IMPORTANT INFORMATION about the IB Grades 2020


Dear 2020 IB graduate,

On August 17th, the IBO announced that the grades awarded to 2020 graduates have been adjusted in light of the world-wide criticism of grade results after exams were cancelled.

The outcome is an adjustment of the final grades for ALL IB graduates in 2020 in cases where there has been a discrepancy between the IA grade, predicted grade and final grade. 

Please read below the following official message from the IBO. I encourage you to also check your grades online as results have been updated. No student grades have gone down as a result of the change. 
If you have questions, do not hesitate to contact me. 

I wish you all the best in your future, and I am happy that the IBO reached a fair and sensible solution to the COVID-19 exam cancellations in the end. 

Letter from the IBO: 

May 2020 Assessment

Putting the well-being of IB students and educators first, in March, we cancelled the written examinations for DP and CP. 

Following the decision to cancel the examinations, our assessment specialists in collaboration with independent education experts worked to develop a reliable and valid assessment model to award grades. The awarding model used student coursework, school predicted grades and school context for final grade award. The school context was not based on previous cohorts’ performance, but instead the relationship between predicted grade accuracy, performance in coursework versus examination components and final outcomes.

As is our normal practice, IB assessment specialists, working with a team of international Chief Examiners, applied standards during marking, and awarding to promote fairness. They worked with over 12,000 international examiners who met in over 300 standardization meetings to ensure reliability.

You, our experienced and trainer IB examiners, marked more than 920,000 pieces of student coursework - examining all student work, rather than only moderating or sampling, aiming to maximize the confidence that every student will receive a fair mark overall. 

Results review service

Following the release of results on 5 July we listened carefully to the concerns raised by some schools, students and their families. On 14 July, in addition to our well-used Enquiry Upon Results Service, we designed and launched our additional results review service whereby schools could provide further evidence that either student, subject or cohort results were not in line with student performance. The deadline for reviews was 14 August. 

Out of the 3020 schools receiving results in the May 2020 session, around 700 schools submitted a review request on behalf of their students. We recognise the care and attention taken by schools preparing their requests. 

Our review and analysis of the detailed information from schools offered invaluable insights, leading the IB to evaluate and recommend grade adjustments across all candidates, where applicable, that we believe are fair to all students in the May 2020 session. We will be making an adjustment to awarded results for the DP and CP May 2020 session as below.

Results update

After this review, our intent has been to be as supportive of students as we can be while maintaining standards and principles. Many students will be pleased by the outcome of this change.

In this session, schools marked and submitted internal assessments (IAs) which were then marked by you and your fellow IB examiners. The IA grade is therefore a validated data point in determining the final grade. Schools also provided predicted grades (PGs) based on their judgement as to what candidates would have received had they sat the examinations.

The award of the revised final grade is based on these two data points of IA and PG to ensure the validity and fairness of the final grades. With the IA as evidence of actual student work marked consistently to the global standard by IB examiners and the predicted grades provided by the schools as guidance, we are making the following adjustment:
No student will receive a lower grade than what was received previously.

Students’ subject final grade results will be adjusted to be equal to the internal assessment (IA) result when the predicted grade was only one grade less, equal to or greater than the IA grade. The student will be awarded their IA grade as their final grade for that subject in these cases. This will support a large number of students in this session.

If the PG is higher than the IA grade, then the IA grade will be applied as the final grade. Example:

Predicted Grade     IA Grade     Current Final Grade    Revised Final Grade

If the PG is the same as the IA grade, then the IA grade will be applied. Example:

Predicted Grade     IA Grade    Current Final Grade     Revised Final Grade

If the PG is one grade point below the IA, then the IA grade will be awarded. Example:

Predicted Grade    IA Grade    Current Final Grade     Revised  Final Grade

Students revised final grades can be accessed via IBIS by schools from 5AM GMT 17 August. Students and schools will also receive a notification of any grade change on 17 August 2020 after 11AM GMT. We provided this time lag so that schools can have access to data before students, as was previously requested of us. 


Our research has shown that universities around the world recognize the rigour of an IB education and the preparedness of IB students for higher education.  It is for this reason that we made this critical adjustment to ensure fairness to this year’s graduating students, whilst maintaining the validity and recognition of IB Assessments for the benefit of all students including both past and future cohorts. 

We are communicating this change to ministries and universities from today so that they are aware of the steps we have taken and the rationale for the changes. It is vitally important for all of us that universities maintain trust in the IB awarding system and the IB preparation. Both of which universities around the world significantly value. 

We know that this has been an extremely difficult time for our schools, students and their families. You have shown dedication, commitment and resilience whilst supporting our students. Thank you for your hard work.

Siva Kumari
Director General