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IB Physics Remark Guide: Grades and Procedure Explained

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IB Physics Remark Guide: Should You Go for It?


If you’ve recently received your IB Physics results and are contemplating a remark, take a deep breath and let me guide you through the process with some tips and advice.


Understanding Your IB Physics Grades


When you first view your grades, your grade slip will look like this:


Example of what information you will receive from the IB on results day


You’ll notice several key pieces of information:

  1. Subject Grade: This is the overall grade you achieved between 1 and 7.
  2. Total Scaled Moderated Mark: The mark between 0 and 100. This is scaled to incorporate the different weightings of exams.
  3. Grade Boundaries (Lower / Upper): The range of marks for the grade that you have achieved
  4. Marks Required for Grade Increase: The crucial number indicating how close you are to the next grade boundary.

The final piece of information, the marks required for you grade to increase, is the one that will help you make your decision on whether to request a remark.


If you find yourself within 1 to 3 marks of the next grade boundary, considering a remark might be a wise decision.

If you are not close to the next grade boundary and you are really committed to improving your IB Physics grade, then you may consider retaking the IB Physics exam in the next session.

If you are close to the boundary, here’s what you should know about the remark process.


Types of Remarks and What to Focus On


There are four categories of remarks:

  • Category 1 Remark: Individual components of your exam are remarked. Your grade can increase or decrease.
  • Category 1 Report: Provides comments from the remarking process but does not change your grade.
  • Category 2A and 2B: Requests for teachers to review marked exam scripts and student performance, often used when a class underperforms.
  • Category 3 Re-moderation: Applies to internally assessed components if there is a significant discrepancy between moderated and teacher-awarded marks. Grades can only increase.


For IB Physics, you should be interested in a Category 1 Remark.


This involves your exam papers being sent back to the IB to be remarked by another examiner, potentially changing your grade.


Eligible and Non-Eligible IB Physics Components for Remark


Be aware that multiple choice questions, worth about 20% of your final grade, cannot be remarked due to their objective nature. Similarly, your Internal Assessment (IA), which also contributes 20% to your final grade, can only be remarked if your entire class’s IAs go through the process.

So, the parts of your exam that can be remarked include the more subjective sections.

This may come as a surprise to some students , who would have believed that all components of your exams can be remarked. Sadly, that's not the. case. If you want to improve the grades on all components, then you may want to consider resitting the IB Physics exam.


Eligible Components:

Written Exams: Paper 2 and Paper 3 can be remarked. These make up 56% of the final grade.

Internal Assessments (IAs): Typically remarked as a cohort through the school, which may not be available to individual students.

Our IB Physics Grade Calculator will help you play about with different scenarios and help you make a decision on whether it is worth getting these eligible components remarked.


Non-Eligible Components:

Paper 1 (Multiple Choice): Worth 24% of the final grade and cannot be remarked due to its objective nature.


Timeline and Deadlines


  • July 6th: Release of IB results and start of the remark application period.
  • July 6th - August 31st: Period to apply for remarks.
  • September 15th: Deadline for May session remarks.
  • March 15th: Deadline for November session remarks.

Don't delay in making the decision on if you should get a remark or not. The result of the remark takes about 18 days and it can feel like a long time. It's not worth agonising over the decision and then agonising over waiting for the results!

Of course, if you decide that a remark is not the best option for you, you still have some time to decide is retaking the IB Physics exam would work.


Duration of the Process:

  • Category 1 Remark: 18 days
  • Category 1 Report: 30 days
  • Category 2A/2B Remarks: 18 days
  • Category 3 Re-moderation: 40 days


Costs and Refunds


The good news is that if a Category 1 remark results in a grade change - you'll get your money back! The cost of a remark is dependent on a number of factors and the only way to find out how much your Category 1 remark will be is to consult your IB Coordinator for specific costs.


Steps to Request an IB Remark


  1. Evaluate Your Scores: Check how close your scores are to the grade boundaries.
  2. Discuss with Your IB Coordinator: Understand the potential outcomes and fees involved.
  3. Submit the Request: Your IB Coordinator will submit the Enquiry Upon Results (EUR) on your behalf.
  4. Wait for Results: Your IB Coordinator will inform you of the new marks once the remarking process is completed, which takes around 18 days.


The Risk Factor


Please bear in mind that your grade might decrease after an IB Physics remark. That's why it's so important that you analyse the data given to you when you get your grades on 6th July.

If your scaled mark out of 100 is close to the bottom grade boundary for your assigned mark, then I really should not consider a remark! Imagine the devastation of your final grade going down!!


IB Standardisation and Quality Control


I want to reassure you that there is already a robust system in place before you even receive your grades on 6th July.

For the examiners papers, the IB employs a principal examiner to set the standard of marking. All other examiners must adhere to this standard to ensure consistency. Examiners undergo a rigorous qualification process to ensure they apply the markscheme correctly. They are monitored through a system of "seeds" which are pre-marked responses to verify consistency. Before results are released, the IB identifies and re-marks exams that are at risk of being too low based on predicted grades. This helps catch any potential marking errors that could unfairly impact a student's grade.

For your Internal assessments, your teacher will already have marked and graded your report before it is sent to the IB. A sample of these are moderated by IB examiner to ensure fairness. If the examiner feels that your teacher has been too generous/strict with marks awarded - they will moderate the grades of the whole cohort. That means that all IA's in your cohort will be increased (or decreased) based on the examiners assessment of how well your teacher has graded.


Final Advice

Based on my experience, here’s my recommendation:

  • Consider a remark if you’re within one to three marks of the next grade boundary.
  • Avoid a remark if you're not within this range, as it’s likely to be a costly and risky endeavour.

A remark can be beneficial, but it’s important to fully understand the potential benefits and risks. Stay positive, and remember that a strategic approach combined with informed decisions will pave the way to your success.

If you have any more questions, do reach out.

Good luck!

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