FAQ about IBDP

What is the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme?
The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) is an internationally recognized program in use in 94 countries. This comprehensive course of study serves highly-motivated college-bound students. It emphasizes an interdisciplinary approach to learning in which the student is an active participant. To receive an IB diploma the student must successfully complete course work and externally graded examinations in six academic areas as well as complete three unique program requirements. The goal of IBDP is to produce critical thinkers with a well-rounded global perspective.

What is the IBDP curriculum at Hillsboro High School?
Students become diploma candidates upon acceptance into the program their junior year. Students in the IBDP Academy take courses in six subject areas called Groups: Three courses must be taken at the Higher Level (HL) and three courses taken at the Standard Level (SL). Please click HERE to learn which courses are offered at each level.

Awarding of credit for each subject of the IBDP is determined by grades from work done throughout the course and score on an externally graded exam.

What are the three unique requirements of the IB program? 
In addition to work in the six academic areas is a cross-curricular course, Theory of Knowledge, which provides students with the opportunity to question, analyze and evaluate the bases of truth and knowledge. Creativity, Action, Service (150 hours) requires that students move beyond the classroom to share and develop special talents in an extracurricular arena. The Extended Essay allows students to independently study an area of special interest utilizing their research and writing skills.

What qualifies a student for the IBDP? 
Students can sign a letter of intent to participate in the pre-IB/honors program as a freshman. Students will apply for the IBDP at the end of first semester of their sophomore year. At this time, a committee will evaluate each student’s progress in developing study skills, performance in course work, attitude and responsibility demonstrated while at Hillsboro High School and make the final selection of IB candidates. The letter of intent is neither an application nor an acceptance into the IBDP. It does not obligate either the student to apply for admittance into the IBDP nor does it obligate Hillsboro High School to accept the student into the IBDP.

How is the IB program different from the AP program?
The IB program serves not only the academically talented but also the highly motivated student. Students are required to be involved in intradisciplinary and interdisciplinary projects in the IB program. Certain courses require students to develop a portfolio of classwork. They must take IB level courses in all academic areas as opposed to only isolated courses in areas of strength. Scores are derived from in class coursework as well as international external assessment. Emphasis is placed on essay writing and verbal communication skills in all areas of coursework.

What characteristics must an IBDP candidate exhibit?
As an IB candidate the student must:

  • Have a strong desire to learn
  • Express him/herself well both orally and in written work
  • Develop and maintain successful study and time management skills
  • Think critically
  • Work well both independently and with others
  • Participate in diverse activities (including service) outside the classroom
  • Enjoy learning with an international perspective

To learn more, click here.

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