The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IB/IBDP) is a globally recognised educational programme that creates a holistic learning experience for students. This all-encompassing, two-year educational journey comprises internal examinations, external assessments, community service hours, and research papers. International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB) is an all-in-one package, and you can understand how it is graded by reading on.
What is the IB Grading Scale?
The IB Singapore grading scale is a measure to assess students embarking on this two-year programme. It has a total score of 45, and to get a Diploma, candidates must earn a minimum of 24 points and fulfil the requirements for the core programme. Students in IB must choose six subjects; each class is worth seven points of the total grades. It means the highest score you can get is 42, with the remaining three points coming from the core stated earlier.
The IB curriculum assesses pupils based on multiple external examinations and school-based internal submissions, such as research papers. The number of exams per subject will differ based on whether a student has opted for an HL or SL class. Those who fail to submit their IA are disqualified from receiving the IB diploma; however, getting a bad or failing score on the IA will still give you a shot at getting a Diploma.
How many subjects are there in the IB curriculum? (IBDP)
There are five academic groups in the IB Diploma Programme, and students need to take at least one course in each academic group. They are:
- Studies in Language and Literature
- Language Acquisition
- Individuals & Societies
- Experimental Sciences, and
Students need to take a sixth course, either in the arts or an additional one from the groups mentioned above. To get a Diploma, students must also fulfil the requirements of the Theory of Knowledge (TOK), Creativity, Action and Service (CAS) and Extended Essay (EE).
IB Grading Scale
Every subject is graded on a scale from one to seven, with one being the lowest and seven being the highest.
- 7 – Excellent
- 6 – Very good
- 5 – Good
- 4 – Satisfactory
- 3 – Mediocre
- 2 – Poor
- 1 – Very poor
- N – No grade (not enough material to receive a grade)
There must be a minimum of two papers per subject in each examination. However, the exams usually have more to them. To better understand, let us take IB Physics as an example. The IB Physics (SL) exam is broken down into the following parts:
- Paper 1 (20%)– Multiple Choice Questions
- Paper 2 (40%)– Short and Extended Response Questions
- Paper 3 (20%)– Section A comprises data-analysis questions; Section B covers questions regarding the extended options chosen by students.
- Practical Work or research (20%)– This typically covers experiments and other forms of internal assessments in school.
The weightage above is representative and varies depending on the subject and assessment.
The final Grade is calculated based on the weighted average of the marks received in each paper.
Final Grade = 20% of your score in Multiple Choice Questions + 40% in Short and Extended Response Questions + 20% in Paper 3 + 20% of your Practical Work Score.
The Core of IB (Theory of Knowledge, Extended Essay, and CAS)
Scoring a perfect 45 is challenging, and as per IB reports, less than 1% of candidates end up with a cent percent score.
Theory of Knowledge, Creativity, Action, and Service and the extended essay are the core of IB and play a key role in helping you pass and get your Diploma. Earning the lowest required points in core subjects is vital for getting the IB Diploma. Not attempting either of the three will disqualify you from the Diploma.
EE and TOK papers are Grade on an A-E scale, while the CAS is recorded internally with the following descriptors:
- A – Excellent
- B – Good
- C – Satisfactory
- D – Mediocre
- E – Elementary
- N – No grade
Here is a snapshot of what the scoring table for the core would look like
|Theory of Knowledge|
|Extended Essay||Excellent (A)||Good
|Elementary (E)||Not Submitted|
|Excellent (A)||3||3||2||2||1 + Failing Condition||N|
|Good (B)||3||2||1||1||Failing Condition||N|
|Satisfactory (C)||2||1||1||0||Failing Condition||N|
|Mediocre (D)||2||1||0||0||Failing Condition||N|
|Elementary (E)||1 + Failing Condition||Failing Condition||Failing Condition||Failing Condition||Failing Condition||N|
If you do well on your core, you can earn the extra three points, which would mean understanding the extended essay and TOK, as they can be a little tricky for students new to IB.
The core will make you stand out from the rest of the IB students of the world, making you a more attractive applicant for colleges and universities. The core results stand testament to a holistic academic lifestyle, unlike typical learning and cramming for exams.
How to Define IB Grades into Percentages?
What you achieve in your IB needs to be translated into a percentage grade using a standardised conversion scale. The percentage conversion is accomplished because of the standardised DoE conversion scale.
|IB Grade||Converted Percentage Grade|
For TOK and EE, the letter grade scale is used to evaluate students.
|IB Grade||Converted Percentage Grade|
A pupil will get a score based on IB mark bands and assessment criteria, and earn a corresponding percentage grade for that IB score.
Requirements of IB Passing Grade
The maximum you can score in an IB Singapore Diploma Programme is 45 (6 X 7 plus 3). To receive this IB Diploma, you must finish each assessment component for the six subjects chosen in addition to the CAS, EE, and TOK mandatory requirements. 4 is considered the passing Grade for each IB subject assessed from 1 to 7.
The IB Diploma will be awarded to students if they score 24 points or above and meet the below-mentioned requirements. Anyone who scores less does not fulfill the IB diploma requirements.
The additional requirements are the following:
- Creativity, action, and service requirements have been met.
- No ” N ” is awarded for the Theory of knowledge, the Extended essay or a contributing subject.
- No grade E was awarded for the Theory of knowledge or the Extended essay.
- There is no grade 1 given in a subject/level.
- No more than two Grade 2s were received in either HL or SL.
- No more than three grade 3s or below are given in either HL or SL).
- The student has 12 points or more in their HL subjects (for candidates who sign-up for four HL subjects, the highest three grades count).
- The candidate has gained nine points or more on SL subjects (If you have signed up for two SL subjects, you need to gain a minimum of five points at SL).
- The candidate has not been penalised for academic misconduct.
A candidate who fails to satisfy the above requirements will not receive an IB Diploma certificate and instead will be awarded course results for individual subjects.