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Commack School District

Excellence in Education

IB Diploma Requirements

Diploma Candidates Only - Core Requirements

IB Diploma Candidates Core Requirements

To earn the IB Diploma, students must:  Complete course and exam requirements in six IB subjects; write an extended essay of independent research on a topic chosen by the student and guided by a faculty mentor; Complete Creativity, Activity, and Service activities (CAS); Participate in a critical thinking course called TOK.
  • Theory of Knowledge (ToK) is a course for full IB Diploma candidates that challenges students to question the basis of knowledge, to be aware of subjective and ideological biases, and to develop a personal mode of thought based on analysis of evidence expressed in rational argument. ToK seeks to develop a coherent approach to learning which transcends and unifies all academic subjects and encourages appreciation of other cultural perspectives. ToK classes at Commack High School meet one period every other day during both the junior and senior years. 
  • Creativity, Activity, Service(CAS) is the part of the IB Diploma Program that requires students to engage in and on reflect on multiple experiences along side their academic studies.  The CAS requirement takes the importance of life outside of the classroom seriously and as a counterbalance to a demanding school program.   
  • The Extended Essay (EE) requires IB Diploma candidates to undertake in original research and writing of an approximately 3,000-4,000 word paper.  This task offers students the opportunity to investigate a topic of their interest, choose their own mentor from our faculty and acquaint themselves with the kind of independent research and writing skills expected at the university level.   Please consult the Extended Essay section on this website and Dr. Jeziorski’s (our EE Coordinator) webpage for more information regarding the EE.

Diploma Candidates - Coursework & Grading

  1. IB Diploma students must complete one IB course from each of the six core curriculum groups during the course of their junior and senior year (English, Language, History, Science, Math; Elective OR a second Science OR a second Social Science) and the corresponding IB exam at the end of those courses.  (6 courses = 6 IB exams)
  2. All IB course exams have an internally assessed component (completed by the teacher and an IB examiner) and externally assessed component (completed by an outside IB examiner).  Both the Internal Assessment (IA) and External Assessment (generally given in May) comprise a student's IB exam score for that course.  
  3. The IB exam guidelines for IB Diploma candidates are as follows:  
  1. A minimum of 3 exams, and no more than 4 exams, must be HL (Higher Level) exams. The rest will be SL (Standard Level) exams.
  2. A minimum of 24 total points must be achieved combined on the 6 exams to earn an IB Diploma.  Exams are scored on a scale from 1-7.
  3. The three higher level exam scores must total 12 points or higher to earn an IB Diploma. If a student takes 4 higher level exams, the best 3 HL scores of the 4 must total 12 points or higher.  Also, no higher level exam score may be lower than a 3 to qualify for the IB Diploma.
  4. A student may ONLY sit for up to 2 Standard Level exams during his/her junior year.  The remainder of their exams will be competed during his/her senior year. 
  1. Satisfactory completion of the Theory of Knowledge (ToK) course. This includes writing a 1,600 essay (called a prescribed title) and completing a presentation.**
  2. Satisfactory completion of the Extended Essay (EE). **
  3. Satisfactory completion of the seven learning outcomes of Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS).  
  **An “E” on a scale of A through E in either Extended Essay or Theory of Knowledge will result in no IB Diploma.

Course Candidates

Students wishing to take IBDP courses and exams, but not complete ToK, EE and CAS may take one or more IB courses and exams of their choosing as Course Candidates.
  • In order to receive an IB certificate for an IB course, students must complete the IB exam at the end of that course.
  • IB Course Candidates must also complete all other course requirements satisfactorily, including the Internal Assessment for each IB course.
  • IB courses require a commitment to the course work and preparation for the exam.