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This year’s changes in scoring rules has had a huge impact on the candidates who were supposed to take the IB exam. A statistical model was used to ensure that the average score is consistent with past years.

IB Total Points Distribution 2020

The bell-curve is higher than past years, meaning the cohort have “performed” better. Yet, high scoring students have been “averaged” to fit past years’ trend. Many students have a much lower true score than predicted, with some students reporting up to a 12-point drop. This would definitely hurt their college application.

The current trend of the pandemic is not clear and no one can be sure whether next year’s examinations will take place as usual. In the face of this uncertainty, parents have to consider what they can do to help their children better learn and prepare for exams.

Through this year’s scoring exercise, students and parents need to recognize a basic trend – in the future, students’ grades will take up a large proportion of academic evaluation. Here are some suggestions for parents and students:

1. Do not neglect any internal assessments

Under the condition that the IB exam is still unclear, the IBO Organizing Committee is bound to judge the academic ability of the students by using the students’ usual school performance as a reference.

According to past experience, students with good academic performance in peacetime are least affected by the pandemic situation. Students must take every assessment seriously, be it homework, project, class test, midterm or final exam.

2. Establish a good relationship with the subject teachers

School subject teachers are the ones who knows best about the students’ progress. They are also the ones who judge students’ academic performance and give predicted scores. Parents should actively communicate with the teachers and let the teachers know the child’s goals.

Generally speaking, teachers pay more attention to students with poor grades, giving them more guidance and feedback.

If your child is scoring average grades, the teacher may not pay as much attention to him/her. You will need to take the initiative to communicate with the teacher and understand your child’s performance.

3. Early detection of weak subjects

Many students are aware of their weaker subjects, but choose to procrastinate and only start putting in effort closer to the exams. This is often too late. Students should develop a long-term learning plan from the beginning and improve gradually.

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