What if my student is not strong in all of the IB areas?
The IB program is designed to encourage the creation of intellectually well-rounded students. The program requires students to take courses in all IB areas, but acknowledges that all students have areas of relative academic strengths and weaknesses. As such, IB students are required to study three of the hexagon areas at the higher level (HL) and three of the areas at the standard level (SL). While both of these levels offer advanced level curricula, these two options seek to balance breadth and depth in a students academic program. The SL level enables all students to be exposed to a broad range of material, while the HL courses allow students to choose several areas for in depth exploration. Generally, SL courses run for a single academic year while HL courses run over two academic years.
The IB program, like the Advanced Placement Program, requires students to take a series of external assessments at the end of their courses of study. The assessments also acknowledge that students have areas of relative academic strength and weakness. Students are required to take 6 IB courses (three SL and three HL). The exams for each of these courses are scored out of a possible 7 points. Students also earn an extra point each for their Extended Essay, TOK class and CAS portfolio. As such, there are a total of 45 possible points that a student can earn. In order to receive the IB Diploma, students must earn 24 of those possible 45 points.