Fountainhead School

IB Diploma Programme

Senior Years at Fountainhead comprise of Grade 11 and Grade 12. For Senior Years, the school offers globally accepted International Board of Education – Diploma Programme (DP) of International Baccalaureate (IB).
The school has the affiliation with International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) for IBDP Programme.
Fountainhead prepares students for successful college experience by engaging in a challenging course of studies. FS provides students with the values, skills, and experiences that will allow them to be competitive applicants for the university.

The International Baccalaureate® (IB) is a non-profit educational foundation, motivated by its mission, focused on the student. Their 3 programmes for students aged 3 to 19 help develop the intellectual, personal, emotional and social skills to live, learn and work in a rapidly globalizing world. Founded in 1968, they currently work with 3,664 schools in 146 countries to develop and offer four challenging programmes to over 1,133,000 students aged 3 to 19 years. The IB continuum of international education is unique because of its academic and personal rigor, challenging students to excel in their studies and in their personal growth.

IB offers 3 programmes:

  • The IB Primary Year Programme, for students aged 3 to 12, focuses on the development of the whole child as an inquirer, both in the classroom and in the world outside.
  • The IB Middle Years Programme, for students aged 11 to 16, provides a framework of academic challenge that encourages students to embrace and understand the connections between traditional subjects and the real world and become critical and reflective thinkers.
  • The IB Diploma Programme, for students aged 16 to 19, is an academically challenging and balanced programme of education with final examinations that prepares students for success at university and beyond.

At Fountainhead we offer all 3 Programmes – Primary Year Programme (Nursery-Grade 6), Middle Years (Garde 7 & 8) and Diploma Programme (G 11 & 12).

What is the IB – Diploma Programme?

The International Baccalaureate Diploma programme is a two-year rigorous and prestigious pre-university qualification for students aged 16-19 years. This Diploma has gained recognition and respect from the world’s leading universities.

The IBO is a recognized leader in the field of international education, encouraging students to be active learners, help develop critical thinking skills, be well-rounded individuals, acquire skills to learn and work in a rapidly globalizing world.

Introduced in the year 1968 in Geneva, Switzerland by the INTERNATIONAL BACCALAUREATE ORGANIZATION, it is taught and recognized in 146 countries across the Globe to over 1,133,000 students.

What is unique about IBDP?

The IB Diploma Programme (DP) is an academically challenging and balanced programme of education. It has been designed to address the intellectual, social, emotional and physical well-being of students. The Diploma Core programme (extended essay, CAS, and Theory of knowledge) makes the IB programme unique.

Why should I select IBDP for my child?

  • The IB Diploma has earned a universal reputation for rigorous assessment, giving students access to the top colleges and universities in India and the world. IB is fast becoming the program of choice for Indian students preparing to pursue higher education abroad.
  • The IB curriculum equips students with the tools needed to succeed in higher education, such as self-confidence, preparedness, research skills, organizational skills and being actively engaged in self-learning.
  • IB develops the skills and a positive attitude toward learning that will prepare them for higher education.
  • It helps students make connections across traditional academic disciplines and explore the nature of knowledge through the programme’s unique theory of knowledge course.
  • Students undertake in-depth research into an area of interest through the lens of one or more academic disciplines in the extended essay
  • IBDP enhance student’s personal and interpersonal development through creativity, action, and service.

Is Diploma Programme too hard for students who are not academically inclined?

The IB is designed as a model of holistic education for the midrange student and above. Statistically speaking, most students who have earned the IB Diploma worldwide were of average or above average ability. It is not a program designed only for geniuses. What the IB program requires students to have are a strong work ethic, good time-management, and solid study skills. The IB program offers courses at different levels (Higher Level and Standard Level). In addition, language courses range from introductory level to native-speaker level.

Can a student do the IB Diploma after completing his/ her schooling through a different board?

Although the student who has passed through PYP has a better understanding, it can be taken independently also. A student can join the IB Diploma Program after completing the grade 10 level qualifications from CBSE, ICSE or any other State Board.The Diploma Program is equivalent to 10+2 level qualification through CBSE or through any other Indian board.

How successful are IB students in applying to university?

Recipients of the IB diploma enjoy a high rate of acceptance at leading universities. In addition, some universities offer scholarships to IB graduates.

Is the IBDP recognized in India and worldwide?

The rigor and high standards of the IBDP ensure that colleges and universities around the world recognize the IB Diploma as a superior academic program and a strong university – entry credential.

The Association of Indian Universities (AIU) rates the IB Diploma at par with Class 12 CBSE, ICSE or State Boards. Many educational institutions and colleges have published their policies and entry criteria for IB students on their websites. IB Diploma students may be offered credit (particularly for Higher Level courses and TOK) for first-year university courses in Canadian and American Universities overseas.

What is the University Recognition of the IB DP like?

  • The IB works closely with universities in all regions of the world to gain recognition for the IB diploma.
  • The IB Diploma is regarded highly for entry into universities throughout the world and for advanced placement at many colleges and universities.
  • IB diploma is recognized in India by AIU (Association of Indian Universities). However, there is a time overlap. IBDP results come out in July whereas most colleges seek applications in June in India.
  • The IBO authorities issue an equivalent mark sheet to Indian students with percentage score per subject mentioned so as to avoid confusion when students seek admission in Indian universities.
  • Please refer to the Guide for University Admissions in India for the list of universities which have policy statements accepting IB students.

General information:

What are the reasons for placement success?

  • Most rigorous pre-collegiate curriculum
  • IB students outperform their peers on assessments
  • IB Diploma students have higher acceptance rates
  • IB students perform better in post-secondary education
  • IB has a positive impact on school culture

How do IB students fare in college acceptance?

INTERNATIONAL: As per the statistics available, an IBDP student with 37 and above points (maximum possible being 45) accumulates good enough credits to get admissions in the best universities around the world. Students with a score lower than 37 (say in the range of 31 to 36) are also well accepted in Universities worldwide. (24 is the normal passing aggregate and each subject has a score range of 1 to 7 with 1 (lowest) to 7 (highest).

The acceptance rate of IB students into Ivy League institutions (Princeton, Yale, Brown, Harvard, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, and University of Pennsylvania) is between 3% and 13% higher compared to the total population acceptance rate.

The average acceptance rate of IB students into university/college is 22% higher than the average acceptance rate of the total population. (Source: IBDP Graduate Destinations Survey 2011/12 conducted by i-graduate International Insight)

INDIA: The Association of Indian Universities (AIU) recognizes IB DP as a qualifying secondary school diploma for admission to Indian universities. The AIU also has a conversion formula to convert the IB grading scale (1 to 7) into percentage equivalents.

New Equivalence Policy for the IB Diploma Programme by AIU (2016)

Following the meeting of the AIU’s Governing Council on 30th June 2016, the following amendments
have been done for equivalence of IB Diploma Programme Qualifications.

IB Diploma/Course (Certificate) - AIU shall accord equivalence to both the IB Diploma and the IB
Diploma Course (i.e. IB Certificate) provided that a student has secured a minimum of 24 credits and
has passed a minimum of three subjects at Higher Level (HL) and three at Standard Level (SL)

What is the structure of the curriculum for the IB Diploma Programme?

The IBDP curriculum contains six subject groups together with a core made up of three separate parts. This is illustrated by a hexagon with the three parts of the core at its center:


IBDP students study three subjects at ‘Higher Level’ (HL) and three at ‘Standard Level’ (SL). They study HL subjects for a greater number of hours (240 teaching hours) and in greater depth than SL subjects (150 teaching hours).

In addition, the program has three core requirements that are included to broaden the educational experience and challenge students to apply their knowledge and understanding.

  • The extended essay: Students need to undertake original research to produce an Extended Essay (EE) of maximum of 4,000 words. The extended essay offers the opportunity to investigate a topic of special interest with independent research work and writing skills.
  • Theory of knowledge (TOK): TOK 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).
  • Creativity, action, service (CAS): CAS program encourages students to be involved in artistic pursuits, sports, and community service work, thus fostering students’ awareness and appreciation of life outside the classroom.

Subjects currently offered at DP

Tentative subjects – whether these subjects will be offered or not will depend on the availability of faculty as well as the interest of students

How many subjects are students expected to take?

  • A student is expected to take a total of 6 subjects, with 3 subjects at the Higher Level and 3 subjects at Standard Level + Theory of Knowledge (TOK), Extended Essay (EE), and Creativity, Action, and Service (CAS).
  • Students must choose one subject from each of groups 1 to 5, thus ensuring breadth of experience in languages, social studies, the experimental sciences, and mathematics.
  • The sixth subject may be an arts subject chosen from group 6, or the student may choose another subject from Experimental Science, or a second Individuals and Societies subject.
                                                                                      Subjects currently offered at DP
Group 1 - Language and Literature
English A Language & Literature – HLEnglish A Language & Literature – SL
Hindi A Literature – HLHindi A Literature – SL
Group 2 - Language Acquisition
Hindi B – HLHindi B – SL English B – SL
English B – HLFrench ab-initio – SL
Group 3 - Individuals and Societies
Business Management – HLBusiness Management – SL
Psychology – HLPsychology – SL
Global Politics – HLGlobal Politics – SL
Information Technology in Global Society – HLInformation Technology in Global Society – SL
Economics – HLEconomics – SL
Group 4 - Experimental Sciences
Biology – HLBiology – SL
Physics – HLPhysics – SL
Chemistry – HLChemistry – SL
Computer Science – HLComputer Science – SL
Design Technology – HLDesign Technology – SL
Sports, exercise and health science - HLSports, exercise and health science - SL
Group 5 - Mathematics
Mathematics -Analysis & Approaches - HLMathematics -Analysis & Approaches - SL
Mathematics Application & Interpretation - HLMathematics Application & Interpretation - SL
Group 6 - The Arts
Visual Arts – HLVisual Arts – SL
Film - HLFilm - SL

How do students decide which subjects to take?

Students can decide subjects as per their interest, areas of strength, career choice and university requirements for India and other countries.

What if one does not want to do or is not good at Math or Science or Humanities?

IB believes that until high school level it is very important to develop a wide knowledge base and thus IB maintains adequate breadth in the curriculum. Whatever career one eventually pursues in life, some bit of math or science or understanding of humanities is necessary to manage world/one’s own affairs and be successful in life. While making a minimum choice from each discipline mandatory, IB offers multiple options within each group to accommodate individual preference and future academic/professional needs) e.g. there are three Math levels on offer; the Sciences group includes subjects such as Environmental Systems and Society.

Can you take 3 Sciences (Physics, Chemistry, and Biology) in the DP?

  • Yes, it is possible to do so by. Students need to take prior approval from IB to get three sciences for the admission in the specific undergraduate course. If a student opts for 3 sciences it would come with a non-regular diploma (which is very much a full diploma structured differently). A non-regular diploma should only be requested if it is related to university entrance requirements or government norms. The application has to be put up with the IB at least 18 months in advance.
  • The evidence provided must show that the university in question is asking for the specified subject combination. If evidence is not provided, the request will not be considered.

Why do we have 3 sciences (physics, chemistry, biology) at the HL level?

Taking these subjects at the SL level would not serve the purpose for most of the popular science-related careers such as engineering, medicine as top universities in India and abroad require HL in the subjects.

If a student has not taken science earlier, can s/he cope up with an HL subject?

If a student wants to study science at a higher level than some previous exposure to the specific subject would be necessary. Students who have undertaken the IB Middle Years Programme (MYP) would be well prepared. Other national science qualifications or a school-based science course would also be suitable preparation for the study of a group 4 subject at HL.


Is it compulsory to take a language in group 2 or can we skip it?

It is a requirement of the programme that students study at least one subject from group 2.

Why have we chosen Visual Arts as the only arts offering? And why is it at HL?

All the other options require an in-depth technical understanding of the subject which we are unable to offer at this point in time. Furthermore, most students who want to take a subject in group 6, are likely to take up Visual Arts. Further, if you are looking for VA as a career option then you should go to VA HL as SL will not serve the purpose from a career viewpoint.

Can an IB student take on the challenge of Indian competitive exams such as IIT JEE, PMT etc.?

The course content of IB DP for the Sciences and Mathematics is in line with the prescribed syllabus of all India open entrance tests for Engineering or Medicine undergraduate studies. All IIT’s and other specialized institutes recognize IB. The DP would cover some of the topics but not all the topics or in the same way as required for entrance examinations. For entrance exams such as the JEE, students will require extra coaching.

Do universities mention their requirements for subjects?

Yes, many universities mention explicitly the subjects that they wish or the overall score or the level of the subject offering (HL/SL). The table gives a very general guideline for universities requirements.

Subject Combinations for University Course:

Subject Combinations for University Course:
University courseIBDP subjects to choose (HL)
Engineering -Electronic, Electrical, Microelectronics, Robotics, MechanicalMathematics HL, Physics HL, Chemistry HL
Engineering – ChemicalMathematics HL, Chemistry HL, Physics HL, or Biology HL
Medicine, Biosciences, Pharmacy, Genetics, BiochemistryMathematics HL, Chemistry HL, Physics HL, or Biology HL
Computer science, Software engineering, MechatronicsMathematics HL, Physics HL, Chemistry HL
Sports sciencesMathematics HL, Biology HL, Physics HL
Accountancy and Management, Accounting, Cost Accounting, Finance and BankingEconomics HL, Business management HL with Math SL
Business management, Commerce, Marketing, Human resource management, RetailingEconomics HL, Business management HL, English HL with Math SL
Law, Commercial LawEnglish HL, Economics HL, History HL
Journalism, Media, Mass communicationEnglish HL, Economics HL, History HL
Architecture, Multimedia, Industrial design, Graphic designEnglish HL, Visual Art HL, History HL with Math SL
Early childhood educationEnglish HL, History HL, Economics HL or Business management HL or Visual art
Education management, Adult educationEnglish HL, History HL, Economics HL or Business management HL or Visual art with Math SL
Film/video editor, Television/film/video producer, Director of Photography, Film director, Location Manager, Sound Manager/Technician, Lighting Manager/Technician, Art Director, Production Assistant, Location/Props Manager, Programme Researcher, Set Designer, Movie Editor, Camera Manager, Script Writer, Television Production Coordinator, CinematographerFilm HL

Note: This list is not exhaustive and some combinations may not be offered.

How does an assessment in the DP look like?

  • IB assessment is rigorous, criterion-related, consistent and differentiating of student ability.
  • Diploma Programme assessment includes both final examinations and internal assessment undertaken by the teacher to IB criteria and then externally moderated by the IB.
  • The diploma is graded over 45 points giving ample scope to differentiate student ability
  • Marks awarded for each course range from 1 (lowest) to 7 (highest).
  • The diploma is awarded to students who gain at least 24 points.
How many examinations do Diploma Programme students take, and when do they take them? Diploma Programme students generally take six examinations, including one literature course taught in the student’s native language, one foreign language, one social science, one experimental science, mathematics and one arts course. The arts course can be replaced by a second social science, a second experimental science, or a third language. Students take their examinations at the end of the two-year Diploma Programme. In which month does the IBDP conduct exams? IBDP exams are conducted in the month of the May and November sessions. At FS we will have the session in May. How are IB students assessed in the IBDP Program? There are two kinds of IB assessments: External and Internal. External assessments are given at the end of the second year and this includes:
  • essays
  • structured problems
  • short-response questions
  • data-response questions
  • text-response questions
  • case-study questions
  • multiple-choice questions (limited use of these)
Internal assessment includes:
  • oral work in languages
  • laboratory work in the sciences
  • investigations in mathematics
  • artistic performances
Assessments are checked by external examiners and normally contribute between 20% and 30% of the total marks. The IB uses about 5,000 examiners worldwide. They ensure that student work is assessed fairly and consistently. Many IB examiners have experienced Diploma Programme teachers. Examiners receive detailed instructions on how to mark the work sent to them. Examiners send a sample of their marking to a more senior examiner for checking. Each subject has a group of senior examiners who prepare examination questions, set the standard for marking, and determine the marks needed for the award of each subject grade. There is a chief examiner for each subject, usually an academic from higher education, with international authority in their field. Refer to this link for more details: Are there practical examinations in the DP? There are regular internal assessments happening. 20-25 % weightage is given to the experiments which need to be done during the 2-year program from which student can choose best of their work to be sent to IBDP. How does the grading for TOK, EE, and CAS work does and what weightage does it cover? The theory of knowledge (TOK) and extended essay (EE) components are awarded individual grades and, collectively, can contribute up to 3 additional points towards the overall diploma score. Creativity, activity, service (CAS) – the remaining element in the DP core – does not contribute to the points total but authenticated participation is a requirement for the award of the diploma.  

How is the overall scoring (grading system) being done in IBDP? How do they convert grades into the percentage?

Page 20-23 of the below-mentioned link has a sample transcript in order to give an idea of conversion of IB grades into the percentage.

DP Recognition Guide – August 2020 (Click here to view)

Does a grade-based marking put IB students at a disadvantage for college admissions vis a vis their peers from Indian national systems that offer percentages? Are there any exceptions made for IBDP students to gain admissions in Indian Colleges?

For students wishing to apply to Indian Universities, upon a special request, IB offers a percentage mark sheet along with the grade-based Diploma. Specific percentages are assigned to each subject leaving no room for varied interpretation of grades. Moreover, to facilitate students to pursue the medicine program in India, IB allows interested students to pursue three sciences (PCB) while dropping one subject from Individuals and Societies as an exception.

Does the grading percentage criterion change every year?

Yes, it differs from subject to subject and changes on a yearly basis. The determination of grade depends upon the difficulty level of the paper, the performance of the students, and the specific subjects.

What if the DP exam and entrance exam clashes?

The DP examination schedule is sent well in advance. And the IB offers flexibility in exam timings. It can be adjusted accordingly but that has to be approved by the IBO.

When are the examination results made available?

Examination results are sent out in July beginning for the May session. For admission to Indian universities, provisional certificates will be issued by the school which is accepted by many universities.

How does the late declaration of IB results affect the students who would want to continue further education in India?

  • IBDP results are published on about the 5th of July each year for its May examinations. The admission process in Indian Colleges is on till about the third week of July. However, by 5th July, the 1st list of most colleges is out.
  • However, all IB DP students are assigned a “Predicted Grade” before sitting for the examinations. The accuracy of this predicted grade vis a vis actual grade (in a variance of +/- 1) is about 93%. Provisional admissions are granted to IBDP students based on the predicted grades which are confirmed upon submission of the final grade.
  • While in Universities such as the University of Mumbai, this phenomenon is accepted universally at the University level, in places like the University of Delhi, the student/ parent has to pursue individually with the respective college.

What if the IBDP results are announced late for university admission?

DP is working towards increasing the acceptance of the predicted grades. Abroad the provisional certificates are totally acceptable. In, India also mostly universities are accepting this. IB is working hard so that Indian Universities accept predicted grades. Also in India, Mumbai University grants admission on the basis of predicted grades. Further, the IB is also making an attempt to ensure that results are released earlier than the 5th of July.

Are SATs/TOEFL exams required for IB students?

The IB is not a substitute for these standardized university entrance tests. Most US universities require the SAT-1 (math & verbal ability) test; many also require the SAT-2 (individual subjects) test. Most universities in the U.S., Canada, and Europe require proof of adequate English ability for non-native speakers of English, through the TOEFL exam.

What is a “gap year” or a “year off” or a “third-year option”?

Not going on to university immediately after finishing schooling. A “gap year” or a “year off” is an excellent opportunity to take a break from studies, gain valuable work experience or volunteer experience, and strengthen your resume for university applications thereafter. Unlike in India, in most places in the world, this is not seen as “losing a year” but rather gaining valuable non – academic experience and an opportunity to further discover one’s own strengths and preferences before making choices for university courses.

Do students who have done the IB get advanced placement or credit at university?

Yes, they often do. Since the IB standard is considered to be quite high, many US Universities offer advanced credits (or advanced standing) in well-scored subjects in IB DP. A good student can accumulate these credits to save up to one full year of the four-year undergraduate program. The exact amount of credit awarded varies from university to university.