In the IB, students are evaluated using both internal and external assessments. Internal assessments mean that your teacher will give you your grade. External assessments are marked by a trained IB marker outside of your school.
The final exams which take place in either May or November are externally assessed. Finals make up 70-80 percent of the total marks for each subject. The Theory of Knowledge essay and the Extended Essay are marked by external examiners as well. However, these are completed over a period of time and students will receive rounds of feedback from their school teachers before they are sent for external assessment.
Between 20-30 percent of the total marks of each academic subject are from assignments assessed by teachers. Internal assessment varies by subject: there may be oral presentations, artistic performances, practical work, laboratory work or written work. In most cases, these are initially graded by the classroom teacher, and a sample of grades are then verified by an external moderator to ensure grading is fair and standardised.
Each of the 6 SL and HL subjects is graded on a scale of 1-7, with 7 being the maximun grade a student can get.
The Extended Essay (EE) and Theory of Knowledge (TOK) can give you a maximum of 3 additional points in total.
So, the maximum possible point total in the IB DP is 45 (6 subjects X 7 points + 3 points for EE and TOK).
The Extended Essay and Theory of Knowledge elements of the IB core are first graded on a scale between A – E. The individual grades from the EE and TOK and combined using the following matrix to convert it to a scale of 0-3. Failure to complete either the EE or TOK will result in an automatic fail.
In order to receive an IB diploma, candidates must receive at least 4 points in each of the 6 subjects or a minimum of 24 points. There are also additional criteria to meet to be awarded the IB diploma, such as:
- At least 12 points from Higher Level Subjects
- At least 9 points from Standard Level Subjects
- Grade of at least D in either the Extended Essay and Theory of Knowledge
- Completion of CAS
For a full list of criteria that is needed to obtain the IB Diploma, please refer to their official page.
If you are wondering what final IB score you should aim for, there are multiple things that universities look at when considering your application. If you’re looking for a short answer, the 2020 world average was 29.9, so a 30 and above should be your minimum aim. A 34-40 would have you in the ‘above average’ category, above 40 would set you well ahead of the curve and a 43-45 would be exceptional grades.