What is the International Baccalaureate?

What is the International Baccalaureate?

This article has been written by Lydia McClelland, a VCE French, Music Theory, Literature & VCE English Tutor at Learnmate. If you’re interested in private tutoring from Lydia then please check out her page here.

What does IB mean?

IB stands for the International Baccalaureate. An alternative to local curricula like the VCE or HSC, IB is a set of curriculums taught across 150 countries, including Australia. Successfully completed, the IB grants students a diploma, and if completed in Year 12, your score is converted to a notional ATAR. The IB aims to help students develop in a variety of areas, with the aim of learning to live and work in a fast globalising world.

In Australia, many schools offer IB as an alternative specifically for years 11 and 12, while others offer the program exclusively from primary school.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of IB?

When taken for the final years of schooling, IB is sometimes seen to be a more challenging option than the usual curriculum. It is usually recognised to have a heavy workload, as you study six subjects alongside three additional core elements. The exams are not multiple choice, so you need to be ready to write lots.

Some advantages include the fact that the IB Diploma is recognised around the globe and accepted by most universities. However, you might find that the local system is also accepted by a variety of universities around the world. Another advantage is that you are learning in a style which will help prepare you for university – central to the IB Diploma you prepare assignment-style pieces of work.

How does doing IB compare to getting an ATAR?

The IB scoring system is quite different from the ATAR system. There is a combination of internal assessment and external assessment, like for the ATAR. However, for IB, students receive a score between 1 and 7 for each subject, and the three additional elements are worth 1 point each. At the successful completion of the diploma, students receive a total score out of 45, which is converted to a notional ATAR.

How should you prepare for IB?

Preparing effectively for IB is much the same as preparing for any other program! Get to you’re your strengths and weaknesses. Make sure you are organised with all of your subjects – time management will be very important with IB as you are juggling all of the subjects. Get ready to work hard, but enjoy the journey. IB will teach you a lot, and it can be a great time if you let it.

There are a variety of tutors at LearnMate who offer tutoring for the International Baccalaureate. You can find a tutor here.


If you loved this article, you will LOVE all of our other articles, such as: How to Reduce Exam Anxitey, Study Smart, Not Hard and Strategies to Build Self-Confidence in Students.

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What is the International Baccalaureate?