Assessment and examination for parents

The IB Global Centre in Cardiff is home to a world-renowned team of experts in student evaluation. IB staff work year-round to create and administer examinations and other assessments which are of the highest quality and standards. These examinations are built on 50 years of experience beginning with the founding of the IB Diploma Programme (DP) in 1968. This team also manages examinations for students in the Middle Years Programme (MYP) and Career-related Programme (CP).

Examination that supports student success

IB assessment makes sure that students are evaluated on knowledge and skills that will serve them well in further study and in life beyond the classroom. While it is the quality of the curriculum and teaching that makes the largest difference in a student’s life, it is the final grade that they will carry with themThe goal of IB exams is to ensure that students appreciate what the subject is about and are ready to use that understanding to progress and develop in whatever challenges they choose to tackle next.

Extended tasks as well as exam performance 

In any timed examination students are limited in how well they can show their full potential. An IB education helps students to develop analytical, writing, communication and presentation skills; research experience; excellent organization and time management; and the ability to approach a topic from multiple perspectives. Because the IB values skills that can be difficult to demonstrate solely under examination conditions, DP courses include classroom-based (internal) assessments which contribute to students' final grades. Rigorous moderation of course work ensures a consistent and globally recognized standard of achievement.

Qualified examiners and fair marking 

There are nearly 9,000 trained examiners worldwide involved in the assessment process, including the development, marking and moderation of assessments. Each subject has a chief examiner with international authority in their field, and a rigorous process and quality control is applied to the development and marking of assessments.

Students need to be confident that their grades are fair. Before the IB allows any examiner to mark a candidate’s work, they are fully trained and evaluated to ensure that an examiner understands what is expected. This process requires examiners to mark several “qualification scripts.” If the marks on an examiner's qualification scripts do not meet IB standards then they are excluded from assessing student work. 

Throughout the examining process, the examiners who passed their initial qualification scripts continue to be evaluated. Pre-marked scripts are included in the exams they are sent, known as seed-scripts. If the marking of these seed-scripts falls below an acceptable level, the examiner will require extra training before being allowed to continue with marking. In some cases, the IB will stop an examiner from continuing to mark, and closely re-evaluate these exam scripts. 

Consistent standards maintained every year 

An IB grade continues to maintain its value every year. A grade 7 this year means the same as a grade 7 last year and the year beforeIn the past five years, the overall IB diploma pass rate has been stable between 78% and 80%. Every year, in every subject, our expert examiners look at examples of candidate work and use statistical evidence to ensure that grade standards remain the same.


Diploma pass rate graph


eAssessment in the IB Middle Years Programme
In the IB MYP, assessments take place in May and November of each year. IB MYP certificate candidates must complete on screen examinations in mathematics,language and literature,sciences,individuals and societies, and interdisciplinary learning. They must also complete the personal project, as well as ePortfolios of course work in language acquisition, and either physical and health education (PHE), design or arts. For each component, students receive a grade of 1 (lowest) to 7 (highest) that describes their combined levels of achievement for each course's objectives. To be awarded the certificate students must gain at least 28 points, with a grade of '3' or higher in each of the eight eAssessment components. Participation in service as action (community service) is not assessed, but candidates must complete school requirements in order to be eligible for the IB MYP certificate. IB World Schools can register students for any combination of MYP subjects, for which they receive IB MYP course results even if they are not candidates for the full IB MYP certificate.
Assessment in the IB Diploma Programme 

In the IB Diploma Programme and the IB MYP, assessments take place in May and November of each year. Full Diploma candidates typically take assessments for six courses. To achieve the highest grades, students must demonstrate an excellent understanding within each subject group through the clarity, richness, and accuracy of their responses. After all assessment components are marked, students receive a final grade ranging from 1 (lowest) to 7 (highest) for each course. Each grade carries a particular definition and offers a meaningful evaluation of the students' demonstrated understanding of the subject.  

Diploma candidates must also successfully complete DP core elements, including the extended essay and theory of knowledge (ToK), which are each marked on an A (highest) to E (lowest) scale. These core elements can add up to 3 additional points to a candidate's DP results. Creativity, activity, service (CAS) is not marked, but completion is required to achieve the Diploma.

Higher level (HL) and standard level (SL) courses contribute equally to the overall diploma score as the IB ethos values a broad education as well as depth in those subjects a student specializes in. The maximum a student can earn toward the IB Diploma is 45 points: 6 courses x 7 points, plus 3 points for the DP core. The full IB diploma is awarded to students who meet minimum requirements, including: earning at least 24 points overall, completion of the Core, and earning a minimum score of 3 in at least 4 subjects.