IB Student Dictionary

presented by Timon (Senior Student, Year 2017):


International Baccalaureate
Such a word does not exist in German. Just remember “Abitur in English”, this might fit quite well, especially when you explain it to others!

Junior Year
11th grade

Senior Year
12th grade

Higher Level (HL)/Standard Level (SL)
similar to “Leistungskurs” and “Grundkurs”


= Creativity, Activity, Service
Should support your individual growth as an IB learner; provides diverse leisure experiences during the stressful IB life.

CAS Interview
regular discussion with CAS coordinator about your achievements in the CAS programme

CAS (Final) Portfolio
summary of all CAS activities, including supervisor’s comments, self-evaluation and reflection

Theory of Knowledge (TOK)
a kind of philosophy course in English, focussing on questions like “What is knowledge and is it reliable?”; should prepare the learners to think critically.

Areas of Knowledge (AOK)
= Arts, Religion, Natural Sciences, etc.; all discussed in TOK

Ways of Knowing (WOK)
possibilities of gaining knowledge, including fallacies that should be minded

TOK Presentation
oral presentation on an eligible topic; showing the student’s progress in assessing issues critically

TOK Essay
Choose one out of six knowledge questions and write about AOKs and WOKs.


World Literature (WL)
Three masterpieces of international literature are presented, (hopefully) commonly read and discussed in detail. This subject is taught in German (unless your mother tongue is English)! Many people tend to forget this.

Interactive Oral
WL meeting on each book read in the course. Several groups prepare interesting aspects about the book’s context and present it to the course to develop a deeper understanding.

Reflective Statement
summary of the Interactive Oral and reflection on your personal knowledge. Really short!!!

Written Assignment
brief written text analysis of each of the WL books (45-60 min. in class)

WL Essay
Choose a topic for a short interpretation and prove your understanding of one piece of international literature.

Oral Examination
final exam in the last year with a focus on topics from your German classes


Foreign Languages = English, Spanish, French, Italian; not taught separately from the normal Abitur classes

Written Assignment
(relatively) brief written text or creative work


IB History
= may be taken in English or German

IB Geography
= travelling with your finger on a map 


Biology, Chemistry, Physics
These subjects are (normally) taught in English! (Biology may also be taken in German.)

Group 4 project
Laboratory days with all Natural Science students on Fri/Sat. You’ll make up your own experiments together. The IBO calls this “interdisciplinary learning”.

Individual Investigation
Develop your own research question and your own experiment; analyse and assess your data, but don’t blow up the laboratory.


IB Maths
might help you in your Abitur or later at uni – or when calculating your chances to win a bet.

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