IB Grades Explained For Top US & UK University Admissions

by Ignite Training Institute

The International Baccalaureate (IB) program is a globally recognized education system that offers a rigorous and comprehensive curriculum for students between the ages of 3 to 19. Students who complete the IB program are evaluated through a grading system that assesses their performance in various subjects, known as IB grades. These grades serve as a measure of a student’s academic achievement and can have a significant impact on their future academic and career opportunities. 

In this blog, we will explore the IB grading system and provide an overview of how it works, what the grades mean, and how they can impact a student’s future prospects. Whether you are a student, parent, or educator, understanding the IB grading system is crucial for making informed decisions about education and setting achievable goals for academic success. 

Ignite Training Institute offers full-scale educational support for IB curriculum – IBDP & MYP. Connect with our expert consultants today!

What Is An IB Grading Scale?

The International Baccalaureate (IB) grading scale is a system used to assess the performance of students in the IB program. This scale consists of a range from 1 to 7, with 7 being the highest score achievable. Each subject in the IB program is graded using the same scale, except for the Theory of Knowledge (TOK) and the Extended Essay (EE), which use a different grading scale.

The IB grading scale is designed to measure the student’s mastery of the subject matter and skills taught in the program. A score of 7 on the IB grading scale is considered equivalent to an A+ or A in the traditional grading system, while a score of 1 is the lowest score achievable and indicates that the student did not meet the minimum requirements for the subject.

In addition to subject-specific grades, students also receive an overall IB diploma score, which is the total of all their subject grades. The maximum score achievable for the IB diploma is 45, with a minimum score of 24 required to pass. The IB grading scale emphasizes critical thinking, problem-solving, and analytical skills, which are essential for success in the program. It also aims to prepare students for higher education and future careers by providing a rigorous and challenging curriculum.

ib grades explained

IB Grades Explained For IB Diploma

The grading system for the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program includes a separate grading scale for the Theory of Knowledge (TOK) and the Extended Essay (EE), which are both required components of the program.

The TOK grading scale ranges from A to E, with A being the highest score achievable. Students are assessed on their ability to think critically and reflectively about knowledge and how it is acquired. The assessment includes both a presentation and an essay, with a maximum combined score of 10. The TOK grade is then combined with the student’s Extended Essay grade to determine the additional points they will receive toward their overall diploma score.

The EE grading scale ranges from A to E, with A being the highest score achievable. Students are required to complete an independent research project of up to 4,000 words, which is then assessed by an external examiner. The EE grade is then combined with the student’s TOK grade to determine the additional points they will receive toward their overall diploma score.

The combined TOK and EE grades are awarded a score of 0 to 3, with 3 being the highest score achievable. The additional points earned from the TOK and EE grades are added to the student’s subject grades, with a maximum of 3 points possible. The maximum score achievable for the IB diploma is 45, with a minimum score of 24 required to pass.

Related: List Of Top 10 Benefits Of The IB Diploma Programme

What Is A Good IB Score To Get Into Top Universities?

A good IB score to get into top universities varies depending on the university and the program the student is applying to. Generally, top universities consider IB scores as one of several factors when making admissions decisions, along with other criteria such as standardized test scores, extracurricular activities, essays, and letters of recommendation.

A score of 40 or above out of a maximum of 45 is considered a strong IB score that can enhance a student’s chances of being admitted to top universities. However, some highly selective universities may require a score of 42 or higher for admission. It’s also important to note that many top universities consider other factors beyond just academic performance, such as leadership potential, community service, and unique talents or skills.

Related: IB Program Pros & Cons: 10 Facts You Must Know

Ideal IB Scores For Top US & UK Universities

Here are the ideal IB scores to get admission at top US universities: 

  1. Harvard – 42
  2. Yale – 40
  3. Princeton – 42
  4. Columbia – 40
  5. Stanford – 40
  6. Duke – 40

Here are the ideal IB scores to get admission at top UK universities:

  1. Cambridge – 40
  2. Oxford – 38
  3. Imperial – 38
  4. UCL – 35
  5. Kings College – 40
  6. LSE – 37

When Do The Results For May & November IB Exams Come Out?

The release dates for IB exam results vary depending on whether the exams were taken in May or November.

For the May exams, the exact date for the release of results is determined by the IB and is usually announced a few months in advance. Typically, results for May exams are released in early July. Students can access their results through the IB’s online portal or through their school’s IB coordinator.

For November exams, the release date for results is usually in early January of the following year. The exact date is again determined by the IB and is announced a few months in advance. As with May exams, students can access their results online or through their school’s IB coordinator.

10 Tips To Get The Perfect 45 In IB Exams

Here are 10 Tips to get the perfect 45 in the IB curriculum exams:

  1. Start preparing early and create a study schedule to manage your time effectively.
  2. Emphasize understanding the study material rather than memorization.
  3. Make use of past papers and practice exams to familiarize yourself with the exam format and types of questions.
  4. Use multiple sources of information, such as textbooks, online resources, and notes from class.
  5. Schedule regular breaks to avoid burnout and improve concentration.
  6. Prioritize sleep and exercise as key factors for a healthy mind and body.
  7. Use active learning techniques, such as summarizing, teaching, and applying the material in real-world scenarios.
  8. Seek help from teachers or tutors when you encounter difficulties.
  9. Work on improving your writing skills for subjects that require written responses.
  10. Stay confident, positive, and motivated throughout the exam period. Believe in yourself and your abilities.

Ignite Training Institute: #1 IB Tutors In Dubai, UAE

Ignite Training Institute is a leading educational center located in Dubai, UAE that specializes in providing high-quality International Baccalaureate (IB) tutoring services to students of all ages. As the #1 IB tutor in Dubai, Ignite Training Institute offers comprehensive and effective academic support that helps students achieve their full potential and excel in their studies.

With a team of highly qualified and experienced IB tutors, Ignite Training Institute offers a wide range of academic programs and services, including private tutoring, group classes, exam preparation courses, and more. Whether you are a primary, middle, or high school student, the institute has programs tailored to your needs.

One of the standout features of Ignite Training Institute is its commitment to providing personalized attention and support to each student. The tutors take the time to understand each student’s unique strengths, weaknesses, learning style, and academic goals, and develop a customized approach that maximizes their potential. This personalized approach not only helps students improve their grades but also builds their confidence and motivation to succeed.


1. How Does IB Grading Work?

IB grading is based on a 1-7 point scale, with 7 being the highest score. Students are evaluated on their knowledge and understanding of the subject matter, their ability to apply their knowledge in real-world situations, their analytical and critical thinking skills, and their ability to communicate effectively in oral and written forms.

2. What Is 80% In IB grade?

In the IB grading system, an 80% score would typically equate to a final grade of 6 out of 7 or a high B. However, this can vary depending on the subject and the overall difficulty level of the exam.

3. What Score Is A 7 In IB?

In the International Baccalaureate (IB) program, a score of 7 is the highest possible score a student can achieve in each subject. A score of 7 indicates exceptional mastery of the subject and is generally considered equivalent to an A+ or an A* in other grading systems.


ib grades explained

IB grades play a crucial role in evaluating a student’s academic performance and can have a significant impact on their future opportunities. Understanding how the grading system works and what each grade represents can help students set achievable goals and work towards achieving their academic aspirations. 

The IB program is recognized globally and can open doors to higher education and career opportunities. It is essential for students, parents, and educators to understand the IB grading system and use it as a tool to motivate and support students in achieving their academic goals. 

The journey toward earning an IB diploma and achieving high grades may be challenging, but the rewards can be immense, both in terms of personal growth and future opportunities. With dedication, hard work, and a clear understanding of the IB grading system, students can reach their full potential and set themselves up for success in their academic and professional lives.

Related: What Is An IB World School? All You Need To Know