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Everything You Need to Know About IB Grading

August 11, 2023
By AdmissionSight
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Everything You Need to Know About IB Grading

The IB Grading system is used to assess student performance in the IB program, which is a rigorous two-year educational program for students aged 16 to 19. IB stands for International Baccalaureate, and the grading system is widely used across the globe.

The IB program was established in 1968 by the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO), a non-profit educational foundation based in Geneva, Switzerland. The program was designed to provide a challenging and comprehensive education for students around the world and to promote intercultural understanding and respect.

The first IB exams were administered in 1970, and since then, the program has grown to include over 5,000 schools in 156 countries. The IB program is recognized and respected by universities and colleges around the world, and many students use their IB diploma as a pathway to higher education.

What is the IB grading scale?

So what is the IB grading scale? Well, it is based on a scale of 1 to 7, with 7 being the highest score. Each subject in the IB program is graded on this scale based on a combination of internal assessments and external exams.

The grades are awarded as follows:

  • Grade 7: Excellent performance indicating a comprehensive and thorough understanding of the subject matter.
  • Grade 6: Very good performance indicating a strong understanding of the subject matter.
  • Grade 5: Good performance indicating a reasonable understanding of the subject matter.
  • Grade 4: Satisfactory performance indicating a basic understanding of the subject matter.
  • Grade 3: Mediocre performance indicating a limited understanding of the subject matter.
  • Grade 2: Poor performance indicating a very limited understanding of the subject matter.
  • Grade 1: Very poor performance indicating little or no understanding of the subject matter.

In addition to subject grades, the IB program also awards bonus points for your overall performance in the program, including your Extended Essay and Theory of Knowledge course. The maximum number of bonus points you can receive is 3, which can be added to your total score.

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To earn an IB diploma, you must achieve a total score of at least 24 points and meet other requirements, including completing a Theory of Knowledge course, an Extended Essay, and fulfilling the Creativity, Activity, and Service (CAS) program.

How does IB grading work?

Now let’s discuss how the IB grading system works. Each subject is graded on a combination of internal assessments and external exams.

Internal assessments are typically completed throughout the two-year program and are marked by your teachers.  The internal assessments can include essays, oral presentations, lab reports, art portfolios, and other assignments, depending on the subject. The marks you receive for these assessments count towards your overall score.

External exams are taken at the end of the two-year program, usually in May. These exams are developed and marked by IB examiners who are located around the world.

The exams are designed to test your knowledge and understanding of the subject material. The marks you receive on the external exams also count toward your overall score.

The final score for each subject is calculated by adding together the marks you received for your internal assessments and your external exams. The maximum score you can achieve for each subject is 7, and the minimum passing score is 4.

To earn an IB diploma, you must achieve a total score of at least 24 points and meet certain other requirements, including completing a Theory of Knowledge course, an Extended Essay, and fulfilling the Creativity, Activity, and Service (CAS) program.

In addition to subject grades, you may also receive bonus points for your overall performance in the IB program, including your Extended Essay and Theory of Knowledge course. The maximum number of bonus points you can receive is 3, which can be added to your total score.

How to survive the IB grading system

You’ll also need to know how to survive the IB grading system. The International Baccalaureate grading system can be challenging, but with the right strategies and mindset, you can survive and even thrive. Here are some tips to help you navigate the IB grading system:

Understand the grading system

The IB grading system is based on a scale of 1-7, with 7 being the highest score. Each subject is graded on a combination of internal assessments and external exams. Make sure you understand the grading criteria for each subject, including how much each component contributes to your overall grade.

Stay organized

The IB program is rigorous and requires a lot of organization. Keep track of important deadlines, assignments, and exam dates in a planner or digital calendar. This will help you stay on top of your work and avoid last-minute stress.

Manage your time effectively.

Time management is crucial in the IB program. Plan your study sessions and prioritize your assignments based on their importance and deadline. Create a study schedule that allows you to balance your academic workload with other commitments.

Seek help when needed.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. Your teachers, classmates, and IB coordinators are all resources that can help you succeed. Reach out to them if you’re struggling with a particular subject or assignment.

Practice past papers

Practicing past papers is an excellent way to prepare for the IB exams. They can give you an idea of the types of questions you can expect and help you identify areas where you need to improve.

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Stay motivated

The IB program can be challenging, but remember why you started. Keep your end goal in mind and stay motivated. Reward yourself for your achievements, no matter how small they may seem.

Take care of yourself.

Lastly, don’t forget to take care of yourself. Get enough sleep, eat well, and exercise regularly. Taking care of your physical and mental health will help you perform better academically.

By following these tips, you can survive and even excel in the IB grading system. Remember to stay focused, stay organized, and stay motivated, and you’ll do great!

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