Comparing the IB with other qualifications

Research suggests that in many cases, students in International Baccalaureate® (IB) programmes perform better than students taking other qualifications.

For example:

  • A global study investigating performance in the Primary Years Programme (PYP) and Middle Years Programme (MYP) found that IB students outperformed their non-IB peers in mathematics, reading, narrative writing and expository writing.
  • Qualitative data from a 2014 study on the IB Diploma Programme (DP) in the USA suggested that students who participated in the DP during high school are more academically adjusted to the rigour and expectations of college.

The IB regularly publishes this kind of research. Our website has several studies looking at the impact of IB programmes, and many currently in progress.

Studies are conducted in collaboration with universities and external research organizations, as well as by the IB Research team.

Find out more about the four IB programmes and implementing an IB education.

Studies on school culture

As part of our programme impact research, the IB publishes a number of studies looking at culture in IB World Schools.

A 2013 study, for example, looked at the perspectives and beliefs of IB teachers, with focus groups held in Hong Kong, Peru, Spain and the USA.

It found that IB teachers, like other teachers, see nurturing as the dominant perspective in what it means to be a good teacher – but that IB teachers have a greater focus on the remaining four perspectives in the analysis, including social reform.

Further, an analysis of the DP suggested that the programme's heavy reliance on discussions, debates, oral presentations, written assignments and teamwork enables students to develop many of the skills necessary for civic engagement.

About IB research

Read about the different kinds of research done at the IB, including programme quality assurance and development.