IB Diploma FAQ

Do universities value an IB Diploma score the same way they do a letter grade?

Andrew Arida, Director of Undergraduate Admissions at the University of British Columbia, explains how many universities draw equivalencies between IB scores and letter grades.

Do you offer French or any other languages at an advanced level?

As part of the Diploma Programme, students will take 3 courses at Standard Level and 3 at Higher Level. For most ex-immersion students, the HL course is a good fit. We also offer Spanish and Mandarin (the latter depending on student request numbers) at SL and HL. Neither of these courses is designed for beginners. If a student currently doesn't have a second language, they could take Spanish ab initio as part of the Diploma Programme, which is for students who have never studied the language before. It is a fast-paced course that allows students to reach quite a high level over the two years of study.

Would it be too difficult for a student to start full IB in grade 11 with no previous IB experience?

No, it would not be too difficult. In fact, we have a number of students who join us each year in Grade 11 specifically for the Diploma Programme. There may be a period of adjustment as students get used to different teaching styles and the assessment rubrics, but generally, this is not an issue.

Do universities offer advanced credit to students in completing a partial IB Diploma?

Yes, for HL courses in which student obtains a final grade of 5, 6 or 7, most universities offer transfer credit for both full Diploma and Course (partial) candidates.

How does the IB Diploma differ from other university preparatory programs such as Advanced Placement?

The IB Diploma is a two-year comprehensive curriculum with a culminating set of externally graded final exams. Advanced Placement (AP) is also an university preparatory, academically rigorous program. There are important differences, however, in the content and exams. The DP is a cohesive and comprehensive program, not a collection of individual courses as is the case with Advanced Placement. The most important distinguishing factor is the core of the Diploma Programme (CAS, TOK and the extended essay).

Do IB Diploma Students have time for anything beyond academics?

Absolutely. GNS IB Diploma students lead very full lives. They are often members of athletic teams and involved in a wide range of activities. Time management and organisation are key skills the IB develops in students, which are valuable at preparing them for success at university and life beyond.

What is the difference between IB Diploma SL and HL courses?

Higher Level (HL) and Standard Level (SL) courses differ in scope but are measured according to the same grade descriptors, with students expected to demonstrate a greater body of knowledge, understanding and skills in the Higher Level course. Higher Lever courses involve more hours of instruction and study.

If you have other questions about completing the IB Diploma Programme at GNS, please contact Angela Girard, our IB Diploma Coordinator (agirard@mygns.ca).

IB Contacts

Angela Girard
IB Diploma Coordinator
250.370.6824
agirard@mygns.ca