Baccalaureate FAQ

Baccalaureate Entrance Exam Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: What Is The Baccalaureate School For Global Education (BSGE)?

A: The Baccalaureate High School of Queens (“BSGE”) is one of the top schools in New York City, State, and the United States. Founded in 2002, BSGE was awarded the IB certificate in 2005, allowing its students to receive the highest recognized diploma in the world. Applicants to top universities are accepted at a higher rate with an IB Diploma, many on merit-based college scholarships. Many universities also offer academic credit for successful examination results and after receiving an IB Diploma. In fact, many IB Students enter college with college credits.

Q2: What Kind Of School Is It?

A: The Baccalaureate School offers a Global Education where almost all students receive an IB (International Baccalaureate) diploma. The Baccalaureate High School is the only public IB school in New York State, providing the prestigious IB diploma, which is accepted anywhere in the world. Please note that another school, called the Brooklyn Latin School, is a Specialized High School, which also offers an IB diploma. However, almost all other IB schools in New York City are highly expensive private schools. The IBO (International Baccalaureate Organization) provides a certificate to schools that qualify to provide courses that are rigorous enough to meet their expectations.

Q3: Does Everyone Get The IB?

A: No, it is a highly prestigious diploma that is only awarded to the most diligent and studious IB candidates who take and pass all the required courses to obtain this special diploma. This means that not every student who graduates from the Baccalaureate High School is awarded an IB diploma.

Q4: What Is So Special About The IB Diploma?

A: It is the most prestigious diploma in the world, and it is accepted at any accredited college and/or university in the world. The IB exams offer internationally standardized courses and assessments for students ages 16 to 19. All Students must produce a carefully researched 4,000 word essay and take a Theory of Knowledge College Level course while in high school.

Q5: How Much Does The Baccalaureate High School Of Queens Cost?

A: The Baccalaureate High School of Queens is a completely free public school. The only entrance point is via testing followed by a group interview. Entrance points are in the 6th grade and in the 8th grade for 7th and 9th grade admission to the school. Tuition at private International Baccalaureate schools is as much as $40,000 each year, but this particular school is completely free.

Q6: How Many Other International Baccalaureate (IB) Public Schools Are There In New York City?

A: There are 6 other IB schools in New York City alone. However, all of these schools are very expensive private schools. Please also note that the Brooklyn Latin School is the only specialized high school in New York City that offers an IB diploma as well. For the BLS, you must take the SHSAT- the specialized high school entrance exam in either October of 8th grade or November of 9th grade.

Q7: How Many Other Public (Free) IB Schools Are There?

A: None. BSGE is the only free, public IB school in NYC. The Brooklyn Latin School is also an IB school. But the BLS is a Specialized High School and admission to that school can only be attained by taking the Specialized High School Entrance Exam (“SHSAT”), and, obviously, doing well enough to get in.

Q8: What Is The Tuition At BSGE?

A: Zero. It is a free public school.

Q9: Is There An Admissions Test To Enter BSGE?

A: Yes, there are two steps to be admitted to BSGE. The first requirement is to pass the Placement Exam, which consists of the following: reading comprehension (long reading passages and double passages), language arts (grammar and vocabulary in context), and mathematics (including 7 & 8th grade algebra!). This test is similar to the Hunter test. As of two years ago, there has not been an essay component to the Baccalaureate Entrance Exam during Test Day, but rather during the interview.

Q10: When Can I Get Into The School?

A: For the entry point at 7th grade, your child must take the test in January of 6th grade. For the second entry point, in the 9th grade, your child must take the test in the 8th grade. Please note that it is easier to get admitted starting 7th grade than starting 9th grade. At Kweller Prep, we encourage students to apply for 7th grade entry. This way, they are more familiar with the school and their classmates prior to starting high school in the 9th grade.

Q11: How Many Kids Get In As 6th Graders?

A: From 4,000 test-takers, 150 gain admission. BUT we have an update: As of 2017, BSGE only takes two classes of students, up to 60 kids, in the 6th grade for a 7-12 admission. The school does not like it when their kids leave for specialized high schools, so they have an in-person interview to make sure candidates are interested in graduating from BSGE.

Q12: How About The 9th Grade?

A: UPDATE Nov 1, 2018: BSGE no longer has an entrance test for 8th graders. It is EASIER to get into Baccalaureate as a 6th grader and there are more seats open. At Kweller Prep, we encourage 6th grade testing for the Baccalaureate School. The same applies to the Specialized High School by the way; we encourage 8th grade testing, not 9th.

Q13: What Is On The Test?

A: English and Math. Specifically: Reading Comprehension, Logical Reasoning, Language Arts, challenging math questions including some algebra, and geometry. There is also one page of vocabulary. In the past two years, there has been no essay on the Baccalaureate Entrance Exam. As stated, the test has varied from year to year, but these are the basic components.

Q14: How Do I Practice?

A: At Kweller Prep, we have an excellent course to help students prepare for the entrance exam. It is in a small group setting, up to 10 students. Call us ! 1 (800) 631-1757

Q15: What Is The Baccalaureate Interview Like?

A: As of the date of this article, the interview is held in a group setting of approximately six students. All the students who interview have already passed the preliminary multiple choice exam. During the interview, students receive a task and are expected to complete the task in pairs. The Baccalaureate School extensively promotes teamwork and collaboration, which is why this is a group interview. At Kweller Prep, we privately coach kids for the Baccalaureate interview.

Q16: What Are Other Requirements That BSGE Fulfills?

A: Aside from completing all IB requirements, all students at BSGE are required to take the minimum number of New York State Regents exams. There are a select few who take more and subsequently, are awarded the Advanced Regents Diploma in addition to graduating with an IB.

Q17: Where Is The Baccalaureate High School Of Queens Located?

A: It is located at:34-12 36th Avenue Astoria, NY 11106

You really can’t miss the school. It is literally the “box” on the corner of 36th Avenue. There is metered street parking around the school.

Q18: What Is The Food Situation Like?

A: Right across the street from the Baccalaureate High School, you will see a very good deli which serves delicious hot meals over lunch (I know, I tried!). There are a lot of great ethnic restaurants nearby as well as “quick eats.” The older students can leave for lunch. There are also a Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts within relative walking distance (but closer to the Frank Sinatra High School for Performing Arts). The upper class (11th and 12th grade students) are able to leave “campus” and go across the street for lunch.How do you get to the school and what is the surrounding area like?

Q19: How Do You Get To The School And What Is The Surrounding Area Like?

A: The school is located on a fairly quiet, 2 way street which offers metered parking.

There are a bunch of local restaurants and snack shops nearby. Don’t expect to see a campus or lush lawns and grass.

Q20: What Are The Directions To The Baccalaureate High School:

A: By Subway: 7 to Queensboro Plaza; E to Queens Plaza; F to 21st street; M, R to 36th street; N, Q to 36 Avenue-Washington Avenue
Bus: Q101, Q102, Q104, Q66

The School is conveniently located in Long Island City, which is about thirty minutes from midtown Manhattan. There is a tasty deli right across the street with a daily fresh hot and cold lunch buffet and nearly a dozen delicious ethnic restaurants within walking distance.

There are several fabulous schools only walking distance away from the Baccalaureate High School, including the Frank Sinatra High School for the Performing Arts. The Baccalaureate High School itself is in a safe, secured box-like building with a security guard and one main entrance. Upon entering the high school, you will see a list of the various colleges the alumni have gained admission to, a clear testament to the school’s success.

Q21: What Is So Special About The IB Diploma?

A: Aside from being the highest globally ranked diploma, IB courses are also transferable as college credits (similar to AP courses). This means you as the parents save money. In fact, students who graduate from Baccalaureate HS typically enter college in their sophomore year. A year of tuition at Columbia University retails at $60,000. Add those saving to 5 years of a free amazing public high school education, and you are doing quite well with the bank.

Q22: Is There Any Preparation For The IB?

A: Yes! Fortunately, BSGE is one of the few schools in the United States that provides pre-IB prep. This program comes directly from the IBO, and it is called the Middle Years Program (MYP). Between the grades of 7-10, students go through a less-intensive IB coursework and start understanding the basics of the IB Diploma program. The MYP program is far more extensive and challenging than the regular New York State requirements.

Q23: What Are IB Courses?

A: IB courses are categorized into two main sections: Higher Level (HL) and Standard Level (SL). There is a third category in Math and Computer Science courses, and that is known as Studies SL.

Q24: What Is The Difference Between Higher Level And Standard Level Courses?

A: All HL courses have the same contents of SL courses, plus an estimated 2-4 more topics. However, HL courses go deeper into specific topics than SL courses. HL courses often span from the beginning of 11th grade and go until the end of 12th grade. SL courses span for only one year—they often start at the beginning of 11th grade and end the same year. Additionally, HL courses consist of 240 hours of coursework, whereas SL courses consist of 150 hours.

Q25: What Is The Curriculum Of IB Schools?

A: Students must take 3 SL and 3 HL classes, each in the subject areas of English, foreign language, mathematics, sciences, history, and an elective subject, along with two years on Theory of Knowledge. They are also required to write 2 research papers on for Theory of Knowledge (on a real-world issue), and a research paper on a school subject of their choice (known as the Extended Essay). Many IB schools (including BSGE) also mandate that students write a minimum of 6-8 research papers by the end of the IB diploma program, aside from the mandatory 2 IB papers.

Q26: How Are IB Courses Weighed?

A: The IB has a specific grading system, which consists of a number grade from 1-7, with 7 being the highest possible grade.

Q27: How Does An IB Diploma Candidate Become An IB Diploma Recipient?

A: A candidate must take the IB exams at the end of 11th and 12th grade. They must also pass the requirements for the Theory of Knowledge research paper and the Extended Essay. Furthermore, each candidate must complete and register a total of 120 hours of Community Activity Service (CAS) hours. 

Q28: How Does A Student Become An IB Diploma Candidate Entering The 11th Grade?

A: Based on the academic progress that the student has made throughout the MYP, the college advisor and guidance counselor recommend that a student becomes an IB candidate. If a student does not become an IB candidate, they are still required to take all IB courses. However, they will not have to take the IB exams at the end of 11th and 12th grades.

Q29: Hat Are The 7th Grade Courses Offered?

A: English,Humanities,Pre-Algebra,Science,Foreign Language,Music,Technology,Advisory,Physical Education/Yoga

Q30: What Are The 8th Grade Courses Offered?

A: English, Humanities, Integrated Algebra (Regents Class),Living Environment (Regents Class),Foreign Language,Visual Art,Technology,Advisory,Physical Education/Yoga

Q31: What Are The 9th Grade Courses Offered?

A: Geometry (Regents Class), Forensic Science, Humanities, English, Foreign Language, Health, Visual Art, (Ceramics/Painting), Physical Education/Yoga, Music, Advisory

Q32: What Are The 10th Grade Courses Offered?


  • Advanced Algebra/Trigonometry (Regents Class)
  • Chemistry (Regents Class)
  • Global Studies (Regents Class)
  • English (Regents Class)
  • Foreign Language
  • Visual Arts or Technology
  • Physical Education/Yoga
  • Advisory (10th grade Personal Project)

Q33: What Are The IB Diploma Courses Offered (11th And 12th Grades)?

A: IB Math Studies or Math SLIB Chemistry or Biology (SL or HL)History of the Americas (HL) – USH Regents in 11th gradeTheory of KnowledgeLanguage A – English (HL)Language B – Foreign Language (HL or SL) Visual Arts (SL or HL) Information Technology in a Global Society (HL)Advisory (Extended Essay requirement)Physical Education/Yoga

Q34: What Are The AP Classes That Are Offered?

A: None. The school is an IB school, and does not provide any AP classes.

Q35: What Do Students HATE About Baccalaureate HS?

A: No campus, no gym, no physics class, the school is incredibly small. Half the kids leave in grade 8 to attend specialized high schools, very few ivy league acceptances come from this school (except for Taro, who went to Kweller!). This school pushes hard on small liberal arts colleges, not on the Ivies, which is very unattractive to many parents. This school is not known for being a “feeder” into the Ivy Leagues, which is why many attend only until accepted to specialized. Another huge minus is that your child won’t know if he or she actually got the IB diploma until after college applications are in, after graduation has occurred. Another big minus is the grading system of 1 to 7, which confuses many parents and colleges. The SAT scores of this school are below that of specialized high schools, and 11th and 12th grade are extremely stressful because of all the IB candidacy requirements.

Q36: What Do Students LOVE About Baccalaureate HS?

A: Graduating class of 58 students. This is a very close knit community. High teacher to student ratioNo bullyingEveryone knows each other from every gradeCaring teachers. This is a very demanding school from grade 7- they really make you work!

Q37: What Is On The Test?

A: English and Math. Specifically: Reading Comprehension, Logical Reasoning, Language Arts, challenging math questions including some algebra, and geometry. There is also one page of vocabulary. In the past two years, there has been no essay on the Baccalaureate Entrance Exam. As stated, the test has varied from year to year, but these are the basic components.

Official Practice Algebra I Regents Tests

Note: At Kweller Prep, we rank the Baccalaureate School for Global Education as the top public school in Queens, York High School second (a specialized high school), and Townsend Harris High as third. Fourth is the Carl Sagan Program at Forest Hills High School, followed by the Academy of Finance and Enterprise (AOFE) in Long Island City as five. Last but not least, we rank Bard High School Early College on our top six list. Bard makes the bottom of our “top” list because so few of the college credits their students work tirelessly for actually transfer to top colleges.

On The Day Of The Test, Students Should Bring With Them The Following Items:

  1. Print out of test registration confirmation (received by email after online test registration is completed)
  2. Number 2 pencils

All families of students who take the admissions test will receive a letter by the beginning of March notifying them if their child will have an interview. Please note that an invitation to an interview is not an offer of admission. Notification of the interview will include the time and date the interview will occur (after school in the month of March). Applicants will be interviewed by BSGE faculty and students in small groups.

If Students Are Granted An Interview, On The Day Of The Interview, Students Should Bring The Following Items:

  • 2015-2016 Recommendation Form (School official may also choose to mail or fax to BSGE directly)
  • A copy of the first marking period 6th grade report card (PLEASE do not bring originals)
  • A copy of the final 5th grade report card (PLEASE do not bring originals)
  • Please direct admissions questions to

School Ranking: According to U. S. News and World Report’s esteemed annual report, The Baccalaureate School for Global Education (BSGE) ranked as the #35 high school program in the United States and the school in Queens as the #2 International Baccalaureate Program in the United States (December 3, 2009). In 2010, Newsweek magazine ranked BSGE as the #40 public high school in the United States.


February 2016

Dear Parent/Guardian:

Based on your child’s performance on our admissions exam, s/he will have an interview to be considered for 7th grade admissions.

Your child should bring the following materials to the interview (We will not be able to make copies or return what your child brings):

  1. Photocopy of final 5th grade report card
  2. Photocopy of most recent 6th grade report card
  3. BSGE Recommendation Form (This form is available on our website in the Admissions section. If the school official completing the form chooses to mail or fax this directly to us then we will receive it that way.)

**Please have your child arrive fifteen minutes before his or her appointment. You are welcome to stay in our cafeteria and wait for your child during the interview. It will last approximately one hour. Also, we ask that you not bring additional application materials. We will not be able to review them as a part of your child’s application.

Your child’s interview will be:

Tuesday, March 15th: 4:00-5:00 pm

Please note that this interview is not a guarantee of admission. By May 1st, all families of students who are interviewed will receive a letter with the final admissions decision.

Local Test Prep Companies Offer Prep Courses For BSGE Admission

February 4, 2014

Queens test prep centers, Kweller Test Prep and Ivy Prep, have recently offered programs to help students get accepted into BSGE.

This is the test prep centers’ way of responding to the many cries for help from students and parents that seek aid in getting their child into BSGE, a school that is rising in popularity while decreasing in acceptance rates.

New York City has always been famous for its extremely vigorous competition for admission into high schools, middle schools, specialized summer camps, and even elementary schools. Among these popular schools Stuyvesant, Bronx Science, Brooklyn Tech and Hunter have always made the list for low acceptance rates and large applicant pools. But now our very own ten-year old school has been added to this list of schools with competitive admittance.

With a decreasing acceptance rate, an increasing number of students and parents are looking for help to get into BSGE. Queens test prep centers are also catching onto this cry for help and creating classes just for BSGE admission prep.

Kweller Test Prep, which many BSGE students attending there for SAT prep. rated BSGE as the #1 high school and middle school in Queens. Frances Kweller, the main director of the program, spoke about the reason behind adding a prep course just for acceptance into BSGE.

“There are not enough excellent middle schools out there. Parents come to me all the time asking ‘Where should I send my perfect well performing child?’ My only wholehearted option to them is Baccalaureate and Hunter.”

According to Kweller, the courses offered to help students get accepted into Baccalaureate include building critical reading skills, advancing students in Mathematics and helping them grow a larger vocabulary. The courses offered there usually have a small group setting of 6-8 students.

These courses include a winter crash course from December 23rd to 27th (excluding Christmas Day) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. that costs $499. The other course they offer is 104 hours spread out in thirteen weeks that costs $3,499.

Kweller Prep not only offers courses but also a video interview with two current Baccalaureate students that is on their website. The two students are Joshua Vaiman 15’ and Kevin Likhtshteyn 14’. In the video, the students explain what the International Baccalaureate Program is and the many advantages and disadvantages of attending BSGE for high school. According to Kweller, both students are multilingual and help teach classes at Kweller Prep, big reasons behind why they were chosen to inform parents and students about BSGE.

As for Ivy Prep, their method of test prep is slightly different. They offer individual classes usually $90-100 an hour. Students pinpoint their area of weakness (Math, Writing or Reading), and spend an hour with a teacher focusing on that subject. However, according to office manager, Lisa, Baccalaureate is usually a second choice for students.

“At Ivy Prep, the main program 6th graders take is the Hunter Middle/High School prep class. Hunter is considered one of the hardest middle schools to get accepted into, so usually when students are rejected from Hunter, they apply to Baccalaureate instead.”

These programs are especially dubious due to the fact that BSGE has never released any information or admissions exams. All of these programs are without the consent and endorsement of BSGE.

Many students, especially upperclassmen, are shocked to hear that there is a test prep class for BSGE.

Katie Donohue ‘15 said, “I think it’s crazy that they have classes to get into BSGE. But at the same time I think it really shows how much our school has advanced, despite being so young and new.” When asked whether she sees BSGE becoming another extremely competitive high school in New York, Donohue said, “I think because our school population is so small and our building literally does not allow us to bring in thousands of students, we will not become like that.”

But other BSGE family members feel differently. Ms. Matani, the current 10th grade Global History teacher and one of the admission test makers for BSGE, does not favor these new test prep courses popping up and finds them ineffective. “The expectations [for admissions] change periodically so those classes offered are not very useful.”

The increasing appearance of test prep centers specialized for BSGE admission raises many questions about the future of our school. Will BSGE admissions start emphasizing grades and numbers more so than personality and character? Will class sizes grow larger making teacher-student relationships more distant? Will the “close-knit family atmosphere” that is such a large part of BSGE’s philosophy go extinct? Will BSGE be the next Stuyvesant?

67% Of Eighth Graders Leaving BSGE

April 23, 2016

Article Written by Pamela Lee, Kweller Prep Student, BSE Middle School, Bronx Science High School

This year, two-thirds of the eighth graders in BSGE will be leaving for other high schools. Since October, more than 20,000 eighth grade students from all over the city were anxiously waiting to hear if they had gained admission into 1 of the 9 glorified specialized high schools in New York City either through a performing arts audition or through the SHSAT (Specialized High School Admissions Test). Those schools include LaGuardia, Stuyvesant, Bronx Science, Brooklyn Tech, Lehman, and others. During the high school application process, thousands of eighth graders not only take the SHSAT, but start applying to non-specialized schools as well.

BSGE, which offers the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program in eleventh and twelfth grade, guarantees all current eighth graders a spot to stay for high school as long as it’s listed on their high school application as their first choice. While many students decide to stay in BSGE, other students decided to attend other high schools in the fall.

This year, more than half of the 80 eighth grade students in BSGE have decided to leave for other high schools. After conducting a survey, it was discovered that only 27 of the 80 eighth grade students have decided to stay. Of those students who are leaving, 15 are going to Stuyvesant High School, 16 to the Bronx High School of Science, 5 to Townsend Harris High School, 5 to Brooklyn Technical High School, 3 to the High School of American Studies at Lehman College, 2 to the Queens High School for the Sciences at York College, and 7 to other miscellaneous schools. As a result, BSGE will aim to fill the spots in the Class of 2020 with a significant number of new 9th graders next year.

Eighth graders shared their thoughts on making the big decision. “BSGE, with its small size and limited opportunities, remains a nurturing environment that has positively impacted my middle school experience,” said Annelie Hyatt ’20. “However, in order to mature as a person, I believe that a bigger and well-funded school is essential.” Others agree that the limited choice of classes and activities at BSGE is a downside to staying for high school. Some students simply choose to leave to focus on certain subjects they’re passionate about that BSGE does not offer. “I want to become a doctor, and Brooklyn Tech offers many medical courses,” said Khalid El-Halabi ‘20.

Although some students feel they’d excel in a larger school like Stuyvesant, others prefer the unique atmosphere that BSGE fosters. “I chose to stay because BSGE is already a pretty good school, and I feel like the community is really tight-knit, which is something other schools may not have,” shared an anonymous eighth grader. “I also prefer the support from teachers here.” Some look forward to entering the rigorous IB program in high school. “It’s sad to watch so many people leave, but I think that compared to bigger schools, the teachers here really can acknowledge your strengths and weaknesses not only as a student, but as a person,” said Rashmika Batra ‘20.

Ultimately, regardless of where you go for high school, it’s the opportunities you take and the experiences you have that count. Although many will be parting ways, all agree they will cherish the memories made here. We remain hopeful that in the future, more students will decide to stay at BSGE. But for now, we wish the best to everyone staying and leaving. This is just the beginning.

The BSGE Parent Teacher Association Has Reached Out To The Parent Body To Begin A Fundraising Committee That Will Help Offset The Costs Associated With The IB Diploma.

A $1000 donation for each student would cover shared BSGE priorities: IB expenses (mostly teacher “per session” pay for the time they spend outside of school administering IB assessments and investigative labs), IB exam fee support for families that can’t afford them, a part time librarian, and after school activities.

A $1400 donation will help a pay for a family that is unable to donate.

We realize that this is not possible for all families. If you are able to donate, please send donations to:

The Baccalaureate School for Global Education PTA or BSGE PTA
34-12 36th Avenue * Astoria, NY 11106

Please note your child’s name.

Checks should be made payable to BSGE PTA.

A quick reminder: The BSGE PTA is a 501(c)3 charity, so 1) all donations are tax deductible, and 2) many companies will match charitable donations from their employees, so PLEASE check with the human resources department at your company.

You may also donate online by clicking the “Support” tab on the website.

If your family is unable to contribute, we ask that you donate your time and talents to our fundraising effort. Below is a questionnaire that will help us to know what volunteers we have and how much time you are able to contribute. Please let us know if there are any specials skills that you have, whether that be making delicious food, entertaining, writing, athletics, art, grant writing etc.

  • Parent’s Name: ________________________________________
  • Child’s Name: _________________________________________
  • Child’s Grade: ________________________________________
  • Parent Contact (email and phone): _____________________
  • May we add your name to our mailing list? _____________
  • Are there any grandparents, friends or family that you would also like added to the friends of BSGE mailing list? _____
  • Do you have any special skills, interests or ideas that you would like to contribute?
    What is your availability? ________

Disclaimer: Kweller Prep Programs are not refundable. Read our policies and procedures here.