FAQs & Myths

Click on the topics below to see answers to frequently asked questions regarding IB;

Click here for common myths associated with IB.


  • What is an International Baccalaureate? What does ‘Baccalaureate’ mean ?
  • How do IB courses compare to AP courses?
  • What are the advantages of the International Baccalaureate? How will I benefit from graduating from the IB program?
  • Must a student be academically gifted to be in the IB Diploma Program?
  • Can students with special needs participate in an IB Program?
  • What preparation do students need in order to succeed in the IB Diploma Program? How can they be sure they are taking the right courses to prepare them for IB?
  • Do all students who attempt the IB Program earn the IB Diploma?
  • What if I decide I do not want to continue in IB once I start?
  • How are the students who do not earn the IB Diploma awarded?
  • Can students take IB courses without being in the full IB Diploma Program?
  • Does the IB Diploma satisfy the State of Virginia graduation requirements?
  • Can students transfer from one Diploma Program school to another?


  • Are IB students at Patrick Henry High School isolated from other students?
  • Can IB students be involved in athletics and extra-curricular activities, have a social life, and still maintain good grades?
  • How does one avoid burn-out? How do you know if you should continue in the program?


  • What is the difference between Higher Level (HL) courses and Standard Level (SL) courses?
  • How do we decide which SL and HL courses to take?
  • Do I have the same teacher both years of a higher level course?
  • What about weighted courses? Won’t my GPA suffer in the IB Program?
  • What is the average amount of time I should expect to spend on homework each night in pre-IB and IB? How should I study?


  • What is the Extended Essay?
  • What is Theory of Knowledge?
  • What is CAS?


  • How are students assessed through the IB?
  • How many IB exams are there, and when do students take them?
  • What scores does a student need to earn in order to gain the diploma?
  • Can an IB course be taken without taken the exam? Alternatively, can an IB exam be taken without having taken the course?
  • Is it beneficial to take an SL examination in the junior year?


  • How do colleges and universities view the IB Diploma? How important is the IB Program to colleges when deciding whether or not to accept a student?
  • How many credit hours for college do IB students typically earn?
  • What kind of scholarships does IB give to students?

Still have questions? How do you find out more?

Contact your school’s IB Coordinator (info on sidebar) to schedule a meeting. The International Baccalaureate Organization has a comprehensive website including listings of IB schools worldwide: www.ibo.org.


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IB Coordinator Contact Info

Wendy Edelman (AHS)

Jessica Orth (HHS)

Lesa Berlinghoff (LDHS)

Micah Eads (PHHS)

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