The Ultimate Transitioning Guide from IGCSE to IBDP

Transitioning Guide from IGCSE to IBDP, all you need to know is in this blog article. We will be exploring more about the IBDP curriculum to give you a clearer understanding of IBDP.

Cambridge IGCSE is the world’s most popular international education program for 14 to 16-year-olds. Most students begin learning the syllabus at the beginning of Grade 9 and take the test at the end of Grade 10.

On the other hand, IBDP is a two-year educational program targeted at 16 to 19-year-olds.

A student who has successfully completed their IGCSE exam is comparable to one who has completed the IB MYP.

Many students after taking the IGCSE, transit to the IB Diploma Program, do you happen to be one of them? Let Tutopiya help you the transitioning with some information on the IBDP.


The Mandatory Assessment of IBDP

The IB Diploma Program consists of six subject groups and three core components.

IBDP Subject groups


1 – Studies in Language and Literature

This subject is generally the student’s native language, with over 80 languages available.


2 – Language Acquisition

An additional language, taken at the following level:

  • Language B (SL or HL)
  • Language ab initio (SL only)


3 – Individuals and Societies

Humanities and social sciences courses offered at both SL and HL


4 – Experimental Sciences

Five courses are offered at SL and HL only

  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Physics
  • Design and Technology
  • Computer Science

The course Sport, Exercise and Health Science and the interdisciplinary courses Environmental Systems and Societies and Nature of Science are offered at SL only.


5 – Mathematics and Computer Science

In the order of increasing difficulty, the courses offered are

  • Mathematical Studies SL
  • Mathematics SL and HL
  • Further Mathematics HL


6 – The Arts

Offered at both SL and HL

  • Dance
  • foreign languages
  • Music
  • Theatre
  • Visual Arts
  • Film


Three core elements:

1- Theory of Knowledge

Students reflect on the nature of knowledge and on how we know what we claim to know

2 – The extended essay

An independent, self-directed piece of research finishing with a 4,000-word paper

3 – Creativity, activity, service

Students complete a project related to those three concepts


You are required to take six subjects, one from Groups 1 to 5. You are also required to take at least three or four subjects at HL and the rest at SL. The IB recommends a minimum of 240 hours of instructional time for HL courses and 150 hours for SL courses.


Some other things you should know about the IB diploma program


University Preparation

IB Diploma is effectively a “university preparation program”, in that it teaches you skills and ways of learning that will help you do well at a tertiary education level. Therefore, if you are intending to head a university in the future, the IB Diploma Program can help to get ready for university life.

Length of Study

However, the IB Diploma is no walk in the park. The IB Diploma requires you to be focused and be consistent with your work throughout the two-year period. It is also demanding in terms of consistent performance. Therefore, you would have to prepare yourself to study and work hard for the next two years.


IBDP Grading

For the six courses taken from the subject groups, students earn a grade from 7 to 1, with 7 being the highest grade. These grades are then added, summing up to an overall score of 6 to 42. The Theory of Knowledge and Extended Essay are graded differently – successful completion earns students a maximum combined score of 3. Therefore, the highest obtainable diploma score to be 45 points. The CAS project is not assigned any formal grade but is required to earn the diploma.

The diploma certification is only awarded to students who earn an overall grade of at least 24 points.


Tips to help you transition to another curriculum in a nutshell.

Bridging Programs

Many students that have done their IGCSE or GCSE O Level, usually look for bridging programs to help them transit better to the IB Diploma before the school year starts. Tutopiya provides a bridging program for our transitioning students. We provide bridging programs for the IB HL and SL Math. Our tutors are mostly graduates from the top universities of the world. You can start a FREE 60 minutes trial us by signing up!

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