You're in an IB Diploma Programme or a few IB classes, and you've tirelessly worked all year (or two years) studying for your SLs and HLs. You sat for the exams, where you probably developed carpal tunnel syndrome. And you can relate a little too well to this video, but you're hoping you did a bit better on your IB exams.
So when do you get your IB exam scores? How do you get your scores? What does your score mean? I will answer all these questions and more in this article.
2021 IB Exam Changes Due to COVID-19
Because of the ongoing COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, May 2021 IB assessments will have two routes, exam and non-exam, depending on which your school chooses. Stay up to date with the latest information on what this means for IB diplomas, course credit for IB classes, and more with our 2021 IB COVID-19 FAQ article.
When Do Scores Come Out for the May IB Exam Dates?
For May exams, IB test scores are issued on July 5th of the same year. For example, those who took an IB test in May 2019 received their scores on July 5, 2019. (Note that all May 2020 IB exams were canceled due to the coronavirus.)
For students taking the May 2021 IB test, their scores will also release on July 5th.
When Do Scores Come Out for the November IB Exam Dates?
IB scores for tests taken in November are released to the schools on January 2nd the year following the exam.
For students who took IB exams in November 2020, their scores will be released to their schools on January 2, 2021, and students will generally have access to their scores the next day, January 3rd.
For students taking the November 2021 IB exam, they can expect to have access to their scores starting January 3rd as well.
Mark your calendar!
How Do You Check Your IB Scores?
Ask your IB course coordinator for your candidate PIN. Using that number, you can access your own results via the IB's candidate results website. You'll be able to do so one day after results are issued: on July 6th for the May session, and on January 3rd for the November session.
Note that IB results are released to students at staggered intervals depending on time zone. You can contact your IB coordinator to find out the exact time you'll be able to see your scores.
How Are IB Tests Scored?
IB tests aren't graded in the same way other school tests are. Here, we go over the grading scale for IB exams and how it works.
IB Tests Are Graded on a Scale of 1-7
Every IB test is scored on a scale of 1-7, with 7 being the highest possible score. The IB uses what are called "grade descriptors" to describe what each level signifies for each possible category (of which there are six).
For example, here's how the IB describes a score of 5 in Group 4 (Sciences):
Displays broad subject knowledge and shows sound understanding of most concepts and principles, and applies them in some contexts. Analyses and evaluates quantitative and qualitative data competently. Constructs explanations of simple phenomena. Solves most basic or familiar problems and some new or difficult quantitative and/or qualitative problems. Communicates clearly with little or no irrelevant material.
Approaches investigations in an ethical manner, paying attention to environmental impact and safety where applicable. Investigations demonstrate appropriate investigative and analytical techniques with relevant and pertinent conclusions to resolving authentic problems.
For a full breakdown of what each score means, refer to this document from the IB.
What IB Scores Will Colleges Accept for Credit?
Each school may have slightly different qualifications for getting credit for IB courses, but most college classes will give you credit for IB HL classes with an exam score of 5 or higher. Some colleges will even waive your General Education requirements if you have an IB Diploma.
Others, such as the University of Southern California (my alma mater), give you a full year's worth of credit for having an IB Diploma.
Look up colleges' individual IB college credit policies by searching "[School Name] IB credit policy." Most universities have a dedicated web page for explaining their credit policies.
What If You Think Your IB Exam Score Was Unfair?
After the IB results have been issued, schools can request re-marks for particular students if they feel that their results are undeserved. Schools can also receive a range of different types of feedback on their students' performance.
If you wish to have your IB exam reevaluated, contact the IB.
Not sure where you want to go to college? Get started by reading our article on how to find an ideal target school.
One of the single most important parts of your college application is what classes you choose to take in high school (in conjunction with how well you do in those classes). Our team of PrepScholar admissions experts have compiled their knowledge into this single guide to planning out your high school course schedule. We'll advise you on how to balance your schedule between regular and honors/AP/IB courses, how to choose your extracurriculars, and what classes you can't afford not to take.
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As an SAT/ACT tutor, Dora has guided many students to test prep success. She loves watching students succeed and is committed to helping you get there. Dora received a full-tuition merit based scholarship to University of Southern California. She graduated magna cum laude and scored in the 99th percentile on the ACT. She is also passionate about acting, writing, and photography.