International Baccalaureate 2023 Results And Rankings: The Top IB Schools In The UK

What Is The International Baccalaureate (IB)?

The International Baccalaureate (IB) is an internationally recognised educational programme that offers a comprehensive curriculum and assessment system to prepare students for success in college and life beyond. The IB programme, which is available in over 150 countries, provides a challenging and rigorous academic programme focusing on critical thinking, intercultural understanding, and a global perspective.

Origins Of International Baccalaureate

The International Baccalaureate programme was established in 1968 by the International Baccalaureate organisation. The organisation offers four rigorous education programmes, most notably the IB Diploma, which is recognised worldwide as an advanced qualification. Founded as a non-profit foundation headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, the IB aimed to nurture young minds and cultivate their abilities, fostering a sense of purpose toward building a more harmonious and prosperous global community.

The four main IB programmes are:

  1. IB Primary Years Programme (PYP): Designed for students aged 3 to 12, focusing on the development of the whole child through inquiry-based learning.
  2. IB Middle Years Programme (MYP): Geared towards students aged 11 to 16, emphasising interdisciplinary learning and global contexts.
  3. IB Diploma Programme (DP): Typically for students aged 16 to 19, providing a rigorous pre-university course of study leading to the IB Diploma, recognised by universities worldwide.
  4. IB Career-related Programme (CP): Offering students aged 16 to 19 a blend of academic and practical skills, preparing them for further education, apprenticeships, or employment.

What Is An IB World School?

An IB World School refers to an educational institution authorised by the International Baccalaureate (IB) organisation to offer its programmes. Once authorised, these schools are termed IB World Schools. The IB has a rigorous process for establishing IB schools to ensure they meet the organisation’s standards and objectives. While there are interim visits, the IB does not conduct annual inspections or certifications; instead, the effectiveness of the school is gauged through the outcomes achieved by its students.

Looking for the top IB Schools in the UK? Here is the IB League Table 2023 for UK Schools.

We’ve compiled a list of top 26 Independent Schools in the UK which offer the International Baccalaureate programme, based on the 2023 IB results. If you are specifically looking for an academically excellent school, it is also a good idea to consider this IB league table. The rankings are based on the average points achieved by sixth formers taking the Diploma Programme of the IB.

International Baccalaureate Results 2023 By Boarding School

What is the IB Diploma?

The IB Diploma Programme (IBDP) is an academically challenging and balanced programme of education with final examinations that prepares students, aged 16 to 19, for success at university and life beyond.  

Not only is it focused on the students’ intellectual development, it is also focused on social, emotional and physical well-being! The IB Diploma nurtures students to be all-rounded and does their absolute best in everything they do.

Some key factors of what pupils will learn in this Diploma Programme:

  • Develop physically, intellectually, emotionally and ethically
  • Acquire breadth and depth of knowledge and understanding, studying courses from six subject groups
  • Develop the skills and a positive attitude towards learning that will prepare them for higher education
  • Learn up at least two new languages and increase understanding of cultures, including their own
  • Make connections across traditional academic disciplines and explore the nature of knowledge through the programme’s unique theory of knowledge course
  • Undertake in-depth research into an area of interest through the lens of one or more academic disciplines in the extended essay
  • Enhance their personal and interpersonal development through creativity, action and service

The Curriculum

The IB Diploma students must choose 3 Higher Level subjects and 3 Standard Level subjects from each of the 6 compulsory core areas: Language & Literature, Language Acquisition, Sciences, Maths, Social Sciences, and the Arts.

The IB programme ensures breadth of knowledge and understanding in their best language. In addition to disciplinary and interdisciplinary study, the Diploma Programme features three core elements that broaden students’ educational experience and challenge them to apply their knowledge and skills.

The extended essay, an independently researched 4,000-word essay on a topic of their choice relating to one of the DP subjects they are studying.

Theory of knowledge module which improves critical thinking. Students deepen their understanding of knowledge as a human construction through this course.

Creativity, action, service (CAS) involves students in a range of activities alongside their academic studies throughout the Diploma Programme such as at least 3 hours-worth of arts, sport or community service activities.

The IB Scoring System

Each subject receives a grade between 1 and 7, and all grades are summed to provide a total number out of 45. To pass the IB, students must achieve at minimum a 24, meeting certain grade thresholds in their higher and standard level subjects, as well as passing the additional components.

The International Baccalaureate (IB) scoring system comprises a combination of final examinations and coursework, assessed both externally by worldwide examiners and internally by the school. The IB Diploma examinations are standardised globally, taking place in May for Northern Hemisphere schools and October for most Southern Hemisphere schools, with different exam time zones to accommodate students worldwide. Each subject is graded on a scale of 1 to 7, with additional points available for Theory of Knowledge (TOK) essays and the Extended Essay, culminating in a maximum of 45 points. A minimum of 24 points is required to attain the IB Diploma (passing mark).

Universities worldwide are able to benchmark the IB score value comparable to local curricula. For instance, UK universities utiliue a tariff system equating an IB Diploma score of 36 to three A grades at A level, while in the US, college credit for IB courses is contingent upon examination scores for individual subjects. The IB scoring system thus provides a standardised and globally recognised qualification for students, reflecting their academic achievements across a range of subjects and additional components.

What Is The Bilingual Diploma?

The Bilingual Diploma is a prestigious achievement within the International Baccalaureate (IB) programme, awarded to students who demonstrate proficiency in at least two languages. Typically, students study one language from Group 1 Language A (focused on language and literature) and another from Group 2 Language B (a language acquisition course).

However, for students exceptionally proficient in two languages, there’s the option to pursue the IB Bilingual Diploma. This can be achieved in two ways: by attaining a grade 3 or higher in two Language A courses, or by achieving a grade 3 or higher in Language A courses not in the school’s official medium of instruction, along with certain other subject requirements. Essentially, students seeking the Bilingual Diploma are fluent or near-fluent in multiple languages and opt to engage in their fully proficient languages alongside the English-medium instruction of the diploma.

Should I Take IB or A Levels?

A common question we get asked a lot is “Should I take IB or A Levels? Here are some factors to consider when making your choice:

You should consider IB if:

  1. You prefer a broader, more interdisciplinary curriculum that includes subjects like Theory of Knowledge (TOK) and Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS).
  2. You enjoy a mix of coursework and exams, as IB assessments include both.
  3. You aim to attend universities globally, as the IB is recognised internationally and valued by universities worldwide.
  4. You thrive in a structured environment with a focus on critical thinking, research skills, and international-mindedness.

You should consider A Levels if:

  1. You prefer a more specialised curriculum, as A Levels allow you to focus on fewer subjects in greater depth.
  2. You excel in exams and prefer a linear assessment system with final exams at the end of the course.
  3. You have a clear idea of your academic strengths and career path, as A Levels allow for more subject specialisation.
  4. You plan to apply to universities in the UK, as A Levels are the standard qualification for entry to UK universities.
Note: Many UK Universities also accept IB diploma qualifications.

Ultimately, weigh the pros and cons of each qualification based on your academic abilities, career aspirations, and preferred learning style to make an informed decision. It may also be helpful to consult with teachers, counsellors, or educational consultants like Britannia for personalised advice.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the International Baccalaureate official website?

You can learn more about IB by visiting their official website:

Do all universities / colleges accept IB credits or grades?

Each university of college has its own requirements or system for accepting students so it is important to check first.

Can you take the IB Diploma in your junior year?

You can only take the IB Diploma starting in the 11th and 12th grade.

International Baccalaureate Website

You can learn more about IB by visiting their official website:

For more information about IB and applying for an IB school, you may contact us below.

Contact Us To Apply For An IB School