Frequently asked questions
As an IB World School, Impington International College is subject to a strict authorisation process, ensuring that we are providing a high-quality education and our teaching methods and curriculums draw from the best educational practices around the world.
An IB education:
- focuses on learners
- develops effective approaches to teaching and learning
- works within global contexts
- explores significant content and provides students with a broad and balanced education
The IB is a globally recognised qualification and offers more choice, flexibility and breadth of study than A Levels. Each subject at higher level is the equivalent of an A Level and by studying the IB core you have opportunities that provide key skills to help you stand out from a crowd of applicants.
Research has also shown that students who complete the IB over A Levels are:
- more likely to go to a top 20 ranked university
- more likely to go on to postgraduate study
- more likely to obtain a First-Class degree
- and will earn more as a graduate
The DP is one of the world’s most highly regarded and academically rigorous educational programmes. It offers a stable, credible and internationally recognised path to academic success in an increasingly competitive and changeable world.
The DP is for students aged 16 - 18 and requires no specific introductory classwork, so can be undertaken directly after GCSEs. It offers a broad curriculum made up of six subject groups and students can study three at higher level and three at standard level. Due to this, students are able to tailor the programme to suit their personal skills and interests and will develop both depth and breadth of knowledge during the course.
A Levels are extremely linear and are a specific set of three subjects that are taught explicitly so that students can pass an exam at the end of their two years. In comparison, the DP centres around a set of core competencies, skills and values which are important to the development of every student. The DP requires students to study a broader range of subjects and consider the links between them, within an international context.
DP is a globally recognised qualification and puts students in a greater position for further study. Where the A Level benchmark has been adjusted and continues to undergo change, the IB has remained a tried and tested system.
The DP is a programme that works well for learners with a range of abilities and learning styles, and is designed to have coherence across both higher level and standard level subjects. You will have the opportunity to select three of your strongest subjects to study at higher level, alongside the remaining three at standard level, allowing you to discover your academic passions before having to restrict your future opportunities by reducing your breadth of study.
Additionally, the extra contact time with teachers is beneficial to students who work better with more guidance. The core element of the DP provides you with an opportunity to experience a different type of achievement and many of our students credit their CAS experience as being the most rewarding of their school careers.
The three higher level subjects that you undertake will be consistent as these will be areas that you wish to study further, for example if you would like to study engineering at university, your higher level subjects would be Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics: analysis and approaches, or Mathematics: applications and interpretation. The depth of study is considerable, and the style of examination questions you will face at the end of the two years means that you have a great deal to assimilate.
In the DP, students receive grades ranging from 7 to 1, with 7 being highest; you will receive a grade for each DP course studied. Your final DP result is made up of the combined scores for each subject. To pass the DP a minimum score of 24 points (260 UCAS points) is required, and the successful completion of the DP core requirements carry an additional 3 points. The maximum score achievable by any student is 45 points.
A report published by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) highlighted that, of the students who successfully complete a full-time undergraduate degree at a UK university, DP students are significantly more likely to be engaged with further study.
The DP encourages independent learning, curiosity, effective time management and presentation techniques - all essential life skills that are highly valued by university admissions teams, as they allow students to ‘hit the ground running’ when they begin their undergraduate studies.
World leading universities recognise the IB as one of the highest standards in university preparatory education and research has shown that higher rates of DP students go on to university and higher education study than non-IB students.
There are a few notable differences between the core requirements for the DP and the CP. One of these is the CP reflective project which, unlike the DP’s extended essay, can be presented in any format. By undertaking this project you will be required to explore an ethical dilemma and use the skills that you have cultivated through your career-related education to find answers. The approaches to learning course will help you develop intercultural understanding, communication and leadership skills. In contrast to the DP’s theory of knowledge, approaches to learning aims to teach quantifiable and practical skills that students will need in the workplace and beyond.
The CP is a programme that is ideal for students who wish to focus on career-related learning throughout sixth form. If you are particularly interested in a specific career, the CP will give you the opportunity to gain hands-on professional experience, while also achieving academic excellence and the knowledge and skills to attend university or go straight into work.
Success in both IB programmes will depend on your dedication to do your best; willingness to be organised in order to complete the work, while leading a full, balanced life; and a strong commitment to learning in and beyond the classroom.
However, if at any time you are struggling, your tutor will be available and you can talk to them about any concerns you have. We also have a dedicated sixth form Student Manager, who can be contacted if you would like to discuss anything. We run additional study groups for students, and provide extra support around deadlines and submission dates.