What is the IB?
The International Baccalaureate diploma is a two-year programme for Sixth Form students. All students study six subjects: three at Higher Level and three at Standard Level. In addition, students write an Extended Essay and follow a critical thinking course entitled Theory of Knowledge. Participation in creative activities, sports and Service are also required. The IB at Sevenoaks, a booklet containing detailed information of the subjects available, can be downloaded from our Downloads page.
How does the points system work?
Each of the six subjects is graded out of 7. The Extended Essay and Theory of Knowledge are combined to give up to 3 core points. The total diploma score is therefore a maximum 45 points.
How does the IB compare to A-levels?
The International Baccalaureate diploma is a complete programme of study and is generally more comprehensive and rigorous than A-levels. The IB has not suffered from grade inflation and therefore is able to distinguish between good and excellent students. All universities recognise the IB as at least an equivalent qualification, and in some cases indicate a preference for it.
Is the IB accepted by universities?
The IB is accepted by universities in the UK, the US and across the world.
What subjects are available?
For details of the wide range of subjects currently available, please download The IB at Sevenoaks.
Can I study more than 3 Higher Levels / more than 6 subjects?
All of our Sixth Form students follow a 6-subject diploma with 3 Higher Levels. Our timetabling is based upon this system and therefore it is rarely possible to fit extra subjects into the time available. Furthermore, we feel that the diploma is already a very challenging course. If a student does have a little extra time or energy, we encourage them to contribute to the co-curricular programme or some other aspect of the diploma. If a student wishes to attend some extra lessons out of intellectual curiosity, this is usually fine - although they will not be entered for the examination.
Does the IB include coursework?
Yes, around 20% for each subject and then 3 core points awarded for Theory of Knowledge and Extended Essay coursework.
How many students gain top grades?
In 2011, 16 Sevenoaks students gained the maximum 45 points, 23 gained 44 points and 125 gained 40 or more points. For more details on our examination results, please see here.
How does HL Maths equate to Maths A-level courses?
Higher Level Maths is harder than A-level Maths. For the most able students we offer extra courses tailored to individual needs.
What is the difference between A, B and ab initio language courses?
Language A courses are for native speakers and are correspondingly more advanced. Language B courses are for second language speakers, ie those who have been learning the language for 3-5 years. Ab initio courses presume no previous knowledge of the language (and are only available at Standard Level).
Can you take three sciences?
Because of its emphasis upon breadth, the International Baccalaureate diploma does not allow a student to take 3 sciences. Chemistry and one other Science or Maths are standard subject requirements for UK medical schools.