FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions


Admissions:

1. What kind of students is DBS IB looking for?

A: We are looking for students who:

  • Have the potential to complete with program with an IBDP.
  • Benefit from the course.
  • Academically all-rounded.
  • Are highly self-motivated.
  • Possess traits of the IB Learner Profile.

2. Am I suited for the IB?

A: Several ways to find out are to:

  • Do some research about the IB. Search online, talk to current students and teachers, and ask many questions.
  • Ask yourself what you want out of the program.
  • Compare the IB with other available curriculums.
  • Think about your own strengths and weaknesses.
  • Go listen to the Admissions talk in February.

3. What can I do to prepare myself for the admissions process?

  • Carefully read the Admissions section on our website
  • Read the answers to “Am I suited for the IB?”
  • Be yourself

4.  Who is eligible for the Athletes Program?

A: The Athletes Program is typically for students who need to dedicate much of their time to training for sports.  As the demands of different sports are very specific, we will look at each potential applicant individually when considering their eligibility.

5. Is the extra year for the Athletes Program at the beginning or at the end of the IBDP?

A: At the end.  This means that the student will graduate one year later than his cohort.


Curriculum:

6. Is the IB an elite program for top students only?

A: No. The IB is not an elite program. However, it is a rigorous and demanding curriculum that requires students to be well-disciplined and all-rounded academically. It also requires that students show traits of the Learner Profile.

7. What are some similarities and differences between NSS and IB streams?

  • Both the NSS and IB streams offer an excellent pathway into University
  • Both offer breadth and depth (IB: 2 Languages, Maths, Humanities, Science, Elective; NSS: 2 Languages, Maths, + 3 electives)
  • Both require critical thinking and pursuit of knowledge (IB: TOK ; NSS: LS)
  • Both have a focus on the non-academic side (IB: CAS; NSS: OLE)
  • Languages in the IB focuses on literary analysis
  • IB has the Extended Essay (4000 word research paper)
  • In the IB, students must choose from all subject groups meaning possibly less flexibility in subject choices compared with NSS.
  • The IB typically has smaller class sizes.
  • The delivery in the IB focuses on international mindedness
  • The IB uses multiple varied forms of internal and external assessments

Language:

8. What do we study in English and Chinese courses?
A: Language A (English or Chinese) is literature based and requires the students to:

  • Read 10 books at SL and 13 books at HL
  • Analyze, interpret, comment on structure
  • Write essays
  • Do oral presentations

9. Do you offer other languages?

A: We offer French B. If students wish to take another language, it may be possible if it is offered online or if an approved tutor can be arranged by the student at the student’s expense. However this must be approved by the IB Coordinator.

10. I’m not good at Chinese. Is IB better for me?

A: That depends. The Chinese A course is literature-based.  Chinese B is an acquisition course meant for learners who are second-language learners who have not studied Chinese for most of their lives or have found the Chinese subject a significant challenge for them throughout their school life.  Our Chinese teachers will determine which course will best suit each student.

11. What is Chinese Acquisition?

A: Chinese Acquisition is a school-based basic Chinese course.  It was designed to fall in line with a new EDB policy that “all students must study Chinese”.  As it is not an official IB course, the content of the Chinese Acquisition course will be tailored each year to the needs of the students and may include Cantonese or Putonghua language instruction, or a combination of both. 

12. Who can or must take Chinese Acquisition?  

A:

  1. Grade 10 students who are:
    1. Taking French must take Chinese Acquisition.  These students will take 3 languages in G10: English, French and Chinese Acquisition.
    2. Second-language learners of Chinese that are expected to progress to IB Chinese in G11 can take Chinese Acquisition.  These students will take 2 languages in G10: English and Chinese Acquisition.

2.     Grade 11/12 (IBDP) students who are taking IB French or other IB languages other than English or Chinese must take Chinese Acquisition. 

13. How will it be determined what Chinese course a student will take in G10 and in the IBDP?

A: The student can make a request, but eventually the decision will be determined by the Chinese teachers.  For G10, we will look at the students’ Chinese education history, the admissions test and interview. For IBDP, we will look at the students’ progress in G10.

14. How is Chinese Acquisition assessed?

A: Students taking Chinese Acquisition will have formative and summative assessments including exams. 

French (or other languages except English or Chinese) students taking Chinese Acquisition will be graded using formative assessments only.  They will not be required to take the Chinese Acquisition exam. 

15. I am taking Grade 9 French. Should I continue French or can I drop it?

A: That is your decision.  Here are three possible pathways for current G9 French boys:

  1. G10 French + Chinese Acquisition; G11/12 French B or Ab Initio + Chinese Acquisition
  2. G10 French + Chin Acquisition; G11/12 Drop French and take Chin B or Ab Initio
  3. Drop French and take G10 Chinese Acquisition; G11/12 Chin B or Ab Initio

16. I am taking Grade 9 French but want to drop it and take Chinese Acquisition.  What should I take for the admissions test?

A: In that case you will take the general Chinese test. 


Subject Choices:

17. Can I take a subject in G11 that I didn’t take in G10?

A : All subjects choices must be approved by the subject teacher and IB Coordinator who will assess their suitability and chances of overall success in the course.


Further Studies:

18. Is the IB only for students who want to study overseas?

A: No. The IBDP is highly recognized by Hong Kong universities. In fact, a high number of our graduates have opted to stay in Hong Kong even after receiving multiple offers from top overseas universities.

19. Is it possible to elaborate more on why do university’s like the point scoring system of the IB?

A: The IB uses a 1-7 point system that is consistent across all IB Diploma schools around world.  Each point has a very specific descriptor that outlines the skills that the student has acquired.  This allows universities to set accurate standards and increase reliability. The descriptors are as follows:

(IBDP Point Descriptors)


Support System:

20. Is there anyone else besides my Advisor that I can get support from?

A: Of course.  All your subject teachers, counsellors, Coordinators and school social workers are here to support you too.