IB FAQs

When does the IB Program start?

The IB Diploma Program starts in 11th grade. Preparatory English, history, science, and math classes are available for students in 9th and 10th grade in preparation for the IB coursework.

Who may take IB courses?

Any motivated student who wants to be academically challenged. 

Must a student be academically gifted to be in the IB Diploma Program?

No, the common standard of IB students is that they like to learn and are willing to work hard. They should be highly motivated, have a strong academic foundation, and have good abilities in all subject areas.

Can students with special needs participate in an IB program?

Yes, the IBO has established policies for accommodating students with special needs.

When should students start a world language for IB?

Ideally, students should complete at least two years of world language before entering 9th grade. However, students may still participate in the IB Diploma Program if they start their language in 8th grade.

Why should a student enroll in the IB Program?

Rewarding challenges; develop written and oral communication skills; stimulate individual thinking. Students are in classes with dedicated teachers and students who share the same goals and motivation.

Are IB teachers specially trained?

Yes, IB teachers attend training seminars offered through the IB organization. They periodically receive updates and notifications as the curriculum changes. Teachers also receive support through a local network of IB schools and through IB’s on-line curriculum center.

Do IB courses earn college credit?

Yes, it varies at each institution. It is the student’s responsibility to inquire at the college(s) of their choice regarding college credits. Earning college credit is contingent upon student performance on the IB exams. 

What is CAS?

Creativity, Activity, and Service (CAS) is a requirement of the Diploma Program. This facet of the program encourages students to be involved in artistic/creative pursuits, athletics/recreational opportunities, and community service activities. The goal is to encourage development of the “whole person.” 

Can students register for individual IB classes without enrolling in the IB 
program?

Yes, Some students take IB courses in their “strong area subjects” but do not enroll in the program’s required CAS, Extended Essay, and Theory of Knowledge aspects.

How do IB courses compare to AP courses?

They differ from course to course but are always highly regarded. IB courses typically provide study in much greater depth and expect assimilation of information and an ability to apply that information. Additionally, there is an overall increased focus on writing versus multiple choice.

Can IB students be involved in athletics and extracurricular activities, have a social life, and still maintain good grades?

Definitely. Most IB students are very involved in sports and/or clubs and activities here at Lee-Davis High School as well as in their community and churches. Most say the busier they are, the more efficient they are in making the most of their time. They have active social lives and say they do need some time for fun in order to be effective learners. IB forces students to become efficient time managers. They learn to prioritize course work and create study groups for their own learning styles. Involvement in sports, school clubs, and activities can count toward CAS.

What is the Extended Essay?

Between the junior year and the first semester of senior year, each IB Diploma candidate conducts original research on a topic of his/her choosing; this research culminates in a 3,000–4,000 word essay. An Extended Essay advisor and the candidate’s TOK instructor support him/her during this process.

What is Theory of Knowledge?

Theory of Knowledge, or TOK, is a seminar-style course that explores connections between subject areas (courses) and is taken during the junior and senior years. It is part existential, philosophical, psychological, and metaphysical. In order to demonstrate learning, students submit a presentation and a reflective paper to successfully complete the course.

What is CAS?

CAS stands for Creativity-Activity-Service. During the junior and senior years, candidates must complete extra-curricular activities that are split among creative-, active-, and service-oriented endeavors. Each candidate works with the CAS coordinator to reflect on learnings from the endeavors and ensure activities fulfill CAS requirements. Our IB students are very active people, and many of their CAS requirements can be achieved through the extra-curriculars they already participate in; however, this requirement also provides an opportunity to explore a new interest.

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