FAQs : INTERNATIONAL BACCALAUREATE
- What is IB?
IB is an acronym for International Baccalaureate.
- What is an IB Programme?
An IB Programme is a two-year rigorous pre-university course of studies that prepares students to gain admission to the world’s institutions of higher learning.
- What is IBO?
IBO is an acronym for International Baccalaureate Organization. It is a non-profit educational foundation based in Geneva, Switzerland.
- What is the organization that governs the programme?
The IB programme is governed by the IBO. The office responsible for the IB curriculum, assessment development and other educational services is the International Baccalaureate Curriculum and Assessment (IBCA), based in Cardiff, United Kingdom.
- Is IB programme exclusively offered to certain selected countries only?
No. as of 2017, there are 4,783 participating schools in 141 countries worldwide.
- Who is responsible for the coordinating of IB programme in the Asia-Pacific region?
The regional office, International Baccalaureate Asia Pacific (IBAP), based in Singapore is responsible for the coordination of IB programme in Asia-Pacific.
- What is the medium of instruction used in IB Programme?
The programme currently is available in English, French and Spanish. The medium of instruction used in KMS is in English.
- Who are eligible to do the IB programme in KMS?
Post SPM students stringently selected by Bahagian Penganjuran Pelajaran MARA and Bahagian Pendidikan dan Latihan (Menengah) MARA under the Skim Pelajar Cemerlang (SPC).
- When was the first intake of IB students in KMS?
KMS received the first intake of IB students in June 2005.
- Besides KMS, are there any other schools offering IB programme in Malaysia?
Yes. Among the participating schools are Kolej MARA Banting (KMB), International School of Kuala Lumpur, Mon’t Kiara International School, The International School of Penang (Uplands), Taylor’s College Sri Hartamas, KDU Smart School Sdn. Bhd., Fairview International School, Cempaka International Ladies College and Malay College Kuala Kangsar.
Local students placed at KMS and KMB are fully sponsored by MARA.
- What are the options in the curriculum model in the IB Programme?
The curriculum model comprises six academic subject groups surrounding a core of diploma requirements.
Group 1 : Language A1, first language(mother tongue) including the study of selections from world literature. Subject offered is Malay A1 (SL)
Group 2 : Language B (second language). Subject offered is English B (HL).
Group 3 : Individuals and Societies.
Subjects included in this group are :
- Business and Management (SL and HL)
- Information Technology in a Global Society (SL)
- Economics (SL)
Group 4 : Experimental Sciences.
The subjects offered are :
- Biology (HL)
- Chemistry (HL)
- Physics (HL)
Group 5 : Mathematics and Computer Science.
Subject offered is Mathematics (HL and SL)
Group 6 : Arts and Electives
Visual Arts (SL)
The IB programme also offers three important additional features, referred to as diploma requirement since every diploma candidate is required to take.
These unique features are :
- Theory of Knowledge (TOK).
- Participation in the Creativity, Activity and Services (CAS).
- Writing of an Extended Essay (EE).
- How is IB subject combination determined in KMS?
Students enrolled in the IB programme in KMS will take the Diploma Programme over a period of two years.
Diploma candidates are required to select one subject from group 1, 2, 3 and 5 respectively, and two subjects from group 4, which correspond to the principal domains of knowledge. Subjects from group 1 and 3 are also taken at standard level (SL) and those from group 2 and 5 are taken at SL or higher level (HL), while subjects from group 4 are taken at HL. The higher level subjects are highly correlated to the students’ degree programme.
- What is the difference between ‘Higher Level’ and ‘Standard Level’?
The difference is the contact hours in class. Higher level subjects require a minimum of 240 hours while standard level is 150 hours within the 2-year duration of the programme.
- What is Extended Essay?
Extended Essay has 3500 - 4000 words based on the students’ own research, of which the subject and title are decided by the student, but monitored and supervised by a lecturer.
- What is ‘Theory of Knowledge’?
Theory of Knowledge (TOK) is an important component in the educational philosophy of IB and is a mandatory subject to all students. TOK is developed to stimulate critical thinking in and out of classroom.
- What is meant by CAS Activity?
CAS is an acronym for ‘Creativity’, ‘Activity’ and ‘Service’. All activities related CAS are based on creative physical movements and community service. CAS complements the academic achievements of students to learn through experience and to also develop the potential/skills within them.
- How are the IB subjects evaluated?
The finals exams for the 6 subjects are done in May after 2 years of study. 80% of the grades are based on final exams and 20% are based on assignments, laboratory work and project work. Internal evaluations are monitored by IBCA in Cardiff, United Kingdom.
- How is the grading done?
Each subject has a grade from 1 to 7
7 - Excellent
6 - Very Good
5 - Good
4 - Satisfactory
3 - Average
2 - Weak
1 - Fail
The total maximum points for 6 subjects is 42.
- What is the total maximum points that a student can achieve?
45 (42 points from 6 subjects and 3 points form ‘Extended Essay’ and ‘Theory of Knowledge’)
- How are ‘Extended Essay’ and ‘Theory of Knowledge’ evaluated?
The evaluation is based on :
‘Extended Essay’ - 1 essay with 3500 - 4000 words.
‘Theory of Knowledge’ – 1 essay with 1500 words.
These essays are evaluated by external examiners elected by IBCA. Total maximum points for ‘Extended Essay’ and ‘Theory of Knowledge’ is 3.
- How is CAS evaluated?
All students are required to be involved in club/activities that are available in the college. Students are expected to spend 3- 4 hours a week during their 2-year programme.
- How does one qualify to graduate with the IB Diploma?
Students must achieve a minimum of 24 points, including the bonus points and fulfill the conditions stated in CAS activities.
- To which universities will MARA send qualified IB Diploma holders?
It depends on the policy decided by MARA Sponsorship Division.
- How many points must students get to be given the sponsorship?
Students must get no less than 35 points to be awarded MARA sponsorship.
- Where can I obtain further information on this programme?
Please go to http://www.ibo.org.
- What differentiates IB programme from other pre university courses?
The courses in IB programme are more challenging. The curriculum requires the students to exhibit knowledge and skills in the classroom. On top of that out of classroom evaluation is also done on the academic subjects.
- What are the advantages of enrolling in the IB programme?
One of them is students have better options because many countries recognize the IB programme and at the same time the course content builds the students character.