General Information

FAQs about East Meck IB

General Questions | Middle Years Program Questions | Diploma Program Questions

General Questions

Middle Years Program Questions

Diploma Program Questions

General Questions

What are the entrance requirements for IB at East Mecklenburg?

According to CMS policy, a student entering IB at any grade level must be at level III or IV on End of Grade or End of Course reading assessments. Students entering at grade 11 must have their transcripts reviewed before they may enter the program in order to ensure that they have met prerequisites for the IB Diploma Program. Click here to read about CMS magnet entry requirements.

To participate in the IB program at East Mecklenburg, students must live in the East IB magnet zone (students whose home school is Ardrey Kell, Butler, East Meck, Garinger, Independence, Providence and Rocky River) and must participate in the magnet lottery, even if East is their home school. Students who choose the IB program must be prepared for nightly homework, independent projects, and service requirements. Students entering in grade 9 ideally should have completed Math 1 and at least one year of a foreign language in order to pursue the IB Diploma in grades 11 and 12.

Back to top

What are the continuation requirements for IB at East Mecklenburg?

In order to continue in the IB program, students must be promoted to the next grade and complete required Community and Service or CAS hours. In addition, grade 10 students must complete the Middle Years Program (MYP) Personal Project.

Back to top

Who decides what is taught in IB?

In grades 9 and 10, students take state-mandated courses such as Math 2 and Civics and Economics. These curricula are created by the state of North Carolina and end in state-administered End of Course examinations or North Carolina Final Exams. In order to fulfill the requirements of the IB Middle Years Program (MYP), correlations are made by classroom teachers between the state curricula and the MYP Areas of Interaction, but these Areas of Interaction are not formally tested.

Diploma-level classes (grades 11 and 12) are based on curricula prescribed by the International Baccalaureate Organization, with input from IB teachers around the world. The curricula are reviewed and revised every five to seven years on a staggered schedule. The IB Diploma examinations are based on these curricula.

Back to top

What are the world language requirements for IB?

Students in the Middle Years Program (MYP) must take a world language in grade 9 and 10. In order to take a Diploma-level examination in a world language, students must reach at least year 5 of a world language by senior year. East currently offers French, German, Latin, Mandarin Chinese, and Spanish for the IB Diploma Program.

Back to top

What are the math options for IB?

In order to take Diploma-level mathematics, students must complete Math 3 by grade 10. Three IB Diploma-level math courses are available at East Mecklenburg: Math Studies SL, Math SL (Standard Level), and Math HL (Higher Level).

Math Studies is offered only in grades 11 and 12 and is generally targeted at the student who has less interest or weak skills in math.

Math SL can be taken in grades 10 and 11 or in grades 11 and 12. Students who complete Math 3 in grade 9 may choose to begin Math SL 1 in grade 10 or to take Advanced Functions & Modeling (AFM). Ninth graders who do not score well in Math 3 are usually more successful in IB maths if they take AFM in grade 10 before beginning either Math SL or Math Studies.

Math HL is offered to students who successfully finish the two years of Math SL in grades 10 and 11 and wish to continue for another year in IB mathematics.

For more information about possible flows and choices, see the course flowchart.

Back to top

What are the advantages of the IB programs?

The IB Middle Years and Diploma Programs give students a competitive edge for admission to college, and the programs are particularly advantageous for students pursing admission to high-end colleges. While other programs expose students to rigorous, college-level courses, the IB MYP and DP also focus on creating learners who are balanced, caring, reflective, knowledgeable, principled, and open minded; learners who can question, think, communicate, and take intellectual risks. The development of the learner as a whole is important in IB; academic ability is not enough. The MYP and DP require students to serve their community in meaningful ways, understanding that experiential learning is as important as textbook learning. IB Diploma Program students start college having completed examinations in six rigorous subjects, critically examined their learning through Theory of Knowledge, completed at least 150 hours of Creativity, Action and Service, and completed a maximum 4000-word Extended Essay research paper. In addition, students earn college credit for many of the IB examinations they take; in some cases, IB students have earned enough credit to achieve sophomore status when entering college.

In short, the IB program produces students who are more prepared for college, who have better credentials for admission to high-level colleges, who may have earned enough college credits to start as a sophomore, and who may earn more academic scholarships, depending on college attended and scores on IB exams.

Back to top

What is the difference between AP and IB?

AP Program

  • Developed by the College Board
  • Any number and choice of courses may be taken
  • Examinations scored 1 (lowest) to 5 (highest)
  • AP score is based on examination taken on one day
  • Most AP courses taken in grades 11 and 12
  • Preparation for AP classes through Honors-level courses in grades 9 and 10
  • AP course grades earn 1 quality point on the GPA
  • AP courses completed in one school year

IB Program- Diploma Program

  • Developed by the International Baccalaureate Organization
  • At least seven courses must be taken, from specific subject areas (English, second language, history, science, mathematics, elective, Theory of Knowledge)
  • Examinations scored 1 (lowest) to 7 (highest)
  • IB score based on internal assessment (class project or paper graded by teacher, reviewed by IB) and external assessment (exam, typically taken in two sessions on two different days)
  • Diploma Program courses taken in grades 11 and 12
  • Preparation for IB courses through IB Middle Years Program and/or Honors classes in grades 9 and 10
  • IB course grades earn 1 quality point on the GPA
  • Most IB courses completed over two school years (earning 1 quality points on grade each year)
  • Focus on growth and development of whole person (via Theory of Knowledge, CAS, internal assessments)
  • Theory of Knowledge course required
  • Experiential learning via Creativity, Activity, Service requirement

Back to top

What colleges have IB students attended?

Over the years, students have attended:

  • Appalachian State University
  • Carnegie-Mellon University
  • Case Western Reserve University
  • Catawba College
  • Central Piedmont Community College
  • Clemson University
  • College of Charleston
  • Columbia University
  • Cornell University
  • Dartmouth University
  • Duke University
  • Elon University
  • Full Sail Real World University
  • Furman University
  • Gardner-Webb University
  • Georgetown University
  • Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Harvard University
  • Howard University
  • Johnson C. Smith University
  • Johnston and Wales University
  • Louisiana State University
  • Mars Hill College
  • New York University
  • North Carolina Central University
  • North Carolina State University
  • Northwestern University
  • Olin College of Engineering
  • Pace University
  • Purdue University
  • Queens University
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic University
  • Rochester Institute of Technology
  • Savannah College of Art and Design
  • South Carolina State University
  • Tufts University
  • Tulane University
  • University of Connecticut
  • University of Michigan
  • University of North Carolina – Asheville
  • University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill
  • University of North Carolina – Charlotte
  • University of North Carolina – Greensboro
  • University of North Carolina – Wilmington
  • University of Northern Iowa
  • University of Rochester
  • University of South Carolina
  • Vanderbilt University
  • Warren Wilson College
  • Wellesley College
  • Yale University

Back to top

What scholarships have IB students earned?

Scholarships won include:

  • Cameron Morrison Scholarship, University of North Carolina— Charlotte
  • Charter Scholars, University of Georgia
  • Clemson National Scholars
  • Cornell Trust Fellowship, Cornell
  • Dean's Merit Scholarship, University of Michigan
  • Hankins, Joyner, Caldwell Merit & North Carolina Scholarships, Wake Forest
  • Lay Scholarship, Furman University
  • McNair Scholarship, University of South Carolina
  • Morehead Scholarship, UNC-Chapel Hill
  • National Merit Finalist Scholarships
  • National Merit Scholarship
  • North Carolina Presidential Honor Scholarship, Warren Wilson College
  • North Carolina Teaching Fellows Scholarship
  • Presidential Award, Gardner-Webb University
  • Presidential Scholarship, Hampton University
  • Rensselaer Medal Scholarship, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute;
  • Tisch Scholarship, Tufts University
  • Trustee Scholarship, Queens University
  • Tulane Distinguished Scholar, Tulane University
  • University of Connecticut Leadership Scholarship, University of Connecticut
  • University Scholarship, Columbia University
  • University Scholarship, Georgetown University

Back to top

What does the IB coordinator do?

The IB Coordinator is responsible for ensuring that the IB program is properly implemented at the school. This responsibility includes overseeing student schedules, meeting with magnet representatives for the school system, recruiting students into the IB program, monitoring student progress, working with teachers on curriculum requirements, and administering IB examinations.

Back to top

Who should I talk to with questions?

Questions about scheduling—your child’s counselor or the IB coordinator (Ms. Heather Hays)

Questions about grades—your child’s teacher (first) or counselor

Questions about service—the service coordinator (Mrs. Abby Grube) or the IB Coordinator

Questions about IB requirements—the IB coordinator

Back to top

What is IB PAC?

The IB Parent Advisory Council (IB PAC) is a group of parents of IB students who represent all grade levels of the program. The group’s mission is to provide financial resources, organizational assistance, and community outreach to East Mecklenburg’s IB program.

Back to top

The IB Middle Years Program

What is the Middle Years Program?

The IB Middle Years Program (MYP) is designed for students in grades 6 through 10 (as a partnership between a middle school and a high school where appropriate). The MYP aims to foster students’ intellectual and personal development and to help them become active participants in the local and international community. In the MYP, students are expected to study their native language, a second language, mathematics, humanities (social studies), sciences, technology, arts, and physical education, and the program is structured to foster intercurricular connections. As part of the MYP, students are expected to do 35 hours of Community and Service in grade 9 and 40 hours in grade 10; this service requirement is designed both to encourage students to think about others and to provide opportunities for experiential learning. As a culmination of their years of learning in the MYP, students complete a Personal Project during grades 9 and 10 during which they explore an area of personal interest while demonstrating understanding of global contexts.

Back to top

What courses are required for MYP?

Students must take all MYP courses for which they have met prerequisites, including MYP sections of English, math, science, social studies, foreign language, Health & PE, and arts. Students participating in the IB Middle Years Program typically take the following courses:

Grade 9:

  • IBMYP English 9
  • IBMYP World History
  • IBMYP Biology
  • IBMYP Math 2 or IBMYP Math 3*
  • World Language level 2 (accelerated students may take level 3 in grade 9 if they are ready)**
  • IBMYP Health & Physical Education MYP
  • Introduction to Engineering Design OR Arts (visual or performing) [can also be fulfilled in grade 10]
  • Student's free-choice elective

Grade 10:

  • IBMYP English 10
  • IBMYP American History: Founding Principles, Civics & Economics
  • IBMYP Chemistry and/or Physics
  • IBMYP Math 3 or Advanced Functions and Modeling or IB Math SL 1
  • World Language level 3**
  • Introduction to Engineering Design OR Arts (visual or performing) [can also be fulfilled in grade 10]
  • Student’s free choice electives

*Students who have not completed Math 1 in grade 8 should take Math 1 in grade 9, and both Math 2 and Math 3 in grade 10.

**Students who have not taken any world language should take level 1 in grade 9 and will take levels 2 and 3 in grade 10.

Back to top

Do I have to take an arts or technology class for the MYP?

An arts class and a technology class are required for the MYP, preferably with one taken in grade 9 and one in grade 10. MYP sections of Visual Arts 1 & 2 and Drama 1 & 2 are offered, or students may take crafts, band, chorus, or orchestra. Due to scheduling constraints, students may be scheduled for non-MYP sections of visual arts or theatre, but these courses still fulfill the MYP arts requirement. The technology requirement is fulfilled by taking Honors PLTW Introduction to Engineering Design.

Back to top

What is Community and Service?

Community & Service is one of the Areas of Interaction of the IB Middle Years Program. It is designed to help students recognize their own place and responsibilities in the community as well as to foster a sense of service to others. As part of the MYP, students are required to complete at least 35 hours of Community & Service in grade 9 and at least 40 hours in grade 10. Community and Service hours may be earned in a variety of ways, ranging from participation in school clubs and sports to participating in service projects with community groups. For more on Community & Service, click the "Service" link at left.

Back to top

What is the Personal Project?

The Personal Project is the culminating event of the IB Middle Years Program, the purpose of which is to demonstrate both personal and academic growth. The Project, which is a long-term activity not associated with a particular course, brings together the MYP Areas of Interaction and Global Contexts in a realm of interest to the student as an individual. The Project asks students both to create and to reflect upon the creation of the Project. Successful completion of the Personal Project is a requirement for continuation into the IB Diploma Program.

Back to top

The IB Diploma Program

What is the Diploma Program?

The IB Diploma Program is a college-preparatory course of study which is designed to provide students with a broad knowledge base. It is a two-year endeavor, over grades 11 and 12. To earn an IB Diploma, students must take examinations in six subjects: English, a second language, Individuals and Societies, Experimental Sciences, Mathematics, and a sixth subject, which may be an arts class or may be a second course from one of the other five subject areas. Of these six subjects, at least three (but no more than four) courses must be at Higher Level (HL), while the remaining two or three courses are at Standard Level (SL). Examinations are graded on a scale from 1 to 7 (with 7 being the highest), and students must score a total of at least 24 points in order to earn the Diploma, with at least 12 points earned from HL courses.

In addition to examinations, students must also successfully complete the Theory of Knowledge course, a maximum 4000-word Extended Essay, and at least 150 hours of Creativity, Activity, and Service (CAS). Students’ performance in ToK and on the Extended Essay can earn them up to three bonus points towards the Diploma total.

IB examinations are administered in May, and students learn results in July. Thus students do not know if they have earned the IB Diploma until after they have graduated from high school. Students who do not earn the Diploma will receive the IB Certificate (of Results).

Back to top

What is the Extended Essay?

The Extended Essay is a maximum 4000-word research paper on student-chosen topic. The paper is completed under the supervision of a faculty supervisor who is knowledgeable in the subject area in which the paper is written. The paper is an IB requirement which is separate from the IB curriculum being studied, although the paper’s subject often relates to an IB course a student is taking. The paper-writing process typically begins in the spring of junior year, and the papers are scored by external IB examiners.

Back to top

What is Theory of Knowledge?

Theory of Knowledge is an interdisciplinary seminar course over two years which challenges students and teachers to reflect critically on diverse ways of knowing and areas of knowledge. Examples of questions considered in Theory of Knowledge are: “How much of one’s knowledge depends on interaction with other knowers?” and “What is history? Is it the study of the past, or the study of records of the past?” Successful completion of the course is a requirement for earning the IB Diploma. The course is assessed by the ToK teacher via a class presentation and assessed by an external IB examiner via a 1200 to 1600 word essay on a prescribed topic. ToK is taught during the student’s junior and senior years.

Back to top

What is CAS?

CAS stands for Creativity, Activity, Service and is a requirement of the IB Diploma Program. In order to earn an IB Diploma, students are required to complete at least 150 hours of CAS, evenly split between Creativity, Activity, and Service. Students are encouraged to identify a need in the community, plan a solution, and involve others in implementing the solution. Students are required to fill out reflections via the online ManageBac program, including the verification of the adult supervisor of the activity. For more information about CAS, click the Service button above.

Back to top

How do IB exams work? When are they taken?

IB examinations are taken at the end of an IB course, during the May examination session. For example, a student taking a one-year IB course (such as Psychology, Business & Management, or Philosophy) during his or her junior year would take that IB examination in May of junior year. Most examinations for two-year courses are taken during May of senior year. The examination schedule is released each fall to IB students, with more details of times and locations provided after exam registration occurs. Click here for a chart which correlates courses and examinations.

Back to top

Where can I find descriptions of the IB Diploma Program courses?

All IB Diploma courses are taught from prescribed curricula; rough course descriptions are provided below. Please note that all courses are assessed by IB using both internal assessments (graded by the teacher and reviewed by IB) and external assessments (IB-written examinations, in most cases).

Group 1: Language A (English HL)

    • Pre-university course in literature
    • Internal assessment: recorded oral commentary in February
    • External assessment: 1 Written Assignment paper, written examination in May
    • Also prepares students for AP English Literature exam

Group 2: Language B (French SL or HL, German SL or HL, Latin SL or HL, Mandarin Chinese SL or HL, and Spanish SL or HL)

    • Development of listening, speaking, reading and writing in second language
    • Students should achieve level 5 of language in order to be successful on exams
    • Internal assessment (all languages except Latin): recorded oral examination (commentary on previously unseen photographs) in March
    • Internal assessment (Latin): may be research paper in English on classical topic, oral presentation, or composition in Latin
    • External assessment: Written Assignment completed in December, plus written examination in May

Group 3: Individuals and Societies

  • History HL
    • International history with an emphasis on the Americas (North, South, and Central)
    • Focus on historical analysis and interpretation
    • Internal assessment: Historical investigation paper
    • External assessment: Examination in May
    • 11 th grade course (History of the Americas) prepares students for AP US History and fulfills state US History requirement.
  • Business and Management SL
    • Focuses on the ways “individuals and groups interact in a dynamic business environment”, how business decisions are made and their impact
    • Goal is to teach students business principles, practices and skills
    • Internal assessment: Research project
    • External assessment: Examination in May
  • Global Politics HL
    • Internal assessment: Engagement activity
    • External assessment: Examination in May
  • Philosophy SL
    • "The emphasis of the philosophy course is very much on “doing” philosophy. Doing philosophy requires a willingness to attempt an understanding of alternative views by applying intellectual rigour and cultivating an open and critical mind." (IBO Philosophy Guide)
    • Focus on developing sound arguments, independent thinking, appreciation of different perspectives
    • Internal assessment: Philosophical analysis of non-philosophical material
    • External assessment: Examination in May
  • Psychology SL
    • Study of human behavior
    • Internal assessment: Simple experimental study
    • External assessment: Examination in May

Group 4: Sciences

  • Biology HL
    • Prerequisite: Biology 1
    • Requires “Group 4 Project,” involving an experiment designed and carried out as a small group, completion of experiment write-up, and presentation of experiment and results
    • Internal assessment: Experimentation/research write-up (practical work), Group 4 Project
    • External assessment: Examination in May
  • Chemistry SL or HL
    • Prerequisite: Chemistry 1
    • Requires “Group 4 Project,” involving an experiment designed and carried out as a small group, completion of experiment write-up, and presentation of experiment and results
    • Internal assessment: Experimentation/research write-up (practical work), Group 4 Project
    • External assessment: Examination in May
  • Physics SL or HL
    • Prerequisite: Physics 1
    • Requires “Group 4 Project,” involving an experiment designed and carried out as a small group, completion of experiment write-up, and presentation of experiment and results
    • Internal assessment: Experimentation/research write-up (practical work), Group 4 Project
    • External assessment: Examination in May
  • Environmental Systems and Societies SL
    • Combines traditional concepts of environmental system with socio-political aspects, including human effects on the environment.
    • Requires “Group 4 Project,” involving an experiment designed and carried out as a small group, completion of experiment write-up, and presentation of experiment and results
    • Internal assessment: Experimentation/research write-up (practical work), Group 4 Project
    • External assessment: Examination in May
    • Meets graduation requirement for Earth/Environmental

Group 5: Mathematics

  • Mathematical Studies SL
    • Math Studies is designed for “students with varied backgrounds and abilities. More specifically, it is designed to build confidence and encourage an appreciation of mathematics in students who do not anticipate a need for mathematics in their future studies. Students taking this course need to be already equipped with fundamental skills and a rudimentary knowledge of basic processes.” (IBO Math Studies SL Guide)
    • Focuses on further algebra and geometry, statistics, and financial math, with some limited exposure to calculus
    • Internal assessment: Project
    • External assessment: Examination in May
  • Mathematics SL
    • Math SL is designed for “students who already possess knowledge of basic mathematical concepts, and who are equipped with the skills needed to apply simple mathematical techniques correctly. The majority of these students will expect to need a sound mathematical background as they prepare for future studies in subjects such as chemistry, economics, psychology and business administration.” (IBO Mathematics SL Guide)
    • Focuses on further algebra, vectors, probability and statistics, and extensive calculus.
    • Internal assessment: Portfolio
    • External assessment: Examination in May
    • Also prepares students for AP Calculus AB exam
  • Mathematics HL
    • Math HL is designed for “students with a good background in mathematics who are competent in a range of analytical and technical skills. The majority of these students will be expecting to include mathematics as a major component of their university studies, either as a subject in its own right or within courses such as physics, engineering and technology. Others may take this subject because they have a strong interest in mathematics and enjoy meeting its challenges and engaging with its problems.” (IBO Mathematics HL Guide)
    • Focuses on further algebra, trigonometry, vectors, matrices, and the equivalent of college Calculus 1 and 2.
    • Internal assessment: Portfolio
    • External assessment: Examination in May
    • Also prepares students for AP Calculus BC exam

Group 6: The Arts

  • Theatre Arts HL
    • Aim is “to help students understand the nature of the theatre…by making it as well as studying it” (IBO Theatre Arts Guide)
    • Internal assessments: Performance skills and theater production; Portfolio and Individual Project
    • External assessments: audiotaped Practical Play Analysis (on a prescribed play) and Research Commission (researching play for production)
  • Visual Arts HL
    • Creation of art along with understanding of its socio-cultural context
    • Internal assessment: Research workbooks
    • External assessment: Studio work portfolio submitted electronically
  • Back to top