Frequently Asked Questions
What are the requirements for entrance into the IB Diploma Program?
IB Diploma candidates must be hard workers and want to earn the IB Diploma.
What Higher Level (HL) subjects are offered at Salem High School?
Salem offers Chemistry, Biology, English Literature and History of the Americas at the
Higher Level. This means that students have -- over the two years of IB -- 240 contact hours with the
subject teacher. All IB students MUST take at least 3, but no more than 4, HL courses,
per International Baccalaureate Organization regulations. SHS offers these Sixth
Subjects: Visual Arts, Music and Dance.
How does IB determine who earns the IB Diploma?
The IB allows for a range of academic abilities. Points for the diploma are allotted based
on a student's performance on various assessments throughout each course. A maximum
of 7 points may be earned in each of the 6 subject areas (Literature, History, World
Language, Experimental Sciences, Mathematics, and the Sixth Subject). Students may
earn up to 3 additional "bonus" points from the Extended Essay research paper and the
Theory of Knowledge course. Students receive the IB Diploma if they earn 24 points on
the 45-point scale.
Can IB students be involved in athletics and extra-curricular activities, have a
social life, and still maintain good grades?
Definitely. Most IB students are very involved in sports and/or clubs and activities here
at Salem High School as well as in their community and churches. Most say the busier
they are, the more efficient they are in making the most of their time. They have active
social lives and say they do need some time for fun in order to be effective learners. IB
forces students to become efficient time managers. They learn to prioritize course work
and create study groups for their own learning styles. Involvement in sports, school clubs
and activities can count toward CAS.
How do colleges and universities view the IB Diploma?
Worldwide, academic institutions view the IB Diploma Program as the most rigorous high
school coursework available. IB Diploma graduates are highly regarded because they
have proven themselves capable of completing college-level work while being involved
in their schools and communities. Colleges and universities know that most IB graduates
will continue their involvement and academic performance at the colleges they choose
Must a student be academically gifted to be in the IB Diploma Program?
No. The common standard of IB students is that they like to learn and are willing to
work hard. They should be highly motivated, have a strong academic foundation, and
have good abilities in all subject areas.
Are IB students at Salem High School isolated from other students?
Most IB classes consist of IB students only, SHS-required courses such as Health &
Physical Education and student lunch periods are a mix of IB and non-IB students.
What if I decide I do not want to continue in IB once I start?
Many IB students consider quitting the IB at one time or another, but persevere and
are glad they did. However, a student may opt out of the IB Diploma Program at the
end of a semester. Any student leaving the program must meet with the IB Diploma
Coordinator for an exit interview.