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IB Exams – Year 13

Posted: February 5, 2021

We recognise that this has been an uncertain time for our students, particularly for Year 13 as they think forward to the last few months of the programme and what final examinations may look like in light of the Covid-19 situation.

We have just received an update from the IB, which contains the following key points:

  • The IB is a global organisation that runs across 148 countries, and the COVID-19 conditions within each territory will be highly variable.
  • Safety is always a key priority and the ability to administer examinations will be very much determined by localised conditions or government mandate.
  • The IB will work with a dual assessment model for May 2021 – the examination route and the non-examination route. This is the same model that ran for the November 2020 examination session.
  • Students following the exam route will receive grades based on exam results and the results of internal assessments.
  • Students following the non-exam route will receive grades based on the results of internal assessments and predicted grades, taking into account the historical performance of students in the school from 2017-19.
  • The IB will carefully analyse the results to ensure that the results achieved in each pathway are comparable and fair.  In either pathway, the same certificates and Diplomas will be awarded and will have the same value.
  • In either pathway, the results of Group 6 Arts subjects, ToK and the Extended Essay will be determined in the same way as there is no exam component.
  • Mitigations will be made when setting grade boundaries, to take into account the impact of the pandemic on teaching and learning throughout the course.
  • Students cannot follow the non-exam pathway by choice.  This pathway is only to be followed when it is not possible for a school to administer the exams, or if it is not possible for a student to sit the exams for health reasons.
  • It will be possible for a school, or an individual student, to transfer to the non-exam pathway at the last moment, even after the exam session has begun, should that become necessary.

The current position of Discovery College is that we will administer the exam session in May.  Should that position change, we will of course inform you immediately.  Any decision not to run the exam session would be made in consultation with ESF Centre and the relevant government authorities.

We hope that this information is useful to you.  Please rest assured that we will be in touch with any updates as and when they emerge.  In the meantime, Year 13s should assume that they will be taking exams in May and continue with their studies as normal.

We wish you all a happy and prosperous Year of the Ox.

Best regards,

Brian McCann (Vice-Principal / IB Diploma Coordinator)
Mark Poulsum (Head of Secondary).