IB FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the requirements for entrance into the IB Diploma Program? Junior IB Diploma candidates must have strong academic and conduct records. Candidates must have completed General Chemistry as sophomores, and be in at least French 3 Honors or Spanish 3 Honors as juniors. They should have completed pre-requisites for their Sixth Subject. They must be hard workers and want to earn the IB Diploma.

What is the difference between Honors, AP and IB? Honors courses are accelerated high school-level courses. AP (Advanced Placement) courses are college-level courses in specific subjects leading to an exam at the end of each course. IB Diploma courses are part of a two-year, comprehensive course of study consisting of 6 subject areas that lead to exams, a Theory of Knowledge (TOK) course, a 4,000-word independent research paper called the Extended Essay, and 150 hours of Creativity, Activity and Service (CAS) involvements. Candidates who graduate with an IB Diploma also graduate with a Littleton High School diploma. Successful completion of IB or AP assessments can lead to college or university credit. Grades at Littleton High School are weighted equally in Honors, AP and IB courses.

Must a student be academically gifted to be in the IB Diploma Program? No. The common standard of IB students is that they like to learn and are willing to work hard. They should be highly motivated, have a strong academic foundation, and have good abilities in all subject areas.

What Higher Level (HL) subjects are offered at Littleton? LHS offers Biology, Mathematics, World Literature, European History, Design Technology, Music, and Visual Arts at the Higher Level. This means that students have -- over the two years of IB -- 240 contact hours with the subject teacher. All IB students MUST take at least 3, but no more than 4, HL courses, per International Baccalaureate Organization regulations. 

                        

                   An IB internal assessment lab underway in chemistry class                           Prepping the LHS greenhouse for seed planting

How does IB determine who earns the IB Diploma? The IB allows for a range of academic abilities. Points for the diploma are allotted based on a student's performance on various assessments throughout each course. A maximum of 7 points may be earned in each of the 6 subject areas (Literature, History, World Language, Experimental Sciences, Mathematics, and the Sixth Subject). Students may earn up to 3 additional "bonus" points from the Extended Essay research paper and the Theory of Knowledge course. Students receive the IB Diploma if they earn 24 points on the 45-point scale, and complete their CAS requirements.

What is a Sixth Subject? IB Diploma candidates must take 5 core subjects (English, a world language, history, an experimental science, and mathematics). The Sixth Subject is an elective and students choose from: Visual Arts, Music, Design Technology, Psychology, Chemistry, Sports Exercise, Business Management, Global Politics, and Health Science.

What does the IB program cost? IB students are required to take 6 examinations over two years. The total cost is approximately $900, or $120 per exam, plus a one-time registration fee. Financial aid is available from the government for those who qualify. See the Exams and Diplomas information in the purple box, above.

Can IB students be involved in athletics and extra-curricular activities, have a social life, and still maintain good grades? Definitely. Most IB students are very involved in sports and/or clubs and activities here at Littleton High School as well as in their community and churches. Most say the busier they are, the more efficient they are in making the most of their time. They have active social lives and say they do need some time for fun in order to be effective learners. IB encourages students to become efficient time managers. They learn to prioritize course work and create study groups for their own learning styles.

How do colleges and universities view the IB Diploma? Worldwide, academic institutions view the IB Diploma Program as the most rigorous high school coursework available. IB Diploma graduates are highly regarded because they have proven themselves capable of completing college-level work while being involved in their schools and communities. Colleges and universities know that most IB graduates will continue their involvement and academic performance at the colleges they choose to attend.

How much credit do universities award students who earn the IB Diploma? University credit varies widely. To get an idea of how much credit a particular university awards an IB Diploma graduate, look at the admissions page of the school's website, and search for "IB credit". In the state of Colorado, IB Diploma graduates who attend a public university (with the exception of Colorado School of Mines) are granted 24 college credits.

What kinds of colleges and universities do LHS IB Diploma graduates attend? Each year, our IB Diploma Program graduates are accepted, and enroll in, a wide variety and type of institutions. Many enroll in highly-regarded liberal arts schools and elite institutions. Others choose to stay closer to home at Colorado institutions. To see where our IB Diploma graduates attend, visit the Colleges Information tab in the purple box, above.

Are IB students at Littleton High School isolated from other students? Freshman and Sophomores intending to do IB, have classes with a variety of students. During Junior and Senior year, IB courses are mostly comprised of IB Diploma students but non IB students are encouraged to take IB courses if they want to. Students say that they do not feel isolated but rather they appreciate the close ties they make in these classes. 

What if I decide I do not want to continue in IB once I start? Students may opt out of the IB Diploma Program at the end of a semester. Students considering opting out should meet with their counselor and the IB coordinator.