IBT 2024

A world-class, skills-based diagnostic assessment designed by a global expert to help improve learning in your school.

IBT is skill based and does not follow any single national curriculum, allowing students from all countries to be compared fairly.

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Suitable for 9–16 year-olds
Online or paper tests
60 minutes per test
40-45 multiple-choice questions per test

High quality diagnostic testing for students in Grades 3-10

The IBT is not tied to a specific curriculum, allowing for fair comparisons between students across schools and around the world, and content is updated every year. How do your students compare?

The IBT solution

  • Compare your students' performance to an international cohort
  • Diagnostic testing designed to challenge students across a broad range of ability levels
  • Assess deep conceptual understanding rather than simple recall of facts
  • Recognise learning achievement, and monitor progress over time

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IBT: improving learning since 2007

1.21 million
students assessed
3.1 million
global assessments
schools worldwide

IBT countries

  • Australia
  • Bahrain
  • Egypt
  • India
  • Japan
  • Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
  • Kuwait
  • Malaysia
  • Myanmar
  • Oman
  • Philippines
  • Qatar
  • South Africa
  • Swaziland
  • Tanzania
  • Turkey
  • UAE
  • Yemen

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IBT tests

The IBT is skill-based and does not follow any single national curriculum, allowing students from all schools to be compared fairly.

In English the skills assessed are: locating information, inferring, predicting, drawing conclusions and reasoning. Students are not asked merely to retrieve information from a passage; they are asked to make inferences, form judgements and reflect on the texts. Questions addressing higher-order thinking skills are used to ascertain whether a student can 'read between the lines' and understand subtlety and nuance in the English language.

Assessed English strands

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Spelling
  • Punctuation
  • Grammar
  • Vocabulary

In Mathematics the skills assessed include interpreting data, inferring, predicting, drawing conclusions, reasoning and problem solving. For Mathematics questions, students are asked to make sense of mathematical concepts in everyday situations. IBT Mathematics is not about simply remembering rules and procedures; it requires students to use higher-order thinking skills to apply their mathematical skills to solve problems.

Assessed Mathematics strands

  • Number
  • Measurement
  • Space
  • Chance and Data

In Science the skills assessed include: observing and measuring, interpreting data, inferring, predicting, drawing conclusions, reasoning and problem solving. Students are asked to apply scientific principles to particular problems. IBT Science not only assesses students' knowledge of science, it assesses whether students are capable of applying this knowledge to given contexts. Many of the questions are based on scientific enquiry.

Assessed Science strands

  • Earth Science
  • Physical Science
  • Life Science

In Reasoning, the skills assessed require students to think critically, make logical deductions, identify connections and spot patterns. The questions asked do not require any prior knowledge from any particular content area. Instead, students must demonstrate their abilities to think outside the box and use their higher-order thinks skills to solve non-routine problems. The content of these test papers is based on questions that have been successfully used to identify high-achieving students for scholarship placements. However, students who do not perform so well on ‘traditional’ academic tests may excel on IBT Reasoning as it is their general capabilities that are being assessed here.

Assessed Reasoning strands

  • Abstract Reasoning
  • Verbal Reasoning
  • Numerical Reasoning
  • Spatial Reasoning
  • Kinetic Reasoning

School leaders and teachers worldwide trust IBT to improve learning for every student

Easy-to-understand reports for students

Individual Student Report

Provides information on how the student performed in comparison to students in your country/region and internationally. It includes subject-specific feedback on every question and a summary of strengths and areas for improvement.


Every student that sits the IBT is eligible to receive a Certificate of Achievement.

Certificate criteria

International comparisons

IBT reports allow teachers to compare the academic performance of students with other students in their school, their country and in schools around the globe.

International comparisons contained in IBT reports are based on a large sample of schools - predominantly international schools or national schools with an international focus, teaching at least 50 per cent of the curriculum in English - around the world.

Dates and registration

South Africa

The IBT is administered in October each year.

The test dates for 2023 are:

Grades 3–10: English/Afrikaans
Grades 3–10: English/Afrikaans
29 October 2024
Grades 3–8: Science
Grades 3–8: Science
30 October 2024
Grades 3–10: Mathematics
Grades 3–10: Mathematics
31 October 2024
Grades 3–10: Reasoning
Grades 3–10: Reasoning
1 November 2024

For further information about IBT in South Africa

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