Submitting the samples for moderation

The requirements

Once you have entered your marks out of 24 for all your Diploma chemistry students (both Higher Level and Standard Level) on IBIS you will be notified which students’ work needs to be uploaded electronically for external moderation.  The precise number of students’ work required depends upon the number of candidates[1]. The minimum is five so if you are a very small school with five or less students all the work will need to be sent. If for some reason a student’s work is atypical it should still be sent but you should also send the work of another student with a similar mark.

In addition to the total mark out of 24 you will also need to upload onto IBIS the marks you have given for each criterion for all of the students whose work makes up the samples. You will also need to confirm on IBIS that you are satisfied that the work has all been done by the student on their own, i.e. they have received no outside help, or plagiarized from other work etc.

In the past when the work was to be sent as hard copies you needed to enclose a form 4/IA and also a form 4/PSOW as well as the cover sheet (form 4/ICCS) with the student's individual scientific investigation write-up. This has now all changed. As from November 2015 the form 4/IA became redundant and is no longer required. You still need to complete a form 4/PSOW but this is kept as a reference in the school and may be asked for during a school inspection but it does not need to be uploaded onto IBIS. The requirements for the form 4/ICCS have also changed. Until November 2018 this needed to be uploaded with the samples but from May 2019 and onwards there is a new form (downloadable from My IB - see below) and this still needs completing by the student but, like the form 4/PSOW, is now retained by the school. 

Confirmation that the individual candidate coversheet (form 4/ICCS) is no longer required to be sent can be found at C4.2.2 on page 276 of the Diploma Programme Assessment procedures 2019.

Form 4/PSOW

For each class and level you should complete one form 4/PSOW. This form can be downloaded from the Diploma Programme Assessment Procedures (Section: Assessment forms) available on the resources section of My IB. Unlike in the past, where each student required his or her own form 4/PSOW, now only one completed form is required for each class and level. So if, for example, you teach one class with both Higher and Standard Level students together you would need to complete two forms. When you are listing each practical give sufficient details so that should the IB ever request to see the form they will be able to understand what it is referring to. For example, “Redox titration to determine the % of Fe in a tablet using H+/KMnO4“ is much more helpful than “Redox titration”. Don’t forget to identify those practicals that cover the Mandatory laboratory components  (PP column) and to identify where the use of the five different types of ICT are involved. Include the ten hours for the Individual Scientific Investigation and the ten hours for the Group 4 Project and make sure that the total number of hours adds up to 40 for Standard Level and 60 for Higher Level. This form will be retained by the school for reference and should be available if the IB asks to see it.

Page 1 of form 4/PSOW for May/November 2018 © IBO

Form 4/ICCS

Each student must complete  a Form 4/ICCS  which is the cover sheet to accompany their Individual Scientific Investigation report. Form 4/ICCS can also be downloaded from the Diploma Programme Assessment Procedures (Section: Assessment forms) available on the resources section of My IB. This single page form, which must be completed by the student, includes the title of the Group 4 project and an approximately 50-word reflective statement by the student, which reflects on his or her involvement in the project.

Check that you have the correctly dated form. Until November 2018 the form needs to be sent electronically to the IB. From May 2019 and onwards this form is retained by the school and not sent to the IB.

The single page Form 4/ICCS for May/November 2019 © IBO

Format of the report

It is probably best to send the reports for moderation in pdf format as there is less chance of any changes in layout etc. occurring en route.

Although not compulsory, it can be helpful if you add comments in pertinent places on the student's work to help the external moderator understand why you have arrived at the particular mark for each criterion. Rather than add these as 'comments' using the facility in pdf it is probably safer to write your comments on a hard copy of the pages and then make a new pdf so that the comments definitely do appear on the page in the relevant places. If you only use the pdf comments facility there is a danger that the comment boxes are lost or not opened when the external examiner comes to moderate the report.


  1. ^ Where there are fewer than 6 candidates for a subject, all the work will be requested by IBIS. Where there are 6–20 candidates, 5 samples will be requested. Where there are 21–40 candidates, 8 samples will be requested. Where there are more than 40 candidates, 10 samples will be requested. (Taken from IB Diploma Coordinator's notes, September 2015)
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