IB exams are scored on a scale from zero to seven. A score of 4 or above earns a student a certificate in that subject area. A score of 5 or above on Higher Level exams earns a student credit at a majority of universities in the US and the world. For more information on IB terms and abbreviations, credit for exams, and diploma options at BIHS see the other sections under the “IB” menu of this website.
We are proud to report that BHS students score above the world average in almost every subject area. Their average score on over 800 exams taken in May of 2017 was 5.09. Of 68 diploma candidates, 66 received the diploma. This strong performance is a testament to great parenting, bright young people, and excellence in teaching!
What is unique about IB exams is that a student’s score includes work they do during their time in a one-year or two-year course. For this reason, a student MUST be enrolled in the course for which they want to take an exam (unlike AP, for which a student can study independently and take any AP exam annually in May).
IB courses and exams are inextricably tied together, and give students a chance to demonstrate skills and knowledge through different performance-based assessments such as presentations, research projects, or essays.
For example, all BIHS juniors and seniors take IB Higher Level History and English (IB Language and Literature). In History, students complete a historical investigation during Year 2 of the course that accounts for 25% of their total exam score. 75% of the score comes from two essays the write in May of their senior year.
In English, students complete two “internal assessments,” assessments that are administered and scored by the teachers. The scores and some sample work are then sent in to IB and moderated by trained examiners who might change scores to be in line with an international standard to ensure fairness, considering some teachers have tendencies to be easy or hard on how they score students. See below for the details and breakdown of a student’s exam score in IB Language and Literature:
Because IB exams include assessments that occur in their IB courses during the school year (see next section), students must register for IB exams in October. AP exam registration occurs in February.
There are three price ranges for IB exams and the registration fee. The prices are not listed here because they change every year based on IB’s pricing. There is full price, a low-middle income subsidized price, and if a student is registered for free lunch at BHS, the price is $5 to register and $5 for each exam. The full price last year was $180 to register and $125 per exam, and the low-middle income price last year was $120 to register and $75 per exam. Our promise is to not let the cost of exams be a barrier to taking exams, so make sure to communicate with the IB coordinator or your counselor about this if needed. Exams can earn college credit and thus save several thousands of dollars on college tuition, in some cases, tens of thousands of dollars.
The official IB exam schedule is the same anywhere in the world for the portion of the the IB exams that are being administered in May of 2018. The button below takes you to that schedule. Only in April of every year do we have exact times and locations for IB exams as those details must be worked out along with AP exams and location availability on the BHS campus.