Assessment: Paper 2
In order to help our students to prepare for the IB exams, it is important that we understand how questions are determined from the curriculum guide. Below is a short explanation of how this is done and examples are given.
In the online textbook, there is also a section on SAQs, ERQs and Paper 3 for students to help them to better understand the assessment criteria.
For illustration, I have chosen the abnormal psychology option.
Paper 2: Format
The focus of Paper 2 is "the options" - that is, abnormal psychology, health psychology, human development and human relationships.
Paper 2 consists only of ERQs. SL students will be required to answer one ERQ based on the option that they have prepared. HL students will be required to answer two ERQs - one from each of the options that they have prepared. In other words, HL students may not do two questions from the same option.
Each option is broken into three "topics". There will be one question from each topic on the exam.
SL students have one hour to write the full exam. The total marks for Paper 2 is 22 marks.
HL students have two hours to write the full exam. The total marks for Paper 2 is 44 marks.
Option: Abnormal psychology
In order to discuss the way that questions are asked on the exam, we will use the abnormal psychology option as a model.It is important to remember that the way that questions are asked on Paper 2 is different from the way that they are asked on Paper 1.
On Paper 2, questions can take two different forms.
- Questions may be taken from the content column.
- Questions may be a combination of the "topic" and the "guidance".
|Factors influencing diagnosis|
Normality vs abnormality
Clinical biases in diagnosis
Validity and reliability of diagnosis
The integration of biological,
|Etiology of abnormal behaviour|
Explanations for disorders
Prevalence rates and disorders
|Treatment of disorders|
The role of culture in treatment
Assessing the effectiveness of
ERQs use the command terms contrast, discuss, evaluate and to what extent.
- Discuss normality vs abnormality.
- Discuss biological factors that influence diagnosis.
- Evaluate one explanation for one disorder.
- Contrast two explanations of one disorder.
- Evaluate one approach to research in the study of the aetiology of disorders.
- Discuss a biological approach to the etiology of one disorder.
- Discuss assessing the effectiveness of one treatment.
- Discuss ethical considerations in the treatment of disorders.
The following questions may not be asked:
- Discuss ethical considerations in classification systems.
- Evaluate approaches to research in the study of the role of culture in treatment.
NB: The specimen papers
The specimen papers have errors in them. Sadly, the IB has said that they will not reissue them, even though the recognize that there are errors in the paper. Here is a list of the errors on the Paper 2 specimen papers.
Question 1 may not be asked as Discuss the role of culture in diagnosis. It may only be asked as "Discuss sociocultural factors that may influence diagnosis." In the valid question, students could use social class as part of their response.
Question 4 may not be asked as Discuss the influence of poverty/socioeconomic status on cognitive development. The question may only be asked in terms of "development". The topic may not be combined with the content.
Question 6 may not be asked as To what extent do biological factors influence cognitive development? They can only ask to the question in terms of development.
Question 10 may not be asked as: To what extent do sociocultural factors explain why relationships change or end? This combines content and guidance. The question may be asked as To what extent do sociocultural factors explain personal relationships? Or Discuss explanations of why relationships may change or end.