The examiners report from the May session is now out. Have you managed to see it / read it?

As ever, the report does not ‘look very use friendly’ – it’s just a heap of text! But the contents of it can be quite revealing.

The main highlights for me were:

1, The grade boundaries.

If I’m honest, I did think they would be lower than this, due to my perception that the course is ‘harder’. In reality, the examinations were not too tricky and resembled the ‘old papers. Let’s hope this continues in the future!

2, The IA.

This was possibly going to be the most controversial aspect of the new course and Chemistry teachers around the world were holding their breath on results day. When the results were published there was, on the whole, a collective sigh of relief. The huge downgrades of seven years ago did not materialize!

The examiners report makes interesting reading in this respect. It seems that the Exploration was carried out the worst with too many teachers still applying old ideas from the CE assessment criteria of times past as opposed to the new criteria. Communication was carried out well, with the majority of marks in this category being a ‘3’. As expected, very few students achieved a ‘0’ for Personal Engagement and I still struggle to see how you could award this grade!

The report also recommends that students include a safety evaluation for all lab work, even where there are no obvious hazards, just to demonstrate to the moderator that safety has been taken into account.

And finally, IA feedback – always a bone of contention with the old system and a major bone of contention for some teachers with the new system. Why? Well, it turns out that some teachers have not received feedback yet! Is this a major shortcoming of the IB? Luckily, it is not. Essentially, if you have not received feedback on your IA from the IB it means that your sample of marks was ‘in tolerance’ and that the moderator did not need to scale anything – which is really good (this point is covered on page 8).


Feed back image taken from:

You can find the official version of the report on the OCC.