And the results are in!

…Well, they were in a month ago. As teachers, more than anything we are most interested in the grade boundaries for each paper. For two years we were flying blind, trying to guide our students to passing, or in some instance, the elusive 7. And now that information is freely available, and from this point forward, our work will be authentic and based on experience rather than conjecture.

So, without further ado, here is the assessment-by-assessment breakdown:

IA (the moderated, final mark awarded):

  • 1 – 0-2
  • 2 – 3-5
  • 3 – 6-8
  • 4 – 9-12
  • 5 – 13-15
  • 6 – 16-19
  • 7 – 20-25

Paper 1:

  • 1 – 0-3
  • 2 – 4-6
  • 3 – 7-9
  • 4 – 10-12
  • 5 – 13-15
  • 6 – 16-18
  • 7 – 19-24

Paper 2:

  • 1 – 0-4
  • 2 – 5-8
  • 3 – 9-10
  • 4 – 11-14
  • 5 – 15-19
  • 6 – 20-23
  • 7 – 24-30

Paper 3 (Americas) – HL Only:

  • 1 – 0-5
  • 2 – 6-10
  • 3 – 11-15
  • 4 – 16-20
  • 5 – 21-26
  • 6 – 27-31
  • 7 – 32-45

The grade boundaries for the IA and Paper 1 are fairly similar to what they were in the previous examination sessions although the marking criteria were changed; the substantial changes come in Papers 2 and 3 where the markbands for essays changed dramatically. For paper 2 the breakdown works out so that a 5/6 split leads to a 4; for Paper 3 Americas, it is 5/5/6. For the much-coveted 7, two 12s will yield a 7 on Paper 2, and for paper 3, 11/11/10.

Remember that grade boundaries are not fixed; they can move up and down based on the assessments of the senior examining team, but these provide us with guidelines that can help us with our students.

Some of your students may contact you asking if they should request a re-mark. All that they receive is a scaled mark out of 100 and the number of points they need to reach the next grade boundary. Often these numbers look very promising – 1 or 2 points. However, this is a scaled mark; the raw score is multiplied to give them the appropriate number of points out of 100 per cent. It does not tell them the whole story. We can then offer them counsel on whether or not a re-mark is warranted.

For example, an SL student may contact you because they are 2 points away from a 6. You can then look at their component results. The IA will not get re-marked, so that grade will stand. If that grade is a high 6 or even a 7, that works in the student’s favor. You then look at their exam results. If the Paper 1 is a low 5 but Paper 2 is a high 5 – let’s say 18/30 – and the student was historically a good student, a remark may be in order. When you are making your recommendation to the student please remind them that grades can be lowered as well as raised. This might be important if they are trying to meet a conditional score.

We need to wait for the statistical bulletin to find out if the spread of grades is the same, or if there are more of the higher grades than there were in the past. And the subject report will give us insights into what our students did well, and where the weaknesses still lay. All in all, we have more information now, but we are missing the examiner commentary that will help us help our students further.

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