IB DP at GEMS World Academy - Dubai

The Diploma Programme

The IB Diploma Programme (DP) is an academically challenging and balanced programme of education with final examinations that prepares students, aged 16 to 19, for success at university and life beyond. It has been designed to address the intellectual, social, emotional and physical well-being of students. The programme, has gained recognition and respect from the world’s leading universities. The programme is designed for highly motivated students looking for a rigourous educational experience.

Rania Hussein

IB DP Coordinator

Meet The DP Coordinator

Rania is an experienced IB educator who has worked within the Diploma Programme for the entirety of her teaching career fulfilling a variety of roles.

Top IB Students 2018 - 2019

Meet some of our Alumni

  • We are so proud to share that our 2018-19 Valedictorian and one of our top performing students in the IBDP, Alexandra Tsalidis, has been accepted to Read [sic] Law at Cambridge University, which is ranked among the top three law schools in the world by different university rankings.


    Alexandra Tsalidis


  • With incredible determination, dedication and hard work Riccardo scored an outstanding 43 points out of a possible 45 in the IBDP. Riccardo also received the Salutatorian Award at our senior graduation.


    Riccardo El Hassanin


  • Nicolas has just started his military service in Singapore, and is planning to study at Cambridge for Engineering with a special interest in Biomedical Engineering following this.


    Nicolas Martin

    Top student

  • Our highest performing student in the 2019 class, achieving an incredible 44 points. Utkarsh has been offered a place at UCLA to study Mechanical Engineering.


    Utkarsh Kumar

    Top IB DP Scorer

Top Stats

  • 80

    of Grade 11/12 students enrolled in the full DP

  • 9.6

    increase in the Average Candidate Diploma Score over the last 4 years

  • 97

    of candidates achieved the Diploma

  • 80

    of graduates go on to study university in UK, Europe or North America

Explore the IB DP

  • IB DP Core Elements

    Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS)

    Creativity, activity, service (CAS) is one of the three essential elements that every student must complete as part of the Diploma Programme (DP).

    Studied throughout the Diploma Programme, CAS involves students in a range of activities alongside their academic studies. 


    How is CAS structured? 

    The three strands of CAS, which are often interwoven with particular activities, are characterized as follows:

    • Creativity – arts, and other experiences that involve creative thinking.
    • Activity – physical exertion contributing to a healthy lifestyle, complementing academic work elsewhere in the DP.
    • Service – an unpaid and voluntary exchange that has a learning benefit for the student. The rights, dignity and autonomy of all those involved are respected.

    In order to demonstrate these concepts, students are required to undertake a CAS Project. The project challenges students to:

    • show initiative
    • demonstrate perseverance
    • develop skills such as collaboration, problem solving and decision making.


    What is the significance of CAS?

    CAS enables students to enhance their personal and interpersonal development by learning through experience.

    It provides opportunities for self-determination and collaboration with others, fostering a sense of accomplishment and enjoyment from their work.

    At the same time, CAS is an important counterbalance to the academic pressures of the DP.


    IB guidance on CAS

    A good CAS programme should be both challenging and enjoyable – a personal journey of self‑discovery.

    Each student has a different starting point, and therefore different goals and needs, but for many their CAS activities include experiences that are profound and life‑changing.

    CAS is a component of the DP core.

    [reference: https://www.ibo.org/programmes/diploma-programme/curriculum/creativity-activity-and-service/] 



    Extended Essay (EE)

    The extended essay is a required component of the International Baccalaureate® (IB) Diploma Programme (DP). 

    It is an independent piece of research, culminating with a 4,000-word paper.


    What is the significance of the extended essay?

    The extended essay provides:

    • practical preparation for undergraduate research
    • an opportunity for students to investigate a topic of personal interest to them, which relates to one of the student's six DP subjects, or takes the interdisciplinary approach of a World Studies extended essay.

    Through the research process for the extended essay, students develop skills in:

    • formulating an appropriate research question
    • engaging in a personal exploration of the topic
    • communicating ideas
    • developing an argument. 

    Participation in this process develops the capacity to analyse, synthesize and evaluate knowledge.

    An extended essay can also be undertaken in world studies, where students carry out an in-depth interdisciplinary study of an issue of contemporary global significance, across two IB diploma disciplines.


    How is study of the extended essay structured?

    Students are supported throughout the process of researching and writing the extended essay, with advice and guidance from a supervisor who is usually a teacher at the school.

    Students are required to have three mandatory reflection sessions with their supervisors. The final session, a concluding interview, is also known as viva voce.

    The extended essay and reflection sessions can be a valuable stimulus for discussion in countries where interviews are required prior to acceptance for employment or for a place at university.


    How is the extended essay assessed?

    All extended essays are externally assessed by examiners appointed by the IB. They are marked on a scale from 0 to 34.

    The score a student receives relates to a band. The bands are:

    A – work of an excellent standard.

    B – work of a good standard.

    C –work of a satisfactory standard.

    D – work of a mediocre standard.

    E – work of an elementary standard.

    [reference: https://www.ibo.org/programmes/diploma-programme/curriculum/extended-essay/what-is-the-extended-essay/] 



    Theory of Knowledge (TOK)

    Theory of knowledge (TOK) plays a special role in the International Baccalaureate® (IB) Diploma Programme (DP), by providing an opportunity for students to reflect on the nature of knowledge, and on how we know what we claim to know.

    It is one of the components of the DP core and is mandatory for all students. The TOK requirement is central to the educational philosophy of the DP.


    How is TOK structured?

    As a thoughtful and purposeful inquiry into different ways of knowing, and into different kinds of knowledge, TOK is composed almost entirely of questions.

    The most central of these is "How do we know?", while other questions include:

    • What counts as evidence for X?
    • How do we judge which is the best model of Y?
    • What does theory Z mean in the real world?

    Through discussions of these and other questions, students gain greater awareness of their personal and ideological assumptions, as well as developing an appreciation of the diversity and richness of cultural perspectives.


    Assessment of TOK

    The TOK course is assessed through an oral presentation and a 1600 word essay.

    The presentation assesses the ability of the student to apply TOK thinking to a real-life situation, while the essay takes a more conceptual starting point.

    For example, the essay may ask students to discuss the claim that the methodologies used to produce knowledge depend on the use to which that knowledge will be used.


    What is the significance of TOK?

    TOK aims to make students aware of the interpretative nature of knowledge, including personal ideological biases – whether these biases are retained, revised or rejected.

    It offers students and their teachers the opportunity to:

    • reflect critically on diverse ways of knowing and on areas of knowledge
    • consider the role and nature of knowledge in their own culture, in the cultures of others and in the wider world.

    In addition, TOK prompts students to: 

    • be aware of themselves as thinkers, encouraging them to become more acquainted with the complexity of knowledge
    • recognize the need to act responsibly in an increasingly interconnected but uncertain world. 

    TOK also provides coherence for the student, by linking academic subject areas as well as transcending them.

    It therefore demonstrates the ways in which the student can apply their knowledge with greater awareness and credibility.


    [reference: https://www.ibo.org/programmes/diploma-programme/curriculum/theory-of-knowledge/what-is-tok/] 



  • Subject Groups and Courses

  • Assessment and Exams

    GPA Equivalency Scale

    We do not report a GPA, but do provide a suggested equivalency scale below:

    GWA Grade Achievement Descriptor Suggested Equivalent Letter Grade Suggested GPA Calculation
    7 Exceptional A+ 4.00
    6 Superior  A/A- 4.00
    5 Very Good B+/B/B- 3.50
    4 Satisfactory  C+/C 3.00
    3 Mediocre C- 2.00
    2 Poor E 0.00
    1 Very Poor F 0.00

    GWA 2019 IB Diploma Programme Results

    Total students registered 111 Percentage of candidates who achieved the Diploma 97% 
    Full Diploma candidates  79 Average points obtained by candidates who achieved the Diploma 34
    Diploma Courses & Career related Programme candidates 31 Highest Diploma points awarded to a candidate 44
    Number of candidates who successfully passed the Diploma 76 Average grade obtained by candidates who achieved the Diploma 5.44

    Average Candidate Diploma Score

    We are proud to show that our average scores have been increasing throughout the years (out of 45 points)

    Diploma Score Distributions in 2019

    A distribution of the percentage of students who received specific scores



    External Norm-Referenced Testing 

    In keeping with our college preparatory mission to inspire academic excellence in all students, GWA collects data on students every year to determine how the school’s programme is performingin relation to other like schools. GWA uses the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) standardized achievement testing programme of skills in Grades 1 - 9 to assess competency in core content areas. Testing occurs three times per year, in line with KHDA requirements. Additionally, students in Grades 4, 6, 8, and 10 are required to take the CAT- 4 assessment as part of KHDA requirements.

    The IBDP requires externally assessed examinations of IBDP students during their final year (Grade 12) in which those who qualify will receive both a standard GWA graduation diploma and the IB Diploma.


    Further Reading

  • Graduation Requirements

    GWA Diploma and the IB Diploma

    Students graduating from GWA will receive their High School Diploma at the time of graduation; this is based on their final grade in their GWA classes and final exams but not the World Exams. The IB results are not issued until July and these scores will not impact a student’s graduation requirements from GWA.

    The DP is a demanding university preparatory programme that leads to external exams. It is designed for highly motivated students in their final two years of school. The DP curriculum emphasizes critical thinking, intercultural understanding, research skills and community service. Approximately 80% of GWA students in Grades 11 and 12 are enrolled in the full DP, with the remainder enrolled in Diploma Courses or the High school Diploma route.

    The IB Diploma will be awarded to a candidate provided all the following requirements have been met: all CAS requirements, the candidate’s total points are 24 or more, there is no grade E awarded for Theory of Knowledge and/or the Extended Essay, there is no grade 1 awarded in a subject/level, there are no more than two grade 2’s awarded (HL or SL), there are no more than three grade 3’s or below awarded (HL or SL), the candidate has gained 12 points or more in HL subjects, and the candidate has gained 9 points or more on SL subjects.


    Courses Programme

    The Courses Programme is an alternative pathway to the DP. Courses students complete 6 subjects at the SL and sit IB World Exams in May. Courses students must fulfill all of their SL courses requirements, and complete a modified CAS portfolio requirement. DP Courses candidates receive a transcript of results issued by the IB.


    Evaluation Scheme

    GWA conforms to the IB system with grades ranging from 7 (high) to 1 (low), with the exception of TOK and EE which is reported A (high) to E (low). The system is used for all internal and external assessments and on official transcripts.

    A detailed description of Grade Descriptors is located here: http://www.ibo.org/globalassets/publications/recognition/dp-grade-descriptors-en.pdf

    GWA only provides end of year grades on High School transcripts. Should a mid-year transcript be required for Grade 12 students, it should be noted that the grades are only preliminary and an updated transcript with final grades will be provided at the end of Grade 12.

    The Diploma Programme at GWA has minimum entrance requirements for Grade 10 students, details of which are available on the school website. Students who do not qualify for the Full DP can enroll in the Diploma Courses.

  • Extra-Curricular Activities

    Term 1: 3rd September - 12th December


    Swimming U12s – U19s

    Basketball U16s & U19s

    Football U12s – U19s

    Rugby 7s U19s Boys

    Touch Rugby Development U12s – U16s

    Term 2: 5th January – 26th March


    Track and Field U12s – U19s

    Swimming U12s – U19s

    Volleyball U14s – U19s

    Touch Rugby League U12s – U19s

    Netball League U12s – U19s

    Tennis U14s – U19s 

    Term 3: 12th April – 25th June


    Swimming U12s – U19s

    Basketball U12s – U14s

    Water Polo U14s – U16s

    Cricket U12s – U19s

    Badminton U12s – U19s

  • Dedicated DP Facilities

    Our school provides world class facilities which optimize and enhance the student learning experience



  • What is the Diploma Programme?

    The Diploma Programme (DP) is a curriculum framework designed by the International Baccalaureate (IB) for students in the last two years of high school.

    IB students graduating with the IB diploma are able to study at universities all around the world, often with advanced credit. Students report that their involvement with the IB has given them the tools needed to succeed at college. In particular, students comment on their sense of preparedness, self-confidence, research skills and their ability to manage their time. Even more important, they have developed a sense of the world around them and their responsibility to it.

    Diploma Programme students study six subjects (three at standard level and three at higher level) over two years and complete three additional requirements: the theory of knowledge (TOK), the extended essay and at least 150 hours of CAS—creativity, activity and service tasks outside of the classroom. In addition to these requirements, students must earn a minimum of 24 points out of a possible 45 points on the final assessments which are externally marked and moderated by the IB, in order to receive an IB diploma.


    Theory of knowledge (TOK)

    TOK is an interdisciplinary course designed to help students question and understand how they know what they know. Students study how individuals from various disciplines view the world in order to develop their own ways of thinking. By stimulating analysis of knowledge across disciplines, TOK seeks to help students make sense of school and the world.


    Creativity, activity, service (CAS)

    CAS is an experiential learning component of the DP. Students complete a wide variety of extracurricular, community service and athletic options to fulfill this requirement.


    Extended essay

    The extended essay introduces students to the demands and rewards of independent work. Emphasis is placed on doing personal research and communicating ideas effectively in order to write a 4,000-word essay in an area of personal interest.

  • How do colleges and universities view the Diploma Programme?

    The DP is internationally recognized as representing one of the highest standards in university preparatory education. More than 1,000 colleges and universities in North America have recognition policies on how they weigh it in admissions, advanced standing, college credit and scholarships.

    A list of colleges and universities that grant credit, scholarships and/or advanced standing for DP diplomas and certificates is available at www.ibo.org.

  • What kind of student is a good candidate for the DP?

    The DP is a rigorous course of study for motivated students. That said, prior academic success is less an indicator of ability to earn the diploma than are a student’s determination to do his or her best, willingness to be organized in order to complete the work while leading a full, balanced life, and a strong commitment to learning in and beyond the classroom.

  • Do DP students have time for anything beyond academics?

    Absolutely. Most successful Diploma Programme students lead very full lives. They are often members of athletic teams and involved in a wide range of activities. Time management and organization are key skills the IB develops in students.

  • Are IB programmes considered “gifted” programmes?

    The IB does not control how schools designate their Diploma Programme. In some instances, schools choose to designate the programme as selective enrolment via application or as a magnet programme. In other cases, the programme is open to any student.


Resources and Downloads


How the DP Helps Students

The DP is able to develop the students to posses the qualifications below. Click here to learn more.

Which universities do our DP graduates go to?

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