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IB Education 101: What Sets PYP and MYP Apart? A quick guide for future students

Mr. Taylor Weidman teaches a Grade 8 class
By: Aisha Turdeiva

What is the difference between Primary Year Programme(PYP) and Middle School Progamme(MYP)? They are both International Bachelorette programs yet have a range of differences and similarities. In this article, we will be trying to understand and find out more about this question. Some of these things include: how much work a student gets, how difficult the workload really is, and more. I will briefly talk about all of those aspects I’ve listed and try to help future PYP students entering MYP better understand upcoming changes.

Grading System and classes

Some of the differences and similarities between the two educational entities are the grading system and the class structure. Obviously, the amount of work you are given will only increase further in your education, and you will most definitely get more homework. In MYP, the class structure is 8 periods that each last for 45 minutes. You have your break after the 2nd period, which lasts 15 minutes, and Lunch after the 6th class, which lasts an astounding 45 minutes. There is also a change in the grading system! The way summatives are graded is out of 8, 1-8. Where 1 means you did very, very badly, and 8 indicates you scored above and beyond. Though on your report card, there is also an overall academic grade from 1-7, with a similar idea – the bigger the number, the better. However, further, on the report card, there is also a section describing your participation in class and overall interaction with the lesson.


As you would have expected, the more educational burden would imply a larger workload. The submission of your assignments is taken more seriously, where missing a deadline could lead to consequences. To better prepare yourself, I would recommend starting off strong and keeping some level of structure and balance from the start. This allows you to get better grades and be on track since the start, and be able to keep it at that level without falling back. Though speaking from experience, Math is probably the hardest because it gets quite complicated at times, I would recommend putting in more work to classes you find more difficult. However, a more important notice is that if you miss 2 assignments in a row, you get lunchtime reflection sessions, *aka a detention*, with Ms. Laura – or with an available teacher.

Furthermore, the subjects’ course level gets more difficult – ‘because of course it doesnothing gets easier 🙁 There are also additional new subjects such as: Individuals and Societies, Design, and  Kyrgyz.

  • ICT is relatively similar to ICT because you get to work on computers.
  • Individuals and Societies are like geography and history in one subject.
  • Kyrgyz is just the language class and the language we speak here in Kyrgyzstan. However, important to note that it’s not mandatory to take Kyrgyz, and you can ask your parents to opt out.
  • Lastly, a more exciting element is the free periods. They are class periods where you do not have to be in class, either because you have no class or there is no teacher. During this period, you have to be either in the library or in another class with a substitute teacher. You get to just do your homework and work on your school projects, or in some rare cases – the fun cases – you get to spend time with your friends.

In conclusion, there are definitely large differences between PYP and MYP. Though those differences and changes won’t be too difficult to get used to, as I know all of our PYP students are capable individuals. And in retrospect, PYP teachers do get students ready for the upcoming MYP relatively well, so do not panic over any possible scary changes. Everything is just a bit different, but you won’t have a hard time.

Well, hopefully, this helped you, and it made it easier for you to understand what to expect in your upcoming future.