IB Diploma Workload Tips

The IB is a rigorous programme, with often-underappreciated amounts of work.


To begin with, students study six so-called ‘core’ subjects, which includes two languages, a humanities course, a science, maths, and possibly an arts course. On top of this, each student has to complete a course called theory of knowledge, which is an introductory philosophy course, along with a 4000-word extended essay.


From the six subjects, three or four are in higher level, which means that their workload is comparable to an A-level or AP course class. It involves almost daily homework, including quizzes, presentations and so called internal assessments (IAs).

Word Length

IAs are typically between 1500-2500 words, and typically take 20-30 hours to complete, with most subjects involving two IAs.

Work Load

The extended essay is a rigorous piece of analysis, on any subject offered by the IB, and usually done in one of your six core subjects. It involves 50-75 hours of work to complete, and occasionally much longer.

Community Service

Lastly, the IB requires students to complete community service, also known as CAS. This can be in a sport or a charity – the purpose is that students are engaged in the local community. The recommended CAS hours are 150 hours.

Example Essays

In summary, the IB is an incredible amount of work, however, it is well worth it as a preparation for university and life beyond. We provide custom example essays, available: Order.