Grade Boundary chart

A possible pattern

This page is effectively out-dated now, since there are real grade boundaries available from May 2013 (see M13 Grade boundaries ) However, I will leave the page for a while, since it may help with calculating the new patterns of marks.

I offer the following table as a rough ready-reckoner to interpret the application of the marking criteria. I must emphasise that this is not an official table !

/60 /45 /30 /25 /20 %
7 52 - 60 40 – 45 27 – 30 22 - 25 18 - 20 90 - 100
6 44 – 51 33 – 39 22 - 26 19 - 21 15 - 17 74 - 89
5 35 – 43 26 – 32 18 - 21 16 - 18 12 - 14 62 - 73
4 26 – 34 19 – 25 13 - 17 12 - 15 9 - 11 48 - 61
3 17 – 25 13 – 18 9 - 12 8 - 11 6 - 8 29 - 47
2 9 – 16 7 – 12 5 – 8 5 - 7 3 - 5 15 - 28
1 0 – 8 0 – 6 0 – 4 0 - 4 0 - 2 0 - 14

** I have revised and expanded this ready reckoner because Paper 1 HL has a total of 60 marks, and Paper 1 SL has a total of 45 - hence the new first two columns.

In practice: converting marks to percentages

However, it's not quite as simple as that !

The 'old' Guide's marking system was devised following the principle that marks should add up precisely to the percentage allocated to each component, as far as possible. 

The current Guide's marking arrangements are a bit more complicated: here is a summary of what needs to be done.

Paper 1 (25%)

It is now clear that Paper 1 has a total of 60 marks at HL and a total of 45 marks at SL, as defined in the new paper-setting instructions. It is important to note that this does not mean 60 or 45 questions, since a question could have 2, 3 or more marks allotted..

The first two columns in the table above give a translation to grades of marks /60 and /45.

To convert to the required percentage of the overall total will require these basic arithmetical operations :

* at SL - divide by 9, then multiply by 5

* at HL - divide by 12, then multiply by 5

Paper 2 (25%)

SL ... No conversion needed, since the marks allotted to the Criteria add up precisely (Criterion A Language = 10, Criterion B Message = 10, Criterion C Format = 5). Phew!

HL ... More complicated, since the HL Paper 2 has two sections. Section A works just the same as the SL system, providing 25 marks, but Section B has 20 marks allotted (Criterion A Language = 10 marks, Criterion B Argument = 10 marks) - so that leaves us with a total of 45 marks for HL paper 2. Consult the /45 column in the table for an approximate idea of the grade.

To convert to the required percentage of the overall total: divide by 9 and multiply by 5.

Written Assignment (20%)

Both SL & HL ... In both cases, the total marks available for the Criteria add up to 24 (Criterion A: Rationale & task = 10, Criterion B: Organisation & development  = 6, Criterion C Language = 8) ...er... BUT the percentage available for the WA is 20%.

To convert, mathematical operation required: divide by 6 and multiply by 5.

Orals (30%)

Both SL & HL ... In both cases, the same Criteria are used for both the Individual Oral and the Interactive Oral Activities - the difference being that there are 2 marks available per markband for the Individual Oral (i.e. 20 marks total), and only 1 mark per markband for the Interactive Oral Activities (i.e. 10 marks total). These marks totals are the same as the percentage totals, so no conversion required. Phew, again!

(Although ... it is not yet clear whether the mark submitted for the Interactive Oral Activities will be an average of the 3 activities specified, or the actual mark of one of the activities, to be chosen by the teacher. We must wait for instructions from the IB.)

> This query is now redundant - thanks to Nannan Mu's Comment below, in which she has spotted that the Subject Guide specifies that " The highest of the three marks will be submitted as the final mark for the interactive oral. " (SL p.54 + HL p.61).

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