IB Africa, Europe and Middle East newsletter
The purpose of this newsletter is to share with you and with your colleagues involved in admissions, information on various matters relating to university and college applications from students who are studying for the IB Diploma Programme.
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Three essential requirements of the Diploma Programme are that the students must follow a course on the theory of knowledge, they must write an extended essay of up to 4,000 words and they must be involved in a series of activities that demonstrate creativity, action and service, jointly forming a CAS programme that is individual to each student. The first two of these three requirements are assessed and the marks are combined to yield a joint total of zero to three.
The extended essay and TOK are marked and then graded from A–E.
Diploma Core: Three points
|Extended essay grade|
As you can see, it is hard to gain 3 additional points. In half the grid, students gain just 1 or 0 additional points but must have completed the extended essay and TOK presentation and essay, to a certain standard.
Diploma Core: Grading
Theory of knowledge
A question frequently asked is "Why only a maximum of three points?". Teachers, students and many academics in HE have no doubt of the values of these two elements of the programme, especially as preparation for higher education. Hence the frequency of the question being asked. The fact is that all Diploma Programme students are required to write an extended essay, follow the TOK course and participate in CAS so the mark achievable does not need to be high. But this is far from a complete answer, and the debate will no doubt continue. A question that can be more readily addressed is: "should universities and colleges recognize these hard earned points in their conditional offers when asking for a points total?". Currently the picture is a mixed one, there is no uniform policy in offers. However, non recognition of the additional points is a particular concern. Sometimes it is not made clear in an offer whether additional points are included or excluded. We make a plea here for this to be made clear to avoid later confusion and that they are taken into account.
A note on terminology
The 3 points have been called various names: bonus points, additional points, additional diploma points, core points. We prefer the latter because the diploma is a complete package and these points are central to it, but the official term is additional points.
The fact is that all Diploma Programme students are required to write an extended essay, follow the TOK course and participate in CAS ...
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