About International Baccalaureate

FAQs

What is IB?

The International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program is a challenging two-year curriculum for students between the ages of 16 -19 (primarily juniors and seniors). Only 2% of our nation’s high schools offer the IB Diploma Program – Rio Mesa High School is proud to be among that 2%. IB helps students develop the intellectual, personal, emotional and social skills to live, learn and work in a rapidly globalizing world.

How is IB different from AP (Advanced Placement)?

  • The IB curriculum is the same throughout the United States and the world.
  • AP is a United States program only.
  • All instructors must be trained.
  • IB focuses on a student’s depth of learning not on preparing a student to take an exam.
  • IB courses focus on world perspectives.
  • IB courses involve research and written components. (all courses)
  • IB courses are for Juniors and Seniors; however, freshmen can take courses to prepare for the rigors of IB.

How is IB similar to AP (Advanced Placement)?

  • Just like AP (Advanced Placement) courses, IB courses offer more rigorous and challenging learning opportunities,
  • Most IB courses provide higher GPA calculations (5.0 scale)
  • Performing well on IB exams provides students with opportunities to earn elective credit at colleges and universities.

What do universities know about IB students?

  • International Baccalaureate courses are widely recognized by the world’s leading universities because IB students learn more than a collection of facts.
  • The International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program is different from other pre-university courses or assessments in that it is a comprehensive,integrated program that emphasizes international perspectives.
  • IB assessments include multiple, varied forms of external and internal assessment.
  • Recent studies on IB Diploma Program graduates at universities confirm that they perform well and have significantly higher grade point averages and higher graduation rates than students who did not complete the IB Diploma Program. Scores on IB assessments are also a significant predictor of university performance.

You don’t have to be an Honors student to take IB classes

IB classes are for any student who wants to challenge him or herself with a higher-level course. Those students who have taken Honors level courses might be better prepared for the workload and challenges of an IB course, but if you are willing to work hard, you will do just fine.

What courses are available for juniors?

Math Studies SL, Economics SL, History of the Americas HL, English 3 SL and HL, Chemistry SL and HL, Visual Arts SL and HL, Spanish SL (prerequisite required), French SL (prerequisite required), Theory of Knowledge

What is the difference between HL and SL courses?

Both levels are challenging and rigorous. SL courses are generally equivalent to Honors Level Work and HL courses are generally equivalent to AP level work, but in most cases are actually more rigorous than AP course work.

How many IB courses should I take?

Students can register for just one IB course or as many as six. If you are interested in attaining a full IB Diploma, please see Mrs. Wrout.

Which IB courses receive the extra point for my GPA?

All IB courses are calculated on the 5.0 scale except for the following:
Math Studies SL, Spanish SL, Chemistry SL, Theory of Knowledge, and year one of Chemistry HL