If you are teaching in a “November session” school, October is a busy month! Here are some reminders:

IBIS upload deadlines:

10 Oct        

Predicted Grades and Internal Assessment marks

20 Oct           

Internal Assessment (Exhibition) upload

30 Oct           

Comparative Studies and Process Portfolio upload


Exhibition Reminders

  • Students can use as many or as few processes/techniques as they like: there are no restrictions in the exhibition criteria for the range of media used. Students will not be penalised for only using (for example) acrylic paint on canvas. Students at both SL and HL may submit work created in any preferred art-making form for the exhibition.


  • It’s OK to submit a series of pieces as a ‘single’ artwork (referred to as “Collective pieces”). Students may present a series of works (for example, a series of photographs) as one piece. This should be indicated in the title, e.g. “My family (series)”.

  • The space where the exhibition is presented will not influence the marking and students will not be disadvantaged because of the space in which the exhibition is set up. No reference to the quality of the space itself is made in the guide and the “Curatorial Rationale” criterion refers to the selection and arrangement of works within a designated place. (HL: “To what extent does the curatorial rationale demonstrate the justification of the selection, arrangement and exhibition of a group of artworks within a designated space and a reflection on how the exhibition conveys an understanding of the relationship between the artworks and the viewer?”)


  • No sound please! Any audio component used as part of an artwork will not be assessed. Examiners are required to assess only the visual arts and will ignore any audio element. (The sound should be turned off, so that the focus is purely on the visual creative content and there is no interference from the audio). This applies to music, dialogue and any kind of sound that might be a part, for example, of a video or of an installation.


  • The exhibition is assessed as a whole: examiners will consider all evidence presented holistically, including the artworks, exhibition photographs (these inform the holistic assessment of the exhibition but are not allocated marks), the curatorial rationale and the exhibition text.

  • Don’t try to slip in extra artworks! Examiners will not consider artworks in excess of the maximum number allowed for the level (sometimes “extra” artworks are incorrectly uploaded using the “additional supporting photographs” spaces).


  • Avoid any suspicions of plagiarism! The guide says: “When the candidate is aware that another person’s work, ideas or images have influenced his/her selected pieces for exhibition, the source must be acknowledged within the exhibition text or in the curatorial rationale, following the protocol of the referencing style chosen by the school.”

So, any found object or image (including those taken from the Internet) used as inspiration by students when creating their artwork should be referenced appropriately (in the exhibition text or in the curatorial rationale). For each artwork that refers to another artwork, students must include in these places clear reference to their source of inspiration, acknowledging the title, artist, date, medium (whenever possible) and providing a reference regarding where the artwork was accessed and viewed.

Appropriation: where students are deliberately appropriating another artist’s artwork, the exhibition text should acknowledge the original work and make explicit reference to the process of appropriation; mention of the appropriation process and relevant references can also be included in the curatorial rationale.

***There are no marking criteria which either reward or penalise students for good or bad referencing: this is a matter of academic honesty. Where examiners suspect academic misconduct, the instance is reported to the IB Academic Honesty team in the Global Centre, Cardiff.

Assessment reminders

1 “Best-fit”

If the work achieves more in one strand than another, final criterion marks will reflect this. For example, if technical competence is generally adequate (4–5), but two pieces are much stronger (assured/effective, 7–8) the teacher/examiner will likely decide on a final mark of 6 (the IB “best-fit” approach).

2 Criterion A reminder: “a coherent body of works” does not refer specifically to a theme, but to “thematic or stylistic relationships”. Coherence in the exhibition is not necessarily achieved through visual conformity, or a collection that is just visually similar and/or repetitive. There can be diversity within coherence.

3 Criterion C reminder: this criterion refers to the degree of sophistication in relation to the candidate’s thoughts and ideas. It is not intended to refer specifically to any art movement (e.g. “Conceptual art”). Less successful examples of conceptual qualities may contain imagery that is predictable or dull, with obvious, contrived or superficial work.


Good luck!