The examination process


Although not perhaps of much interest to students it can be helpful to teachers to know how the whole examination process works from start to finish. This section looks at how the papers are set, marked and graded. It also looks at how they can be remarked after the results have been released. The important roles that teachers can play in the process is also emphasised.

To understand the process it is helpful to know that there is a sort of hierarchy in IB Chemistry. There is a Chief Examiner (who cannot be a practising IB teacher and who is normally a university lecturer or professor) who is appointed for a five year term. There are also several Deputy Chief Examiners – they can be IB teachers – and they also serve a five year term. In addition there are several people (often past Deputy Chief Examiners) who informally act as senior examiners and may act in the role of a Principal Examiner for one of the three examination papers or for internal assessment or for extended essays. There are many assistant examiners many of whom are practising IB Chemistry teachers. Some of these assistant examiners who are experienced, competent and adhere to deadlines will be made team leaders in the marking process.

IBCA (Peterson House) in Cardiff where most paper setting and grade awarding takes place

Looking after all this are two Subject Area Managers (SAM) for Chemistry. One of them, responsible for Assessment (the ASAM)  works full time at the International Baccalaureate Curriculum and Assessment (IBCA) centre which is currently located in Cardiff in the United Kingdom (see above). The other is responsible for Curriculum Development (the CSAM) and located in the Hague .

Full details about the role and demands of IB examiners and how you can apply etc. to become part of the examining team are given by the IB on a dedicated page on the IBO website.

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