Paper 3 clarifications

There have been several clarifications given by the IB over the past year.  Many have said that these clarifications are difficult to follow.  I am organizing these clarifications below, based on the relevant aspects of the curriculum. These clarifications are from the assessment clarification (June 27, 2018), the FAQ document (June 2018) and clarifications sent to all workshop leaders (Sept 19, 2018). The most recent update is the updated version of the guide, released on December 16, 2019.

This page shows where we are with clarifications as of January 1, 2020. This page will continue to be updated as further clarifications are made available.

Paper 3 clarifications

Awarding of marks for question 1

Identify the research method used and outline two characteristics of the method.

  • One mark for correctly naming the research method and up to two marks for outlining two characteristics of the research method.

Describe the sampling method used in the study.

  • One mark for correctly naming the sampling method and up to two marks for accurately describing at least two characteristics of the method.

Suggest an alternative or additional research method giving one reason for your choice.

  • One mark for naming an alternative or additional method and up to two marks for providing a relevant reason with a rationale for selecting the alternative or additional method.

Awarding marks for question 2

Describe the ethical considerations that were applied in the study and explain if further ethical considerations could be applied.

  • One mark awarded per relevant (described) ethical consideration applied in the study, up to a maximum of three marks.
  • One mark per (explained) ethical consideration that could be applied, up to a maximum of three marks

Content clarifications

Why is credibility used for quantitative research rather than validity?

While the intention of the Guide is to use the term ‘validity’ for quantitative research and ‘credibility’ for qualitative research, it is also understood that this is a simplification necessary for studying at this introductory level.  When answering a question on "credibility" for quantitative research, students are expected to discuss internal and external validity.

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