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For a nervous first-time IB teacher, InThinking was there for me when there wasn't a lot of choice regarding teachers' reference materials. Now 5 years later, I still find myself coming back for teaching ideas and confirmation that I haven't gone crazy!

Timmy Yip, HKCCCU Logos Academy, China

As a teacher new to DP, David's InThinking website has been an invaluable resource. While the IB guides are very useful, there are areas that require clarification, clarification I have repeatedly found on David's website. Having access to both the website...

Paul Rosevere, Kuei Shan School, Taipei

This site is an invaluable resource of information both for starting teachers and experienced ones. It is always up-to-date with new additions in all exam components. One of the best things about this site however is the immediate contact with its curator...

Sadrina Vlachou, H.A.E.F (Psychico College), Greece

Blogsee all

'target culture(s)'?

20 August 2019

I have been busy analysing and marking samples of the new SL Oral Individual Interview. This is in preparation for a suite of pages to be published... more

Of blobs and difficulty

15 May 2019

Writing a sample Listening exam (see the page Listening exam #1 ) has made me think about the ways ‘difficulty’ is structured and assessed... more

Subscriber comments


  • 14 Nov Analisa Arnold
    Listening question types
    Dear David, Is it a good idea to practise IGCSE ESL Extended Listening past paper with English B students. Thank you,
  • 13 Nov David Ripley
    Oral IA Criteria, unpacked
    There is no mandatory instruction about the number of extracts, Derya. As you note, the wording is that the number "need not" be more than 6, which is not the same as 'must not'; and also the table below is called an "example", not a required...
  • 12 Nov Deidre Smith
    Writing criteria, unpacked
    Thanks - my thoughts exactly - good to get it confirmed.
  • 12 Nov Rama Shaar
    Stereotype jokes
    This is wonderful! I'm using it today. Many thanks to both of you!
  • 12 Nov derya oral
    Oral IA Criteria, unpacked
    Dear David, I am confused about the number of extractsto be used. As it states that "no need to" does it simply mean that I can if I want to or should I stick to no more than that number 3. By the way, we are a school of 6 classes and total...
  • 11 Nov Daniel Bücker
    EE tips & comments
    Makes a lot of sense. Thank you, David.
  • 11 Nov David Ripley
    EE tips & comments
    Yes, Daniel, this seems like the right kind of approach. Now, encourage the student to modify the RQ as she thinks through her ideas. For instance, the 'characterisation' angle that I suggested is only one direction worth exploring - it may...
  • 11 Nov Daniel Bücker
    EE tips & comments
    "elicit"; not illicit. Sorry
  • 11 Nov Daniel Bücker
    EE tips & comments
    Thank you for your thoughts, David. At this point the student is still exploring her options, but she read the book, got hooked and would like to work with it. If I understand you correctly, the book may be a proper choice (only for Cat 3)...
  • 11 Nov David Ripley
    Writing criteria, unpacked
    You can tell your students that, from the examiner's point of view, it is definitely better to get scripts which are written 'normally' i.e. not on every second line. The only reason for the 'second line' approach is for teachers to be able...
  • 11 Nov David Ripley
    EE tips & comments
    You're right to be cautious about this, Daniel. I have heard of the book,but have not read it (but I know 'The Kite Runner')... and obviously I don't know exactly what the student proposes to explore and argue. However, in general terms - the...
  • 11 Nov Deidre Smith
    Writing criteria, unpacked
    This might seem like a trivial point given all the discussion of language etc. however I have just had my students do a practice exam with pen and paper and many of them chose to write on every second line - not an instruction that I had given...