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Individual Assessments in the IB DP with DP Coordinator, Gary Ward

Each year the Grade 12 class runs as fast as they can on the IB treadmill, from their return in January after the Winter Break until Spring Break in March. They are completing the Internal Assessments for each course they are in. Each Internal Assessment (IA) makes up between 20% to 25% of the final course grade for each course.

The IA is an assessment of a range of skills and knowledge that should be developed in the course. They range from oral presentations in the language subject to reports on experiments that are designed and completed for the science courses. Although some of the IA’s may be completed by the end of their first year in the Diploma Programme, as either a Diploma Candidate or a Course Candidate, most are finished between December and March of their second year.

The IA’s are a big preoccupation of the students at this time, but they have other things going on as well. Usually sometime in February or March, the content of courses is complete and revision begins for the IB exams in May. Many Grade 12 students are also being elated by news of offers from universities.

The First Year students in Grade 11 are just realizing how rigorous the IB programme is. They begin to really hone their study skills and time management to complete the work in their courses. It is a time for breaking bad habits and building new, optimized habits for the increased demands from the Diploma Programme.

The Grade 11 students climb a steep learning curve to begin to understand that the IB DP courses now require them to go far beyond just learning content, but to use and develop their critical thinking to draw conclusions and give justified reasons for those conclusions.

Near the end of the school year, all the Grade 11 students will go outdoors to complete their Group 4 Project, a collaborative scientific study, where students from chemistry, biology and physics work together on a common problem. This project is a great way for them to see the inter-disciplinary working between the sciences.

While the Grade 11 and 12 years in the Diploma Programme have different emphases, they both demand students to constantly improve their academic knowledge and skills, preparing them for the exams, and ultimately, for the demands of university life.