IB Frequently Asked Questions

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Who should participate in the IB program?

Students who enjoy challenges in all areas, and who view education as an ongoing process, will meet with the greatest success. They should also have a capacity for thinking critically and creatively. Students should be willing to develop good study habits, and enjoy being very busy with school work and extracurricular activities.

How and when do students enter the program?

Most students apply to enter the program in the fall of the 8th grade (although students may be accepted up through 10th grade). There is an application process which includes the submission of transcripts and teacher recommendations, and preparation of several short essay responses.

What are the classes like in the pre-Diploma years?

During the 9th and 10th grade, pre-IB Diploma students participate in DCHS honor courses for core classes. In several subjects, they are grouped together with other IB students only. IB standards are routinely used in these courses to prepare the students for IB Diploma coursework. Students also use these years to take prerequisites for later IB subjects, and complete other DCHS graduation requirements.

What is the difference between the IB and AP programs?

Advanced Placement is an American program. AP courses are one-year classes, culminating in exams which can earn college credit. Students may take one or more courses, usually in areas of their strengths. IB is an international program taken during 11th and 12th grades. Students are required to take 6 subjects, and must select 3 to take at an advanced level. Final examinations are also given, but additional assessments are held over the two-year period. Some are graded by the teacher, and others by international graders. The assessments include activities such as oral presentations, project portfolios, laboratory projects, and essays. IB students must also complete a Theory of Knowledge course, CAS activities, and an Extended Essay.

Do colleges recognize the IB Diploma?

In Colorado, IB Diploma recipients earn a minimum of 24 hours credit at all public, and some private, universities (minimum exam scores apply). Some out-of-state colleges also provide a similar benefit. Most colleges grant course credit for satisfactory completion of advanced-level IB coursework. Colleges are increasingly recognizing the value of IB, and some have established programs of special courses and opportunities to those with IB Diplomas.