Recognizing student achievement

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The most important benefit of an IB education is your own learning. An IB education provides you with knowledge, skills and attitudes that will help you throughout your life.

The IB recognizes your achievements through assessments and IB certificates. Find out more about what the IB programmes offer students.

IB certificates

The IB provides certifications with grades to show what you have achieved. An IB certificate is a recognition of what you have accomplished and the knowledge, skills and attitudes you have learned. It communicates your achievements to universities and employers. The IB also makes sure that people around the world understand the achievement represented by the IB certificates. We work with local and national governments to ensure that higher education institutions across different countries recognize IB certificates.

IB awards certificates at the end of the Middle Years Programme (MYP), the Diploma Programme (DP) and the Career-related Programme (CP). The IB does not award a certificate for the PYP. 

To earn one of these certificates, the IB assesses the work you submit against worldwide standards. IB assessments generally consist of exams and coursework.

Learn more about IB assessment.

Results services

Reviewing IB grades

After you receive your grades it is possible to ask the IB to review the marking of your assessment. Ask your IB coordinator about the Enquiry Upon Results (EUR) service. The EUR process is a last check to catch mistakes in the marking system. Schools can use it to point out potential errors, giving us a chance to investigate and correct any mistakes if needed.

School certificates

The IB has an international reputation and so colleges and employers in many countries are likely to recognize and respect any IB certifications you gain. In addition to the certificates the IB awards, your school may give you a certificate, so people will appreciate the education you have had. School certificates are separate to any IB assessment or grades, and how much it is recognized depends on the reputation of your school. The school decides when to give out school certificates.

A fair assessment

It is important that IB certificates have the same meaning everywhere in the world. Therefore, the IB makes the assessments equal everywhere in the world to be fair to everyone.

The IB creates fair assessments by developing curriculum and curriculum frameworks that clearly communicate to schools what will be assessed and how it will be assessed. Schools are responsible for designing learning that prepares students for the assessments and for ensuring that students know what they need to learn. 

A fair assessment allows you to show what you can do. It asks questions in a way that you can understand and only assesses the curriculum that is taught.

You should always know how the results of an assessment will be used; ask your teacher if you are not sure. Sometimes they are used to measure your achievement at a moment in time; these are summative assessments. An example is assessments used by the IB to give you a grade at the end of your course. Other times the assessment is to help you learn or help your teacher to support you to learn, for example homework questions or commenting on an example essay. This is often called formative assessment.

The IB does not oversee PYP assessments. PYP schools design and carry out all assessment on their own.

Learn more about what makes an IB assessment fair.

If something unexpected happens in an assessment

Sometimes unexpected events occur during or just before assessments. These are called adverse circumstances

IB responsibilities

The IB has a duty to support you in these situations without being unfair to other students taking the assessment. 

School responsibility

It is your school’s responsibility to follow all the IB rules for assessments and prevent any foreseeable problems (for example scheduling exams in quiet places, checking the correct work is uploaded or helping you catch up on classes missed due to illness).

Occasionally, unexpected things happen that either you or the school can't anticipate, for example, a student who is seriously ill on the day of the exam or a natural disaster such as a hurricane or flood. In these cases, the IB has a comprehensive adverse circumstances policy that explains how we will do our best to handle these events without disadvantaging or advantaging you compared to other students.

Read more about the IB’s adverse circumstances policy.

Your responsibilities

It is your responsibility to prepare properly for any assessments. This includes thinking about what could go wrong and taking precautions (for example giving yourself plenty of time to get to the exam or not leaving it to the last minute to do the work).

Remember that if you know about a situation or challenge that may impact your ability to complete assessments in advance, then you must talk to your school about it beforehand. The purpose of access and inclusion is to remove barriers to learning and the IB will do its best to reflect those arrangements in our assessments. If you know about a problem more than three months before assessment, then it must be addressed through the access and inclusion policy. The IB will not accept it as an adverse circumstance.