All you need to know about IBDP Grading System

IBDP has a unique grading system to grade students on a scale of 45. The minimum requirement for the program is; a student needs to obtain at least 24 points to pass the diploma. Generally, students are offered 6 subjects in IB with a grade point of 6 each. So, students can get a total of 42 points from the subjects and then 3 points from the core. IBDP uses a system of internal and external examination grading such as IA (research papers) and exams which varies from HL to SL. If a student fails to present the research papers, they will be ineligible to obtain the diploma.

In IBDP; subjects are graded on a scale of 1 to 7, for the examination there are 2 papers or more in a subject. To make it clearer we will use an example of IB Biology (SL).

The grading pattern somehow looks like this:

  • Paper 1 contains multiple-choice questions.

  • Paper 2 contains short response and extended response questions.

  • Paper 3 

  • Section A contains data analysis; 

  • Section B contains some questions from the extended topics selected by students.

  • Research (IA) This section contains mostly internal assessments including experimental work at school.

All these papers are marked on different percentages which are not fixed and can vary according to the curriculum.

 IBDP grading system.

Just for instance, this may somehow be graded as follows:


  • Paper 1 weighs 20%

  • Paper 2 weighs 40%

  • Paper 3 weighs 20%

  • Research Work (IA) weighs 20%

In order to sum up everything, IB uses the following grading calculation methodology:

Total Points = (Paper 1 points) * 20% + (Paper 2 points) * 40% + (Paper 3 points) * 20%+ (Research work points) * 20%

Mostly, IB schools share this method with the students every year, the process is almost the same every year with the only difference being the number of papers and their weighing percentages.


Likewise, TOK (Theory of knowledge), EE(Extended Essay) and CAS(Creativity, Action, Service) also hold significant importance in the IB grading system. To successfully pass the IBDP, a student needs to earn points from the core.

The TOK grading system is based on:

  • Excellent (A) 3 points

  • Good (B) 3 points

  • Satisfactory (C) 2 points

  • Mediocre (D) 2 points

  • Elementary (E) 1+ Failing condition

  • Not submitted (N) 

To ace the core, students need to understand the TOK and EE. In most cases, CAS is managed within the schools in the form of activities. 

One of the advantages of studying core in the IBDP curriculum is; it makes students distinct from the other degree holders by offering a fine academic structure and a different learning approach.