External Assessment

This section focuses on the external assessment - that is, the exams that are sat either in November or May by your students.

This section contains sample marking and marking practice.  In addition, it includes tips for exam preparation.

External Assessment

Paper 1 is the same structure for both SL and HL.  Students are required to answer three short-answer questions (SAQs), one from each of the three approaches in the core.  They then have to choose one essay from three - each choice is based on one of the approaches.  HL candidates will have one or more essay questions from the from the HL extensions.  The paper is two hours.

Paper 2 assesses understanding of the options.  SL candidates must answer one question in one hour.  HL candidates have two hours to write two essay - one from each of the options that they have prepared.  Candidates receive three questions from each of the options - one question from each of the topics in that option.

Paper 3 assesses understanding of quantitative and qualitative research methodology. This is for HL candidates only.  Students will receive a "stimulus piece" - that is, a research study.  They will then be asked a series of questions.  These questions are static - that is, there is a list of the questions in the curriculum guide and these questions will always be asked.

All materials on this website are for the exclusive use of teachers and students at subscribing schools for the period of their subscription. Any unauthorised copying or posting of materials on other websites is an infringement of our copyright and could result in your account being blocked and legal action being taken against you.

Comments 6

Jamie Brown 17 April 2018 - 09:55

I'm new to teaching IB Psychology, so I'd like some clarification regarding the May 2019 exams. The past papers that I have access to show paper 1 being exactly the same for HL and SL students. Will that still be true for the May 2019 cohort? If so, when do HL topics for Bio, Cog, and Sociocultural come into the exam?

John Crane 18 April 2018 - 06:46

Dear James

The papers are no longer the same. The SAQs will be the same, but on the HL paper at least one of the essays will be from an extension. One, two or all three essays may be extension questions.

Shelley Swift 15 May 2018 - 08:21

Hi John, I am sure I saw somewhere but now can't find a list of the possible SAQs and ERQs for learning approach. Can you direct me to this please? Thanks

John Crane 15 May 2018 - 17:31

Dear Shelly

They are under "writing samples" for each approach and option. For example: thinkib.net

Alistair Booth 16 May 2018 - 13:00

Hi John, What are the weightings for HL and SL?

John Crane 17 May 2018 - 05:08

Dear Alistair,

The weightings are slightly different in the new curriculum.

SL: 50 (P1), 25 (P2); 25 (IA)
HL: 40 (P1); 20 (P2); 20 (P3); 20 (IA)