The IB Diploma as a qualification

The IB Diploma is recognised by all UK and US universities, and in surveys Admissions Tutors regularly support the claim that the IB provides an excellent – and better – preparation for university and the world of work. Leading universities like the fact that the IB results allow them to discriminate at the top end and that, unlike other qualifications, there has been no grade inflation over the last 20 years.

The latest University Admissions Officers' Report concludes that the IB Diploma Progamme is the best preparation for workplace and university

ACS report, June 2015 

Research into the success of IB Diploma graduates

In 2016 the Higher Education Statistics Agency conducted and published research on the relative success rates of IB students and concluded that:

  • IB Diploma Programme (DP) students have a 57% greater likelihood of attending one of the top twenty UK universities than students who study traditional A Levels
  • IBDP students have a larger probability of achieving both a first and second class degree compared to their A Level peers - 23% of DP students achieve a first-class degree compared with 19% of A Level students
  • IBDP students are considerably more likely to be engaged in further study, such as a Masters or PhD after leaving higher education, while A Level students are more likely to enter the world of work - 30% of DP students participate in postgraduate study compared to 15% of A Level students
  • IBDP students have greater post education prospects, on average earning more than their A Level counterparts. The highest median salary for a Diploma Programme leaver who holds a degree in Mathematical Sciences is £30,000, compared to £22,000 for A Level students who graduate with the same degree
  • 18% of IBDP alumni are employed in professional, scientific and technical activities, compared to 13% of A Level students. 

Read more about the HESA report 

Sevenoaks IB graduates were significantly more likely to obtain a 1st or 2:1 than other undergraduates.

Study by Dr Gerda Frank-Gemmill, 2010

Further research conducted by Dr Gerda Frank-Gemmill based on 823 IB students who left Sevenoaks School between 2000 and 2007 and graduated from a UK university, showed that:

  • They were significantly more likely to attend top universities when compared with the overall undergraduate population (96% went to Russell/1994 Group vs 36% of all students and 35% vs 4% for the top five universities in The Times ranking).
  • They were significantly more likely to obtain a ‘good honours degree’ (first or upper second) than other undergraduates (88% vs 51% of all students and 72% of all Russell/1994 Group graduates).
  • At Oxford and Cambridge their degree results were markedly better when compared with those of the overall student population. At Cambridge, 94% of Sevenoaks students obtained a first or upper second compared to 85% of all students, while at Oxford the figures were 98% and 91%, respectively.

The study firmly supports the view that the IB is an excellent preparation for university.

IB Results at Sevenoaks

Sevenoaks students’ results are among the highest in the world. The maximum diploma score is 45, comprising a maximum 7 points in each of the six subjects, plus a maximum of three combined points for the Extended Essay and Theory of Knowledge. The average worldwide score is consistently around 30.

At Sevenoaks, however, our students’ average Diploma score is close to 40. Those scoring over 40 points join a genuine international elite, and universities around the world know that these students will provide something special. Several of our students secure a distinguished 45 points each year, a result achieved by only 208 students in the world in 2014 (0.31 per cent of the total number of IB candidates).