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Studies find positive impact on student preparedness for college, career and civic life

As education leaders and policymakers continue to prioritize college- and career- readiness, it is crucial to investigate the impact of academic programs focused on preparing young people. Throughout the past few years, the International Baccalaureate (IB) has increased research efforts to better understand the impact of IB programmes, inform the global conversation on student success and continually contribute to the improvement of education.

The IB has released a series of research studies, primarily exploring the impact of the Diploma Programme (DP), which is designed to prepare high school students for success at university and life beyond. These studies show how the IB helps prepare students for success by creating college- and career-ready global citizens:

IB graduates are more likely to persist through college

A new research study conducted by Dr. David Conley and a team of researchers from the Education Policy Improvement Center (EPIC) found that IB graduates in the University of Oregon’s Honors College were more likely to stay in college and persist in their studies than their non-IB peers. The researchers found that IB students were able to better cope with demanding workloads, manage their time and meet expectations.

IB students are prepared for college-level coursework

A series of research studies from McGill University, University of Warwick, and the University of Virginia (UVA) found that the DP extended essay prepares IB graduates to be successful in higher education research. The UVA study found that, when compared with former Advanced Placement (AP) students, IB students were significantly more likely to indicate that they felt prepared for college-level coursework involving research and found their research skills to be important to future success.

IB students demonstrate civic knowledge and skills

A study conducted by Anna Rosefsky Saavedra of the RAND Corporation found that DP students demonstrate academic civic mindedness. For the purpose of the study, “academic civic-mindedness” was defined as student knowledge of the US government, public policy and effective advocacy techniques.

The IB prepares students from around the world to attend top universities

Researchers from the University of Hong Kong found that a majority of students who graduated from IB programmes in China between 2002 and 2012 attended one of the world’s top 500 universities.