How Is the IB Score Calculated? A Comprehensive Guide

7 min read

The International Baccalaureate (IB) program is renowned for its rigorous assessment standards and comprehensive evaluation methods. But how exactly is the IB score calculated? Understanding the intricacies of the IB grading system is crucial for students aiming to excel. This guide will walk you through the components that contribute to the final IB score, from internal assessments to external exams. Let's break down the process and offer tips for achieving the best possible results.


The IB Diploma Programme (DP) assesses students through a combination of internal and external assessments, aiming to evaluate both theoretical knowledge and practical skills. The final score is a culmination of these assessments, reflecting a student's overall performance across different subjects. This article will explain how each element is weighed and how students can optimize their performance to achieve a high IB score.

The IB Scoring System

The IB scoring system is based on a scale from 1 to 7 for each subject, with 7 being the highest score. Students typically take six subjects, each contributing to the final score. Additionally, there are three core components—Theory of Knowledge (TOK), the Extended Essay (EE), and Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS)—that play a crucial role in the final diploma score.

Breakdown of IB Scoring

  • Subject Scores (1-7): Each of the six subjects is scored out of 7, making a maximum of 42 points.
  • TOK and EE: These are graded from A to E, and combined they can contribute up to 3 bonus points to the total score.
  • CAS Requirement: While CAS does not contribute directly to the score, completion of CAS is mandatory for the diploma.

The highest possible IB score is 45 points, achieved by scoring 7 in each of the six subjects and earning the maximum 3 bonus points from TOK and the EE.

Internal Assessments (IAs)

Internal assessments are projects, essays, or practical work evaluated by the subject teacher and moderated by the IB. They typically account for 20-30% of the final subject score, varying by subject.

Examples of IAs:

  • Sciences: Lab reports and experiments
  • Languages: Oral presentations
  • Mathematics: Investigative projects
  • Humanities: Essays and research projects

Tips for Success in IAs:

  • Start Early: Begin working on IAs well in advance of the deadlines to allow time for research and revisions.
  • Seek Feedback: Regularly consult with teachers and peers for constructive feedback.
  • Be Thorough: Pay attention to the assessment criteria and ensure all components are thoroughly addressed.

External Assessments (Exams)

External assessments, conducted at the end of the two-year program, include written exams that are graded by external IB examiners. These exams usually account for 70-80% of the final subject score.

Types of Exam Papers:

  • Paper 1: Typically consists of multiple-choice or short-answer questions.
  • Paper 2: Often includes extended-response questions, essays, or data analysis.
  • Paper 3: May involve case studies or specialized topics, depending on the subject.

Tips for Success in Exams:

  • Understand the Format: Familiarize yourself with the exam structure and types of questions.
  • Practice Past Papers: Regularly practice with past exam papers to improve time management and identify areas for improvement.
  • Review Key Concepts: Focus on understanding key concepts and theories rather than rote memorization.

Core Components: TOK, EE, and CAS

Theory of Knowledge (TOK)

TOK is an interdisciplinary course that explores the nature of knowledge. Students must complete a TOK essay and a presentation.


  • Essay: Assessed externally
  • Presentation: Assessed internally

Extended Essay (EE)

The EE is a 4,000-word research paper on a topic of the student's choice, encouraging independent research and writing skills.


  • Assessed externally based on criteria such as research question, argument, and analysis.

Tips for TOK and EE:

  • Choose Topics Wisely: Select topics that genuinely interest you to maintain motivation.
  • Plan and Outline: Create detailed plans and outlines to organize your thoughts and structure your work.
  • Revise and Edit: Allocate time for thorough revisions and seek feedback from teachers.

Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS)

CAS involves completing projects and activities related to creativity, physical activity, and community service. While it does not directly contribute to the final score, it is a diploma requirement.

Tips for CAS:

  • Document Activities: Keep detailed records of your activities and reflections.
  • Balance Efforts: Ensure a balance between creativity, activity, and service projects.
  • Reflect Meaningfully: Engage in meaningful reflection to demonstrate personal growth and learning.


Calculating the IB score involves a blend of internal assessments, external exams, and core components. Each part requires dedication, strategic planning, and consistent effort. By understanding the weight of each element and applying effective study techniques, students can maximize their IB scores.

RevisionDojo is here to support you throughout your IB journey with tailored resources, expert guidance, and a community of learners. Sign up today to access comprehensive study materials and boost your chances of achieving a high IB score!


Q: How are the internal assessments moderated?

A: Internal assessments are initially graded by your teachers and then moderated by IB examiners to ensure consistency and fairness.

Q: Can the extended essay topic be from any subject?

A: Yes, the EE topic can be chosen from any subject area, but it must adhere to the guidelines and criteria set by the IB.

Q: How are the TOK and EE bonus points calculated?

A: The combined performance in TOK and EE is awarded up to 3 bonus points based on the grades (A to E) achieved in both components.

Q: What happens if I don’t complete the CAS requirements?

A: CAS is a mandatory component of the IB Diploma Programme. Failure to complete CAS requirements means you will not receive the IB diploma, even if you pass all other assessments.

Q: Are there any resources to help with IB exam preparation?

A: Yes, RevisionDojo offers a wide range of study resources, including past papers, practice questions, and expert tips to help you prepare effectively for your IB exams.

Understanding how the IB score is calculated is essential for any IB student aiming to excel. By mastering the internal assessments, external exams, and core components, you can maximize your performance and achieve your academic goals. Visit RevisionDojo for more resources and support on your IB journey!