What is the International Baccalaureate Organization?

The International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) is an independent non profit educational foundation based in Geneva, Switzerland. It offers to schools three programmes: the Diploma Programme in the final two years of the secondary school, the Middle Years Programme for students aged 11 to 16, and the Primary Years Programme for students aged 3 to 12. Founded in the 1960's, the International Baccalaureate Organization grew out of a necessity to create a common curriculum and university entry credential for the sons and daughters of diplomats, ambassadors, and other internationally mobile families. When schools not serving the international community began to recognize the quality of an IB education and the esteem of its diploma, they adopted the programme. The organization employs educators around the world to revise curriculum, evaluate student achievement, and provide teacher training and other educational services to member schools.

What is the Cambridge IGCSE?

The International Graduate certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) is a 9-10 grade programme  run by  Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) . CIE is the global leader in finternational education programmes and qualifications. They are part of the University of Cambridge and are both   trusted and established with  their qualifications recognised by the world’s universities.

What is the IGCSE/ IB curriculum and how is it organized?

In IGCSE students take 5 mandatory subjects (First Language, second Language, Maths, Science , and Humanities) and  choosing three option subjects for study. Students may choose to sit exams in all subjects or simply core subjects. Students that pass  seven exams in Five different subjects groups will receive the prestigious Cambridge International Certificate of Education (ICE) which is very advantageous for students seeking to study abroad for University.  The Diploma Programme is a comprehensive and balanced two-year curriculum and assessment system that requires students to study courses across all disciplines. Within this structured framework, the Diploma Programme provides a great deal of flexibility, accommodating student interest and abilities. Regardless of the subject selection, all students will explore the connections between the six major subject areas, will study each subject through an international perspective, will reflect critically on what it means to be a “knower,” will pursue one subject in great detail through independent research, and will have the opportunity to apply their knowledge and skills in local and community outreach (CAS). Each IB subject has a set curriculum with focused content and clearly defined aims and objectives plus a suitable type of assessment for each objective. The IB programme develops content while also building and defining skills. The programme takes two years to complete and this provides the space needed for a student to mature and develop both skills and content and be ready for success at University. A student pursuing the IB Diploma will take six courses, 3 at High Level (which meets 6 times a week) and 3 at Standard Level (which meets 4 times a week), over a two year period while also participating in the Theory of Knowledge (TOK) course, completing 150 hours of CAS (Creativity Action, and Service), and writing an Extended Essay paper.

How are students assessed?

Assessment or marking of student achievement happens in a variety of ways throughout the course of each of the two-year programmes. It includes assessment of student work both by outside examiners as well as the students' own teachers. In assessing the curriculum both Cambridge and the  IB seeks to reduce the element of chance in examinations by diversifying the testing method used. Each subject has a variety of examinations as well as an independent internal assessment component which can include orals. For each course students have an internal assessment as well. These exams are marked by the Cambridge  or the  International Baccalaureate Organization against set standards which are consistent for all students around the world. All assessment undergoes careful scrutiny to ensure that a common, international standard is applied equally to the work of students around the world. For these reasons, the IB Diploma is recognized by colleges and universities around the world as a university entry credential. Each course has a number of externally marked exams- normally High Level course have 3 exams while Standard level courses have 2 exams. Some courses such as Language will have oral exams in addition. The exams range from about 1-3 hours in length each with most courses having a total of 5-6 hours of testing. The exams are spread over a 3 week period in May.

How many schools offer IB?IGCSE programmes in India?

Since 1991, 12,000 Indian students have completed the IBDP and growth stands at over 15% per year. In 2015 over 130,000 students worldwide sat the for the IBDP examns , more than  a doubling that sat for the exams since 2005. The trend is clear. The IBDP is successful and a growing choice especially in India. In India 100 plus schools offer IB programmes. In May 2015 over 3,500 Indian nationals sat IBDP exams making India the fourth largest group of IBDP candidates. As of May 2015 over 300 schools in India offer the IGCSE (slightly less than the number of schools offering the ICSE).

Is a lot of extra homework involved in an International Board?

IGCSE and IB courses are typically more challenging than regular boards, and so students may be asked to do more homework. The challenge, however, is not always in the amount of homework assigned; rather it is in the quality of the assignments and the extent to which students engage in those assignments. The added benefit here is that students take greater responsibility for their own learning while they learn the valuable skills of time management and organization. Diploma students do not have to forego other important parts of high school life. They may still remain involved in sports, student government, clubs, theatre, music, community events, and other extra-curricular activities. Such activities are incorporated into the Diploma Programme through the CAS (Creativity, Action and Service) requirement.

What preparation do students need in order to succeed in an International board?

Students entering Goldcrest International need to have very good English communication skills, the ability to reason and think out of the box, a desire to learn, reflection skills, and independence with the ability to take an active role in their learning.

How is the IGCSE/IB different from other Boards?

The difference is in how it is taught and what it expects. IGCSE and IBDP courses are about practical understanding, analysis and the use of knowledge in real situations. The exams test knowledge, reasoning, reflection, problem solving but not memory and speed. There are more projects, activities, interactive, team based learning & enquiry based learning. The subjects follow set syllabus, with examination papers sent and marked by the Cambridge or the IB ensuring the same quality standards experienced by a student studying for a similar programme anywhere in the world. Teachers are trained by the IBO or IGCSE to enable them to meet International  standards in teaching.

Up to now my child was in SSC / ICSE, to what extent are the international programmes different?

The IBDP is a comprehensive programme and while rigorous it is a two year programme mean to develop in time the skills needed for success. Successful International students need good communication and interpersonal skills as well as the ability to think out of the box. Entrance into the IGCSE program at Goldcrest International will insure preparation for the rigors of the IBDP.

What are the advantages of enrolling in an IB programme?

Students with IB Diplomas have the tools needed to succeed at university and to make the most of their post-secondary education. In particular this is measured by their sense of preparedness, their self-confidence, their research skills, their ability to manage their time, and their willingness to be actively engaged in their own learning. Even more importantly, they have developed a sense of the world around them, their responsibility to it, and the skills with which to embrace the complexities of life. The IBDP through its balanced and comprehensive programme allows students to apply for all university degree programmes.

Does the IB Diploma Programme satisfy foreign university entrance requirements? What do colleges and universities think about the Diploma Programme?

Colleges and universities throughout North America view the IB Diploma Programme as providing outstanding preparation for university work. Additionally universities have established policies that recognize the work students have done and give Student University credit for IBDP courses. Some universities also offer scholarships to IB graduates. We encourage you to visit the University and Government page of the IBO website: http://www.ibo.org/. There you will be able to research the IB recognition policies of post-secondary institutions throughout the world.

Do local Boards & universities accept IB? Is it recognized in India?

Yes the Association of Indian Universities (AIU) rates IB at par with Class 12 CBSE, ICSE, NIOS or State Boards. The rigorousness and high standards of IB ensure that colleges and universities around the worldwide recognize the IB Diploma as a superior academic programme and a strong university entry credential. They can appear for engineering & medical entrance examinations. There can be however some problems with timings of IB Exams, University Admission test, and admissions timelines. IBDP students may in some cases have to wait until they receive their formal grades in July before they can apply to Indian universities; however, a growing number of Indian universities (led by the University of Mumbai) are admitting students on predicted grades. The IBO has an official University Liaison Officer in Delhi to assist IBDP schools and students in University admissions and grade acceptance. The IBO continues to work with authorities and universities in India so that there will be a smooth transition from IB to ANY chosen college for higher education. 

Will IB students be able to sit for the local competitive exams?

Yes IBDP students are well prepared for the competitive exams and there are no barriers to IBDP students sitting for these exams. 

Is the IBDP suitable only for students who are going to pursue their studies abroad?

While it is the best preparation for a foreign university IB students are among the most successful in Indian universities and in their careers that follow because IBDP students have a far more complete international outlook and can accept and achieve better in challenging and demanding work, while producing work of quality.

How successful are IB students in applying to university?

IBDP students have a higher incidence of University admission and success in university then non IBDP students. For more information see the following booklet. http://www.ibo.org/recognition/resources/recognizediploma/documents/StudentPerfBrochure1.9.pdf. Goldcrest International will also have its own university guidance officer and counsellor to assist our students with every aspect of University admission (both Indian and foreign) 

Will the students have uniforms?

Yes. These are comfortable and student friendly.

What besides academics is Goldcrest International offering?

As a part of our commitment to educate the whole student and in support of country and community, Goldcrest International offers a range of extra curricular activities from sports to arts and debate as well as a village school initiative.