Top Nav Breadcrumb

Top ten Q&As from the IB community in the pre-exam period

Updated October 2017

DP-Stock-19 600px

Q1 What should we do if a candidate is affected by adverse circumstances?

A: If a candidate (or a group of candidates) experiences adverse circumstances during the two-year course of study or written examinations that may have a significant effect on his or her performance in assessment, please complete the form Candidates with adverse circumstances and submit it to the IB Global Centre, Cardiff, UK. If appropriate to the circumstances, the form must be supported with medical documentation (translated into English, French or Spanish where necessary). Go to IBIS and use the link “Inclusive assessment arrangements/adverse circumstances” in the “Contact us” section.

The D2 form is available in IBIS>Library>English>Assessment information>Forms and Coversheets>Forms and cover sheets guide for 2017.pdf.

The form can be submitted at any point during the course of study, but must arrive at the IB Global Centre, Cardiff within 10 days after the candidate’s final examination. The form must indicate:

  • the candidate’s name and session number
  • the subject/components affected
  • the reason for the application and, where appropriate, the special arrangements requested
  • any other information relevant to the case (for example, the duration of the illness, the nature of the candidate’s condition).

Where a group of candidates has been affected by adverse circumstances, if possible indicate which individual candidates have been most severely affected.

Do not inform an examiner about a candidate’s personal circumstances, disability, medical condition or learning support of any kind.

Additional information is available in the Handbook of procedures for the Diploma Programme 2017 section A4.14 Adverse Circumstances.

Q2 What are the registration deadlines?

A: The first registration deadline is 15 November/15 May; six months before the examinations. Therefore, coordinators must enter candidate registration details on IBIS for the May session by 15 November, and for the November session by 15 May to incur the lowest fees.

The second registration deadline is 15 January/15 July, three-and-a-half months before the written examinations.

The final registration deadline is 15 April/15 October, about two weeks before the written examinations.

Candidates can be withdrawn from a session up until the 1st May/1st November.

Between the first and final registration deadlines there is a fee for changes to existing subject details and a higher fee for registering new candidates. See Handbook of procedures for the Diploma Programme 2017 on the programme resource centre> Implementation section >Assessment processes and procedures, section A2.8 Scale of fees. More information about the candidate registration procedure is in the Handbook of procedures for the Diploma Programme 2017 section A4.

Q3 When should my school receive the examination papers?

A: For schools with candidate registrations in a May session, these are mailed during April, and for candidates registered in the November session in October.

A news item is posted on IBIS prior to the mailing of papers with further details.

Q4 Will we receive examination stationery for retake candidates?

A: No. We would assume that you still have the surplus stationery to cover any registrations out of your session. However, if this is not the case, please contact IB Answers with your requirements and arrangements will be made if necessary

Q5 Can a teacher invigilate if their son/daughter is sitting the examination?

A: No. Parents cannot invigilate exams being sat by their child/children – this means that they cannot be in the same room when their children are sitting an exam.

Q6 Are dictionaries permitted in examinations?

This answer was updated 26.04.16

A: A simple translating dictionary is permitted for non-language examinations—groups 3–6. The dictionary must not contain notes of any kind and is only permitted if the response language of the examination is not the best language of the candidate; an electronic dictionary is not permitted.

Also as Handbook of procedures for the Diploma Programme 2017 states in section Classical Languages B2c.4 User of dictionaries in the examination:

Standard level and higher level paper 1

The use of a simple translating dictionary is allowed for candidates not working in their best language. In addition, a simple Latin or Classical Greek dictionary (English, French or Spanish according to the response language) is allowed.

For example: the candidate’s best language is German and the Classical Greek higher level paper 1 is written in English (and therefore the candidate’s response language is English). The candidate is allowed a simple English/German dictionary and a simple English/Classical Greek dictionary.

Standard level and higher level paper 2

The use of a simple translating dictionary is allowed for candidates not working in their best language.

For example: the candidate’s best language is Italian and the Classical Greek standard level paper 2 is written in English (and therefore the candidate’s response language is English). The candidate is allowed a simple English/Italian dictionary.

Candidates are not allowed Latin or Classical Greek dictionaries of any kind for paper 2.

Latin and Classical Greek dictionaries

Any simple Latin/Classical Greek dictionary is allowed for SL or HL paper 1. Dictionaries with declensions and conjugations may be used at the discretion of the school

Q7 Can candidates use highlighters/gel pens in examinations?

A: Gel pens/highlighting pens can only be used to highlight questions or other information on an examination paper; they must not be used in conjunction with a candidate’s answer to any question. This is because candidate’s scripts are now being scanned and the images made available to examiners electronically – gel pens/highlighting pens are not amenable to scanning.

Q8 I’ve received my examination paper package but I am missing examination papers/personalised cover sheets/personalised MCQ answer sheets.

A: Complete the examination papers reply form and provide full details of missing items in the comments section. The form is available in IBIS>Subjects>Examination papers>Reply form: Arrival of examination papers

You will receive e-mail notification when your reply form has been actioned/updated (you will need to login into IBIS again after receiving the e-mail to view the updated form).

Q9 There appears to be a mistake on an examination paper. How do I proceed?

A: The candidates are to attempt the paper as it is. Under no circumstances should a coordinator interpret or explain a question. Details of the potential error need to be indicated on the G2 form, which is available on the programme resource centre. The G2 form will be available on each subject page via a link in the left hand column. All comments are carefully considered during the appropriate grade award meeting and are also useful for teams preparing future papers.

Q10 When will the examination schedules be published

A: The May and November session examination schedules are published in April for the examinations taking place in the following year.