International Baccalaureate announces change to awarded results

IB says students’ final grades will take greater account of coursework following controversy

August 17, 2020
Empty exam hall

The International Baccalaureate has announced that it will make an adjustment to awarded results this year after hundreds of schools requested a review over concerns at the disparity between predicted and final grades.

The IB said it would use predicted grades and coursework to award results for its diploma and career-related programmes, saying that this would provide “an accurate and reliable reflection” of a student’s performance.

It added that no student would incur “an overall point score decrease from the originally issued grades as a result of these adjustments”.

The organisation previously also used historical assessment data – such as information on individual schools and subjects – in addition to coursework and predicted grades to ensure that it followed “a rigorous process of due diligence” after exams were cancelled amid the coronavirus pandemic. It said that the addition of “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”.

However, many students reported in July, when they received their exam scores, that their final grades were nowhere near their predicted grades. The IB said that of the 3,020 schools that had received results this summer, 700 had submitted a review request on behalf of their students.

As a result of these concerns, students’ final grade results will be adjusted to be equal to the coursework result when the predicted grade was only one grade less, equal to or greater than the coursework grade.

The IB change will increase pressure on UK ministers to adjust A-level results, after more than a quarter of a million results were downgraded from teacher estimates and tens of thousands of applicants missed required grades to attend the university of their choice last week.

ellie.bothwell@timeshighereducation.com

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