COVID-19 (coronavirus) updates

Our students, their well-being and their progression in future stages of life have been at the forefront of our thinking as we respond to this extraordinary pandemic. As an organization, it is critical for us to ensure that the options we provide for our IB community, students and teachers are fair and compassionate during these difficult circumstances. We are updating schools regularly with guidance and updates, please contact your school for more information about IB education and assessments during the COVID-19 pandemic. Schools can contact their IBWS manager or IB Answers for support.

Last update: 06 January 2021, 14:00 CET

Topic links:

November 2020 Diploma Programme and Career-related ProgrammeNovember 2020 Middle Years ProgrammeMay 2021 Diploma Programme and Career-related ProgrammeMay 2021 Middle years ProgrammeNovember 2021 examination sessions

 

These FAQs will no longer be updated. Further updates will be provided directly to schools regarding implementation of IB Programmes and assessments.

 

November 2020 Diploma Programme and Career-related Programme

Due to the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic the IB provided a dual assessment model for the November 2020 examination session.

Results for this session were released on 2 January. You can find out more information about the issue of results here.

 

November 2020 Middle Years Programme

Regardless of schools’ closure status, all students registered for the MYP eAssessment will be able to participate in both the on-screen and ePortfolio exams and receive a grade for all subjects.

If at any time local or regional government restrictions prohibit schools from being able to administer examinations in school, schools can choose one of three options below:

  • Switch to a remote on-screen assessment known as the “alternative task assessment” for grade awarding.

  • Defer at no extra cost to the May 2021 examination session, dependant on subject availability.

  • Withdraw from the November 2020 session with full refund from the IB.

Candidates’ results are released on IBIS from 12:00 noon GMT on 1 February 2021.

 

May 2021 Diploma Programme and Career-related Programme

We recognise that learning loss has been a huge issue for the teachers and students in our community.

While at this time, Diploma Programme and Career-related Programme examinations are scheduled to take place in May 2021, the IB is currently talking to school leaders, teachers and government regulators regarding their local context, restrictions and the impact of COVID-19 on their students. 

We are, of course, committed to supporting our schools through this disruption and last year we introduced a range of changes to our assessments and examinations to address the loss of teaching due to COVID-19, focusing as much as was possible on flexibility and fairness in preparation for the May 2021 session. 

The IB has communicated to schools a range of targeted adaptations of assessment components or submission requirements to address the loss of instruction time. These adaptations aim to enable teachers to address each subject's aims and objectives. 

Our teams are working together to ensure that exam administration and grade awarding for the May 2021 assessment session are informed by principles of fairness and compassion to avoid putting undue stress on students during this challenging time. We will provide further updates to schools as soon as we can.

If students wish to withdraw from the May 21 exam, the IB will refund the student’s registration fees. They may also defer to a future session and have their registration fees transferred at no extra cost. The deadline to withdraw or defer is 1 May 2021.

The IB will continue to update schools with timely guidance ahead of the May 2021 session.

 

May 2021 Middle years Programme

eAssessment

eAssessment comprised of the on-screen examinations and coursework ePortfolios will be offered in 2021 as scheduled.

On-screen examinations

If a school is unable to administer examinations due to government restrictions, students registered for the MYP eAssessment will be able to take a version of on-screen examinations, known as the ‘alternative task assessment’ remotely.

Coursework ePortfolios

The IB will continue to offer schools the ‘adapted partially completed unit plans’ (PCUP) for ePortfolio subjects (Arts, PHE, and Design), which we introduced in May and November 2020 to support students facing learning disruptions.

Personal Project and Service as Action

During these unusual times of social distancing and lockdowns, we understand that completing a robust Personal Project or Service as Action programme may be difficult for many students.

For Personal Project, we understand that students might not be able to conduct primary research, investigations or activities that require physical interactions. We will take these circumstances into consideration during the grading process.

For Service as Action, while we will still require schools to indicate a student has completed this requirement, we will be flexible in how this looks for students. We have every confidence that schools will guide your students in making their best endeavours to meet service requirements with modifications so as not to compromise their health and safety.

 

November 2021 examination sessions

We understand that learning and teaching has been challenging during the pandemic. We will continue to provide detailed guidance for schools to ensure they can thoughtfully prepare and support students.

Whilst the November 2021 Diploma Programme and Career-related Programme examinations are currently scheduled to take place, we're listening to schools, monitoring the global situation and planning for a variety of scenarios.

To address the disruptions caused by the global pandemic the IB has made adaptations including adjustments to learning, teaching, and assessment; the examination schedule for November 2021 has been updated to reflect these adaptations. Schools can access these adaptations via the Programme Resource Centre.

Our teams are working together to ensure that exam administration and grade awarding for the 2 November 2021 assessment session are informed by principles of fairness and compassion to avoid putting undue stress on students during this challenging time.

The IB will continue to update schools with timely guidance ahead of the November 2021 session.