Education Matters

The facts about the IB Diploma and how it differs from the HSC

Posted by Trinity Grammar School on Jan 7, 2017 6:00:00 AM

The facts about the IB Diploma and how it differs from the HSCWhen examining school rankings, it’s important to consider that rankings don’t take International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma results into account. In the wake of the announcement of IB Diploma results, we uncover the facts about how the IB differs from the HSC.

Historically, the IB Diploma was the domain of international schools. This is no longer the case, with participation in the IB Diploma having almost tripled in popularity since the early 2000s. At Trinity, we’ve also seen a growing number of students elect to take this challenging and rigorous education option.

Trinity IB Diploma candidates have consistently demonstrated that they are among the world’s best. In 2016, 90 percent of students obtained scores greater than the world average, with Trinity receiving close to 10% of all perfect scores awarded in Australia. 

The facts about the IB Diploma

  • Established in 1968, the IB Diploma Programme is taught to students aged 16-19.
  • The programme was introduced to provide students with a balanced education, facilitate geographic and cultural mobility and to promote international understanding.
  • It is a challenging two-year university preparation course and is widely recognised by the world’s leading universities.
  • Students must study six subject areas and three core elements:
    • Theory of Knowledge – reflect on the nature of knowledge and how we know what we claim to know.
    • Extended Essay – an independent, self-directed, 4,000 word research piece.
    • Creativity, activity, service – requires completion of a project related to these three concepts.
  • Subjects areas include:
  • At Trinity, the IB Diploma is a credible alternative to the HSC for Year 11 and 12 students.

How the IB differs from the HSC

  • Both the curriculum and teaching methods have a strong focus on international perspectives, allowing strong preparation for global citizenship.
  • It is genuinely an international qualification. The IB Diploma is recognised throughout the world and highly regarded by some of the globe’s most prestigious universities.
  • The IB Diploma has a strong focus on university preparation, equipping students with the skills required for tertiary learning such as research, essay writing and footnoting.
  • A spirit of intellectual inquiry and critical thinking is encouraged, empowering students to become independent learners who possess the ability to challenge, question and debate.
  • Subjects are not taught in isolation – students are encouraged to make connections between subjects to gain the skills required to become critical thinkers.
  • It offers academic breadth and depth. The compulsory requirement to complete six subjects means that students are not able to reduce their options.
  • It is more than an academic accreditation. The Creativity, Action and Service requirement encourages experiential learning – acquiring knowledge through direct experience. Building schools in underprivileged nations; writing for a community newspaper; and completing the Duke of Edinburgh are just some examples of the valuable learning experiences available to Diploma students in addition to their six academic learning areas.
  • The IB mark is not subject to scaling, therefore any number of students can be awarded the full mark of 45 to be eligible to attain the maximum UAC score (or ATAR equivalent) of 99.95. The HSC on the other hand is subject to scaling, with only the top 0.5% of students being eligible to attain the maximum ATAR of 99.95.

To learn more about the Trinity difference, and how the IB Diploma can assists boys to grow in mind, body and spirit, download our IB Diploma brochure. If you're deciding between the IB Diploma and HSC, visit our IB or HSC page.

IB Diploma brochure download

Topics: Boys' education, Trinity difference, Academic excellence, Boys learning, International Baccalaureate