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IB Program Overview

The IB Program is considered the "Gold Standard" in secondary school education worldwide.  It is a challenging and well-balanced college preparatory program.  All IB classes are weighted on a 5.0 scale, which is important for college admissions, because class rank is based on a student's weighted g.p.a.  Students can earn college credits, advanced standing at the college and/or merit scholarships by participating in the program.  Research shows that IB Diploma students are more likely to be admitted into many of the top colleges.  They are also 21% more likely to be admitted into 10 of the most prestigious universities, including Harvard, Yale, Princeton and Stanford.  The IB program focuses on critical thinking, creating independent learners, strong writers and articulate speakers.  IB teachers are highly and specially trained in their subject matter. IB classes have smaller class sizes, more one on one teacher interaction, opportunities for educational field trips, and opportunities for exceptional service projects in our community, nationally and abroad.  IB students form close relationships with like-minded academically-focused peers.  The program is balanced as students are able to participate in extracurricular athletic activities as well as service-oriented activities.  Studies show that students who take more challenging courses in high school are more likely to be successful and graduate from college.
Diploma Programme Options at CSHS
  • Diploma Candidates - students take six IB courses, in addition to the three DP core requirements (see description of the Diploma Candidate option detailed below)
  • Course (or Certificate) Candidates - take one or more IB courses based on the student's interests, aspirations and responsibilities outside of school

IB Courses are offered at the Standard Level (SL) or Higher Level (HL) with each of the IBO's six subject groups.  HL courses are taken over two years, whereas SL courses (with the exception of Math SL, Chinese SL and Theater Arts SL) are one year in length. 

The CSHS IB-Prep Years (9th and 10th Grades)

The official IB program does not begin until 11th grade, but students need a solid academic foundation in 9th and 10th grades to prepare for the rigor of the IB program. The CSHS IB-Prep years are a time for parents, students, teachers and the IB Coordinator to determine whether the program is a good fit for the student.  If a student falls below a 3.0 unweighted GPA, receives a D in a course, or is cited for a breach of conduct, continuation in the IB program may be jeopardized.

Course Requirements for Prospective IB students:

See the CSHS Academic 4-Year Planner - Class of 2028

The IB Diploma Years (11th and 12th Grades)

To receive an IB diploma, students must complete a prescribed curriculum, score a minimum of 24 points on the IB exams, complete CAS (community service, activity, creativity) hours, write a 4,000 word extended essay, and complete the Theory of Knowledge (TOK) class.

The Curriculum

During their Junior year, Diploma Candidates take six IB classes (a minimum of three Higher Level (HL) and three Standard Level (SL)), in addition to Theory of Knowledge during the Spring Semester.  Students typically take either the IB Economics or IB Global Politics test at the end of the year.   

During their Senior year, Diploma Candidates again take six IB classes (a minimum of three Higher Level (HL) and three Standard Level (SL)), as well as Theory of Knowledge during the Fall Semester.  Students will complete their remaining exams at the end of the year.  

IB Exams

Normally, IB students test in one subject, their IB elective choice, in May of their Junior year, and take the remaining five exams in May of their Senior year. Every subject area has its own testing regimen, which consists of both internal assessments (administered by the teacher) and external assessments (administered by the IB organization). IB exams are scored on a 1-7 scale.  The minimum number of points required to earn the IB diploma is 24.  An additional 3 points may be earned from the combination of TOK and Extended Essay scores, which are then added to the student's total score (a total of 45 points possible).  Some circumstances exist in which a candidate may not be awarded a diploma even though 24 points have been earned.  A detailed description of these circumstances is available in the IB Student Handbook.

IB Exam Fees

Currently, the full regimen of IB testing costs approximately $868 (7 exams x $124 fee per exam), with $124 due in October of the Junior year, and the remainder due in October of the Senior year.  Exam fees are paid by the student and are non-refundable.  IB fees are similar to those of AP and Dual Enrollment fees.  Students who qualify for free and reduced lunch may qualify for an IB fee waiver.