IB Diploma Programme


What is the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IB DP)?

After finishing the MYP, students are well-prepared for further studies, including national and international courses of study designed for students of ages 16-19 years. The MYP aligns most closely with the IB DP ensuring a smooth transition and prepares students for the DP by reflecting the depth, breadth and balance that is characteristic of all IB programmes.

The programme empowers the students to:

  • Have excellent breadth and depth of knowledge
  • Flourish physically, intellectually, emotionally and ethically
  • Study at least two languages
  • Excel in traditional academic subjects
  • Explore the nature of knowledge through the programme’ s unique theory of knowledge course

The curriculum at Indian international schools is made up of the DP core and six subject groups and three required components. The DP core aims to broaden students’ educational experience and challenge them to apply their knowledge and skills.

The three core elements are:

  • Theory of knowledge, in which students reflect on the nature of knowledge and on how we know what we claim to know
  • The extended essay, which is an independent, self-directed piece of research, finishing with a 4,000-word paper
  • Creativity, activity and service in which students complete a project related to those three concepts

The six subject groups from which students choose:

  1. Studies in language and literature (Group 1)
  2. Language acquisition (Group 2)
  3. Individuals and societies (Group 3)
  4. Sciences (Group 4)
  5. Mathematics (Group 5)
  6. The Arts (Group 6)

At all top IB schools, students may opt to study additional sciences, individuals and societies, or language courses instead of a course in the arts.

Students will take some subjects at a Higher Level (HL) and some at Standard level (SL). HL and SL courses differ in scope but are measured according to the same grade descriptors.

Students are expected to demonstrate greater knowledge, understanding and skills at the Higher Level. Each student takes at least three (but not more than four) subjects at Higher Level and the remaining at standard level.


Assessment and Exams

The IB programme assesses students’ work and their achievements against the goals of the DP courses. The DP assessment procedures measure the extent to which students have mastered advanced academic skills such as:

  • Analyzing and presenting information
  • Evaluating and constructing arguments
  • Solving problems creatively

Basic skills are also assessed, including their ability to:

  • Retain knowledge
  • Understand key concepts
  • Apply standard methods

Students’ results are determined by performance against set standards, and not by comparing their position in the overall rank order.

As a top ranking IB school, we use both external and internal assessment in the DP.

External assessment:

Examinations are the basic assessments for most courses. This is because of the high levels of objectivity and reliability involved.

  • Essays
  • Structured problems
  • Short-response questions
  • Data-response questions
  • Text-response questions
  • Case-study questions
  • Multiple-choice questions (These are rarely used)

Internal assessment:

Teachers also play a key role in assessing students’ development, particularly in:

  • Oral work in languages
  • Field work in geography
  • Laboratory work in the sciences
  • Investigations in Mathematics
  • Artistic performances

In the DP, students receive grades ranging from 7 to 1, with 7 being the highest for each DP course attempted.

A student’s final Diploma Programme result score consists of the combined scores for each subject. The diploma is awarded to students who gain at least 24 points, subject to certain minimum levels of performance, including successful completion of the three essential elements of the DP core.

The Theory of Knowledge (TOK) and Extended Essay (EE) components carry individual grades and can collectively contribute up to 3 additional points towards the overall Diploma score. Thus, the maximum points DP student can score is 45 (6 x 7, plus 3)

Creativity, action, service – these constitute the remaining elements in the DP core. While this does not contribute to the total points, students’ participation is mandatory to receive the diploma.


University and Employment

The IB DP focuses on the personal, professional and academic development of students and is globally recognised by universities for its holistic and rigorous education.

As a top-ranked IB school, we strongly focus on rigorous academic study within a broad and balanced curriculum. This allows students to be prepared for future employment opportunities as well. Students in the DP also have the opportunity to apply their knowledge and skills to community service, allowing them to gain valuable insights into the world outside.

All universities in India accept the IB Diploma as an equivalent to Class 12 qualification from an Indian board. The IB Diploma is also recognised by the AIU as an entry level qualification to all universities in India since 1983 and has been renewed in 2010. According to AIU: "The International Baccalaureate Diploma…has been equated with +2 stage (Grade XII) qualification of an Indian Board since 1983. Students intending to join Indian Universities after completion of their IB qualifications are eligible to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree programme at Indian Universities. Those intending to join Professional Degree programmes…are required to have studied the subjects of Physics, Chemistry, Biology/Mathematics and English at the qualifying level." (AIU, Dec 2010).

The IB DP is recognised and respected by the world’s leading universities. Evidence also suggests that a higher percentage of DP students go on to complete university and higher education, as compared to non-IB students. The best of these institutions are ranked alongside top universities in the world. The IB recognition resource and document library has testimonials from universities working with DP students.

If this is the future you envision for your children, Indus International School Bangalore is one among the top IB schools of the country and is dedicated to developing a student’s overall personality, making them competent to face the world outside.

In the case of queries, please feel free to browse through FAQs regarding the DP and admission to the university.


Key Facts

  • Established in 1968, the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IB DP) was the first programme offered by the IB
  • It is preceded by the Middle Years Programme (MYP) and is followed by the Career-related Programme (IB CP) – established in 1994 and 2012 respectively
  • The DP is taught to students aged from 16-19 years
  • DP students are better able to cope with demanding workloads, manage their time, and meet the expectations placed on them, as compared to other students according to one study
  • Analysis of DP students in Canada, the UK and the USA found that the DP’s extended essay improves students’ learning approach during higher education
  • According to a 2013 study, 72% of students taking the DP in China attend one of the world’s top 500 universities
  • DP students from approximately 90 different countries apply to more than 3,300 higher education institutions each year
  • Over the last 10 years, several qualification bodies and research institutions have compared the elements of DP course curriculums and assessments with other courses of study. The overall findings from the research have been far more favourable for the DP
  • The Education Policy Improvement Center undertook a four-year project to create a set of academic-content standards in eight DP subject areas and determined the degree to which these standards aligned with accepted college-readiness standards
  • In 2012, the UK’s Ofqual compared A levels to 19 other curriculums/examinations, including the IB Diploma Programme. It was found that the DP material was highly regarded in a number of areas
  • In the US, a comparison of four DP Standard Level (SL) courses (biology, mathematics, language A, and world history) and similar Advanced Placement (AP) courses, assigned the DP-SL courses at equal to or higher grades than the AP courses
  • The University of Delhi’s comparative analysis of course materials and assessments from the DP, the Indian Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), and the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examination (CISCE) found that in comparison, DP courses were often more comprehensive and exhaustive than other courses. It encouraged multiple perspectives and developed analytical, critical and evaluative abilities



The IB DP provided by Indus International School Bangalore, a top-ranked IB school, was established to provide students with a balanced education, facilitate geographic and cultural mobility and to promote international understanding.

It was created by teachers at the International School of Geneva, with assistance from several other international schools.

Since then, innovative and committed teachers and examiners from around the world have played a significant role in the development of the programme.

To know more about the IB DP, click here.