IB Diploma Programme

The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) is a rigorous pre-university course of studies that culminates in external examinations. The IBDP is designed to meet the needs of motivated secondary school students between the ages of 16 and 19 years. Designed as a comprehensive 2-year curriculum that allows its graduates to fulfil requirements of various national education systems, the Diploma Programme model is based on the pattern of no single country but incorporates the best elements of many.

MEF Schools, whose IB DP also allows for the entrance of students from its Turkish national sister school MEF Lisesi, is officially referred to as MEF Schools of Turkey. MEF has proudly offered the Diploma Programme since 1998 and has been one of the top-scoring IB World School in Turkey.

Participants in the Diploma Programme choose a subject from six different academic areas. The courses span a range of subject areas in order for the IB to achieve its goal of providing a well-rounded, challenging curriculum that enables students to succeed at the university-level and in our global village. In the IBDP, students study 6 subjects, 3 at the Higher Level (HL) and 3 at the Standard Level (SL). HL courses represent 240 teaching hours; SL courses cover 150 hours. By arranging work in this fashion, students are able to explore some subjects in depth and some more broadly over the two-year period; this is a deliberate compromise between the early specialization preferred in some national systems and the breadth found in others.

Successful Diploma Programme students must meet three requirements in addition to the six subjects. These requirements are directly related to the extent to which students embody the traits of the IB Learners Profile. The interdisciplinary Theory of Knowledge (TOK) course is designed to develop a coherent approach to learning that transcends and unifies the academic areas and encourages appreciation of other cultural perspectives. The Extended Essay of some 4,000 words offers the opportunity to investigate a topic of special interest and acquaints students with the independent research and writing skills expected at university. Participation in the CAS (Creativity, Activity, Service) requirement encourages students to be involved in creative pursuits, physical activities and service projects in the local, national and international contexts.

The courses listed below are currently offered at MEF Schools of Turkey. See Course Descriptions for a more detailed look at the courses listed below.

Group 1 (Language A) Group 2 (Language B)
Turkish A (SL, HL)

English A (SL, HL)

Self-Study A (SL)

English B (SL, HL)

French B (SL, HL)

Spanish B (SL, HL)

Ab initio French (SL)

Ab initio Spanish (SL)

Group 3 (Individuals and Societies) Group 4 (Experimental Sciences)
History (SL, HL)

Economics (SL, HL)

ITGS (SL, HL) (offered as Group 6 elective)

Biology (SL, HL)

Chemistry (SL, HL) (offered as Group 6 elective)

Physics (SL, HL)

Environmental Systems and Societies (SL)

Group 5 (Mathematics) Group 6 (Arts and Electives)
Mathematics (SL, HL)

Mathematical Studies (SL)

Visual Arts (SL, HL)

Chemistry (SL, HL)



Students are assessed both internally and externally at the end of Grade 12 through IB examinations. The internally assessed components are also externally moderated by IB.

MEF International School takes pride in its exam results. As demonstrated from the chart below, MEF IBDP graduates have typically scored at, near, or above world averages throughout the programme’s history. Over 90% of MEF’s students have successfully obtained their IB Diploma since 2002.

Year High Low Average
2021 43 26 37
2020 42 24 33
2019 38 18 32
2018 40 22 32
2017 38 25 33
2016 43 35 39
2015 43 23 34
2014 45 26 32
2013 36 22 28
2012 38 22 29

*The world average over these years was a score of 30 points.

 CAS (Creativity, Activity, Service)

CAS is a fundamental and mandatory part of the Diploma curriculum. The CAS requirement takes seriously the importance of life outside the world of academics, providing a refreshing counterbalance to the academic self-absorption some may feel within a demanding schools program.

The IB seeks to educate the whole person, making students responsible, compassionate citizens. The CAS requirement allows pupils to share their talents, interests and energy with others. Via CAS activities, students develop a greater awareness of themselves, concern and empathy for others, and the ability to collaborate with other people.

  • Creativity is interpreted broadly. It includes a wide range of arts activities but can also be defined as the creativity students show in designing and implementing service projects
  • Action can include not only participation in individual and team sports but also taking part in expeditions and in local or international projects
  • Service encompasses a host of community and social service activities, such as helping children with special needs and visiting animal shelters, retirement homes, orphanages, and other disadvantaged populations

Students are required to participate in both community service activities and projects set or approved by the school over the course of IB1 and IB2. Activities include projects inside the school (such as Student Council activities and events, physical education instruction, involvement in sports teams and special projects) and outside the school (which include visits to various nonprofit entities, such as local animal shelters, retirement homes, and other centers serving the disadvantaged.

* Please note that much of the information explained above pertaining to CAS is taken from the online curriculum centre found at ibo.org

Extended Essay

The Extended Essay is intended to promote high-level research and writing skills, intellectual discovery and creativity. It provides students with an opportunity to engage in personal research in a topic of their own choice, under the guidance of a supervisor from the IBDP teaching staff. The process leads to a major piece of formally presented, structured writing, in which ideas and findings are communicated in a reasoned and coherent manner, appropriate to the subject chosen. Essays range in length up to 4,000 words. Research begins in IB1, and the final essay is produced in IB2. Ultimately, students undertake projects that prepare them for life in a university.

* Please note that much of the information explained above pertaining to Extended Essay is taken from the online curriculum centre found at ibo.org

TOK (Theory of Knowledge)

TOK is a required interdisciplinary course intended to stimulate critical reflection upon knowledge and experience gained inside and outside the classroom. TOK challenges students to be aware of the subjective and ideological biases and to develop a personal mode of thought based on an analysis of evidence expressed in rationale argument.

During IB2 year of the TOK course, students produce a presentation and write a 1,200 to 1,600 word essay on a prescribed topic that is marked by the IBO.

The aims of the TOK course are:

  • to develop a fascination with the richness of knowledge as a human endeavour and an understanding of the empowerment that follows from reflecting upon it
  • to develop an awareness of how knowledge is constructed, critically examined, evaluated and renewed by communities and individuals
  • to encourage students to reflect on their experiences as learners in everyday life and in the Diploma Programme
  • to make connections between academic disciplines and between thoughts, feelings and actions
  • to encourage an interest in the diversity of ways of thinking and ways of living of individuals and communities, and to promote an awareness of personal and ideological assumptions
  • to encourage consideration of the responsibilities originating from the relationship between knowledge, the community, and the individual as citizen of the world

By the end of the course, students should be able to:

  • analyse critically knowledge claims, their underlying assumptions, and their implications
  • generate questions, explanations, conjectures, hypotheses, alternative ideas, and possible solutions in response to knowledge issues concerning areas of knowledge, ways of knowing, and students’ own experience as learners
  • demonstrate an understanding of different perspectives on knowledge issues
  • draw links and make effective comparisons between different approaches to knowledge issues that derive from areas of knowledge, ways of knowing, theoretical positions, and cultural values
  • demonstrate an ability to give a personal, self-aware response to a knowledge issue
  • formulate and communicate ideas clearly with due regard for accuracy and academic honesty

* Please note that much of the information explained above pertaining to TOK is taken from the online curriculum centre found at ibo.org