The majority of international schools offering the IB programme in Singapore follow the September to June academic year and sit the exams in May every year. However, there are some schools that follow a January to December calendar and sit the IBDP exams in November.
These include St Joseph’s Institution International, Anglo-Chinese School (Independent), Australian International School, Hwa Chong International School (HCIS), Madrasah Aljunied Al-Islamiah, School of The Arts Singapore (SOTA), Singapore Sports School (SSP), St Joseph's Institution and ACS (International) Singapore.
WhichSchoolAdvisor.com looks at what happens next for IBDP and IBCP students – and why sitting exams in November can be an advantage when it comes to university applications.
The IB results will be made available to all students on January 2, 2023 at 12 pm GMT; your school can decide to issue them to you on paper first. From January, you can access your results online by logging in here; you’ll need your personal code and PIN to log in, which your IB Coordinator will have provided to you earlier in the year.
IB students in the November cohort have a gap of 10 months after finishing their final exams in November and enrolling into university the following September. During this time, students submit applications, work for internships and part-time jobs (and very often undertake their driving test!) Many students also return to service activities that they were involved with during their IB studies.
Tannaz Daver, Head of University Counselling, at St Joseph's Institution International, explains further.
“The release of International Baccalaureate (IB) results in early January permits the vast majority of our students to include their final grades in both local and overseas university applications. This improves students' wellbeing, removing both the pressure and anxiety of submitting predicted grades.
“Additionally, early university application and entrance tests, with deadlines between October to December, are completed towards the end of Grade 12, rather than the beginning. SJI International’s predicted grades are also assigned at the conclusion of the IB programme rather than mid-way, increasing evidence-based accuracy.
“Following IB examinations and graduation, students are then able to finalise their university applications, statements and essays. This calendar and schedule mean that students have dedicated, uncompromised time to focus on their IB examinations and studies first, then commit the same attention and focus to their university applications post-exam.”
Students can have an advantage for many university admissions because they will have their final IB Diploma scores at the time of university application. It means that, with a few exceptions, students are not reliant on predicted grades for most university applications.
Ms Daver at SJI International adds:
“Students sitting for November IB examinations start university at the same time as their peers who sit examinations the following May. However, the November sitting is followed by a nine-month window between the end of school and the start of university. We strongly believe this provides an incredible opportunity for our students' personal growth.
“Graduates use this time productively, gaining experiences in internships, travel, or research to prepare for their next course of study with confidence and a strong sense of purpose.”
In most countries, a student’s chosen university will be notified of their results automatically. In this case you don’t need to do anything.
If you're going to university in the UK, once you've sent your application to UCAS and received your welcome email, you can sign into the online 'Track' hub at any time to see how it's progressing.
Each university and college will make their decisions at different times, and each university has different entry requirements. If you're applying to study in September 2023, universities must reply by the following deadlines (with a conditional or unconditional offer):
When Track updates to show your place is confirmed, UCAS will email an AS12 letter. Follow the instructions as to what your university requires you to do. Some don't need you to do anything else to confirm your place, but others do. Store the email. You'll need it as proof to open a student bank account and other official requirements.
Students who receive their results in January can show they have already met the entry requirements, so will receive an unconditional offer. If you accept this offer, you are committing to go to that university or college, so you can't make an insurance choice. If you change your mind, you can decline your place and apply using Clearing.
University offers are often dependent different factors; for example, it’s possible to score the required overall grade but not the required grades for your HL subjects. So, it’s important to read your original offer requirements carefully so you know where you stand. Seek advice from your chosen university, and in many cases, they can decide to accept you anyway.
If you are not offered the university place you want, students who sat the IB exams can consider getting their exams remarked. However, remember that your results can go down as well as up. You may prefer to retake some of your exams in November or next May; your IB coordinator will be able to advise you the deadline for registering. Or, if applying to a UK university, you can enter the Clearing process.
A ‘P’ right next to any subject taken means that the grade is still pending. An ‘N’ right next to any subject taken means that the IB has not been able to provide a grade for this subject as all requirements have not been met. Students should contact their school’s DP/CP coordinator for further information and assistance.
Read more: Where to study the IB in Singapore.