Message from Director General Siva Kumari

Dear IB Heads of Schools and Coordinators:

Students, educators and administrators can all agree, this is an extraordinary year, the likes of which the world has not seen in our lifetime. A historic decision was made to cancel May 2020 session exams prioritizing student and teacher health and well-being over all else. Soon after the decision to cancel the May session, we worked with schools, universities and regulators to provide a valid and recognized awarding model during this unprecedented time, building on the IB’s trusted methodologies and experience in assessment.

While 2020 is different in many ways, one reassuring consistency is that the IB always does its best to award fair and reliable results to all students worldwide through established assessment processes and principles, trusted by its schools and respected by universities worldwide. As an assessment body, we aim to be more transparent than most bodies and have always placed the student at the center.

Each session after results are released, we hear the voices of those who are elated by their accomplishments, but also those who are disappointed with their results. We always review the feedback from students and schools with respect, care and consideration.

This year, we hear the anxiety around the May 2020 results. The emotional well-being of our students and our community is paramount in our decision making and remains the highest priority. You will find more details on the awarding approach for the May 2020 session here.*

We continue to work directly with schools and IB coordinators to ensure alignment and give each student who wants the opportunity to go through an Enquiry Upon Results (EUR) or appeal process, as they would under usual circumstances in previous exam sessions, to do so. In addition, we are continuing to communicate directly with universities, encouraging them to remain compassionate during this extraordinary time.

Additional service to support you

In addition to the usual request for appeals process, we want to work with schools to review extraordinary cases. We have identified three priority areas for review: (i) candidate level discrepancy (ii) subject level discrepancy (iii) whole cohort discrepancy. We are working to develop a process which will enable us to have a conversation with each school regarding their concerns at the cohort and individual school level. More details on the specifics of that process will be sent out by midweek. We will prioritise cases that are linked to progression to support with university admissions and dates of admissions. We are committing to a rigorous review of these cases. We cannot guarantee higher grades as a result of the review. Where the marks are deemed reasonable grades will not go down as a result of this process.

We will all work through this together. We are committed to you. We have earned your trust for 50 years and in this unprecedented year we will continue to serve our community. We look forward to constructive dialogue with our heads of schools and DP coordinators. We all want the same thing: to ensure a bright future for all of our students across the globe.

Siva Kumari
Director General

*released in English on 13/7/20, with additional publishing in Spanish and French to follow on 14/7/20.