International Baccalaureate (IB)

QSI International School of Bratislava offers the IB Diploma Programme to students ages 16–19, typically during the Secondary III and IV years. The QSI courses offered in a student’s Secondary I and II years prepare most students to take IB courses. Students may elect to enroll in the IB Diploma program as full diploma candidates or as course candidates. Enrollment of students is done through one-on-one counseling with the Director of Instruction and the IB Coordinator, beginning in the spring of a student’s Secondary II year. Prerequisite skills are required for the program, but specific prerequisite courses are not necessarily required.


Earning an IB Diploma (“Full” diploma candidates):

Students take 6 courses, 1 from each of the 6 subject groups. Students may take an elective in lieu of taking a Group 6 subject. Students choose to take 3 courses at Standard Level (SL) and 3 courses at Higher Level (HL). HL courses are 240 or more hours over 2 years of study, while SL courses are 150 hours or more over 2 years of study. All courses are offered at HL and SL, unless noted.

Diploma candidates also complete the requirements for the 3 core elements: the Extended Essay, the CAS program (Creativity, Action, and Service), and the TOK (Theory of Knowledge) course.


Group 1:

Languages A
English A Language & Literature
Slovak A Literature
Self-taught Language A SL-only (students may choose to independently study literature in their mother tongue, with the help of a native-speaking tutor; students choosing this will work closely with the IB Coordinator to design their course of study)

Group 2:

Languages B
German ab initio SL-only (for students with 0-2 years of previous study)
German B (for students with 2-5 years of study)
French ab initio SL-only
French B

Group 3:

Individuals and Societies
Business & Management

Group 4:

Experimental Sciences
Chemistry (offered in alternating years with Physics)

Group 5:

Math Studies SL-only
Mathematics SL
Mathematics HL

Group 6:

Visual Arts


The Extended Essay:

Candidates use the research skills they have mastered in Writing I and Writing II to undertake the independent Extended Essay research paper. Students begin work on the essay in the spring of Year 1, and submit the final essay in January of Year 2. Students work in a limited manner with a supervisor for 3–5 hours over the course of their extended essay process. Some IB students may elect to take the QSI Research Project course in their Sec. III or IV year to gain extra instruction on basic research and research-writing skills (the extended essay is not completed as part of this class as it must be done independently).



The TOK course is a course of study, but it is not held as a daily class. The TOK curriculum is covered in a combination of study within the subject-area courses, all-day workshops, and through Moodle forums through Year 1 and Year 2. TOK culminates in a presentation and a written paper in January and February of Year 2.



Students design and complete a variety of CAS projects throughout their 2 years of study. Projects aim to exposed students to creative exploration, service to the school or community, and action-based activities such as sports or music. One CAS project is completed as part of the QSIB House system, wherein IB students become leaders of service projects for all middle school and secondary students. CAS activities and reflections are recorded in blog format.


Earning IB Certificates (“Course” candidates):

Students work closely with the Director of Instruction and IB Coordinator to decide if the full IB program is the right choice for them. Alternatively, students can choose to take IB courses for certificates only, making the student a “course” candidate. A diploma candidate who takes 6 courses, but who does not earn enough points for the diploma, will earn certificates in the courses indicating their score in each subject.


Balancing IB Courses and QSI Courses

All IB courses earn a student credits toward graduation. Most students who have attended QSI in their Secondary I and II years are prepared to take the IB program in their Secondary III and IV years without the need of additional QSI courses to fulfill graduation requirements for an American diploma. Students in the IB program typically have at least 1 unsupervised study period (“UR”) built into their schedule.

However, a student can elect to take non-IB QSI courses during their 2 years of the IB program. Some students may want to take different courses out of personal interest, while some students may need courses to fulfill their home country requirements or QSI graduation requirements (in the case of a student who transfers to QSIB as an older secondary student). Students will work with the Director of Instruction to determine what QSI courses they can fit in their schedule alongside their IB courses. Students who do not elect other courses will have a scheduled unsupervised study time (“UR”).

Students earn QSI units at the same time as completing assessment elements for IB courses. Typically, a student earns 10 QSI units in each year of an IB course, or 20 QSI units over the 2 years. This may differ depending on whether the student is taking the IB course at standard level or at higher level.

Graduating/Year 2 IB students exit QSIB in June with their QSI American diploma, while results of IB exams are posted via the online system in July. Students receive their IB diploma or certificates from the school after exam results are posted in July.


What is the IB Diploma Program?

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