Do you read the examiner’s report?

Do you know where to find it?

Do you know what it is?

The examiner’s report is an extremely useful document. Reading it and acting upon it are paramount to ensuring good examination results.

The report can be found on the OCC ( ) and is published approximately three months after the examinations.

So what does it contain?

The examiner’s report contains a very detailed breakdown of the examination session. It details the overall percentages needed to achieve the respective grades at HL and SL as well as a paper by paper breakdown of the marks needed to achieve a particular grade in each paper. It also includes this for the IA. It can be quite revealing as to how (relatively) high or low some of these grade boundaries are.

Secondly, it includes an extremely thorough analysis of each question in every examination paper. It is often quite reassuring to find that the questions your students struggle with are also questions that students throughout the world also struggle with!

However, the examiner’s report does not just finish with this. It includes recommendations for teaching. Points that the chief examiner fells that we are doing well and not so well. It is not just a case of looking at which questions were answered poorly (see above paragraph). The chief examiner often picks up in common mistakes or misconceptions made by our students (that may have come about through our teaching) – take this as good, positive advice from the chief examiner. It is important as different countries/ different systems do have different ways of teaching or different interpretations of similar points.

Finally, the examiner’s report gives really detailed advice of IA. This is often a part of the assessment that we all get frustrated with. Good marks one year but disappointing marks the next year when you, the teacher, have not changed the way you do things.

The examiners report with respect to IA can give you heaps of information as to what the moderators have been instructed to look for – and this can be priceless advice to pass onto your students.


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As with the exam papers, it does not stop there either but gives for the guidance for the IA programme. This includes some ideas for good (and not so good) labs.

So, where do you keep your copy? Under your pillow or on your bench top? Me? Well, I have two copies (one in either place!)