History at IB Level

Russel Tarr introduces the new International Baccalaureate, assessing its advantages and disadvantages compared with A Levels.

From Autumn 2009 history teachers at International Baccalaureate level will be delivering a new syllabus. With IB becoming increasingly popular as an alternative to A-Level study, this is therefore a good time to review what exactly IB entails.



History at IB is a two-year course which, unlike the AS/A2 model, has no external assessment element midway through the course. Students choose to study History either at Standard Level or at Higher Level. All of these students produce an Internal Assessment (IA) on a topic of their choice during the course, and sit for two examination papers: Paper 1 consists of four sourcework questions, whilst Paper 2 requires students to write two essays. Higher Level students additionally have to study some extra topics for Paper 3, which involves the production of a further three essays. This means that the overall grade for Standard Level and Higher Level students is calculated differently:

Assessment Grid for IB History

Standard Level

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