Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 15 August 2020

IB pupils ask for remarking after getting lower than expected scores

More than 3,200 pupils have signed a petition asking the International Baccalaureate Organisation for their marks to be reviewed free of charge

On July 6, more than 170,000 pupils worldwide received their IB Diploma and Career-related programme results.
On July 6, more than 170,000 pupils worldwide received their IB Diploma and Career-related programme results.

Thousands of International Baccalaureate pupils have asked for reassessments of their results after receiving scores far below their predicted grades.

More than 3,000 teenagers have signed a petition asking the International Baccalaureate Organisation to revaluate pupils’ results free of charge.

But the IBO said the grades had been awarded in the fairest way possible.

On July 6, more than 170,000 pupils worldwide received their IB Diploma and Career-related programme results.

The IBO had cancelled the diploma exams because of the pandemic.

Instead, the final scores of pupils were calculated based on internal school assessments and predicted grades from teachers.

Many pupils have complained that their final results were far lower than their predicted grades.

“Tens of thousands of pupils who graduated in May 2020 from the IB DP/CP have received discriminatory grades that aren’t a reflection of neither their IAs [internal assessments] nor their coursework,” read a petition signed by thousands of pupils.

“Most pupils saw a decrease of about six to eight marks from their predicted grades.”

On social media, pupils shared their thoughts with the #ibscandal.

Some said their grades had dropped by several points and the IBO had not been transparent about its marking system.

“I went from 42 to 33. My dream university rescinded my offer and I have to pay for the re-take exams,” one pupil said on Twitter.

“IB scores were a joke this year. People can brush it off, assuming we’re just mad because we didn’t get the results we wanted,” tweeted another pupil.

The IB is confident that it has awarded grades in the fairest and most robust way possible in the absence of examinations

IBO

A representative of IBO told The National the final grades were based on pupils’ coursework throughout the two-year programmes, predicted grades provided by schools and historic assessment data.

For the subjects in which pupils would normally sit exams, results from previous years were analysed to determine the correlation between coursework, predicted grades and final marks.

The IBO representative said the organisation had listened to IB pupils, teachers and schools around the world since the results were released on July 6.

“[We] understand there have been mixed emotions and disappointment expressed by some,” the representative said.

“The IB is confident that it has awarded grades in the fairest and most robust way possible in the absence of examinations, and the grades awarded to pupils are of equal value to those awarded in any other year.

More than 3,000 pupils have signed a petition to the International Baccalaureate Organisation asking for free remarking.
More than 3,000 pupils have signed a petition to the International Baccalaureate Organisation asking for free remarking.

“The IB’s global recognition team has been having regular conversations with universities around the world since the start of the pandemic to ensure that all IB pupils are not at a disadvantage when applying to universities.”

Pupils can ask for remarking.

This year’s average diploma score is 29.90 points, up from 29.62 in 2019.

Jeff Evans, from Learning Key Education Consultancy, said A-level pupils could face the same situation as their grades would be estimated in a similar manner.

Mr Evans believes universities would be more flexible this year and would take into account recommendations from the school as well as teachers.

“Many pupils are deferring going to university until next year so there should be more flexibility but it will depend on the demand,” he said.

Fiona McKenzie, head of Carfax Education in Dubai, said there had been a few outliers this year with pupils predicted higher grades but achieved lower than expected.

“The issue is of transparency as people are not quite sure if the IB have taken the teachers predicted grades or the internal assessments,” she said.

“There are individual outliers who have grades that do not correlate with their predicted grades.

“This is a new system for everyone including the board and we may have the same issues around the A-levels and the GCSEs. It’s an untried system at the moment.

“The children who are potentially disadvantaged are the ones who put in a lot of effort at the end who really achieve their potential in the final exams.”

Ms McKenzie said exam boards and universities would have communicated and they are likely to be flexible in admissions this year.

Universities are struggling to attract pupils as many may defer higher education plans.

The UK’s Institute for Fiscal Studies said 13 universities could become bankrupt if they do not receive government bailouts.

Updated: July 8, 2020 08:59 PM

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