Mr. Patrick Hillman

IB/AP Coordinator

Greetings and Welcome to International School Manila!

I am the International Baccalaureate (IB) and Advanced Placement (AP) Coordinator at International School Manila. I have been a Bearcat since 2010 and prior to that I taught in Indonesia, Qatar, New Zealand, Australia and the UK. My roles at ISM, beyond managing the IB and AP programs, involve teaching IB Mathematics, working closely with the counselling department to support student success, and I am also the advisor for the Kasama service club at school.

The IB is the primary high school curriculum for our juniors and seniors, with approximately 85% of our students completing the full diploma and the remainder taking a selection of IB certificate courses. We consider the IB Program to be the finest college preparatory curriculum available today and our history shows it to be successful in both academic and college matriculation terms.

At ISM we pride ourselves on an extremely successful IB Program with outstanding subject scores and averages well above world averages, yet we maintain an “open door policy,” meaning our ISM IB Program is non-selective and supports all students who choose the IB challenge. I am proud that ISM offers this type of inclusive opportunity, strong student support services, and highly qualified and trained IB teachers to lead our learners..

In addition to our IB curriculum we also teach AP Human Geography in ninth grade and AP US History, AP English Literature & Composition, and a variety of AP Modern Language options in tenth grade. We also support a number of students each year who choose to sit other non-taught AP exams. Students take these exams as supplementary to their other IB or regular ISM courses.

For further IB or AP information, please visit their respective websites. I am always happy to discuss the IB and AP programs, our myriad options, and/or class choices at any time. Please contact us at or at or feel free to book a meeting with my assistant Nyla Caras -

IB/AP Program Presentations SY 2023-24

IB Parent Info Night - 14 Sept 2023.mp4
IB Information Night (Sept 14th, 2023)
10th Grade Course Selection Night parents

Commonly asked questions:

1. Should I take the IB Diploma?

Typically, the IB diploma is the most demanding course of study at ISM. Although students need to be highly motivated, the program is designed such that an average ability student can be successful, however, students should be motivated, organized, hardworking and prepared to develop strong study skills. Adhering to deadlines and attention to detail are key determinants in achieving success. Most IB diploma students cope well with its demands, but there will be stressful times. Teachers will have high expectations of IB students and the student may have to change up a gear from grade 10 to meet these expectations. The IB diploma journey is not always smooth, however, it is eventful, stimulating, busy and rewarding with a final destination that is worth the effort.

2. What is the difference between IB Certificate and IB Diploma?

With the IB Certificate, students can take as few as one IB course, or as many as six.  Whereas the IB Diploma requires students to take all six IB subject areas, as well as completing CAS services, the Extended Essay, and Theory of Knowledge course. 

Students who do not wish to take the full IB diploma can opt to complete certificates in IB courses. They are not constrained by the six-group model, nor do they have to complete the compulsory core elements of TOK, Extended Essay or CAS.

Students receive an official IB certificate for each subject they successfully complete with a grade awarded from seven to one. IB certificates, especially those at higher level, can be used to gain advanced standing or credit in many colleges and universities.

3. How are the IB Diploma final scores calculated?

The maximum IB diploma score is 45. Less than 0.1% of students worldwide achieve this score. Each subject is worth a maximum of 7 points making 42 possible points in total. The core combination of TOK and Extended Essay can add a maximum of 3 points making a possible total of 45 points.

In order to pass the IB diploma, the following conditions must be met:

● All compulsory core elements have been completed

● A student achieves a total point score of 24 or above

● At least 12 points have been achieved in the three higher level subjects

● At least 9 points have been achieved in the standard level subjects

● No subject is scored at 1 and no more than one subject is scored at 2

● All CAS requirements have been met.

● There is no E grade E awarded for Theory of Knowledge and / or the Extended Essay.

For more information, you may view our ISM HS Course Offerings Guide SY23-24.

4. What is the minimum CAS requirement?

All ISM students must complete a minimum of 100 hours of service learning. The school provides many opportunities for students to meet this requirement.

For more information about CAS, please email our CAS Coordinator: Mr. Neil Woods -

5. What is the bi-lingual IB diploma?

Candidates who successfully complete all the requirements of the IB Diploma Programme and one or more of the following combinations can receive a bilingual diploma: candidates who complete and receive a grade 3 or higher in two languages selected from the DP course studies in language and literature OR students who gain a grade 3 or higher in studies in language and literature and a grade 3 or higher in an individuals and societies or science subject, completed in a different language, will also receive the bilingual diploma.

6. What are interdisciplinary options for my student?

Students can take the interdisciplinary course Environmental Systems and Societies and/or they can write a World Studies Extended Essay, wherein they synthesize their learning from two IB Subjects while tackling a current global issue. Also, the Theory of Knowledge course is designed to help students apply their knowledge from all courses to real world experiences, issues, and philosophies.

For more information, you may view our ISM HS Course Offerings Guide SY23-24.

7. How will I navigate IB course selection?

Getting the "right fit" courses for our students is of our utmost concern, for we want our learners to flourish! Our HS Counseling Team will begin this process with grade 10 students in November / December, teachers will explain options in their subjects and give recommendations in February, and further discussions and decisions will happen in late February / early March. 

For more information, you may view our ISM HS Course Offerings Guide SY23-24.

International Baccalaureate (IB) Programme:

IS Manila also offers the International Baccalaureate Diploma, an academically rigorous and challenging program that is recognized in most countries of the world as a university entrance qualification.

Students in Grades 11 and 12 may choose to work toward the full IB Diploma or they may take selected courses for a partial diploma. Students are required to take external examinations at the end of each IB course. Participation in this program demands hard work, a mature attitude and self-discipline.

However, it is unquestionably an excellent preparation for university level work. A general inquiry to the Guidance Counselor could be made as early as Grade 9 to determine whether or not the IB Diploma is a requirement for entry into university in your country of choice. Choice selection begins in Grade 8 preparatory to the IB courses offered in Grades 11 and 12.

Advanced Placement (AP) Programme:

The Advanced Placement Program is a cooperative educational endeavor between high schools and colleges. Since its inception in 1955, the Program has provided High School students with the opportunity to take college-level courses in a high school setting.

In many cases, students who participate in the Program earn college credit. The Advanced Placement Program is very well established in the US and widely accepted by US colleges and universities.

As an ISM student, should you wish to inquire about whether it is necessary to prepare for and take AP exams, please see your high school counselor first.

If you end up planning to register for an AP exam at ISM, please speak to Ms. Thompson