What Must You Know About the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme?


If you are reading this article, that means one thing. You want to learn more about the International Baccalaureate (IB), especially the Diploma Programme. Either because you have a child or a student, planning to get into the top IB school next year or in the future.

Whatever it is, you made the right choice. Compared to Advanced Placement (AP), IB has a more integrated approach to learning. That means students would be able to learn more and apply them in real life. That is why IB students have an 18% more chance of getting accepted into ivy league schools than those who are not.

Another brief refresher, IB education began in 1968. To be more specific, that was on October 25, 1968, and since then, many people know that the diploma from the IB school could be an entry into most colleges and universities worldwide.

Currently, in Singapore, there are only 28 high school schools that offer International Baccalaureate Diploma. At these schools, students have to complete the entire curriculum within or over two years. Otherwise, they would not be able to get a certification of IBDP in Singapore.

While at some schools, students could take a couple of IB classes without being registered in the full IB curriculum. To learn more about this, ask the top IB school around your area in Singapore whether they allow this option or not. You could use the hyperlink above for you to find out which one is near your place.

Also, take note that these students should be around 16 to 19 years old. That is the age range IB schools accept for the Diploma Programme. In other words, high school students. Upon completing the IBDP in Singapore, they will have more chances to pass their chosen college or university.

To further elaborate International Baccalaureate Diploma, let this article discuss the complete details about it. Now get your pen and paper ready, and read the rest carefully.

Two Main Parts of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP)

As mentioned before, students have to complete the entire IB curriculum to get an IB diploma. Currently, there are two main parts they have to take: the class requirements and the core. Completing these helps broaden the knowledge, skills, and experience they have. As such, they become more capable individuals.


Class Requirements

Once accepted into the International Baccalaureate Diploma, the students have to take classes from six subjects. These subjects are studies in language and literature, language acquisition, individuals and societies, sciences, mathematics, and arts.

Here are the courses available for these subjects.


The Core

Aside from those subjects, students would also need to complete the three core elements of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme. They consist of the following:

  • Theory of Knowledge
    • It is the name of a class, and here, students would reflect on the nature of the knowledge they know and currently learning. They will have to write a 1,600 to 1,700 words reflection paper and give an oral speech.
  • Extended Essay
    • It is an in-depth essay of 4,000 words about a specific topic, and students can only write approved topics by their IB teachers.
  • Creativity, activity, service or CAS
    • It is a project that helps students hone their skills and knowledge.


What Is the Difference Between Higher Level (HL) and Standard Level (SL)?

Does the acronym SL in the table above catch your attention? If yes, then that is good! It means you are seriously reading this article. And in case you are wondering, SL stands for standard level. The word level is the difficulty measurement of the subject that students have to take.

In the International Baccalaureate Diploma, there are two levels that students should be aware of. Those are higher level (HL) and standard level (SL). The difference between the two is simple.

HL offers a depth of study about the subject that requires students to learn them within 240 hours. Meanwhile, SL has a much shorter study time of 150 hours. At this level, students would have time to breathe about what they are learning.

However, when it comes to exams, SL only lasts 45 minutes, while HL takes 3 hours to finish. That is why students often have to spend more time studying for their HL subjects.

But keep in mind that to get an International Baccalaureate Diploma, students have to take the courses mentioned above and pass them. They have to take at least three subjects at both HL and SL. Also, they have to take those along with the three core elements, which are compulsory and philosophy of the programme.

In the end, the scores they need to reach for them to pass the IBDP is from 24 to 45. And to get accepted in ivy league schools, students should get at least 38 or higher as their scores


How to Choose an IBDP?

Preparing for the International Baccalaureate Diploma can be an intimidating and, at times, confusing process. Sometimes, students would feel overwhelmed, especially this year, that 99 perfect scorers pass the IB exams.

With that news in mind, choosing an IBDP in Singapore can be challenging. They have to think things through before making a decision. Otherwise, their preparation will be for nought, and the tuition fee they spent will go to waste.

To make sure none of those would happen, here are some tips that will help students determine whether IBDP is a good fit for them.


Ask Those Who Have Already Done IB.

Not all International Baccalaureate Programmes in Singapore are the same, so it is wise to talk to IB students who have gone through the Diploma Programme. Doing so would help you know how they felt about their experience and if they did learn anything.

Shadow Their Planned Programme.

Before enrolling in any top IB school in Singapore, students should visit that place first. They should check the IB programme they want to learn and see which one works for them. It would be a good idea if the student went to the website first before going to the IB school of their choice. Doing so would give them some details about what they need to do once they are there inside.

Access Their Learning Style.

Keep in mind that IB is not indeed for everyone. That means it is okay for students to back out if they think the IBDP does not fit their learning style. To help them access this matter, students should consider checking the list below if they apply to their situation.

  • Can intensively write about specific topics.
  • Love getting involved in many group projects.
  • Want to understand more about cultural differences.

Understand Their Objectives.

Even though IBDP can help students get into their chosen college or university, that should not only be the reason for their application. Since IB is a more intense and rigorous programme than AP, they might quit halfway due to stress and lack of commitment.

That is why any top IB school in Singapore always encourages students to think further about their objectives, whether they should go for IB or not.

ADDITIONAL TIP: Students should consider the distance of their chosen IB school from their home. Doing so would give them more time to study and less travel time going back and forth between school and home.


How Should Students Thrive in International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP)?

If you have reached this point, that means your child or you are committed to getting an International Baccalaureate Diploma. Wherever it is, you did great reaching here. Later, you will learn how IB students stay on track and get the most out of the IBDP without getting overwhelmed.

Develop a Study Routine.

Once accepted at any top IB school in Singapore, students should use a calendar or a planner to note their schedule. Doing so would help them block out study time and find dates for extracurricular activities.

Study Several Subjects Every Day.

Even though it is tempting to spend time on one subject per day, that would not do any good. Students would not only forget what they learned on that subject, but they would also have a hard time learning others.

That is why instead of doing that routine, students should study several subjects a day. They should divide each subject into equal study time so they will be able to retain details on their lessons.

For example, on Monday, they should learn three subjects and another three subjects the following day. This pattern would help them understand and learn more about their IB lessons.

Keep Up the English

If the students’ first language is not English, they should make time and efforts to improve it. Otherwise, it would be hard for them to understand their lessons, let alone pass the IB exams.

To help them polish their English skills, students should watch English films, read English books, and even listen to English music. Doing all of these would help them familiarise themselves with the language. As such, they will be able to learn and enjoy their lessons more.

Maintain Balance Between School and Life.

Those people studying at the International Baccalaureate schools in Singapore are often busy. They barely have time for themselves. That is why once your child or you become an IB student or, make sure to take good care of mental health and well being. To do that, get in touch with the IB advisors. They can help students balance school and life.

Ask for Help if Necessary.

If the IBDP becomes so stressful, students should not overwork themselves. They should ask for help and let others give them a hand. Otherwise, they would not stay on top of the subject material and fall behind with the lessons. The people that students should ask for help are:

  • IB advisors.
  • IB students.
  • IB tutors.

Use the Given Syllabus.

The given IB syllabus is a lifesaver.  With this material, students would be able to learn ahead of their lessons. As such, they will have higher and good grades than their peers. That is why Ib students should learn how to use the given syllabus to their advantage.


Is International Baccalaureate Diploma Right for You?

Whether you have a child or a student, taking International Baccalaureate Diploma is a personal decision. Passing it indeed has many benefits that would help so much in college or when looking for a job. But even if you are an excellent and skilled student, there are times when IBDP is not for you.

To find out whether an International Baccalaureate Diploma right for you, you should answer the following questions positively.

  • Can you handle the material and complex levels of IBDP?
  • Do your interests lie inside or outside of the IBDP?
  • Do you intend to take a couple of IB courses or finish the whole curriculum and get an IB diploma?
  • Can you afford the tuition fee of IBDP?

If all of your answers to these questions align with IBDP and you are willing to work hard to achieve your goal, then the International Baccalaureate Diploma is right for you.


So, What Must You Do Now?

Well, it is simple. All you need to do is look for the top IB school in Singapore of your choice. Once you find one, check their website and ask them when you can apply. Of course, before you do so, you should spend some time getting ready. First, study and learn about a few things about the subjects mentioned above. That should give you a hand to prove to them that you are qualified to take IBDP in Singapore.

In any case, you are still looking where you can get an International Baccalaureate Diploma, go to NPS International School. They are one of the 28 IB schools that offer a Diploma Programme in Singapore. Once you get accepted there, use the tips mentioned above to thrive hard in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme.

Did you find this article helpful? If so, then you should share this article on your social media. That way, parents or other students would know a bit more about IBDP in Singapore.