The International Baccalaureate® (IB) Diploma Programme (DP) uses both internally and externally assessed components to assess student performance. For most courses, written examinations at the end of the DP form the basis of the assessment. This is because these examinations have high levels of objectivity and reliability.
Externally assessed coursework, completed by students over an extended period under authenticated teacher supervision, forms part of the assessment for several programme areas, including the Theory of Knowledge (TOK) essay and the Extended Essay (EE).
In most subjects, students also complete in-school assessment tasks known as Internal Assessment. Across all subjects, they comprise between 20% to 30% of the overall grade. These assessment are then sent for moderation by the IB.
For the rest of the in-school assessment, they will be supervised by the teachers and then sent for external assessment where they will be marked by examiners appointed by IB.
A significant portion of the assessment is completed in the May examinations where it is seen as reliable and accurate in reflecting the ability and potential of the student.
How DP assessment is scored
In the DP, students receive grades ranging from 7 to 1, with 7 being highest. Students receive a grade for each DP course attempted.
A student’s final Diploma result 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 three essential elements of the DP core.
The DP core
The theory of knowledge (TOK) and extended essay (EE) components are awarded individual grades and, collectively, can contribute up to 3 additional points towards the overall Diploma score.
Creativity, Action, Service – the remaining element in the DP core – does not contribute to the points total but authenticated participation is a requirement for the award of the diploma.
Higher level and standard level courses
The IB awards the same number of points for Higher Level (HL) and Standard Level (SL) courses, reflecting the IB’s belief in 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.
DP assessment at SISHK
The DP assessment at SISHK follows strictly the guidelines and expectations required of IBO on the school. All of our teachers at SISHK are either trained or expected to be trained in the short term. This is to enable them to provide accurate, timely and good advice to our students on the standards and expectations of the work that they will produce during the IB Diploma journey.
First year of DP
The emphasis in the first year of the DP is on enabling students to adjust to the academic rigour of the programme. Assessment of their learning and formative assessment will be used to provide feedback on their learning. In addition, the teachers will provide feedback on their assignments to prepare them to submit to the IB in the second year.
Assessment modes are highly varied, depending on the subject nature. It varies from individual and group presentation, oral presentations, online quizzes to class tests and termly assessment. The purpose is to obtain timely and regular feedback on their learning.
At the end of May, they will sit for an End of Year (EOY) examination where it simulates the May examinations in the second year. This is also a platform to assess their ability to consolidate their learning over a year and to assess their readiness for the second year of the diploma programme.
Second year of DP
The students begin the year with an assessment calendar listing the deadlines that they have to meet to submit the various in-school assessment required of them in the diploma programme. This will typically span six months from end August to end February.
After the Chinese New Year, they will prepare for the DP mock examinations in March where they will sit for a full run of the examination papers that they can expect in May. The mock examinations will provide a realistic experience of the examinations and enable the students to assess their readiness in sitting for the May exams. With the feedback provided after the mock examinations, the students will further review and refine their revision strategies.