IB Requirements



Program overview:

Scope and Sequence

IB Hexagon Subjects

Creativy, Action, Service

Theory of Knowledge

Extended Essay








This information applies to IB Diploma Candidates in the ABF and GLE Academies ONLY

All IB diploma candidates must complete six examinations over a two-year period (three at a Higher Level, three at a Standard Level). In addition, diploma candidates must complete a 4000 word Extended Essay, the Theory of Knowledge course, and the Creativity, Action and Service requirement. Each exam is graded on a scale from 1 to 7 and student must achieve at least 24 total points (out of possible 45 points) to be awarded an International Baccalaureate diploma.

During their Junior and Senior year, students will take six IB classes.  There are two types of IB classes: Higher Level (HL) and Standard Level (SL).  HL courses are generally two years, whereas SL course are usually one.  Students must take at least three HL course, but they cannot take more than four.

The Diploma Programme has the strengths of a traditional and broad curriculum, but with three important additional features, shown at the centre of the hexagonal programme model.

NOTE:  All material on this page, aside from the ABF Scope and Sequence, has come from the IBO website.







For the current Scope & Sequence of courses for the ABF and GLE Academies, please visit the Admissions homepage.
















The IB Hexagon


The six academic subjects

These are studied concurrently. Students are required to study both the humanities and the sciences.

Diploma Programme (DP) students must select one subject from each of the six groups. At least three and not more than four are taken at higher level (HL), the others at standard level (SL). HL courses represent a recommended minimum of 240 teaching hours, SL courses cover 150 hours.

Students are thus able to explore some subjects in depth and others more broadly, a deliberate compromise between the early specialization of some national systems and the breadth found in others. The science-oriented student is challenged to learn a foreign language and the natural linguist becomes familiar with laboratory procedures.

Active citizenship and global perspectives are encouraged in each area of the curriculum.

The subjects are continually reviewed and revised to meet contemporary needs.

Group 1 - English A1
IB Higher Level English constitutes a two-year survey of literature encompassing masterpieces from various nations, cultures, and languages. Through an interdisciplinary, ‘hands-on” approach, students pursue knowledge both as an independent agent and as a member of a cooperative group. As defined by NJ state guidelines, the course advances each of the “strands” of English (reading, writing, speaking, and listening) toward the development of a personal style articulated with intelligence, precision, and creativity. Students will continue to develop their nascent skills in writing and thinking critically, listening and speaking effectively, researching and evaluating the validity of materials, and comprehending and analyzing literature.

Through units of study spread over the course of the two years, students will explore two loose themes: Journeys and The Human Condition . As the works in each unit move over time, continents, and gender, it is necessary that each student engage deeply with the works to establish connections among them and the world in which we all move.

Students ideally develop strong written and oral skills, respect for the literary heritage of their first language, and an international perspective.

Group 2 – second language
All DP students are examined in a second language. The IB Higher Level World Languages course is a rigorous program offered in both French and Spanish. It is an advanced two year program, beginning in the junior year.

The main focus of the course is on language acquisition and development in the four primary language skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing. These skills will be developed through the study and use of a wide range of written and spoken material ranging from everyday oral exchanges to literary texts which relate to the cultures concerned. The course will prepare students to communicate clearly and competently in the French and Spanish language in both the oral and written modes in a large variety of situations and contexts. In this advanced class, mastery of language skills, rather than the study of specific subject matter, is emphasized. Students are encouraged to develop confidence in the use of the language, sensitivity to the audience and ability to communicate their ideas effectively. The course encourages the discovery, understanding and sensitivity to the diverse cultures of the Francophone and Spanish and Latin American world. The principal aim for the subjects in group 2 is to enable students to use the language in a range of contexts and for many purposes; the courses focus on written and spoken communication.

Group 3 - individuals and societies

Subjects included in this group are: business and management, economics, geography, history, Islamic history, information technology in a global society, philosophy, psychology, and social and cultural anthropology. The Higher Level History Program at the Bergen Academies is a two-year curriculum consisting of two courses. Students during their junior year will take American Studies covering the years 1750 - 1900, which fulfills the regional option for the International Baccalaureate. In their senior year the students will take 20th Century US History

Given that the study of history from an international perspective is becoming increasingly relevant, this curriculum strives to provide students with a historical understanding within a global context. Students will gain in depth historical knowledge that explores various cultures. They will also be able to use and communicate this knowledge in clear, coherent, relevant and well-substantiated arguments. The students will become critical historical thinkers with the ability to select and effectively use acquired knowledge. The knowledge and skills gained throughout their two years will leave a lasting appreciation and interest in history regionally, as well as internationally.

Group 4 – experimental sciences

The subjects available in group 4 are: biology, chemistry, physics, environmental systems (SL), design technology. Practical laboratory skills are developed and collaborative learning is encouraged through an interdisciplinary group project. Students develop an awareness of moral and ethical issues and a sense of social responsibility is fostered by examining local and global issues.

Group 5 – mathematics and computer science
All DP students are required to complete a mathematics course, and four options are available to cater for different abilities and levels of student interest. These are: mathematics HL, mathematics SL, further mathematics SL, mathematical methods, mathematical studies. Details are provided in the Schools guide to the Diploma Programme . (pdf 790 kb)

Each course aims to deepen a student's understanding of mathematics as a discipline and to promote confidence and facility in the use of mathematical language. Computer science is an elective subject in group 5; it is not compulsory.

Group 6 – the arts

This group includes visual arts, music and theatre arts, with emphasis placed on practical production by the student and exploration of a range of creative work in a global context.

Options: Instead of a group 6 subject, a student may select an additional subject from groups 1 to 4, or further mathematics SL, or computer science from group 5.

  Return to top





















































































Theory of knowledge (TOK)

TOK is an interdisciplinary requirement intended to stimulate critical reflection on the knowledge and experience gained inside and outside the classroom. The course challenges students to question the bases of knowledge, to be aware of subjective and ideological biases and to develop the ability to analyse evidence that is expressed in rational argument.

TOK is a key element in encouraging students to appreciate other cultural perspectives. The course is unique to the IBO, which recommends at least 100 hours of teaching time spanning the programme's two years.

Return to top



Creativity, action, service (CAS)

The IBO's goal is to educate the whole person and foster responsible, compassionate citizens. The CAS component encourages students to share their energy and special talents with others. Students may, for example, participate in theatre or musical productions, sports and community service activities.

Students should, through these activities, develop greater awareness of themselves, concern for others, and the ability to work cooperatively with other people.

Return to top


An extended essay of 4,000 words

Each student has the opportunity to investigate a topic of special interest. The essay requirement acquaints DP students with the kind of independent research and writing skills expected by universities.

The IBO recommends that a student devote a total of about 40 hours of private study and writing time to the essay. It may be written in one of 60 subjects, including many languages.

The essay permits students to deepen their programmes of study, for example by selecting a topic in one of their higher level (HL) courses. Or they might add breadth to their academic experience by electing to write in a subject not included in their programme choices.

Academies students in the Diploma Programme take a project in their sophomore year on research skills and research essay writing to prepare them for the type of work required in the Extended Essay.

Return to top









Assessing student work and awarding the diploma...

Classroom teachers and IB examiners work in partnership to ensure that students have ample opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned. Grades reflect attainment of knowledge and skills relative to set standards, which are applied equally to all schools. Top grades are not, for example, awarded to a certain percentage of students.

Responsibility for all academic judgments about the quality of candidates' work rests with over 5,000 IB examiners worldwide, led by chief examiners with international authority in their fields. Each year approximately 80% of candidates who attempt the diploma succeed in earning it. Examinations are offered in May of the candidate's senior year.

Return to top