IB update on May 2020 Diploma Programme and Career-related Programme results


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IB schools and our global community have been greatly impacted by the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. We know that you share our primary concern for our students' health and well-being and educational progression. We are so grateful for our educators and students good work in these challenging times.

Below is an update on the Diploma Programme (DP) and Career-related Programme (CP) results review and the changes we are introducing after carefully analysing the data and evidence schools have submitted.

May 2020 Assessment 

Putting the well-being of IB students and educators first, in March, we cancelled the written examinations for DP and CP.  

Following the decision to cancel the examinations, our assessment specialists in collaboration with independent education experts worked to develop a reliable and valid assessment model to award grades. The awarding model used student coursework, school predicted grades and school context for final grade award. The school context was not based on previous cohorts’ performance, but instead the relationship between predicted grade accuracy, performance in coursework versus examination components and final outcomes. 

As is our normal practice, IB assessment specialists, working with a team of international Chief Examiners, applied standards during marking, and awarding to promote fairness. They worked with over 12,000 international examiners who met in over 300 standardization meetings to ensure reliability. 

These experienced and trained IB examiners marked more than 920,000 pieces of student coursework - examining all student work, rather than only moderating or sampling, aiming to maximize the confidence that every student will receive a fair mark overall.  

Results review service 

Following the release of results on 5 July we listened carefully to the concerns raised by some schools, students and their families. On 14 July, in addition to our well-used Enquiry Upon Results Service, we designed and launched our additional results review service whereby schools could provide further evidence that either student, subject or cohort results were not in line with student performance. The deadline for reviews was 14 August.  

Out of the 3,020 schools receiving results in the May 2020 session, around 700 schools submitted a review request on behalf of their students. We recognise the care and attention taken by schools preparing their requests.  

Our review and analysis of the detailed information from schools offered invaluable insights, leading the IB to evaluate and recommend grade adjustmentswhere applicable, that we believe are fair to all students in the May 2020 session. We will be making an adjustment to awarded results for the DP and CP May 2020 session as below. 

Results update 

After this review, our intent has been to be as supportive of students as we can be while maintaining standards and principles. Many students will be pleased by the outcome of this change. 

In this session, schools marked and submitted internal assessments (IAs) which were then marked by trained IB examiners. The IA grade is therefore a validated data point in determining the final grade. Schools also provided predicted grades (PGs) based on their judgement as to what candidates would have received had they sat the examinations. 

The award of the revised final grade is based on these two data points of IA and PG to ensure the validity and fairness of the final grades. With the IA as evidence of actual student work marked consistently to the global standard by IB examiners and the predicted grades provided by the schools as guidance, we are making the following adjustment: 

No student will receive a lower grade than what was received previously. 

Students’ subject final grade results will be adjusted to be equal to the internal assessment (IA) result when the predicted grade was only one grade less, equal to or greater than the IA grade. The student will be awarded their IA grade as their final grade for that subject in these cases.  This will support a large number of students in this session. 

  • If the PG is higher than the IA grade, then the IA grade will be applied as the final grade. Example:  
Predicted Grade  IA Grade  Current Final Grade  Revised Final Grade 
6 5 4  5


  • If the PG is the same as the IA grade, then the IA grade should be applied. Example:  


Predicted Grade  IA Grade  Current Final Grade  Revised Final Grade 
6 6 5  6


  • If the PG is one grade point below the IA, then the IA grade should be awarded. Example: 
Predicted Grade  IA Grade  Current Final Grade  Revised Final Grade 
5 6 4  6


Students revised final grades can be accessed via IBIS by schools from 5AM GMT 17 August.  For those schools who submitted a review, we thank you for putting your students first and providing us with the detailed information so that we could make this important adjustment.  

Enquiry Upon Results service 

For those students who have already received an IA grade change as a result of a completed EUR, we have used the revised IA grade when awarding the revised final grade.


Our research has shown that universities around the world recognize the rigour of an IB education and the preparedness of IB students for higher education.  It is for this reason that we made this critical adjustment to ensure fairness to this year’s graduating students, whilst maintaining the validity and recognition of IB Assessments for the benefit of all students including both past and future cohorts.  

We are communicating this change to ministries and universities from today so that they are aware of the steps we have taken and the rationale for the changes. It is vitally important for all of us that universities maintain trust in the IB awarding system and the IB preparation. Both of which universities around the world significantly value.  

We know that this has been an extremely difficult time for our schools, students and their families. Our educators have shown dedication, commitment and resilience whilst supporting our students. We are committed to our schools and studentsWe have earned your trust for 50 years and in this unprecedented year we continue to serve our community. We all want the same thing: to ensure a bright future for all our students across the globe. 

More information

For more information about this update, please see the FAQs available here.