IB Exam Tips
The Top 10 Things every parent should know about IB Testing at Mira Loma High
1. IB EXAMS ARE STRESSFUL
This does not require too much explanation, but you should know about my approach to this problem. I tell kids that preparation ahead of time is the only way to reduce stress. As a school, we go into review mode in almost all testing subjects in mid-April, and students who work with us are always well prepared for their exams.
2. NON REFUNDABLE FEES
IB has a very strict calendar for exam registration. After November 15th there are no refunds coming back to ML for students who change their minds about exams, therefore we can offer no refunds to families after that date. Changes made before the 15th can, under the certain circumstances, generate funds but we usually simply credit funds paid in the junior year towards senior year exams instead.
3. ONE EXAM = AT LEAST TWO PAPERS
Every IB Diploma Program exam consists of 2 or 3 separate tests, known to IB as “papers”. This means that a typical IB exam takes two days- paper 1 on day 1 and paper 2 on day 2. For exams that include a paper 3 that is frequently on a third day of testing. Again, this is all spelled out in the yearly testing schedule.
4. BLUE OR BLACK INK REQUIRED
IB exams are sent to a scanning center in Indianapolis, Indiana. There the student papers are scanned, and then computerized files are emailed out to examiners throughout the world. Students are required to write in ink to make sure that the scanned images are clearly legible for the examiners. Students may use pencils for charts, graphs, or diagrams but it is strongly recommended that they go over those images in ink before they submit their work.
5. PROCTORS ARE REQUIRED
IB requires that the proctors (aka invigilators) are provided by the school for every IB Diploma exam. The ratio is 1 proctor for every 20 students, and proctors are there to ensure that the IB testing protocols are observed. Because we do not have enough faculty members to proctor every test paper, we use parents as volunteers. Each parent volunteer has to take time off from work and make specific arrangements to give up two to four hours for any given exam paper.
6. THE IB EXAM SCHEDULE IS NOT FLEXIBLE
IB publishes the exam calendar about 18 months in advance for every exam session. The tests are to be given only on specific dates during the morning or afternoon testing sessions. The School Principal, IB Diploma Coordinator, and San Juan Unified School District Office have no authority to change the date of an IB Exam. In the case of a school wide emergency or tragedy, IB will allow students to test in the next exam session, which is always November of that testing year.
7. MEDICAL EXCUSES MUST BE DOCUMENTED
In the event that a student misses an IB Exam paper due to illness, IB will allow a retake the following November if and only if there is medical documentation of the illness. With adequate documentation, we can register the student for a November retake at no additional fee. If a student has no medical documentation, then he is considered to have failed that exam and can opt to retake it in November of his or her freshman year in college. There is an additional fee for this service.
8. RETAKES ARE IN NOVEMBER AFTER GRADUATION
IB has two testing calendars every year- May and November. Mira Loma tests in May, but students who wish to do a retake can schedule that for November of their graduating year. This means that most retake exams occur in November of a student’s first year in college. This means that most retakes happen on our campus, which means that students who sign up for a retake must return to Mira Loma for two or three days to complete the retake examinations.
9. EXAM EXPECTATIONS ASSEMBLIES WITH MRS. JACKS
Every year MRS. JACKS does an IB Exam Expectations day with testing juniors and seniors. This happens in mid to late April and the exam room rules are discussed, along with absence rules and retakes, and medical excuses- pretty much everything that appears on this list.
10. GRADES/ SCORES/ TRANSCRIPTS
IB Exam Scores can be requested and sent to ONE US College, ONE CANADIAN COLLEGE, and FOUR COLLEGES ABROAD for free. Mira Loma Provides this service via a form filled out by each student. The digital form is available on the Mira Loma Website, and on Managebac. An Email is sent out at the beginning of April to all IB Seniors.
Please contact Program Secretary Jennifer Mannerino with questions: Jennifer.email@example.com