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IB Diploma Programme Details


IB Diploma Program at Nagoya International School


The Mechanics of the IBDP

The IBDP curriculum is based on six subject groups surrounding three core requirements. All courses are studied for two years and students must choose one course each from the first five groups (Language & Literature, Language Acquisition, Individuals & Societies, Experimental Sciences and Mathematics), thus ensuring a breadth of experience in the humanities, science and mathematics. The sixth course may be an arts subject chosen from Group 6, or the student may choose another subject from groups 1-4.  At a minimum, three of the six subjects are studied at “higher level” (HL) (around 240 teaching hours).  The remaining three subjects are studied at “standard level” (SL) (around 150 teaching hours).

In addition to the six subject groups, students must fulfill three core requirements: 

  • Complete an “Extended Essay” (EE): The Extended Essay (EE) is an essay that must be submitted early in grade 12 and allows students to engage in independent research through an in-depth study of a question relating to one of the subjects they are studying, usually one of their higher level courses.
  • Take an additional course, “Theory of Knowledge” (TOK): Theory of Knowledge is a course designed to encourage each student to reflect on the nature of knowledge by critically examining different ways of knowing (perception, emotion, language and reason) and different kinds of knowledge (scientific, artistic, mathematical and historical).
  • Regularly engage in creativity, action, and service (CAS) activities: Creativity, action, service requires that students actively learn from the experience of doing real tasks beyond the classroom. Students can combine all three components or do activities related to each one of them separately. CAS is an important way for students to nurture leadership skills and the ability to reflect on their actions.



Course Options

GROUP 1:  Studies in Language & Literature (Language A)

  • English Literature  (HL or SL) 
  • English Language & Literature  (HL or SL)
  • Japanese Language & Literature  (HL or SL)

GROUP 2:  Language Acquisition

  • Japanese B  (HL or SL)
  • Japanese  ab initio (SL)  

GROUP 3: Individuals & Societies:

  • History (HL or SL)
  • Economics  (HL or SL)

*ONLINE OPTIONS:   Psychology  (SL/HL) •  Philosophy  (SL) •  Economics (SL/HL)  • Business & Management  (SL/HL) • IT in a Global Society  (SL/HL)

GROUP 4:  Experimental Sciences:

  • Biology  (HL or SL)
  • Physics  (HL or SL)
  • Chemistry  (HL or SL)

GROUP 5:  Mathematics:

  • Mathematics  (HL)
  • Mathematics  (SL)
  • Math Studies (SL)  

*ONLINE OPTIONS:   Mathematics  (SL/HL)

GROUP 6:  The Arts

  • Visual Arts  (HL or SL)
  • Theater  (HL or SL) 


* Note on online options:  Possible online options include three courses in Group 2 (beginning level ab initio Mandarin and Spanish or Spanish B), five courses in Group 3 (Economics, Psychology, Philosophy, Business and Management, and Information Technology in a Global Society), one course in group 5 (Mathematics) and one course in Group 6 (Film). These courses are offered through Pamoja Education, in association with the IB, and require an additional fee. Online courses are only recommended for students capable of independent work. 

* At NIS, English Literature is a required course (either HL or SL).



Requirements of obtaining an IBDP Diploma:

The IB diploma is awarded to students who gain at least 24 points, subject to certain minimum levels of performance across the whole program. Each course is graded on a scale of 1-7, and the highest total that an IBDP student can be awarded is 45 points (world average: 29.9).

  • Minimum of 24 points
  • Minimum 12 points from three HL subjects
  • No final grade of 2 in any HL subject unless that total points earned is 28 or more• No final grade of 1 in any subject at any level
  • No academic dishonesty
  • Passing grades in both EE and TOK final essays
  • Successful completion of CAS


The IBDP Timeline

The DP program requires careful planning from grade 9, four complete semesters of study from grade 11, and independent work over the summer between grade 11 and 12:

Grade 9  (Pre-IB)
  • Select math and language courses in consideration of IBDP options
Grade 10  (Pre-IB)
  • Attend IB Informational MeetingSubmit NIS “IB Agreement” Form

Grade 11, Semester I
  • Program Commence
  • Begin using ManageBac for CAS•  Research topics for EE
  • Finalize EE topic
Grade 11, Semester II
  • Submit final EE research topic
  • Determine EE advisor
  • Initiate EE research
  • TOK Individual Presentation
  • Submit EE Draft 1, review w/advisor
Summer between Grade 11-12
  • Complete EE Final Draft         
  • Continue CAS activities/reflections
Grade 12, Semester I
  • Submit EE Final Draft
  • Write/Submit TOK Essay
  • Receive Predicted IBDP scores
  • Complete TOK course
  • CAS activities/reflections completed
Grade 12, Semester II
  • Take Mock Examinations
  • SL coursework completed
  • IBDP Final Examinations (3-weeks)
  • Examinations sent to IBO
  • Test results received during first week of July from the IBO


Program Costs

There are no additional fees to take the IBDP courses at NIS. Online courses are additional, and examinations fees are also in addition to other fees paid to NIS.  There is a one-time registration fee and a fee for each subject examination taken, both of which are payable directly to the IBO.  Currently the rough total fee for all components of the IBDP is around US $1,000.  Certificate candidates will pay less depending on how many subject examinations they elect to take.