FAQ

What is the IB?

The International Baccalaureate Diploma is a two-year programme for Senior Cycle students. All students study six subjects: three at Higher Level and three at Standard Level. In addition, students write an Extended Essay and follow a critical thinking course entitled Theory of Knowledge. Participation in creative activities, sport and service is also required.

How does the points system work?

Each of the six subjects is graded out of seven. The Extended Essay and Theory of Knowledge are combined to give up to three core points. The total Diploma score is therefore a maximum 45 points.

How does the IB compare to the Leaving Certificate?

The International Baccalaureate Diploma is a complete programme of study, and overall is more comprehensive and rigorous than the Leaving Certificate. The IB has not suffered from grade inflation and therefore is more able to distinguish between good and excellent students. All international universities recognise the IB as at least an equivalent qualification, and in many cases indicate a preference for it.

Is the IB accepted by universities?

The IB is accepted by universities in the UK, the US and across the world

Can I study more than three higher levels/more than six subjects?

All of our IBDP students follow a six-subject Diploma with three higher level subjects. We think that the Diploma is properly weighted in its normal form and is already a challenging enough course. We support the IBDP in its promotion of a broad curriculum and suggest that if a student does have a little extra time or energy, he or she contributes further to the co-curricular programme or some other aspect of the Diploma. If a student wishes to attend some extra lessons out of intellectual curiosity, this is usually fine, although they will not be entered for the examination.

Does the IB include coursework? 

Yes, around 20 per cent for each subject and then three core points awarded for Theory of Knowledge and Extended Essay coursework.

How does SL Maths equate to Higher Level Leaving Certificate Maths?

Standard Level maths is equivalent to Higher Level Leaving Certificate Maths. For the most able students we offer extra courses tailored to individual needs. Not all university courses that would normally require Higher Leaving Certificate Maths require IB higher level Maths; many will accept standard level Maths.

What is the difference between A, B and ab initio language courses?

Language A courses are for native speakers and are correspondingly more advanced. Language B courses are for second language speakers, i.e. those who have been learning the language for three to five years. Ab initio courses presume no previous knowledge of the language and are only available at standard level.