Table of Contents
Assessment in the IB educational context
1. Formative Assessment
2. Summative Assessment
Formal IB DP Assessment
Internal and External assessment
Assessment is summative
IB DP Reporting System at International School of Brno
The IB DP Grading Scale at ISB:
Assessment Tools and Strategies
Criterion Based Assessment
Semester Assessment Structures
Internal Moderation of Assessment
Marking, Feedback & Publishing of Results
Parent-Teacher Meetings & Teacher Consultation Hours
Homework & Deadlines
Calendars of official school-based IB DP Internal & External Assessment
ISB Penalties for Late Submission of Assessment
Exclusion from the IB Diploma Programme at ISB
Incomplete work for assessment
Requirements to be awarded a Diploma
Notifying the IB of adverse circumstances
Possible actions by the IB in cases of adverse circumstances:
Further Information or Appeals
Assessment is the measurement of what a student understands, what he or she can do and what he or she knows. Effective assessment must place the learner at the centre with the teacher monitoring the learner’s progress and adjusting instruction to improve the learners' achievement. In other words, the teacher analyses assessment data to inform and improve the student’s learning. Assessment at the International school of Brno is managed through an active partnership between teachers, students and parents.
The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IB DP) assesses student work as direct evidence of achievement against the stated goals of the Diploma Programme courses. DP assessment procedures measure the extent to which students have mastered advanced academic skills, for example: analysing and presenting information, evaluating and constructing arguments, and solving problems creatively. Basic skills are also assessed, including: retaining knowledge, understanding key concepts and applying standard methods.
In addition to academic skills, DP assessment encourages an international outlook and intercultural skills where appropriate.
According to the principles of the IB Organization (IBO), and the International school of Brno, there are two main purposes of assessment in the Diploma Programme:
Formative assessment refers to tasks which are given during a learning period. They are designed by the teacher to provide feedback to the student and to the teacher as to the student’s current strengths and limitations. The emphasis in this type of task is on making the student a better judge of his or her own performance and then helping him or her to develop strategies to improve. Examples of formative assessment are instruments such as teacher supported self-evaluation using rubrics, or peer assessment. Formative assessment is an important strategy for developing learners who can reflect.
Summative assessments are formal tasks that take place at the end of a period of learning (e.g. at the end of a unit of work or reporting period). These tasks are concerned with measuring student performance against DP assessment criteria to judge levels of attainment. Teachers must be aware of the principles and practices that the IB uses to conduct summative assessment. Summative and formative assessments are, therefore, intrinsically linked and teachers must use their knowledge of IB summative assessment expectations and practices to help students improve their performance in a formative way.
The final grade the candidate receives in a subject is basically decided by his/her performance in:
- external assessment (approx 75-80%) mainly the final exams in May of DP2
- internal assessment (approx 20-25%)
External assessment means that the student's IB work is sent away (or uploaded) to the IB to be marked by an official IB examiner. This mainly refers to the final examinations in May but some subjects do have assignments done at school that are then sent to the IB for assessment e.g. Group 1 & 2 Written Assignments
Internal assessment refers to IB coursework done here at school, and marked by the ISB subject teacher according to IB criteria and standards. We only submit the marks for the students' IA work to the IBO.
IB Moderation of Internal Assessment
To make sure that teachers around the world are marking fairly, each year the IB requests every school to send them (or upload) some of the students' IA work as a sample. This is called MODERATION. An experienced IB moderator will mark the sampled work. If the moderator decides our teacher was too strict, the marks for all the students in that subject at ISB school will be raised and vice versa.
All IB subjects have formal final examinations which are sent to an external examiner for assessment. Some formal IB DP assessment is internal, requiring the teacher to mark the work before it is sent for external moderation. The International School of Brno website explains the internal and external assessment structure and practices for each particular subject and also includes the official ISB IB Assessment Calendars. This shows all the assessment tasks apart from the final examinations in May of DP2.
The fact that approximately 80% of the candidate's final grade comes from external assessment is one of the key reasons that the IB Diploma Programme has a strong reputation for reliability. IB examiners (moderators) are anonymous and neutral. The moderation of IA also ensures reliability.
Please be aware that failure of the student to submit any assessment component work, will mean the student will receive "N" for the subject - effectively failing that subject and therefore the entire Diploma. (source: Handbook of procedures, 2016).
IB DP assessment is criterion-related, rather than measured against the performance of other exam takers. Using a variety of different methods, student performance is measured against the characteristics of the work expected of each grade level (ie grade descriptors), which reflect the aims and objectives of each subject.
Students receive grades ranging from 7 (highest) to 1 (lowest) for each DP course attempted. A student’s final diploma score is made up of the combined scores for each subject. The diploma is awarded to students who gain at least 24 points, subject to certain minimum levels of performance including successful completion of the 3 elements of the core. Theory of Knowledge (TOK) and the Extended Essay (EE) are awarded individual grades and together can contribute up to three additional points towards the overall diploma score. The Creativity, Activity and Service project (CAS) does not contribute to the points total but authenticated participation is a requirement that must be met in order for a student to be awarded the IB Diploma.
The maximum number of diploma points is 45 (6 courses x 7 points + 3 total points for the EE and TOK), is achieved by less than 1% of candidates. About 5% of candidates gain more than 40 points. The average score is around 30 points. Around 80% of DP students achieve the diploma each examination session. The pass rate has remained statistically stable over the years, pointing to the consistency of DP assessment practices.
Awarding the same number of points for both Higher Level (HL) and Standard Level (SL) courses reflects the IB philosophy of the importance of achievement across a broad range of academic disciplines. HL and SL courses differ in scope but are assessed against the same grade descriptors, with HL candidates expected to demonstrate the various elements of the grade descriptors across a greater body of knowledge, understanding and skills.
At ISB, there are four official reporting periods during the DP years – at the half year (January 31 for DP1 & DP2) and end-of-year (June 30 for DP1 & April 30 for DP2). At each reporting period, the IB students will receive a ISB DP Report Card using the IB grading scale of 7 (excellent) to 1 (very poor). Each of the Diploma student's six subjects, CAS, TOK and Extended Essay progress is also reported on the overall report.
The student receives a "Summary of Achievement" - an IB Grade (1 - 7) for each subject & TOK as well as a written comment from each teacher. These grades can provide good orientation for the parents & student as to a likely final IB result but the grades in the reports are not official "predicted grades." The semester grade can be influenced by factors such as late or incomplete coursework or formative tasks.
It is important to note that the IB reports provided by the school are in no way "official IB" reports. The IBO does not issue semester reports, only final results & Diplomas at the end of the whole Programme.
Mediocre but passing
Students in DP1 and DP2 will be assessed according to IB DP guidelines and principles. In borderline cases, subject teachers have the right to place emphasis on the most accurate demonstration of a student’s performance in the semester, rather than the average result over the reporting period. There is a moderation process by which a team of teachers will make these decisions collectively. At the end of each reporting period, final semester grades should reflect the level of achievement most consistently achieved by the student.
Parents and students are advised that grades issued on the end of term reports are not official predictions of the final grades the student may be awarded by the IBO. The term grades awarded by ISB may have been influenced by school penalties for late or incomplete work. The student's final IB grade will be determined mostly on his/her performance in the official, external IB examinations in May DP2. The grades achieved by a student during the programme are, however, a strong indication of his/her progress.
At ISB, we are committed to the philosophy of including all types of learners - visual, kinaesthetic, auditory - and therefore all DP subject teachers are encouraged to provide a balanced range of learning & assessment strategies to accommodate the various types of learners in the group. Examples include, but are not limited to: written assignments (essays), presentations, field work, practical work, exhibitions, performance, modelling, artwork, video, research investigations, tests, examinations, peer assessment, self-assessment, discussions, debates, role-play and other oral activities.
According to international standards and practices, all grading and assessment judgments should be based on evidence and should not be subject to any form of bias. Therefore, all assessment in the IB DP at ISB is criteria-based, so that students are assessed using published, agreed and transparent learning outcomes/assessment rubrics. These learning outcomes are available to parents and students for the main assessments in each subject on ManageBac. Levels of achievement are assigned, for any given particular piece of work, to reflect a student’s level of performance as measured against specific criteria. The specific criteria on which a specific piece of work will be assessed are provided to the students when the task is assigned. This takes the form of an assessment rubric.
For each subject and level, teachers provide students (and parents) an outline of the scheduled assessment tasks in the term ahead and approximate deadlines. These “Assessment Structures” are located on the school website and on ManageBac.
Under normal circumstances, teachers are expected to mark and return student work within two weeks. Teachers are also expected to record the results of the assessment task into the school on-line assessment recording system, known as ManageBac at the same time. Teachers are required to ensure that the final weightings, number and types of tasks on ManageBac, used to calculate the final semester grade, are the same as those pre-published in the Semester Assessment Structure.
Parents and students are provided with personal log-ins to ManageBac to enable them to follow the allocation of marks and progress throughout the academic term.
Teachers are expected to provide a detailed explanation of the mark(s) when returning an assessed piece of work to a student. Emphasis should be placed on explaining how the teacher judged the work according to the assessment criteria published on the assignment rubric. Teacher comments should also reflect on the positive aspects of the student’s performance and provide helpful suggestions on ways in which the student can further improve.
Copies of all assessed DP student work are archived in digital form for the whole two-year programme of study and teachers are expected to have this material on hand at the quarterly parent-teacher meetings.
Parents or guardians may contact high school principal or DP Coordinator to arrange an appointment to discuss their son or daughter’s progress at any time throughout the term.
Official parent-teacher conferences are held in November, January, March and June each year. Parents and guardians are strongly recommended to use these opportunities to learn more about their son or daughter’s holistic progress in the DP. The school also strongly encourages students to accompany their parents to these important events as well.
Every subject teacher is willing to make her/himself available if contacted by student and/or parent to provide further clarification, helpful tips or extensions.
IB Diploma students may expect up to 20 hours of additional homework per week either preparing for an upcoming assessment task, doing general regular revision or reading ahead. ISB does not manage a homework timetable for DP students as these seniors should be developing their own time management skills. However, subject teachers and students are expected to cooperate with each other in planning assessment deadlines in order to avoid overloading. Teachers are required to publish the due date on the assignment sheet itself, on ManageBac.
It is a regulation of ISB that the number of assessment tasks on one particular day of the week may not exceed 3 items for an individual student.
The calendar showing the ISB deadlines for official IB (non-exam) assessment components are located on the school website. This calendar contains essential dates that DP students must be aware of when managing their time realistically. Every effort is made by the DP Coordinator and subject teachers to spread out these tasks as much as possible. However, students and parents can expect particularly the months of February and March in DP2 to be very busy. Failure to meet any of these official IB assessment deadlines may result in the student not being eligible for an IB Diploma. For more information, please refer to the section concerning the rules for incomplete work.
Whether in digital or hard-copy, assignments are due at times specified by the Subject Teacher. Late assignments are defined as having been submitted to the Subject Teacher later than assigned on ManageBac and they are penalised progressively in the following manner:
up to 1 day late
2 days late
3 -5 days late
5 + days late
If a student needs deadline extended AND they contact the subject teacher prior to the day of the deadline requesting an extension, the following penalties will be = though not always = waived. Extension can't be required by students, it's fully at subject teacher's or school's discretion whether the deadline will be extended or not. We want to be flexible and understanding of the students workloads but insist that they would be proactive in negotiating extensions.
For official IB internal and external assessments where due dates and deadlines are published in the IB DP assessment calendar and on Managebac, then following conditions apply:
Extensions can be discussed only 7 or more calendar days before a due date. If a student does not apply for the extension 7 or more days prior to the assessment deadline and doesn't submit it on time, a 0 is awarded for the assessment. Only a doctor's note can be a reason for rescheduling the IA less than 7 days before the deadline.
Part of the internal assessments for all Group 4 subjects (Biology, Chemistry and Physics) include mandatory practicals (experiment) which are assessed according to IB criteria. If a student is not able to be present for these practicals, a session on non-school day (typically a Saturday) will be arranged once per term* for the student to complete the practical so their work can be graded. If a student does not attend the catch up session, it will result in a grade of 0.
* this is applicable in the 2017/2018 school year only; in subsequent school years, the weeks in which these practical will occur will be announced. Only students who prevented from being at school due to health reasons, family crises, higher power, etc. will be allowed to do the practicals at a later date. For these situations, documentation will be required in order for the student to complete the practical on a different date.
At ISB, we treat academic honesty (acknowledging intellectual property rights) in the highest regard as misconduct in this area has serious legal consequences both for the student and the school. For information about school regulations concerning academic honesty, please refer to the ISB Academic Honesty Policy.
A candidate is normally eligible for a grade only if work has been submitted for all components of the assessment in the subject. When a candidate fails to attend an examination, or submit work for any other component in a subject, no grade is normally awarded. An “N” will be issued for the subject and level.
Unacceptable reasons for work being incomplete include circumstances reasonably within the control of the candidate, such as:
Short-term illness is not an acceptable reason for incomplete work, other than for missing an examination in May or November. If a candidate is ill shortly before an internal school deadline for the submission of work, such as the extended essay or an internal assessment requirement, the IB coordinator will contact IB Answers for advice. An extension to the deadline may be authorized. In cases where it is not clear whether the circumstances were reasonably within the control of the candidate, the IB Assessment Centre may rely on the judgment of the coordinator.
Academic honesty is a necessary condition for a student to continue in the Diploma Programme at ISB.
A candidate will be awarded an IB Diploma provided the following conditions have been met:
A maximum of three examination sessions is allowed in which to satisfy the requirements for the award of the IB diploma. The examination sessions need not be consecutive.
Students who are unsuccessful in the May examinations, can retake some or all examinations in the November session (more in a section Retaking exams). There are many possible ways a candidate can be unsuccessful in achieving a Diploma. Approximately 20% of candidates from each examination session are not awarded Diplomas. If a student is not awarded a Diploma, the DP Coordinator will be in regular contact with her/him via school email to advise every step of the further way.
IB EXAM ENTRY REQUIREMENTS
Candidates must be in good standing at the school in order to be allowed to take the final IB exams. Students who are suspended, who have incomplete in-school coursework, or who have unacceptably high absence, will not be permitted to take the final examinations in the May session.
The candidate must have passed all regular school subjects from DP2.
According to the General regulations: Diploma Programme, adverse or unforeseen circumstances are defined as those beyond the control of the candidate that might be detrimental to his or her performance, including temporary illness or injury, severe stress, exceptionally difficult family circumstances, bereavement, or events that may threaten the health or safety of a candidate. Adverse circumstances may also include an event that affects the whole school community, such as civil unrest or a natural disaster. Adverse circumstances do not include shortcomings on the part of the school at which a candidate is registered. It is a school’s responsibility to ensure that all candidates comply with programme and assessment requirements.
No allowance will be made for a school’s failure to deliver the course of study owing to such events as:
Similarly, no allowance will be made for a candidate who begins the Diploma Programme late in the academic year. If, as a consequence of missing tuition, the candidate is not adequately prepared for assessment, the candidate should be withdrawn from the examination session.
If a candidate (or a group of candidates) experiences adverse circumstances during the two-year course of study or written examinations that may have a significant effect on his or her performance in assessment, the Coordinator will submit a completed form Candidates with adverse circumstances to the IB Assessment Centre. If appropriate to the circumstances, the form must be supported with medical documentation (translated into English, French or Spanish where necessary).
The form can be submitted at any point during the course of study, but must arrive at the IB Assessment Centre within 10 days after the candidate’s final examination.
Applications are reviewed on an individual basis. The following actions cannot be requested by a Coordinator; action is taken according to the particular circumstances, precedent and in compliance with guidance from the IB final award committee. One or more actions may be applied to a group of candidates, depending on the circumstances.
a) Extensions to IB deadlines
Where a candidate is affected by an adverse circumstance, temporary illness or injury prior to the submission of early components (for example, the Extended Essay, Theory of Knowledge essay) or internal assessment marks/sample work, an extension to the submission deadline may be authorized by the IB Assessment Centre upon receipt of the required documentation. An extension must be formally authorized by the IB Assessment Centre and will be communicated to the Coordinator by email.
At the discretion of the final award committee, a candidate affected by adverse circumstances may be eligible for special consideration. If the committee agrees a candidate’s circumstances are “adverse” and therefore qualify for consideration, an adjustment may be made to the candidate’s total mark in the affected subject(s) and/or diploma requirement(s). If the candidate is within one or two scaled marks of the next higher grade boundary, the candidate’s grade in the affected subject(s) will be raised; in the case of Theory of Knowledge and the Extended Essay, one mark away from the next higher grade boundary is required for a grade adjustment to be made.
c) Missing mark procedure
If a candidate or group of candidates has not completed a written examination owing to adverse circumstances the IB Assessment Centre may derive an estimate for the missing mark based on available information. However, the candidate must have completed at least 50% of the assessment for the relevant subject, which must include a written externally assessed component. If more than one examination is missed, the final award committee will decide whether a grade is issued to the candidate in the subject(s) concerned. Note that the “missing mark procedure” and “consideration” will not be applied to the same subject/level being assessed.
d) Deferral of external assessment to a future session
Where a candidate or group of candidates has not completed the required 50% of the assessment, which includes an externally assessed component for a subject(s) or whose study has been greatly affected during the two-year programme, it may be possible to defer one or more subjects to a future examination session. In these situations, the registration and subject fees for the subject(s) concerned will be carried forward and the deferred session will not count as one of the available three in which the candidate has to complete the diploma.
e) Inclusive assessment arrangements
If a candidate is affected by an injury that prevents him or her from undertaking the written examinations in the usual way (for example, an injured hand so the candidate cannot write), inclusive assessment arrangements will normally be authorized (for example, the use of a word processor and/or amanuensis if the candidate is unable to write).
Source: Coordinator's Handbook, 2015 - Section A9.2
Questions or comments by parents, teachers or students regarding any aspect of assessment in the IB Diploma Programme at the International School of Brno may be addressed to the DP Coordinator. The Coordinator, Subject Department Heads and the Heads of School will mediate in any disputes.
International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme, Handbook of procedures, 2016
International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme, General regulations, 2014
International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme, A guide to assessment, 2014
International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme, Coordinator's Handbook, 2015
Reviewed: 20th August 2017 by Barbara Andělová