October 16, 2017

IB exam registration open until November 5

Dear Parents and Guardians of BIHS Juniors and Seniors,

International Baccalaureate (IB) exam registration is now open until November 5.

  1. Click on this document for a walk through of all the important information that will be needed online, and to help you make decisions.  All seniors and juniors are receiving these same instructions.
  2. There are discounts for the exams based on family income, or if your student is registered for free or reduced lunch at BHS the exams are only $5 each.  Click above to find the exam prices depending on income, or see the registration site.  Click this link for the simple financial aid form.  This form is also available in Chris Young’s office, C331.
  3. Payment can be made using credit or debit online, or by mailing in a check.  Follow instructions online.
  4. No refunds can be offered after November 10, so be sure of your decisions!
The web address for signing up is:

If you are wondering if your student should take any IB exams or which exams to take, read on for some information to consider:

  • The exams are necessary for students who want a chance at being awarded the IB diploma.  Otherwise they are optional.
  • Students must be currently enrolled in an IB course at BHS to take the exam associated with that course.  Students going for the IB diploma must take six exams total, at least 3-4 higher level (HL) exams and 2-3 standard level (SL) exams.  An exam must be taken in English, History, a foreign language, math and science.  The sixth exam can be arts or a second from one of the other subjects.
  • Juniors can take only up to two SL exams this year, and if they pay the registration fee this year and are going for the IB diploma, they do not have to pay the registration fee again next year.
  • Potential benefits of taking an IB exam:

1. A student can gain college credit at most universities if s/he has scored a 5 or higher on an exam at HL level, and some at SL level (a list of universities worldwide and their policies for accepting IB exam scores as credit can be found at:  The exams are scored on a scale of 1-7, and BIHS students score above the world average on almost every single exam we offer!  College credit could lead to thousands of dollars in savings on college tuition, and a head start on graduation from university.  For example the University of California campuses have this policy around IB exams:

“Students completing the International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma with a score of 30 or above will receive 30 quarter units (20 semester units) total toward their UC undergraduate degree.  Students completing only IB certificates will be awarded 8 quarter units (5.3 semester units) for each IB Higher Level examination passed with a score of 5 or above.  The University does not grant credit for certificates in Standard Level examinations.  Higher Level examinations may be used by UC campuses to satisfy local general education or other major requirements.  Students are advised to check with the individual UC campus to determine how general education and/or major requirements may be granted.”

2. Strengthening of a student’s application to college.  The top factors almost all universities consider are the level of challenge of a student’s schedule and her/his GPA given that schedule at the school s/he attends.  Fortunately, BHS and BIHS are well-respected and tend to be weighted favorably.  They do like to see students taking the challenge and having the experience of at least a few IB or AP tests as well, but it is certainly not necessary to be admitted to a great school.  A student has the option to report scores or not, so scoring poorly is not a major risk.

3. IB versus AP, FYI: University admissions officers favorably view the IB diploma program, though it is clearly not the only factor they see towards “preparation to thrive at university.”  The following data is from a 2015 ACS International Schools report based on a survey of university of admissions officers in the UK and US.  The full report can be found by clicking on this link.

Overall which qualification would you say is a better preparation to thrive at university – the High School Diploma, the IB Diploma Program, Advanced Placement courses – or would you say they are all equal?




IB Diploma Program


High School Diploma

Rate them all equally



With any questions please don’t hesitate to email Chris Young, IB Coordinator and BIHS Community Development Director, at