Embarking on the journey of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme is an intellectually rewarding and challenging experience. As IB students, we pour our hearts and minds into preparing for the exams, striving to achieve our best results and secure our coveted IB Diplomas. However, there are instances when the outcomes may not align with our expectations or aspirations. In such circumstances, the IB provides students with opportunities to seek improvement through re-marking or, if necessary, by retaking the entire Diploma Programme.

In this blog post, we will explore the process of retaking IB exams, shedding light on crucial questions that often arise in the minds of students seeking a chance to enhance their grades and academic standing. From understanding the re-marking process to contemplating the decision of a complete retake, we aim to equip you with the knowledge and insights necessary to make informed choices for your educational journey. Let’s delve into the intricacies of retaking the IB exams and uncover the possibilities that lie ahead.

If I suspect that the grade given to me is incorrect, what steps can I take?

If you are not satisfied with your IB exam grades and believe there might have been an error in the marking of your papers, you have the option to apply for a “remark” or “enquiry upon results” (EUR). The remarking process involves having your exam papers re-evaluated by a different examiner to ensure all answers have been correctly assessed. To initiate the re-marking process, you should approach your DP coordinator at your school to initiate the EuR process. The outcome of the EuR will be communicated to the school’s DP/CP coordinator, who will then share it with you.

It’s essential to be aware that a grade may be lowered through the re-marking process, so written consent from the candidate (or legal guardian) is required before proceeding with the request. If a school fails to obtain this consent and the grade is subsequently lowered, the original grade will not be reinstated.

How does the EuR work?

After receiving your results and contacting your coordinator, they can request the following:

  1. Category 1: Re-mark of all externally assessed components for a subject (conducted by a senior IB Examiner).
  2. Category 1 report: A report on the marking of a Category 1 EuR, useful if you require information on how the marks in the remark were awarded.
  3. Category 2A: Return of externally assessed material by component for all candidates (available to teachers/faculty at the IB school and the specific candidate).
  4. Category 2B: Return of externally assessed material by subject/level for an individual candidate (available to teachers/faculty at the IB school and the specific candidate).
  5. Category 3 re-moderation: Re-moderation of marks for internal assessment by subject/level, applicable when there is a significant difference between candidates’ moderated IA marks and the teacher-awarded marks.

How can my grades potentially change?

The potential outcomes for grade changes are as follows:

  1. Category 1 re-mark: Grade may be lowered, confirmed, or raised.
  2. Category 1 report: Grade will not be changed.
  3. Category 2A and 2B: Grade will not be changed.
  4. Category 3 re-moderation: Marks and grades may be raised but not lowered.

It’s essential to keep in mind that a fee is payable for each of the above categories. It is about $89 per subject (it depends on the exam intake also). However, there is an exception for Category 1 re-mark – if the grade changes as a consequence of the re-mark, the IB will not charge for the service. The change must be at the grade level (e.g., 5 to 6) rather than just the mark (e.g., 55% to 58%).

Additionally, the response received from the allocated examiner may contain useful comments, although it cannot be guaranteed as examiners are not required to provide comments when marking candidates’ work.

How long does the re-mark or re-moderation take?

The duration for each process is as follows:

  1. Category 1 re-mark: 18 days.
  2. Category 1 report: 30 days.
  3. Category 2A and 2B: 18 days.
  4. Category 3 re-moderation: 40 days.

Can I retake the entire IB Diploma Programme?

If you did not achieve the required number of points to obtain the IB Diploma, you have the option to retake the entire Diploma Programme during the subsequent exam session. The IB offers candidates the chance to resit the full set of exams to improve their overall scores and attain the diploma. Here are some important points to consider if you decide to retake the entire DP:

  • Re-registering for the exam: You will need to re-register for all the subjects in which you want to retake the exams. This includes both Higher Level (HL) and Standard Level (SL) subjects, as well as any internal assessments and the extended essay.
  • Preparing for the retake: Use the time between exam sessions to evaluate your previous performance, identify areas where you struggled, and work on improving your understanding of the subjects. Seek additional support from teachers, tutors, or IB tuition services to strengthen your knowledge.

As the journey of the IB Diploma Programme reaches its pinnacle with the release of exam results, students may find themselves reflecting on their performance and the potential paths that lie ahead. The option to retake IB exams offers an opportunity for growth, learning, and improvement. Whether it be the pursuit of a few additional marks through re-marking or the determination to retake the entire Diploma Programme, the decision should be approached with thoughtful consideration and guidance.

At QE, we understand the significance of these choices and stand ready to provide support and assistance to students seeking to maximize their potential. Our team of experienced tutors and comprehensive resources are tailored to address the unique needs of students on their retake journey. Contact us to learn more!