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How are IB exams marked?

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When IB exams are marked, are the raw scores (out of 120 on a Math HL Paper 1, for example) all tallied up, multiplied by their respective percentages, and then taken, or are the converted scores on the 1-7 scale from the different papers and the Internal Assessment averaged?

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First option is correct. Raw scores are converted to allocated percentages out of 100%, then summed. For example if you get 90 on HL Math paper 1, and P1 is worth 30%, then you have accumulated 90/120 * 30 = 22.5 marks toward a total of 100. At the end, the accumulated grade is curved to 1 through 7. Same process happens for each assessment, but those curved grades have no impacts on your final grade.

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@kw0573Does that mean that even with a VERY poor (i.e. 3 or 4, 12/24) IA score in an HL Group 4 Subject for which the IA is worth only 20%, a student could theoretically earn a 7 (80%ish cutoff) and realistically earn a 6 (70ish cutoff) if his command of the written examination material were strong?

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Theoretically yes. But 80 on most papers are already hard enough and you have to consider how much the student has to make up to score 6 or 7. The final IA grades are also not known before entering the exams because of curves which adds another factor of unpredictability. 5 is often attainable if a 20% IA is estimated to be around 3-4.

As a side note, boundaries for any assessments is not finalized until after the exams. They are made such that a student with straight 6s on all IAs and papers will not end up with a 5 or a 7. 

Edited by kw0573
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