Personal Blog

The Mixed Feelings I Have After Seeing My IB Results - Shreya Sachdev

Hi everyone! I hope you’re all having a nice day. For today’s blog post, I thought I would share my feelings regarding my IB results with all of you today. As most of you know, I recently completed the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program and I’ve been having a nice little holiday ever since. However, I’ve also been anxiously waiting for my results because they determine where I go to university. Yesterday was the 6th of July, the day my results were released, and just today I received the breakdown of each subject (what I received on paper one, paper two, paper three, internal assessments, written assignments, orals, etc) and to be completely honest, I was very surprised by my breakdown of each subject. The truth is, everything that I thought I did badly on I did well on, and everything I thought I did well on I did badly on. In this post, I’ll be talking about why I’m surprised by my results and why your predicted grades might not necessarily line up with your final results. Keep in mind that everyone has different experiences and that what I’m going to be sharing is only based on my experience. If any of you are entering the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program soon or are currently in the middle of the program, then I hope this blog post can help you out, especially if you’re wondering the extent to which your results will change when they are externally marked. I know that this was something I was certainly wondering when I was in that position. I do, however, want to point out that I will not be sharing my total IB score and if that’s what you came to find out, then you might as well exit out of my website right now. Without further ado, let’s get started!

As I said above, everything I did badly on I did well on. This is especially true for History Paper One: History Paper One was my first exam and I was just so nervous taking it. My hands were shaking and I couldn’t think properly. On top of that, I had barely studied for the right thing. You see, in History Paper One, the IB can either choose to test you on Richard I of England or Genghis Khan. Now, because the IB had only tested candidates on Genghis Khan for the previous two years, I was certain that this year they were going to test me on Richard I of England. Therefore, 70% of my revision was focused on Richard I of England and only 30% of it was focused on Genghis Khan. On the day of my exams, guess what happened? The exam was based on Genghis Khan. Not only that, but they picked quite a strange area of topic to test us on. I knew a lot about Genghis Khan’s strategies and tactics on the battlefield since that’s something Genghis Khan is known for and is praised for, but I barely knew anything about his past life or how he became known as “Genghis Khan.” Unfortunately for me, the IB decided to test me on Genghis Khan’s past life. Therefore, I was very worried about what was going to happen to me as I read through the different sources. However, I tried to compose myself and when my exam began, I tried to answer the questions as best as I could. Whilst I was able to write a solid 2-3 pages for the essay, a lot of it was just bits and pieces from what I vaguely remembered and I genuinely did not think that what I was writing was even remotely correct. I tried to use big words and strong phrases to make it appear as if I knew a lot about Genghis Khan when I really didn’t. That’s why, when I saw that I got a 7 on History Paper One I was not expecting it at all. On the other hand, History Paper Two and Paper Three, which I thought I did extremely well on, I did not score a 7 even though I thought I would. I am 100% sure that if I gave my History exam to my own teacher, someone who is actually an expert on medieval history, he would mark down my Paper One but definitely mark up my Paper Two and Three exam.

Another subject in which this happened was Geography. Throughout my two years in Geography, I’ve literally only been getting 4s. The only difference is that when I got a 4 in Geography, I never understood why and always believed that I deserved a better mark. In Geography, there are three papers and the easiest paper (in my opinion) is always Paper Two. The reason as to why I say it’s the easiest paper is because this paper consists of human geography which is not only easier than physical geography, but is also much more interesting to me. Therefore, because I was genuinely interested in what I was learning, I would make my notes extremely well organized and I would always look over my notes to make sure that I had detailed case studies full of statistics and information. During the IB, I took four Paper Two exams (not including the final) and I scored three 4s and one 3, even though each time I had thought I did really well. In my final IB exam, guess what I ended up with on Geography Paper Two? A 7. That’s right, not a three, not a four, not a five, not a six, but a 7. I’m sorry, but either my Geography teacher doesn’t know how to mark properly, or I got a very easy IB examiner. Considering the fact that I worked for hours and hours on Geography Paper Two and never understood why I was getting such bad marks, I think we can safely conclude that it’s the first scenario. If any of you are wondering whether or not I thought that my Paper Two went better than previous Paper Twos I’ve taken, then I would say it’s the complete opposite: My final Paper Two exam, I thought, was significantly worse than previous Paper Twos I’ve taken. Yet, I ended up with a 7. I’m really not trying to be rude, but if I was actually deserving of a 7 this entire time but got 4s the whole year, then that’s a serious issue and it’s not okay because it misleads universities and myself about what I’m capable of.

Lastly, I think I was the most upset over my English score. Honestly, I was shocked by how badly I did on my written assignment. The final marks for HL English consist of two interactive orals, one written assignment, and two exam papers. I knew that I had done well on my two orals, and that showed on my final result, and I knew that I had done better on English Paper Two than English Paper One and that also showed. However, I genuinely thought that my written assignment was the best piece of work I submitted when compared to my orals and my exam papers. However, it turns out that I literally did horrible on my written assignment. I was just very surprised because not only did I think that I did well, but my teacher had looked over my written assignment and told me that he thought it read extremely well and that I shouldn’t worry about it. Therefore, I’m confused as to what happened. I talked to some of my friends in my English class, and they also stated that they weren’t happy with their written assignment marks and that they might get them re-marked. Overall, I think I care the most about my English grade because it’s my favorite subject and it’s also what I would like to study in the future, and I just think I deserved a better mark and I’m upset that my hard work did not pay off.

In conclusion, I think I’m feeling a mixture of a lot of things. On one hand, I’m happy that I did well in subjects that I wasn’t expecting to do well in, especially Biology and Geography, but this also means that I’m slightly “angry” with my Geography teacher for marking me down for two years when in the end, I got a mark that was much higher than what my teacher would have given me for one of the papers. I suppose it’s just frustrating because I always worked really hard for that one paper and always thought I did really well on it whenever I submitted it, but I was always let down whenever my teacher handed me back my paper. And now, I come to find out that I was doing nothing wrong regarding that paper and that it’s actually my teacher who just doesn’t know how to mark. I understand that subjects such as English, Geography, French, and History are all open to interpretation and that’s why what your teacher will give you might not be the same as what another examiner will give you, but I don’t think that justifies receiving a 4 for two years and then all of a sudden receiving a 7. That’s too big of a jump. Furthermore, I also don’t appreciate my English teacher telling me that my written assignment would score highly, when it clearly didn’t because I didn’t get enough feedback to know what to change and what not to change. On the bright side, I am able to go to the university of my choice and I’m really excited to start a new chapter of my life! If any of you are currently in the middle of the IB or are going to be starting the IB soon, then all I can say is good luck and keep working hard! And no, your predicated grades will not match your final results.

Shreya Sachdev