IB Diploma Programme



DP, how to apply

Criteria for DP student admission and Entrance Exam

  • The online application form to the Turku International School IB Diploma programme
  • The deadline for applications is 23 March, 2021.
  • The selection of new DP-students is based on previous academic records and an entrance exam.
  • If the applicant has a Finnish basic education diploma, the grade average of academic subjects in this diploma is considered. Mathematics and English grades have double weighing.
  • The entrance exam for 2021 pre-DP entry will be held on 16 April 2021 at 10.00 in Turun normaalikoulu auditorium. (Annikanpolku 9, 20610 Turku). Please note, that applicants will not receive a separate invitation. The applicant should come to school in time and have their personal ID (e.g. passport) with them.


  • Admission test for students arriving to Finland during the summer 2021: The entrance exam for 2021 pre-DP entry will be held on the 9th and 10th of August 2021 in the Turku normaalikoulu (Annikanpolku 9, 20610 Turku). Invitations will be sent via email given on the submitted online application. Please note, that applications need to be submitted by the 11th of July in order to be tested on the 9th and 10th of August 2021.


  • Please contact guidance counsellor Jukka Valtanen if you want to visit our senior high school and/or the IB-section. (jukka.valtanen@utu.fi)
  • The high school presentation evening will be held online via Zoom (link will be published later) on 13 January 2021 at 18.30. For additional information, contact jukka.valtanen@utu.fi, tel. +358 50-5660932.


Admission results are announced on 17 June 2021 at the earliest. The results will be sent to the email address given on the online application form.

DP, basic information

  • IB Diploma Programme is a challenging pre-university programme of international education offered by the International Baccalaureate Organization (Diploma programme at the IBO website)
  • Founded in 1968, the IBO is a non-profit educational foundation
  • There are more than 2700 schools in about 140 countries offering the IB Diploma Programme. In Finland the number of IB DP schools is 16.
  • The IB Diploma Programme leads to a qualification that is widely recognized and appreciated by universities all over the world.
  • In Finland the IB Diploma is considered equivalent to the Finnish “ylioppilastutkinto”.






IB Diploma Programme in Turun normaalikoulu is preceded by a one-year Pre-DP Programme which follows Finnish national upper secondary school first year curriculum. The language of instruction in Pre-DP is English. Pre-DP is implemented in order to ensure sufficient skills in the language of instruction (English) and to introduce working methods that are typically used in the IB Diploma Programme.

Around 95% of the IB Diploma graduates enter universities in Finland, Britain, other European countries or elsewhere in the world. The most successful graduates often gain admission to prestigious European and North American universities.

DP subjects

The Diploma Programme (DP) curriculum is made up of six subject groups and the DP core, comprising theory of knowledge (TOK), creativity, activity, service (CAS) and the extended essay (EE).

Through the Diploma Programme (DP) core, students reflect on the nature of knowledge, complete independent research and undertake a project that often involves community service.

The DP subjects are chosen at the end of the pre-DP year. Students must choose 6 subjects from DP subject groups 1-5, at least one subject from each group (group 6, Arts, is not offered). Three subjects must be chosen at higher level (HL) and three subjects at standard level  (SL). It is possible to choose 4 higher level subjects and an additional 7th subject.

At higher level the number of teaching hours is 240 and at standard level 150.

If a student needs all sciences (biology, chemistry, physics) for medical studies at university he/she does not need to choose a group 3 subject. A specific permission by the IBO is required.

DP subjects

Subject group
Subject Level
Group 1 Language A Language and Literature
English A HL   SL
Group 2 Language Acquisition
English B HL   SL
French B,

French ab initio



German B,

German ab initio



Finnish B HL  SL
Group 3 Individuals and Societies
Business Management SL
Economics HL   SL
History HL   SL
Psychology HL   SL
Group 4 Sciences
Biology HL  SL
Chemistry HL   SL
Physics HL   SL
Group 5 Mathematics

Analysis and approaches

Applications and interpretation



Core components
Theory of Knowledge  (TOK) 100 h
CAS programme

Extended essay (EE)

18 months

4000 words

Pre-diploma year

Pre-diploma year

  • The IB Diploma Program (DP) lasts for two years and is preceded by a pre-diploma year aiming at developing the students’ general knowledge as well as study and language skills.
  • The pre-DP year curriculum is a modified version of the national curriculum and the language of instruction is English.
  • Students complete 25-30 courses in the pre-DP year.
  • All students study either German or French. Students with no previous studies in these languages study 4 courses and advanced students study 2 courses. The courses are compulsory.
  • Other language studies must be approved by the DP coordinator.
  • In addition, Turku International School (TIS) students with previous knowledge of the Finnish language  take 2 courses of Finnish B in the pre-DP year.
  • TIS students with little or no knowledge of Finnish are recommended to study Finnish in evening classes provided by the city.
  • If a student intends to take some other  Language A than  English, he/she has to study it with a private teacher during the pre-DP year at his/her own cost.
  • Ms. Rauni Kaskenviita can be consulted on questions regarding  other Language A arrangements.

Subjects and Number of Courses

Languages: Language A 3,
Language B (advanced): German or French 2
Language B (beginners): German or French 4
Mathematics 3 or 5
Natural Sciences: Biology 1, Physics 1-2,  Chemistry 1, Integrated sciences 1
Humanities: History 2, Psychology 1, Social Studies 1, Theory of knowledge (TOK) 1
Other subjects: Art or Music 1, Physical Education 1,

Independent studies

  • Due to family or medical reasons a student may have to be absent from school and work independently for some time.
  • The school should be informed of such a case and preferably in advance, if possible.
  • The permission application for absence is made in Wilma.
  • The principal grants permissions to do the required course work independently.

Pre-DP year evaluation

  • Students are assessed  five times a year at the end of each study period. The grade reports are available in Wilma.
  • The courses are evaluated on a scale of 10 (excellent) to 4 (fail).
  • If all course work is not submitted the student is awarded the grade T (= unfinished work). Grade T is automatically replaced by a 4 (fail) after the next study period.
  • Teachers are not required to accept work which is turned in late.
  • Students can try to raise a course grade by signing up for a retake exam via Wilma.
  • A retake exam can be taken only once per course.
  • The dates for the retake exams can be found on the school’s website.


  • All students are expected to attend school regularly. Absences from school must have a legitimate excuse and teachers should be informed of them in advance, if possible.
  • All absences must be cleared by a parent/guardian or a medical professional (doctor, dentist etc).
  • If a student has three to four absences the teacher will determine whether he/she can evaluate the course.
  • More than four absences results in the incompletion of the course and the student must study the course independently.
  • The last retake exam is arranged in mid-June.
  • The pre-DP year cannot be repeated.

Conditions for moving on to DP1

  • To choose a higher level (HL) subject the student has to have at least a minimum average grade of 8,0.
  • For a standard level (SL) subject the minimum grade average is 7,0.
  • Students must meet the requirements below to select six DP year subjects (see section below for eligibility).
  • Students have to choose 3 higher level (HL) subjects (max. 4) and 3 standard level (SL) subjects from DP subject groups 1 – 5.
  • The sixth subject is chosen from groups 2 – 4.
  • Students must have completed all pre-DP year courses with a grade 6 or above by the end of the school year.

Subject Group 1
English A (HL/SL)

Subject Group 2
Finnish B (HL/SL), French B  (SL), French B ab initio (SL), German B (SL), German B ab initio (SL)

Subject Group 3  History (HL/SL), Psychology (HL/SL), Economics (HL/SL), Business Management (SL),

  • To choose Business Management students must have at least grade 7,0 in psychology. Final exam will be taken as an anticipated subject in the spring of DP1.
  • To choose Economics HL students must have at least grade 8,0 in history and 7,0 in physics, for Economics SL grade 7,0 in both is sufficient.

Subject group 4
Biology (HL/SL), Chemistry (HL/SL), Physics (HL/SL)

*To select physics a student must have studied both physics courses offered in the pre-DP year.

Subject Group 5

  • Math courses for DP are chosen after course 2. Those with an average grade of 6,0 – 6,9 for math courses 1 and 2 will have to take SL Math Applications and Interpretation course during DP1. These students take 3 courses of maths in the pre-DP year. Math grades below 6,0 are not acceptable.
  • Those with an average grade of 7,0 or more in courses 1 and 2 may choose Math Analysis and Approaches SL or HL course in DP1. To do so they have to study 5 courses of advanced mathematics in the pre-DP year.

N.B. Due to timetable reasons some subjects have to be taught at the same time. In the academic year 2019-2020 the overlapping subjects are physics and history / chemistry and psychology  / biology HL and economics HL  / biology and business management

IB DP1, Diploma Year 1, subjects and evaluation

DP subject briefs

The link above will take you to the official IBO Dipoloma Programme web pages where you can study the content, syllabus and evaluation of each of the IB subjects. TOK, CAS and EE information is there as well.

Evaluation in DP1 and DP2

  • IB grades range from 7 (highest) to 1 (lowest).
  • Thus 6 subjects give maximum 42 points, TOK and EE max 3 bonus points. So the maximum points in the IB Diploma is 45.
  • Students are given grades after each of the five study periods as a course ends. In DP1, there are 5 HL courses and 3 SL courses and DP2 4 HL courses and 3 SL courses.
  • In DP2 the students have two mock weeks (mid-term exam weeks) to practise time management and test their knowledge and skills.
  • If a student is absent from a mock exam, he/she must present a doctor’s certificate to the form teacher and DP coordinator. This is a requirement for rescheduling the exam.
  • Failure to submit all course work can result in the grade T (= unfinished work). A numerical grade will be awarded once the work has been completed.
  • Teachers are not required to accept or assess work turned in late.

Absence control in the DP

  • All students are expected to attend school regularly. Absences from school must have a legitimate excuse and teachers should be informed in advance, if possible.
  • All absences must be cleared by a parent/guardian or a medical professional (doctor, dentist etc).
  • If a student is absent from a mock exam, he/she must present a doctor’s certificate to the form teacher and DP coordinator. This is a requirement for rescheduling the exam.

IB DP2, ABI-info, Final examinations

IB final examinations schedules May 2020 and Nov 2020

The link above will take you to the following two exam sessions. The exams of one subject is usually divided between two days. Sometimes the students have two different subjects tested on the same day.

Conditions for the award of the IB Diploma

  • all six IB subjects are compulsory and have to be taken in the final examinations
  • the students have 3 opportunities to take the examinations, this does not have to take place in consecutive sessions
  • most subjects can be taken in May or November sessions
  • a minimum total of 24 points in six diploma subjects
  • a minimum average grade of 4 in HL subjects (note: 3 is sufficient if have grade 5, 6, or 7 in another HL subject)
  • a minimum average grade of 3 in SL subjects (note: 2 is sufficient if have grade 5, 6, or 7 in another SL subject)
  • a minimum of 12 points altogether in 3 HL subjects
  • a minimum of 9 points in 3 SL subjects
  • completion of all IA work,  done at home or at school and is part of the final grade being 25-50 % of the final grade.
  • completion of all TOK components, no grade E
  • completion of all CAS components
  • completion of the Extended Essay, no grade E
  • all pending fees must have been paid, the final exam cost about 600 euros
  • Failing to meet one or more of the criteria above means no diploma awarded.

Textbooks and materials

Teachers (IB)

Study support and guidance

Study welfare team

Key persons

Principal   Katrina Vartiainen                400 831009
Office secretary   Eija Koskela                050 3296859
Guidance counsellor  Jukka Valtanen   050 5660932
IB-coordinator  Marianna Vanhatalo    040 5773395
Curator     Jatta Auremaa                        050 5924685
Study psychologist   Petri Tiitta             040 5181955
Special teacher  Jaana Hyvärinen          050 5327080
School nurse  Vilma Alcenius                 040 1498500

e-mails: first name.surname@utu.fi

Students’ welfare work is the responsibility of everyone working in the school and it is carried out in co-operation with homes. The key persons in the welfare team are listed above. The student whose issue the team is considering can attend the meetings and the same applies to guardians, form and subject teachers.

The main goal of the team is to take care of the students’ physical, mental and social welfare. The team also promotes the safety and welfare of the whole school community.

Guidance and counselling

The guidance counsellor for senior high school is Mr Jukka Valtanen, whose office is on the 3rd floor. Tel. 050 5660932,  e-mail jukka.valtanen@utu.fi

The guidanceconsellor advises students in matters such as general studies, career choices, further education and work life. The guidance is given in lessons as well as at personal and group meetings. The work is carried out in co-operation with other teachers and the student welfare team. The guidance also includes visits to colleges, universities and further education open days.

School curator

Our school curator, Ms Jatta Auremaa, works for all levels of students in the school. Her office is on the 1st lorr in A-wing.  Tel. 050 5924 685  e-mail:  jatta.auremaa@utu.fi

The school curator is a school social worker who aims at solving the students’ problems in studying. She also works in co-operation with guardians, teachers, the school welfare team and external experts. If needed she also guides familieshow  to contact specialists outside school. Both guardians and students are welcome to discuss even personal matters with the curator.  All discussions with the curator are confidential.

The curator helps and supports the students in matters such as:

  • problematic situations in studies (absences, lack of study motivation and disability to concentrate on work in class)
  • challenges in social relationships (conflicts at home or elsewhere)
  • clearing bullying cases
  • matters related to life control
  • guidance and advice on study benefits

School psychologist

Our school psychologist Petri Tiitta’s office is on the 1st floor in A-Wing. Make an appointment for consultation.                   tel. 040 5181955     e-mail: petri.tiitta@utu.fi.

The school psychologist aims at helping you in matters related to mental welfare, study motivation and coping with stress in particular.

The responsibilities of the school psychologist:

  • psychological investigations and evaluations related to the students’ study habits and welfare
  • offering consultation for teachers and other staff
  • guiding and advising guardians
  • guiding and advising students
  • analysis of the activities and harmony of student groups and classes
  • co-operation with the principals and other staff; plans for crisis situations, for instance


Erityisopettaja tekee lukion ensimmäisen vuoden opiskelijoille lukitestit, joiden perusteella järjestetään tukea ja ohjausta.  Erityisopettaja laatii tarvittaessa lukilausunnot ylioppilastutkintoa varten. Jos opiskelija haluaa erityisjärjestelyjä lukion kokeeseen, hän ottaa itse yhteyttä rehtoriin/opinto-ohjaajaan/aineenopettajaan.

Health care

Health care

School nurse Vilma Alcenius  (tel. 040 149 8500)

The school nurse’s room is located on the 1st floor next to Lounge A in the elementary school section.

  • at 8 – 9 reception  without pre-booking
  • at 9 –  reception with advance booking

The aim of school healthcare is

  • to enhance the students’ health and ability to study effectively, and to support life control and the process toward adulthood
  • to recognize the need for special support and to guide the student to make use of our welfare team and the suppotive measures
  • to observe and promote the health, welfare and safety of the whole school community and environment.

Health inspections of the senior high students

School health care is mostly taken care of by the school nurses and school doctor. They will contact other health services such as hospital inspections, treatment or rehabilitation if needed. All 1st-year senior high students are called to the health inspection carried out by the school nurse. 2nd-year students are inspected by the school nurse and doctor together but it is possible to meet the doctore earlier on request.

The aim of the health inspections is to get an overall view of the students’ health and welfare situation and to guide the students to make choices that promote their health. Special attention is paid to the students’ life situation, study motivation and health risks.

The students’ health situation is evaluated from the point of view how well they are able to do well in their studies. The doctor’s inspection in the 2nd year includes the inspection for the army as a pre-measure to the official army inspection.

It is vital that new students inform the school nurse, form or subject teacher about any underlying diseases or other conditions or symptoms that may affect the future studies.

Accidents and sudden illnesses that require medical doctor’s treatment are taken care of in the local health centre or on-duty hospital (TYKS, T-hospital, Savitehtaankatu 1, Turku; telephone advice 02-313800). First aid is given by the school nurses. The treatment in cases of school accident is free for the students. See for more information in Wilma.

Dental treatments

Dental treatment of the students is carried out in the student’s own dental clinic in his/her postal area. The students must book the time themselves and the treatment is free for anyone under 18. Turku central dental clinic tel. 02-2660 644. Those who are not permanent residents of Turku are obliged to book a time in their own community.