Difference between IB certificate and IB diploma: What should you choose?

IB certificate and IB diploma: Which one you choose?


The IB Diploma Program is a curriculum that is offered to students aged 16 to 19. It is a two-year program typically taken in Grade 11 and 12. Students may take up to 6 IB courses during their two-year program. 


Must Read: 5 Things You Can Do To Prep Yourself For The IB Program


For students who do not wish to be enrolled in the IB Diploma program curriculum for the entire two years, they can choose to take individual subject IB certificates. 


Difference between IB certificate and IB Diploma 


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The IB Diploma Program is a two-year program, similar to the IGCSEs, where students attend schools to complete their education. This means that students will have a timetable or rooster they follow. At the end of the two years, they will sit for the final examinations in their respective institutions. 

Whereas, learners who choose to take the IB certificate may prefer to have more flexibility with their time. Learners are typically homeschooled for the IB certificate since they do not have to be tied down by the rigorous timetable of school. Moreover, students can choose when they wish to sit for their examinations as private candidates.  


Must Read: 9 Reasons Why the IB Diploma is Ideal Preparation for University?


difference between IB certificate and IB diploma


IB Certificate is awarded per subject that students are able to meet the passing requirements. The IB Diploma Program is a program by itself where students have to take a number of required subjects to be awarded the IB Diploma. 

IB Diploma Program requires students to take 6 subjects from different groups at different levels (Standard Level or Higher Level). The Diploma Program offers two levels and students are required to take at least 3 (and not more than 4) subjects at Higher Level and the remaining at Standard Level.

In addition, there are three core components that students have to pass in order to be awarded the Diploma and they are Theory of Knowledge (TOK), The Extended Essay (EE), and Creativity, activity, and service (CAS). The Diploma will only be awarded to candidates who have a total score of 28 points, provided they meet the compulsory requirements. 


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The catch behind taking the IB Diploma 

Should students fail to meet the passing requirements for the IB Diploma, students will still get an IB Certificate for the subjects that they have managed to pass and complete. 


difference between IB certificate and IB diploma

Applying for college with IB Diploma and IB certificate 

When candidates apply to colleges and universities, the IB Diploma surely stands out more. The reason is that the IB Diploma is a well-rounded curriculum and education that is well-known. The IB program requires students to take three core subjects: TOK, EE, and CAS, which gives them a more extensive learning experience in their tertiary education.

The IB Diploma Program is typically used as an overall assessment for universities and colleges. Many universities also set entry requirements based on the IB Diploma Program and not individual certifications. 


Must Read: IB diploma curriculum and entry requirements to top universities


difference between IB certificate and IB diploma

Which to choose? 

The IB Diploma program offers students a well-rounded education and prepares students by equipping them with life skills to be the next generation of leaders. Hence, many colleges typically take the IB Diploma program as it is and assess students through their Diploma.

IB Certificates can be tricky when it comes to applying to universities. This is because many universities do not state separate requirements for individual certificates. It is also no right or wrong in choosing either. However, for a smoother transition into college, the IB diploma program could be the best option for you. 


Tutopiya is an online tuition platform that offers live tuition to students around the world. We offer the subjects taught in the IB Diploma programs such as the TOK and EE. We focus on building strong foundations in subjects and concepts to help students pursue future academic success.

Our pool of tutors is also experienced and well-equipped with the needed knowledge and skills to deliver quality IB Diploma programs education to our students. You can find out more by contacting us directly at the chatbox! Come experience quality online live tuition with us today! 


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