The International Baccalaureate (IB) is a diploma approximately of the same level as the English A-level exams, although it's a more intense, harder course. The interesting things about this diploma include the fact that you have to take six subjects - three at higher level and three at standard level. In addition to this, in order to pass the IB and receive the diploma, students have to write an extended essay in a subject of their own choosing. This has to be at least 4000 words long. Students also have to complete a Theory of Knowledge course, which involves writing an essay and making an oral presentation. The IB works on a points system and to pass, a student must gain a score of a minimum of 24 points.
Students also have to complete 150 creative, active, service (CAS) hours. If any of these elements are missing the student will fail the IB. Each subject can gain the student up to seven points, the extended essay and Theory of Knowledge course can gain the student another three additional points. When taking the IB, students must take mathematics, an experimental science, two languages (their native language and a modern foreign language), a humanities subject, art or a second language and science. The International Baccalaureate Diploma is becoming increasingly available in schools around the world, and universities and employers are also becoming more aware of its merits.