The IB program is one option for earning college credit by exam. Here, you can learn more about what the IB program is and what you will need to do in order to receive college credit for these tests.
Step One: Understand What the IB Program Is
The IB, or International Baccalaureate is offered by schools in 150 different countries. It is typically regarded as a rigorous, college preparatory academic program. The IB offers a range of programs including primary, middle-years, and a career-focused program. However, college credit can usually be earned for participating in the diploma program that is offered at the high school level.
Step Two: Enroll in IB Classes at Your High School
In order to begin their IB journey, students should enroll in the diploma program (DP) during their high school careers. Those who are enrolled in the program take the DP core, which consists of:
- theory of knowledge
- creativity, activity, and service
- extended essay
Students also choose courses spanning six subject groups, which include:
- languages and literature
- language acquisition
- the arts
- individuals and societies
Some of these courses will be taken at the standard level, which requires 150 teaching hours; while others will be taken at higher-level, which requires 240 teaching hours.
Step Three: Take IB Examinations
Upon the completion of the high school courses, students will be prepared to sit for the IB examinations. These tests are offered at two levels: standard-level and high-level. Many universities will only provide college credit for those taking the high-level examinations. Examinees receive a score from 1-7 on each test.
In most cases, credit is awarded for the results of individual IB exams. Typically, college credit is awarded for incoming students who receive certain scores. Different universities set their own policies, with some requiring results of four, five, or higher. It's important to check with your individual university regarding what score is necessary to receive college credit.
Some universities take a different approach to offer credit for IB examinations. At these colleges, those who are awarded the full IB diploma may be given up to a year of credit in distributive courses. This may allow students to graduate early or to pursue a second major.
Step Four: Have Scores Sent Directly to Your College
In order to be sure the university you will be attending receives the results of your IB exams, it is important to name the university to which you will send your IB transcript. You may make one request for free to send a transcript to a U.S. university before results are released. A fee of $17 will be assessed in order to send the results after they are released or to send the results to additional institutions. Universities will wish to see this direct transcript in order to award college credit.
Step Five: Review Your College Transcript
It's important to review your transcript to be sure that your IB credit was properly awarded. This will help you to plan the courses you need to complete your college degree. Early in your college career, set a meeting with your advisor to go over this important information. IB credit may appear as an equivalent course or as advanced standing credits.