IB Diploma exams to be held in May

Exams modified due to pandemic learning challenges


Naia Urruty

Seniors Alliza Manayan and Wolfgang Tobaison work on large-scale art pieces in preparation for the art show opening March 11. Seniors have worked on their exhibition as a part of the IB Visual Arts course.

Darcy Jubb, Senior Reporter

WEB EXCLUSIVE International Baccalaureate seniors will have the opportunity to take their diploma exams April 29-May 21, unlike last year’s class who had their exams cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“I am glad I am able to take the IB exams this year,” Naia Urruty said. “I have been preparing for these exams for the past two years.”

Exams will be modified by the International Baccalaureate Organization to take into account the challenges of learning during the pandemic. 

“They have removed significant portions and adjusted the weighting for some portions,” IB Programme Coordinator Devin DeMartini Cooke said. “The grade boundaries will be more generous this year to take into account the impact of lockdown, distance learning, and the general COVID experience.”

The IBO will not allow virtual exams but will offer a dual route for the 2021 exams for schools who are not able to administer in person testing. Since Convent & Stuart Hall is open, exams will be held, according to DeMartini Cooke. 

The block schedule implemented this year to limit in-person contact between community members is affecting the seniors’ preparation for exams. 

“The block schedule makes it harder to be prepared for exams in the classes I have already taken in Session 1,” Isabel Hoppmann said. “For some classes, teachers had to modify material and shift the original plan to fit in the schedule.” 

Although the schedule has been condensed to two classes per day for four weeks, seniors have two free periods during the fourth session to prepare for and take exams. 

“The IB exams are a product of all the hard work of the past two years,” Urruty said. “We have been working for it since junior year, so I think we are well prepared.”