International Bacclaureate

  1. Secondary School
  2. International Bacclaureate

The International Bacclaureate:


The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme is a two-year, internationally recognised pre-university course. The International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) is an international, non-government body that has responsibility for setting the curriculum utilised by all participating schools (see

The IBO emphasises a global perspective. On a practical level, IB Diploma holders are accepted for entry into leading universities throughout the world and at all Australian universities. The course also enables students who are internationally mobile to transfer their studies from one IB school to another. The IBDP is based on sound educational principles, offering students breadth and depth of study at an approachable level of challenge, and is excellent preparation for tertiary study.


The IBDP is a two-year course. The curriculum structure is based on a framework of subject choices from six designated groups together with three central compulsory components.


Subject choices:

Subjects offered in the IB Diploma are categorised into six groups:

Group 1

Studies in Language and Literature Language A (first language)

Group 2

Language Acquisition                   
Language B or Language ab initio

Group 3

Individuals and Societies

Group 4



Group 5



Group 6

The Arts


Students are required to study six subjects. One subject is chosen from each of Groups 1 to 5. The sixth subject may be chosen from Group 6, or another subject from one of the other groups. Subjects offered as the sixth subject vary each year and are dependent on student numbers.

If a student chooses to study a subject via an external tutor, the associated costs will be at the expense of the parents.

At least three, and not more than four subjects are taken at Higher Level (HL) and the others at Standard Level (SL). This allows for some subjects to be explored in depth (HL) and some more broadly over the two-year period (SL).

The three central components:

Theory of Knowledge (ToK):

ToK is an interdisciplinary study intended to stimulate critical thinking on the knowledge and experience gained within and beyond the classroom. The course challenges students to reflect critically on diverse ways of knowing, to question the bases of knowledge, to be aware of subjective and ideological biases and to analyse evidence that is expressed in rational argument. Assessment involves a presentation and a 1500 word essay.

Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS):

The CAS component promotes the view that there are significant benefits in being involved in creative pursuits, physical activities and service projects.
Participation in CAS encourages students to share their energies and special talents while developing awareness, concern and the ability to work cooperatively with others. Seven learning outcomes need to be addressed and expected participation in these cocurricular experiences should equate to approximately 150 hours over the two-year period.

Extended Essay:

Each student is required to investigate a topic of special interest and write an extended essay of 4000 words. This project provides students with research and writing skills that can be put to good use at university. Each student is supervised by a teacher who advises on resources and writing techniques.


IBDP assessment involves a variety of methods including written examinations, spoken examinations, essays, portfolios, field work, science practical reports and internal assessment of coursework over the two years.

Responsibility for all academic judgements about the quality of candidates' work rests with IB Assistant Examiners worldwide, led by Chief Examiners who are international authorities in their fields.

The grading system:

The IBDP grading system measures the students' submissions against a defined set of performance criteria that is used consistently from one examination session to the next and applied equally to all schools. Students' results are not influenced by how well other students perform.
Each of the six subjects is awarded a grade from 1 (minimum) to 7 (maximum). In addition, performance on the Extended Essay and in the Theory of Knowledge course can gain candidates up to three bonus points. Thus the maximum possible score for the IB Diploma is 45 points. A Diploma is awarded to any candidate who achieves a minimum total of 24 points, subject to a series of conditions, which include satisfactory completion of the Extended Essay, the TOK course and the CAS program.

Students who do not reach this level are awarded a certificate that records their achievements. They are ineligible for an ATAR.

Preshil is an authorised IB World School for the Middle Years and Diploma Programmes and is a *Candidate School for the IB Primary Years Program.