How Does IB Work? A Comprehensive Guide to the International Baccalaureate

9 min read

The International Baccalaureate (IB) program is renowned for its rigorous academic standards and holistic approach to education. But how does IB work? This comprehensive guide will explain the structure, curriculum, assessments, and benefits of the IB program, providing you with a clear understanding of how it can shape your educational journey. With support from RevisionDojo and Jojo AI, navigating the IB program becomes more manageable and rewarding.


The IB program aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable, and caring young people who are motivated to succeed. It offers a challenging curriculum designed to prepare students for higher education and beyond. Understanding how IB works will help you make the most of this prestigious program and excel in your studies.

Structure of the IB Program

The IB program is divided into four educational stages, each catering to different age groups:

  1. Primary Years Programme (PYP): Ages 3-12
  2. Middle Years Programme (MYP): Ages 11-16
  3. Diploma Programme (DP): Ages 16-19
  4. Career-related Programme (CP): Ages 16-19

For the purpose of this guide, we will focus on the Diploma Programme (DP), as it is the most widely recognized and implemented stage of the IB.

IB Diploma Programme (DP) Curriculum

The IB Diploma Programme is designed to provide a balanced education, facilitating geographic and cultural mobility and promoting international understanding. The DP curriculum consists of six subject groups and three core components.

Subject Groups

Students must choose one subject from each of the following six groups:

  1. Language and Literature: Studies in language and literature, often in the student’s native language.
  2. Language Acquisition: Learning a second language.
  3. Individuals and Societies: Subjects like history, geography, economics, and psychology.
  4. Sciences: Courses such as biology, chemistry, physics, and environmental systems and societies.
  5. Mathematics: Different levels of mathematics courses catering to varying abilities and interests.
  6. The Arts: Options include visual arts, music, theatre, and film. Alternatively, students can choose another subject from the previous groups.

Core Components

The core components are central to the philosophy of the IB DP and include:

  1. Theory of Knowledge (TOK): An interdisciplinary course exploring the nature of knowledge and how we know what we claim to know.
  2. Extended Essay (EE): A 4,000-word research paper on a topic of the student’s choice, encouraging independent research and academic writing skills.
  3. Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS): A requirement for students to engage in various extracurricular activities, fostering personal and social development.

How Assessments Work in IB

Internal Assessments (IAs)

Internal assessments are projects, essays, or practical work conducted within the school and marked by teachers. They typically account for 20-30% of the final grade in each subject. IAs are designed to assess students' understanding and application of course material through various formats, such as lab reports, oral presentations, and creative projects.

External Assessments

External assessments include exams that are taken at the end of the two-year program and marked by external IB examiners. These assessments generally account for 70-80% of the final grade. The exams typically consist of multiple-choice questions, short-answer questions, and extended-response questions, evaluating students' knowledge, analytical skills, and critical thinking.

Grading System

Each subject is graded on a scale of 1 to 7, with 7 being the highest score. Students can earn up to 42 points from their six subjects. The core components (TOK and EE) contribute up to 3 additional points, bringing the maximum possible score to 45 points. To earn the IB diploma, students must score at least 24 points, meet specific performance criteria, and complete the CAS requirements.

Benefits of the IB Program

Academic Rigor

The IB program is known for its challenging curriculum, which prepares students for the demands of higher education. The emphasis on critical thinking, research skills, and interdisciplinary learning equips students with the tools needed for academic success.

Global Recognition

The IB diploma is recognized by universities and colleges worldwide. Many institutions offer advanced standing or college credit for high scores on IB exams, providing students with a competitive edge in college admissions.

Holistic Development

The IB program fosters holistic development by encouraging students to engage in creative, physical, and service activities through CAS. This well-rounded approach helps students develop into well-balanced individuals with strong personal and social skills.

How RevisionDojo and Jojo AI Can Help

Navigating the IB program can be challenging, but RevisionDojo and Jojo AI are here to support you every step of the way.


Study Guides and Practice Questions: RevisionDojo provides comprehensive study guides and practice questions tailored to the IB curriculum. These resources help reinforce your understanding of key concepts and prepare you for the types of questions you’ll encounter on exams.

Past Papers: Practicing with past papers is one of the best ways to prepare for IB exams. RevisionDojo offers access to a wide range of past papers, allowing you to familiarize yourself with the exam format and improve your time management skills.

Personalized Study Plans: Create personalized study plans using RevisionDojo’s tools to ensure you cover all topics systematically. This approach helps you stay organized and reduces stress as exam dates approach.

Jojo AI

Instant Explanations: Jojo AI provides instant explanations for complex concepts and theories as you work through practice questions and flashcards. This feature helps clarify doubts quickly and ensures a deeper understanding of the material.

Interactive Learning: Jojo AI’s interactive learning approach makes studying more engaging and effective. By actively participating in your learning process, you retain information better and perform well on exams.

Feedback and Improvement: Receive instant feedback on your practice answers with Jojo AI. This feedback helps you identify areas of weakness and focus your study efforts where they are needed most.


Understanding how the IB program works is essential for making the most of this prestigious educational system. With its rigorous curriculum, comprehensive assessments, and holistic approach to student development, the IB program prepares students for success in higher education and beyond. Leveraging the resources and support from RevisionDojo and Jojo AI can further enhance your IB experience, helping you achieve your academic goals.


Q: What is the minimum score required to earn the IB diploma?

A: Students must score at least 24 points out of a possible 45, meet specific performance criteria, and complete the CAS requirements to earn the IB diploma.

Q: How are IB subjects graded?

A: Each IB subject is graded on a scale of 1 to 7, with 7 being the highest score. The core components (TOK and EE) contribute up to 3 additional points.

Q: What is the role of CAS in the IB program?

A: CAS (Creativity, Activity, Service) is a core component of the IB program that encourages students to engage in various extracurricular activities, fostering personal and social development.

Q: How can RevisionDojo help me prepare for IB exams?

A: RevisionDojo offers study guides, practice questions, past papers, and personalized study plans tailored to the IB curriculum, helping you master the material and perform well on exams.

Q: What support does Jojo AI provide for IB students?

A: Jojo AI provides instant explanations, interactive learning experiences, and feedback on practice questions, helping you understand complex concepts and improve your performance.

Navigating the IB program is a significant undertaking, but with the right resources and support, you can achieve academic excellence. Visit RevisionDojo to start your journey to IB success today!