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Diploma Programme FAQs

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Do IB students sit for a different exam format other than SACE during Year 12?

The SACE and the IBDP are completely different educational programs with different curricula and assessment. Not all SACE subjects have exams but all DP subjects have exams. They are different in format, in the way they are assessed and their weighting. DP examinations are held in two cycles, one in May and one in November to accommodate differences in academic years around the world. Given we are in the southern hemisphere, our school will complete examinations in the November assessment cycle. DP students complete these examinations at the end of their second year in the programme. They contribute to 80% of your final DP grade. For more details, please see the assessment information on the each subject page.

If I'm in the DP, do I still have to do the SACE?

You either complete the DP or the SACE, you are not required to study both. This means that you are not required to complete any of the requirements of the SACE, such as the examinations, the Research project or the compulsory literacy and numeracy components.


Of course, if you are completing the Diploma programme, you will still need to complete the EE, a Maths and English subject and the DP examinations. Given that you complete the PLP in year 10, which is a part of the SACE, you should still complete the PLP, just in case you are not accepted into the DP or choose to leave at a later time.

Will I be in the same classes as SACE students?

No. Because the curriculum is different to the SACE, you will be in different classes to SACE students.

Can I study other DP subjects that the school doesn't offer?

The schools hopes that as the number of students who choose to study the IBDP grows, we can offer more subjects to students. Some IBDP courses are available online, which may incur an additional fee. Speak to the Diploma Programme Coordinator for more information.

How can I apply?

Complete an online application form using the button below:

What is SL and HL?

The Diploma Programme requires that students learn a broad range of subjects at a deep level. 

Students will take some subjects at higher level (HL) and some at standard level (SL).  HL and SL courses differ in scope but are measured according to the same grade descriptors, with students expected to demonstrate a greater body of knowledge, understanding and skills at higher level.

Each student takes at least three (but not more than four) subjects at higher level, and the remaining at standard level.

Standard level subjects take up 150 teaching hours. Higher level comprises 240 teaching hours over the two year programme.

Once I start the IBDP, am I committed for the two years?

We would encourage you to persist and complete the Diploma, but if it's not for you, you have the option to leave the IBDP at the end of semester 1 or semester 2 of the first year. We can apply for SACE recognition based on what you've completed and you can continue and complete High School in the SACE.

I'm a SACE student, can I study the DP?

The SACE will recognise one IBDP subject to count as credits towards your SACE completion. If you are an IBDP student, you cannot use SACE subjects to contribute towards your Diploma.

What are the benefits of the DP?

Findings from research into the Diploma Programme have found that:

  • The Diploma Programme contributes to higher levels of critical thinking in graduates compared to non-IB graduates.

  • DP graduates show higher levels of global mindedness, an important skill to have in an increasingly globalised economy.

  • CAS helps students to take on new challenges, persevere and develop better interpersonal skills

  • DP graduates are more likely to be accepted and persist in tertiary studies

  • DP graduates are better prepared for university study

  • DP graduates are more likely to be accepted into the top universities.

Find out more about the benefits of the Diploma Programme below:
What is TOK?

The Theory of Knowledge (or TOK for short) course is part of the core of the IB Diploma Programme and it is a compulsory component of the IBDP. TOK is an interdisciplinary course designed to help students question and understand how they know what they know. Students study how individuals from various disciplines view the world in order to develop their own ways of thinking. By stimulating analysis of knowledge across disciplines, TOK seeks to help students make sense of school and the world.

What is the EE? Is is similar to the Research Project?

It is similar to the research project, but has different requirements and is assessed in a different way. The extended essay introduces students to the demands and rewards of independent work. Emphasis is placed on doing personal research and communicating ideas effectively in order to write a 4,000-word essay in an area of personal interest.

What is CAS? Can you give some examples?

CAS stands for creativity, action and service. CAS is an experiential learning component of the DP. Students complete a wide variety of extracurricular, community service and athletic options to fulfil this requirement.


Use the two years to learn and do something new like:

  • learn an instrument

  • knitting

  • painting


identify and issue and raise awareness and campaign for change, such as:

  • rights for people with disabilities

  • support for LGBTIQ+ people

  • the national blood blank crisis

  • humanitarian or natural disasters

  • global warming

  • initiatives for bullying and harassment


  • volunteering for the homeless

  • tutoring students in our school

  • coaching or donating time to school sport

  • volunteering for the red cross

  • running a club at the school

More details regarding CAS can be found below:
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