Diploma Programme assessment
A variety of different methods are used to measure student achievement against the objectives for each course.
Examinations form the basis of the assessment for most courses because of their high levels of objectivity and reliability. They include:
- structured problems
- short-response questions
- data-response questions
- text-response questions
- case-study questions
- multiple-choice questions (limited use of these).
There are also a small number of other externally assessed pieces of work, for example, theory of knowledge essays, extended essays and world literature assignments. These are completed by students over an extended period under teacher supervision instead of examination conditions, and are then marked by external examiners.
Teacher assessment is also used for most courses. This includes:
- oral work in languages
- fieldwork in geography
- laboratory work in the sciences
- investigations in mathematics
- artistic performances.
Assessments are checked by external examiners and normally contribute between 20% and 30% of the total mark.
Some of the arts courses, for example, music, theatre arts and visual arts, have assessment of a major practical component, which can account for as much as 50% of the total mark.
External examinations for candidates for the IB diploma are given twice a year, in May and in November.
Visit our new IB store for copies of past IB Diploma Programme examination papers.
Interested in becoming an IB examiner?
Browse through the section written especially for current and future examiners, and visit our page of examining positions.