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IB May 2020 Results Change: What do students think?

The May International Baccalaureate 2020 results were met with anger and frustration from many students and schools. The IB results were based on teacher predictions, Internal Assessments, and, crucially, moderation using school history. Individual scores were therefore compromised to ensure “fairness across the cohort”. Many students received IB results lower than their teachers thought they would receive, and lower than they had already achieved in official Internal Assessments.

Over one month after IB results were awarded, the IBO changed their policy to guarantee that students’ final grades will be the same as their coursework marks. This is the mark awarded for one essay or investigation in a subject (Internal Assessment), which usually makes up 20 or 25% of the total grade. So, if a student had a predicted grade of 6 and a 7 in their IA, they receive a 7. If a student had a predicted grade of 7 and achieved a 6 in their IA, they get a 6.  24% of grades already awarded have been changed.

Thousands of students have seen their grades increase – with pivotal impacts on university decisions and wellbeing. IBlieve talked to May 2020 IB students around the world about the impact of this IB results change. Students are relieved that their 2 years of effort are reflected in the scores they’ve been awarded. Some are now able to access the universities of their choice and access scholarships.

Kenneth – IB in Indonesia, Purdue University

For people at my school, it definitely had a positive impact, seeing how we are now celebrating a 97% pass rate! I’d also like to highlight that the score update meant that for my friends who are taking gap years, they have a better chance at getting into their dream schools.

However, I would also like to cite some negative impacts, as I’ve heard that a few of my batchmates regretted their university choices given their current updated scores. They likely would have been admitted to other universities given their current scores.

All in all, I would say that the update has given us as IB students closure for having successfully finished the DP, and though it may have come at a bad time, it was better late than never.

Nanami – IB in Japan, Brown University

Around half of my class have experienced increases of 1-2 points. Although it is not a huge improvement, it is definitely a satisfactory reward for our hard work over the past 2 years and gives me increased confidence in a particular subject.

Ada – IB in Canada, University of Waterloo

I’m so grateful for IB’s new update as it has opened up many new doors and possibilities for my IB cohort and I. While the previous “final grades” did not detrimentally impact my overall university offer, I lost scholarships and transfer credits. For my peers, some students’ offer of admission was taken back, it was truly heartbreaking.

Following the update, I was granted the same scholarships and was offered more transfer credits than I had anticipated. While not all graduates that lost their offer got them back, they accepted new ones and found themselves on a completely different career plan than intended. In that perspective, the 2020 IB marking algorithm flipped many graduates’ career paths on their backside. Nevertheless, amidst these challenging and demanding times, this update from the IB is like a lamp in the darkness for all of us; full of hope and assurance.

Kathlyn – IB in the British Virgin Islands, hopes to study in the UK

It has been very helpful because my university is now reconsidering my offer, where as before I was sure I would have to take a forced gap year. Now I have a chance at Uni this year. In the event that my marks are still not what they are looking for, these new marks limit the number of November exams I would have to take to try again. Instead of 5 exams, I’m looking at about 3.

Elena – IB in Indonesia, UCLA

This IB change increased 2 points for me, and because of it I am able to obtain more credits in my university! (With a change from 6 to 7 in one of my HLs.) For some of my friends, this change came a bit too late as they’ve already begun classes in their university in Australia. However, for some others, (especially those looking to study in the UK and for the February intake in Australia), they’re now even more unsure of what this means for their university plans.

Ishika – IB in India, Ohio State University

The recent IB update did make all the students in my school happy because it boosted the scores enough for students to get into the universities they desire. Personally, my score increased by a small number, but it gave me the confidence to not give up. In my school, there were students who were rejected by a few universities due to their scores. However, the current boost gave them a chance to attend a university of their choice.

Tiffany – IB in Indonesia, HKUST

Thanks to IB’s update of the M20 results, a lot of students—myself included— received higher scores, allowing them to fulfil their uni conditional offers and receive scholarships as well!

For some people applying for admission next term (so Jan-Feb intake) or are taking a gap year, they had a wider range of unis to apply to. Although I do feel bad for some since the update of the results was a bit late for them to re-apply to better unis, especially because some have already started uni (mainly for those going to AUS unis).

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