What it means to be an IB student

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This section will help students understand what being a student at an IB World School means. What are your responsibilities as an IB student? What responsibilities does your school have? What are the IB's responsibilities?

What is an IB World School?

IB World Schools are schools that offer one or more IB programmes or approved to deliver IB courses to students. Schools become and remain IB World Schools by demonstrating that they meet the requirements of the IB’s programme standards and practices.

IB World Schools must demonstrate that they meet all IB requirements


To become an IB World School, your school went through a process called “authorization”. This process helps schools to understand and adopt the IB’s philosophy and values. It also allows the IB to confirm that the school is ready to offer an IB programme and will meet the requirements of the IB’s programme standards and practices (PSP). The PSP is the foundational set of principles for schools and the IB. They ensure that schools implement IB programmes fairly and successfully.

Only schools that are authorized as an IB World School can offer an IB programme. 

Programme evaluation

Every five years after authorization, a school participates in a programme evaluation that assesses whether the school continues to meet the requirements of being an IB World School. This process supports school efforts to continue improving the implementation of the IB programme(s).

During the process, students and teachers may be asked to complete surveys, participate in focus groups and meet with representatives of the IB. After the process, your Head of School will share the results with the school community. Schools that do not meet the IB’s requirements may lose their authorization as IB World Schools.

What is an IB student?

The experience of being an IB student is different from being a student at other schools in several important ways.

IB students learn how to learn

We believe that learning how to learn is fundamental to a student's education.

We have five interrelated skills called the IB approaches to learning. These skills aims to empower IB students of all ages to become self-regulated learners who know how to: 

  • ask good questions
  • set effective goals
  • pursue their aspirations, and
  • have the determination to achieve them.

We hope these skills will help you feel in control of your own learning and see your learning as an active and dynamic process. 

The five IB approaches to learning are:

  • thinking skills—including areas such as critical thinking, creative thinking and ethical thinking
  • research skills—including skills such as comparing, contrasting, validating and prioritizing information
  • communication skills—including skills such as written and oral communication, effective listening, and formulating arguments
  • social skills—including areas such as forming and maintaining positive relationships, listening skills, and conflict resolution
  • self-management skills—including both organizational skills, such as managing time and tasks, and affective skills, such as managing state of mind and motivation.

We offer programmes rather than just subjects because we believe it is important to make connections, explore the relationships between academic disciplines and learn about the world in ways that reach beyond the scope of individual subjects. We also want to offer you authentic opportunities to connect your learning to the world around you.

Even if you are only taking a few IB subjects and not a whole programme, the IB’s approach to teaching will help you think beyond the narrow boundaries of the subject and make links to other ways of thinking.

IB students are at the centre

The IB learner profile places you at the centre of your IB education. The learner profile's 10 attributes reflect the holistic nature of an IB education. They highlight the importance of curiosity and compassion, as well as developing knowledge and skills. We are also concerned with your social, emotional and physical well-being, and with ensuring that you learn to respect yourself, others and the world around you.

So as an IB student, focus on the how and why of learning, not only the what of knowledge. Keep thinking about how you are developing the different aspects of the learner profile.

An IB education helps students create a better world

The IB’s mission is to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through education that builds intercultural understanding and respect.

So as an IB student, actively try to learn more about other countries, cultures and young people with different experiences to you. By seeing that under the surface they are the same as you are in many ways, and by appreciating differences, you can help make the world a more peaceful place.

Read more about what it means to be a student at an IB World School