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I have been thoroughly confused about three times in my adult life.  The first was trying to…. The second was trying to understand how to (in fact the whole point of) hash tagging.  The third was trying to comprehend the assessment and grading criteria for the IB program.  So if it takes you a few minutes to figure this out…no worries.

What are marks?

A couple of things to understand first.  The IB grades you using what they call marks (they are really just points).  So for every assessment you complete, the grader will give you a certain amount of marks.  IB grading works kind of like figure skating (I may mess this up because I am a man and figure skating is not a real sport).  In figure skating you are judged on a variety of elements such as execution of those silly jumps, personality on the ice (hence the psycho smiles with frilly costumes) and overall skating quality.  You are then given a score in each element, the scores are added up and you get a final tally (and the roses then shower on the ice around you). 

The IB Psychology Assessments work the same way in that when you write a paper you are graded in several elements or categories.  Three typical categories that you will be graded on are knowledge (do you know what you are talking about), critical thinking (can you use evidence to prove what you think you know) and organization (are you clear or did you scribble out chicken scratch in parseltongue).  Let’s pretend that the whole paper is worth 22 marks.  The IB will give you are range of marks for each category.  In this case knowledge gets between 0-9 marks, critical thinking 0-9 marks and organization 0-4 marks (so on this paper you can get between 0-22 marks).

What are markbands and markschemes?

Now when the grader is assessing your paper she will use an IB grading rubric made up of what the IB calls markbands. If I am grading your paper for knowledge (out of 9 marks), I will look at the markbands and they will say something like this:  Give 0 marks if they sound like a total idiot, 1-3 marks if they kind of maybe showed they know a little, 4-6 marks if they did a solid job and 7-9 marks if they are the mack daddy of knowledge (not exact IB words…). 

You will have the categories and markbands before you take any IB assessment (if your teacher is on their game and remembers to give them out).  What you will not have is something called markschemes.  Markschemes are almost like markbands, but they are specific to the assessment you are taking and are only available after the assessment.  If you had the markschemes before the assessment there would be no point in taking it.

OK…what will I be graded on?

Now if you actually followed what I just wrote, let me throw a couple of more things at you. 

There are TWO mains types of assessments in IB Psychology;  Internal and External Assessments

The Internal Assessment is a replication of an experiment that you will do in groups and hand in to your teacher.  We will delve into that more deeply later.   

The External Assessment  is essentially a short response and essay test.  The External Assessment is broken up into sections that the IB calls papers.  The amount of papers you will do varies according to the level of IB Psychology you are taking: 

Standard Level Psychology (SL) Higher Level Psychology (HL)