The 3 Course Components

An overview for new teachers 

This page is an introduction only, follow the links to find out more about each component.

The current curriculum, first exams in 2016, has three assessed components. But the cake is not evenly cut! The Comparative Study is assessed at 20%, while the other 2 elements are 40% each of the final grade.

(Find out about the next Curriculum Review here)

1. The Comparative Study 20% (External Assessment)

2. The Process Portfolio 40 % (External Assessment)

3. The Exhibition 40% ( Internal assessment by teacher, external moderation by examiner)

Part 1: Comparative Study

An independent critical and contextual investigation that explores artworks, objects and artifacts from differing cultural contexts

The CS is not an extended essay: it is an investigative comparison that should strike a balance between visual and written content . There are many forms this could take.

The requirements for the CS

The pages submitted examine and compare at least three artworks at least two of which need to be by different artists.
The work selected for comparison should come from contrasting contexts (local, national, international and/or intercultural). Ideally students should see one of the works firsthand.
Acknowledge sources!
This is assessed on screen and should be presented accordingly.

SL 10-15 screens, HL 10-15 screens + 3-5 screens which analyze the extent to which their work has been influenced by the art and artists examined.

For examples, assessment and discussion of the CS go to these pages

The Comparative Study

The Comparative Study is an independent, critical and contextual investigation that explores artworks from differing cultural contexts. The CS is one of the 3 assessed components required by the Visual...

CS Assessment Criteria

There are 5 assessed criteria, with the addition of one more for HL (F). These criteria address the areas of learning within this component (part 1 CS) that are expected of the student: critical thinking...

Comparative Study Gallery

In this section you will find examples of students' comparative studies. The gallery begins with a few examples only, and will grow over time as teachers share their students work after assessment.

Part 2: The Process Portfolio

A documentation of the students artistic experience during the course, both visual and written.

Students compile carefully selected materials which show their experimentation, exploration, manipulation and refinement of a variety of visual arts activities during the two-year course. Pages from the Visual Journal can be included here, as can unresolved pieces, documenting the development of ideas and artwork. This is submitted as a digital file and viewed on screen therefor a landscape format ( horizontal) is preferable.

SL students submit 9–18 pages ( screens)
HL students submit 13–25 pages (screens)

For discussion, assessment and examples of the PP go to these pages

Process Portfolio

The Process Portfolio, or PP, is 40 % of the final mark and it is the testimony of the student's artistic journey during the course. It is not intended to be of polished, refined, or even resolved work;...

PP Asssessment Criteria

On this page you will find There are 5 assessment criteria for the PP, for a total of 34 marks A Skills, techniques and processes: 12 marksB Critical investigation: 6 marks

Process Portfolio Gallery

In this section you will find examples of students' Process Portfolio screens. Only a selection of screens per student will be available to view, not the full submission, and only to you the teacher....

Part 3: The Exhibition

Students present a body of work accompanied by reflection showing critical understanding and awareness of context.

Students submit for assessment a selection of resolved artworks from their final exhibition. The selected pieces should show evidence of their technical accomplishment during the visual arts course and an understanding of the use of materials, ideas and practices appropriate to visual communication.

The assessed requirements are a written "curatorial rational" that explains the work chosen for the exhibit and the intentions behind the work, and a small body of artworks, appropriately documented, with exhibition texts for each piece. This is also submitted as a digital file and viewed on screen.

Updates from IB regarding modifications of 2021 assessment requirements due to Covid -19.

This applies only to May 2021 assessment session and is not a permanent change:

For examples, assessment and discussion of the Exhibition go to these pages

The Exhibition

In the current visual arts curriculum Part 3, The Exhibition is 40% of final grade.This component is Internally Assessed by the teacher and externally moderated by an examiner.The final exhibition is the...

Exhibition Assessment Criteria

It is Internally Assessed by you the teacher and externally moderated.Both SL and HL students select and present their own original, resolved artworks accompanied by exhibition texts and a written curatorial...

Exhibition Gallery

In this section you will find examples of students' exhibition photos with texts and extracts from their Curatorial Rationale.For each student represented a selection of studio work is shown, not the...

Another important aspect of the Exhibition is the emphasis on curatorial skills, see these pages

Curatorial Practice

Curatorial practice is a bit of a buzzword lately, with courses and programs in Curatorial Studies offered at Art Colleges and Universities all over the world. The IB, in line with 21st century skills...

Curatorial Rationale

The Curatorial Rationale is similar to an artists’ statement, but refers specifically to the work selected for this exhibition rather than the general artistic output. It is required for Part 3, The...

The IB Art for schools

Many teachers have commented that schools still expect the IB Art show to be a massive event decorating the school and showing off the student work to parents and the school community.Well, it is a very...

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