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The IB Diploma Programme is a two-year programme for 16 to 19 years, old students. In India, the IB Diploma Programme focuses on 11th and 12th-grade students, for two years, right before they go to university. It provides internationally accepted qualifications for entry into higher education and is recognized by many prestigious universities worldwide.

The IBDP is meant to be rigorous and tough so that the students are properly trained for universities and to handle all kinds of pressure. It helps the students in choosing the right career path for themselves and focuses on building their character, personally and academically.

The IBDP helps a student to know what it takes to be successful in a highly competitive world where everything is a race. Students are made to focus on six main subjects and extracurricular activities as well to build the perfect resume and character for universities.


According to the IBO, an IB learners profile is the following:


Students nurture their curiosity, developing skills
for inquiry and research. They know how to learn independently and as a group.
They learn with enthusiasm and sustain their love of learning throughout their


Students develop and use conceptual understanding,
exploring knowledge across a range of disciplines. They engage with issues and
ideas that have local and global significance.


They use critical and creative thinking skills to
analyse and take responsible action on complex problems. Students exercise
initiative in making reasoned, ethical decisions.


Students act with integrity and honesty, with a
strong sense of fairness and justice, and with respect for the dignity and
rights of people everywhere. They take responsibility for their actions and


They critically appreciate their own cultures and histories as well as the values and traditions of others. They seek and evaluate a range of point of views and are willing to grow with experience.

Risk takers

Students approach uncertainty with forethought and
determination. They work independently and cooperatively to explore new ideas and
innovative strategies. Students are resourceful and resilient in the face of


Students understand the importance of balancing different aspects in life – intellectual, physical, emotional – to achieve well-being for themselves and others too. They recognize inter-dependence with other people and the world in which they live in.


Students thoughtfully consider the world and their
ideas and experience. They work to understand strengths and weaknesses in order
to support their leadership and personal development.


IB diploma subjects

The IB diploma programme offers six groups of
subjects to students and students have to pick one out of each group. Out of
the six subjects, students need to pick 3 but not more than 4 subjects for Higher
Level and the rest for Standard Level.

Group 1- Studies in language and literature
consisting of

  1. literature
  2. literature
    and language
  3. literature
    and performance.

Group 2 – Language acquisition

  1. Classical languages (to study the language of ancient Rome and Greece) – Latin, Greek
  2. language ab initio (for those who have not studied these subjects before) – Spanish, mandarin, French
  3. language b (for those who have previous knowledge of the subject)- Spanish

Group 3- Individuals and societies

  1. Business management
  2. Economics
  3. Geography
  4. History
  5. Psychology
  6. Philosophy
  7. Global politics
  8. World religions
  9. Social and cultural anthropology
  10. Information technology in a global society

Group 4- Sciences

  1. Biology
  2. Physics
  3. Chemistry
  4. Environmental systems and societies
  5. Sports, exercise, health science
  6. Design technology

Group 5- Mathematics

  1. Analysis
    and approaches
  2. Applications
    and interpretations

Group 6- The Arts

  1. Dance
  2. Film
  3. Music
  4. Theatre
  5. Visual


The IB diploma course also has three compulsory subjects for all students- Theory of Knowledge (TOK), Creativity Action Service (CAS) and Extended Essay (EE). These three subjects form the core of the IB curriculum.

1. TOK

Theory of knowledge (TOK) plays a special role in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme by providing an opportunity for students to reflect on the nature of knowledge, and on how we know what we claim to know. The most central of these is “How do we know?”, while other questions include:

  • What counts as evidence
    for X?
  • How do we judge which
    is the best model of Y?
  • What does theory Z mean
    in the real world?

TOK aims to make students aware of the interpretative nature of knowledge, including personal ideological biases – whether these biases are retained, revised or rejected. It offers students and their teachers the opportunity to reflect critically on diverse ways of knowing and on areas of knowledge, consider the role and nature of knowledge in their own culture, in the cultures of others and in the wider world, be aware of themselves as thinkers, encouraging them to become more acquainted with the complexity of knowledge

2. CAS

Studied throughout the Diploma
Programme, CAS involves students in a range of activities alongside their
academic studies.It is not formally assessed. However, students reflect on
their CAS experiences as part of the DP, and The three strands of CAS, which
are often interwoven with particular activities, are characterized as follows:

Creativity – arts, and other experiences that involve creative thinking.

Activity – physical exertion contributing to a healthy lifestyle, complementing academic work elsewhere in the DP.

Service – an unpaid and voluntary exchange that has a learning benefit for the student. The rights, dignity and autonomy of all those involved are respected, provide evidence of achieving the seven learning outcomes for CAS.


The extended essay is an independent, self-directed piece of research, finishing with a 4,000-word paper, the extended essay is mandatory for all students. Some students may choose to write in on literature or history or some might try and prove a theory through it.

By Suhaani Hardikar

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