Some weeks ago the grade 11s were notified that the End-of-Year Exams (usually done in the end of May) have been postponed to September. Almost instantly this triggered questions and, for some, worry. The Quirky Quibbler has gathered opinions from students and asked Mr. Ampuja (the DP Coordinator) and Ms. Öman (the Upper School Principal) for clarification.
The decision to proceed with the End-of-Year Exams in September was made by the upper school management. Ms. Öman is certain that this decision, made by experienced professionals, is the most beneficial for the students. Both Mr. Ampuja and Ms. Öman agree that online exams will not prepare students enough for the Final Exams in May 2021. However, they believe that the end of year Exams in grade 11 (IB1) are vital for preparing the students. Therefore, they have been moved to September. Ms. Öman explains that ” this is a serious decision that had to be taken by the professionals. At this point that is why the students were not consulted.”
Some students worry that this will increase workload, both over the summer and during the coming term. Mr. Ampuja and Ms. Öman argue that we have covered more content now than we would have in normal circumstances, which will relieve workload during the coming term. Ms. Öman assures students by saying that “teachers are going to be extra careful and spread out deadlines for internal assessments.” Also, due to the structure of the Diploma Programme, students are expected to study over the summer even if this summer may be extra vigorous. Or, in Ms. Öman’s words, “Exams or no exams this summer is not like any other summer.”
For those who are worried about external assessments for universities or early applications, Mr. Ampuja and Ms. Öman encourage communication. In these situations, individual solutions are required.
Both Ms. Öman and Mr. Ampuja trust the professional judgment of the teachers to give grade 11 students the grades they deserve. This means following SIS’s guidelines for predicted and projected grades.
Despite worry from students that the number of important deadlines will result in performance anxiety, this is something Ms. Öman and Mr. Ampuja take very seriously. They care about the mental health of their students. They believe that this decision will assure students that they will be graded fairly, despite any complications from online learning and an unusually work-heavy summer.
These are difficult times and grade 11s should know that they are all in this together and the teachers and staff are there for support.