IB compared to the national matriculation examination

The IB Diploma gives the same qualification for further education as does the Icelandic matriculation examination (“stúdentspróf”). The IB Diploma is, however, different from the standard matriculation examination in a number of ways:

  • It is completed in three (or even two) years instead of four.
  • Students select only six traditional academic subjects and complete a full two-year course in each.
  • Alongside students work on an extended essay, study Theory of Knowledge (TOK) and participate in activities outside the classroom which call for creativity, action and service (CAS). 
  • IB subjects are taught and examined in English.
  • The final IB examinations, which take place in May each year, come from IBO. They are assessed and moderated by international examiners. 


The IB grading scale differs from the Icelandic grading scale (range 1-10). Each academic subject is assessed on a scale of 1 (minimum) to 7 (maximum) with 4 considered the "passing grade". In all IB subjects this grade is arrived at through internally as well as externally assessed or moderated work, throughout the two-year program with the final examination.  Following are the approximate grade scales used by the IB:

IB Grade  % Range     Description 
    7            80 - 100      Excellent
    6            68 - 79         Very Good
    5            55 - 67         Good 
    4            45 - 54         Satisfactory
    3            35 - 44         Mediocre
    2            25 - 34         Poor
    1              0 - 24         Very Poor 

Last updated: 13.01.2022