IA's and PG's - What I need to know

Finalising internal assessments and predicted grades

For students of the May session, February and March are critical months as you finalise your internal assessments, undertake the mock examinations, and vye for the best predicted grade possible. However, with all of these demands, sometimes we put energies into the wrong things at this time, when in fact we could and should be finalising our learning and getting ourselves match-fit for the final examinations. Here I want to clairfy a few points that might help you navigate this difficult time:

  • Make the non-examination assessments as good as you can

For English A: Language & Literature, the IA (internal assessment) is the Individual Oral. At this stage, in all probability this assessment in long-since done and dusted and cannot be amended. It is what it is, so don't worry about it. However, HL students also have the HL Essay - this is an EA (external assessment), but it is a piece of coursework worth a large % of the final grade as explained in May 2022 - Examinations in the Epoch of Corona. Use the guidance in the relevant section of this site to help you do as well as possible in this assessment, not forgetting (crucially) that, if you choose to write on a non-literary focus, then it must be a body of work and not an individual non-literary text.


  • Remember that the majority of marks are still available for the final examinations

.... so make sure you take the time to practise and prepare for Paper 1.

  • Make sure you understand what Predicted Grades are (and what they aren't)

Now, I can't be totally exhaustive here about each and every scenario in which your predicted grades are used, but I can dispel a few myths about the IB and what they use them for.

It is possible that, depending on your college and university applications or your school's own reporting structure, your predicted grade will have some currency and it is therefore important to get the best one you can. It's possible that your school is using your mock examinations to calculate your PG, for example, and that your higher education institutions are using this to decide whether you are a future student for them. For all of these reasons, they are important.

However, as a School Principal I am often confronted with myths about what the IB is using PG's for, and busting these myths might just take an edge of stress from you at this challenging time:

The IB does not use the PG's (or mock exam results) to calculate its final grades at all. They are considered only if you miss the examinations through certified illness - though it is not as simple as just awarding you your PG - and this year, unlike the previous two, there will be  no 'non-examination route' (due to COVID). During the past two years, PG's played a role in the non-examination route, though adapted to the school's history of accurate prediction record. However, this year that won't happen, so PG's will mainly be for the school's own future development of practice (as in normal times) and will have no impact on your final grades and future opportunities.

I hope that clarifies a few things. Take time to make your EA as good as it can be. But remember it is not the end of the world if it isn't absolutely perfect (or your teacher thinks it's not as high a mark as you think or wish for - that's is they tell you what they would mark it at all; I don't with my students, since I don't mark the final piece so there's no point in getting hopes up... or down!). Don't waste any time - as many students do - trying to convince your teachers to give you a better PG. Instead spend your energies preparing to prove everyone wrong in the real thing.