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At the American International School Chennai, India


The IB Diploma Program

The International Baccalaureate Diploma Program (IBDP) is a pre-university course of study designed for students in their last two years of secondary school. The IBDP was developed by a group of educators at the International School of Geneva in the early 1960’s to establish a common curriculum and university entry credential for geographically mobile students. This group of teachers was also motivated by an idealistic vision: they hoped that a shared academic experience emphasizing critical thinking and exposure to a variety of viewpoints would foster tolerance and intercultural understanding among young people. The IB Diploma curriculum can be administered in any country and is recognized by universities worldwide. The IB has experienced rapid growth since its inception and now numbers some 3,325 schools in 141 countries around the world reaching 989,000 students.

IB Mission Statement

“The International Baccalaureate Organization aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.

“To this end the IBO works with schools, governments and international organizations to develop challenging programs of international education and rigorous assessment.

“These programs encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right.”


IB Learner Profile

The attributes of the learner profile express the values inherent to the IB continuum of international education; these are values that should infuse all elements of the IB Diploma Program and, therefore, the culture and ethos of all IB World Schools. IB programs promote the education of the whole person, emphasizing intellectual, personal, emotional and social growth through all domains of knowledge.

IB learners strive to be:

  • Inquirers - They develop their natural curiosity. They acquire the skills necessary to conduct inquiry and research and show independence in learning. They actively enjoy learning and this love of learning will be sustained throughout their lives.
  • Knowledgeable - They explore concepts, ideas and issues that have local and global significance. In so doing, they acquire in-depth knowledge and develop understanding across a broad and balanced range of disciplines.
  • Thinkers - They exercise initiative in applying thinking skills critically and creatively to recognize and approach complex problems, and make reasoned, ethical decisions.
  • Communicators - They understand and express ideas and information confidently and creatively in more than one language and in a variety of modes of communication. They work effectively and willingly in collaboration with others.
  • Principled - They act with integrity and honesty, with a strong sense of fairness, justice and respect for the dignity of the individual, groups and communities. They take responsibility for their own actions and the consequences that accompany them.
  • Open-minded - They understand and appreciate their own cultures and personal histories, and are open to the perspectives, values and traditions of other individuals and communities. They are accustomed to seeking and evaluating a range of points of view, and are willing to grow from the experience.
  • Caring - They show empathy, compassion and respect towards the needs and feelings of others. They have a personal commitment to service, and act to make a positive difference to the lives of others and to the environment.
  • Risk-takers - They approach unfamiliar situations and uncertainty with courage and forethought, and have the independence of spirit to explore new roles, ideas and strategies. They are brave and articulate in defending their beliefs.
  • Balanced - They understand the importance of intellectual, physical and emotional balance to achieve personal well-being for themselves and others.
  • Reflective - They give thoughtful consideration to their own learning and experience. They are able to assess and understand their strengths and limitations in order to support their learning and personal development.


IB Diploma Requirements

Students choose subjects from six subject groups: Studies in Language and Literature, Acquired Language, Individuals and Society, Science, Mathematics and the Arts. They must choose one subject from each of five groups (1 to 5), ensuring breadth of knowledge and understanding in their best language, additional language(s), the social sciences, the experimental sciences and mathematics. Students must also choose a sixth subject, either from the fine arts subject (Group 6) or a second subject from groups 1 to 5.

At least three but not more than four subjects are taken at higher level, while the other subjects are taken at standard level . The distinction between SL and HL classes lies in the depth and breadth of the syllabus coverage, the assessment details, the assessment criteria and the workload. Higher level subjects are typically extensions of the standard level subjects, with topics explored in greater depth and/or more topics explored. However, the rigor of the assessments is generally the same.

In all IB subjects, students are assessed both internally by the teacher using IB guidelines and criteria and externally by an outside examiner. External assessment may be in the form of an essay or an examination. Internal assessments may be in the form of an essay, a project, and oral presentation or examination, a recital or an exhibition.

The IB Core

In addition to disciplinary and interdisciplinary study, the Diploma Program features three core elements that broaden students’ educational experience and challenge them to apply their knowledge and skills.

The Extended Essay offers IB students the opportunity to investigate a topic of special interest, usually in one of the student's six DP subjects, and acquaints them with the independent research and writing skills expected at university. It is intended to promote intellectual discovery and creativity. It provides students with an opportunity to engage in personal research on a topic of their choice, under the guidance of a supervisor. This leads to a major piece of formally presented, structured writing of no more that 4,000 words, in which ideas and findings are communicated in a reasoned and coherent manner, appropriate to the subject, Students follow the completion of the written essay with a short, concluding interview - viva voce - with the supervisor. In countries where essays or interviews are required prior to acceptance for employment or for a place at university, the extended essay has proved to be a valuable stimulus for discussion.

The interdisciplinary Theory of Knowledge (TOK) course is designed to develop a coherent approach to learning that transcends and unifies the academic areas and encourages appreciation of other cultural perspectives This course encourages critical thinking about knowledge itself and aims to help young people make sense of that they encounter by asking the question, “How do we know what we know?” 

Activities and discussions in the course aim to help students discover and express their views on knowledge issues. The course encourages students to share ideas with others and to listen and learn from what others think. In this process, students' thinking and their understanding of knowledge as a human construction are shaped, enriched and deepened. Connections may be made between knowledge encountered in different Diploma Program subjects, in CAS experiences or in Extended Essay research; distinctions between different kinds of knowledge may be clarified.

Creativity, Action, Service (CAS) is at the heart of the Diploma Program, involving students in a range of activities that take place alongside their academic studies throughout the IB Diploma Program. The component's three strands, often interwoven with particular activities, are characterized as follows:

Creativity - arts and other experiences that involve creative thinking

Action - physical exertion contributing to a healthy lifestyle, complementing academic work elsewhere in the IB Diploma Program

Service  - an unpaid and voluntary exchange that has a learning benefit for the student.

CAS encourages students to be involved in activities as individuals and as part of a team that take place in local, national and international contexts. These experiences help students to enhance their personal and interpersonal development as well as their social and civic development, through experiential learning, lending an important counterbalance to the academic pressures of the rest of the IB Diploma Program. It should be both challenging and enjoyable - a personal journey of self-discovery that recognizes each student's individual starting point.

CAS activities should be real, purposeful activities, with significant outcomes that involve personal challenge, thoughtful planning and reflection on the outcomes and personal learning.

Scoring of IB Diploma Results

For the IB score, the composite of the assessments for each subject may result in a final score of 1 (lowest) to 7 (highest) points. A score of 4 is considered a passing grade.  Student work in TOK and the Extended Essay will also be assessed, for which up to 3 additional points may be awarded. Thus, the maximum total points that can be earned is 45. In order to earn the IB Diploma, students must earn a minimum of 24 points. Students must also satisfactorily complete the CAS requirements. 

More information about the AP Program is available at the following websites:

International Baccalaureate Organization

IB Diploma Program

IB World magazine

University Recognition

The IB Diploma at AISC

AISC practices a policy of open enrollment in the IB diploma program.  Any student in grade 11 or 12 is allowed to enroll in the IB Diploma Program, provided s/he has completed the prerequisite courses. Students in grades 10-12 may also enroll in individual IB courses if they meet the necessary prerequisites.  However, students in grade 10 cannot apply these courses to an IB Diploma Program. Only courses taken in the last two years of high school will apply to the IB Diploma requirements.  Students must attend IB classes in order to take the examinations. All AISC students taking IB courses are required to write the external IB exams.

IB Diploma candidates must also meet the AISC graduation requirements (24 credits over 4 years) and in order to earn AISC high school diploma. It is essential that students and their parents clearly understand the differences between the course selections that lead to the AISC diploma and those that lead to the IB Diploma in order to best meet the needs of the individual student. Students wishing to pursue the International Baccalaureate Diploma must coordinate their academic plans with the IB/AP Coordinator and their counselor to ensure that additional requirements for the diploma can be met in a timely fashion.

Each course in Groups 1-6 and the Theory of Knowledge course will be graded according to AISC's grading scale.  These grades are reported on the student's high school transcript.

Fees for the IB examinations are charged in addition to tuition and other school fees.  Parents will be notified of these fees in October prior to the examinations. These fees must be paid to the school before the student will be allowed to take the exams. 

IB Diploma Program Courses offered at AISC

For further details about each IB course, please refer to the AISC High School Curriculum Guide. 

GROUP 1: Language A

English Literature at SL or HL
School Supported Self-Taught Languages at SL

GROUP 2: Second Language

French ab initio at SL
French B at SL or HL
Spanish ab initio at SL
Spanish B at SL or HL

GROUP 3: Individuals & Societies

Economics at SL or HL
History at SL or HL
Psychology at SL or HL 

GROUP 4: Experimental Sciences

Biology at SL or HL
Chemistry at SL or HL
Physics at SL or HL
Computer Science at SL only

GROUP 5: Mathematics

Mathematics at SL or HL

GROUP 6: The Arts    

Music at SL or HL
Visual Arts at SL or HL

NOTE: It is possible that not all of the above courses will be offered every year. The final list of courses to be offered is subject to enrollment, staffing, student needs and scheduling.         

For further information regarding the IB Diploma program, please contact the IB Coordinator ( or refer to the high school website ( Additional information can also be obtained at the official IBO website (