
Group 6  Fine Arts 
  • Visual Arts HL/SL 
  • Music HL/SL 
  • Computer Science HL/SL 

The IBO examines and grades each subject on a scale of 1 (minimum) to 7 (maximum).  The award of the IB Diploma requires a minimum total of 24 points, including 12 points in the high-level subjects and bonus points (1 for TOK, 2 for Extended Essay). The IB Diploma requires 24 points in the core subjects without bonus points.

What is the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program?

The International Baccalaureate (IB) Program is an internationally recognized curriculum that offers 11th and 12th-grade students an opportunity to earn the IB diploma. The program is offered in over 800 public and private secondary schools in more than 100 countries around the world.

To earn the IB diploma, students complete and test in six IB subjects, write an Extended Essay of independent research guided by a faculty mentor, complete 150 hours of CAS (creative, activity, and service activities), and participate in a critical thinking course, Theory of Knowledge.

This advanced, comprehensive program of study offers an integrated approach to learning across the disciplines with an emphasis on meeting the challenges of living and working in a global, technological society.

Students who take IB courses without completing the entire program may earn IB certificates, or “courses”, by testing in selected IB subjects.

What are the benefits of participating in the IB program?

Students who participate in IB courses will benefit by:

  • an emphasis on developing critical thinking skills
  • practice and encouragement in independent inquiry
  • a focus on oral and written expression
  • an emphasis on understanding cultures throughout the world
  • fluency in a second language
  • the high regard for IB course work by college admissions officers
  • awarding of college credit by most universities
  • increased success of IB students in post-secondary schooling

I’ve never heard of the International Baccalaureate before. Is it an organization?

The International Baccalaureate Program is governed by the International Baccalaureate Organization in Geneva, Switzerland, and administered by the International Baccalaureate Curriculum and Assessment Center in Cardiff, Wales. The organization originated over fifty years ago in Europe as an effort by international schools to assure quality educational standards for students, regardless of where they lived.

The IB sounds like a great deal of work. What are the advantages of taking an IB curriculum?

There are numerous advantages to taking the IB curriculum. First, the IB curriculum was originally designed to ensure a cohesive, comprehensive education for students, no matter where they lived in the world. Today, that goal is still at the forefront of the IB mission.

Students who complete this program are preparing not only for success in college but for success in life. Students gain a broader world view, follow in-depth approaches to the academic disciplines, develop time management, problem-solving, research, and organizational skills that will remain with them long after the IB experience is over. Programs like CAS activities provide opportunities for student involvement in the larger community beyond the classroom walls.

How is the IB different from AP? Is one better than the other?

The IB is a comprehensive secondary curriculum that requires students to demonstrate knowledge and skills through both in-class and outside assessments in six academic areas (Core Curriculum). Schools that offer IB must be prepared to offer the total program upon initial implementation.

AP, on the other hand, permits students to pick and choose from over 30 offerings. While neither program is better than the other, they each have different aims. The AP offers a university curriculum in grade 12 only, resulting in college credit for successful results.

Students whose main goal is preparation for either a career with an international perspective or college in another country may prefer IB because of its recognition at overseas universities. Also, IB diploma students who plan to attend selective colleges may receive preferential admissions consideration and/or college credit for satisfactory IB exam scores. Students are more successful, in qualifying for German Universities with the IB diploma.

How do IB courses compare to other high school courses?

IB courses are more challenging. They are aimed at highly motivated students who seek extra challenge and involvement in their education beyond the classroom.

Why should I encourage my child to take IB courses?

Students who succeed in the IB program do better than many other groups of students at universities. Two studies carried out in the 1980s indicated that IB students maintained higher grade point averages at universities and earned a higher average SAT scores than students who had not attended IB schools. Clearly, the knowledge and skills obtained in an IB program prepare students to succeed in higher education.

Furthermore, university admissions officials expect students to take the most challenging courses of which they are capable in secondary school. Students who take IB courses learn to see the world from a variety of perspectives, examine different points of view, and see themselves as part of the world community.

How and when do IB students test in their subjects?

All tests are taken in May of senior year. Higher Level tests are longer and more challenging than Standard Level tests; these are the tests that may qualify for college credit. All examinations are administered by the high school, which is responsible for ensuring that IB standards for testing conditions are met.

What scores must a student earn in order to gain the diploma?

Diploma candidates must earn a total of 24 points (out of a possible total of 45) on their six IB examinations, including bonus points that may be awarded for excellent extended essays, and for excellent Theory of Knowledge work. A score of 3 is considered to be a passing score on an IB examination. Though every university has its own criteria, most universities that award credit for IB courses require a score of 5 or better on higher-level exams.

Will my child receive college credit for IB tests?

Every college has its own credit policies concerning AP and IB test scores, and students should research individual college policies. No high school can promise college credit based on test scores.

How does an IB student qualify for “Allgemeine Hochschulreife” and entrance to a German University?

IB students must fulfill the following special IB requirements:

  • IB Diploma mandatory
  • 4+ required on each exam
  • One Language A mandatory.
  • Language B HL is also an option.
  • One Math or Science must be HL
  • All IB final exams in 2nd year of IB Diploma Program
  • No changes in course selections during the Program
  • Literature A Self Taught not accepted
  • Language ab initio not accepted in group 1 or 2
  • Math Studies is not recognized in Germany
  • Computer Science may not be taken in group 4 or 5
  • The study of German for German citizens is not required.


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