☰ MENU

Glossary of Terms

Talking the Talk: A Guide to IB Terminology        

The IB Programme – A worldwide program for K-12 students, divided into three sub-programmes -- Primary Years (PYP) for K-5; Middle Years (MYP) for 6-10; and Diploma Programme (DP) for grades 11 and 12.  See individual web pages for more explanation of PYP and MYP.

The MYP Programme – Middle Years Programme (MYP) is offered at Robbinsdale Middle School in grades 6-8.  The programme is continued at Robbinsdale Cooper in grades 9 and 10, and culminates in a Personal Project and an MYP Certificate.  Social service work is required annually.  MYP emphasizes thematic learning throughout eight curricular areas in specified Areas of Interaction. MYP at Cooper is whole-school, with open access to honors MYP courses.

Diploma – A document issued by the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) after a student has successfully completed 4 requirements and earned a certain point total:

Diploma Candidate – A student who has elected to earn the IB Diploma during junior and senior year.  This student is called an Anticipated Candidate in junior year.


IB Courses Student – A student who chooses to take one or more IB Diploma-level classes.  Testing is optional but encouraged.  A student who submits all the Internal Assessments and completes the exams for the course earns a certificate.

IB Scholar – Cooper awards a medallion which may be worn at graduation to each student who takes at least four IB courses and exams.  Scholars are noted on the graduation program.

Scores – Students earn a single score ranging from 1-7 for each IB subject taken. 

  • The scores indicate a level of achievement compared with students around the world who are held to the same requirements.  Diploma candidates must accumulate a minimum of 24 points to earn the Diploma.  A 1 is low; a 7 is high.

Internal Assessment – An individual student evaluation done by the teacher of a subject on a particular piece of work or accumulation of work (depends on the subject) and reported to the IB Curriculum and Assessment Office (IBCA).  Internal assessments are based on descriptors so that there is a world-wide standard.  They are accompanied by candidate samples selected by IB which represent a range of performance, low to high.

Descriptors – Course-specific expectations for performance evaluation by the teacher.  An example in History:  a) demonstrated historical explanation and understanding; b) analyzed and evaluated sources and evidence thoughtfully.  An example in Science:  1) transformed, manipulated and presented data to provide effective communication; 2) carried out a range of techniques proficiently with due attention to safety; 3) defined problems, formulated hypothesis, selected any relevant variables.

Moderation – Process by which Internal Assessment (by the teacher) is evaluated by an external assessor (IBCA).  After teacher submits internal assessment and samples representing low to high, IB will compare that teacher and group of students with others, and re-mark all the teacher’s candidates higher or lower, or keep them where they are.  The purpose of moderation is to closely match the school with the external standard, and to determine an accurate evaluation for the students’ scores which is in line with other students’ work around the world.

Predicted grades – Teachers submit predicted scores that they think students will ultimately earn from their total IB assessment.  This is another way in which the teacher can see, when actual scores arrive, whether or not their thinking is in line with IB’s.

Orals (Formal Commentary) – An oral presentation given in English, French and Spanish by students is made and recorded for Internal Assessment.  A range of the resulting tapes is sent by the teachers for moderation of all scores.  English orals take place in December of senior year and global language orals take place in early spring for juniors and seniors.

You do not have to know all this stuff when you start the programme.  We will guide students and parents through the process, giving you the information as you go.