Assessment (2021)

Assessment overview

The table below gives an overview of the assessment components for both the Standard and Higher Level Literature courses.  While there are familiar elements for those who have taught the previous iterations of the IB Literature course, there are also some key differences that it is important to be aware of as you begin your planning and teaching. This table allows you to see the differences between the SL and HL courses at a glance, while some of the major points to note have also been highlighted for your attention.  From this page, follow links to find further details and ideas about approaching these assessment tasks.  

Colour code:  beige = external assessment; grey = internal assessment

Assessment Component

SL

HL

Paper 1

Students are given two passages, from two different literary forms, each with an accompanying question. Students CHOOSE ONE PASSAGE and write an analysis of it.

1 hour 15 minutes

20 marks / 35%

Students are given two passages, from two different literary forms, each with an accompanying question. Students WRITE AN ANALYSIS OF EACH OF THE PASSAGES

2 hours 15 minutes

40 marks / 35%

Paper 2

Students are given four general questions. Students write a comparative essay in response to ONE QUESTION, based on two works studied. 

1 hour 45 minutes

30 marks / 35%

Students are given four general questions. Students write a comparative essay in response to ONE QUESTION, based on two works studied.

1 hour 45 minutes

30 marks / 25%

Individual Oral

Students select two extracts from two different texts studied on the course: one must be from a work originally written in the language studied, the other from a work in translation. 

Students deliver a prepared response of 10 minutes, followed by 5 minutes of questions by the teacher, in response to the following prompt:

Examine the ways in which the global issue of your choice is presented through the content and form of two of the works that you have studied. 

15 minutes

40 marks / 30%

Students select two extracts from two different texts studied on the course: one must be from a work originally written in the language studied, the other from a work in translation. 

Students deliver a prepared response of 10 minutes, followed by 5 minutes of questions by the teacher, in response to the following prompt:

Examine the ways in which the global issue of your choice is presented through the content and form of two of the works that you have studied. 

15 minutes

40 marks / 20%

Essay 

Not Applicable

Students submit a 1200-1500 word essay on one literary text or work studied during the course. 

20 marks / 20%

Selected Pages

HL Essay: final checklist 13 February 2021

HL Essay: final checklist for students before submission This page is designed for students as a guide for a final check...
more

HL Essay: a guide for self/peer review 6 February 2021

A guide for self/peer review This page is designed for students as a guide to help them review their essay, or for peer...
more

Higher Level coursework essay: a student guide 1 December 2020

A page and download for HL students...The notes below are designed to give you some guidance with preparing and writing...
more

HL Essay: Exemplar 4 ('The Unbearable Lightness of Being') 11 November 2020

The following response, based on the novel The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera, is another excellent example...
more

HL Essay: Exemplar 3 ('Art') 6 September 2020

The following response, based on the play 'Art' by French playwright Yasmina Reza, is an excellent example of a HL essay....
more

Paper 2: Comparative essay 14 July 2020

One of the exciting features of the Literature course relates to the way in which students are given free choices about...
more

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