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Assessment in the MYP

Assessment in the MYP

In the MYP, teachers report student progress via ManageBac, an online portal all parents can access. One of the challenges parents face is that assessment in MYP comes with its own ‘language’ and a ‘unique grading system’. The mYP is not like other systems! 

What do the four criteria mean? All MYP subjects invite students to work towards four objectives – labelled as Criterion A, B, C and D. 

Are the criteria the same in each subject? The terms A, B, C, and D are used in each subject, but the objectives differ. There are, however,  always four, labelled as A, B, C, and D. We include a graphic at the bottom of the page where you can see the specific details of each objective for each subject.  

What happens when a student undertakes an MYP assessment task? There are two types of assessment tasks, known as ‘formative and/or summative’ assessments. Here are the key differences between formative and summative assessments:

  • Purpose:
      • Formative Assessment: The primary purpose of formative assessment is to provide ongoing feedback during the learning process. It helps teachers and students identify strengths and weaknesses, allowing for adjustments and improvements as learning occurs.
      • Summative Assessment: Summative assessment, on the other hand, is conducted at the end of a learning period (such as a unit, term, semester, or course) to evaluate overall student performance. It is more focused on determining the extent to which learning objectives have been achieved.
  • Timing:
      • Formative Assessment: This type of assessment takes place during the learning process. It is ongoing and frequent, allowing for immediate feedback and adjustments.
      • Summative Assessment: Summative assessments are typically administered at the end of a unit, course, or academic period.
  • Feedback:
      • Formative Assessment: Feedback in formative assessment is immediate and specific, aiming to guide students in their learning journey. It is focused on improvement rather than assigning grades.
      • Summative Assessment: Feedback in summative assessment is often provided after the assessment is completed, and its primary purpose is to summarise overall performance. Grades are commonly assigned in summative assessments.
  • Style:
      • Formative Assessment: This type of assessment is often informal, involving techniques such as quizzes, discussions, observations, and feedback sessions.
      • Summative Assessment: Summative assessments are more formal and structured, often involving standardised tests, final exams, or culminating projects.


  • Use:
      • Formative Assessment: Formative assessments help inform instructional decisions, allowing teachers to adjust their teaching methods and students to adapt their learning strategies.
      • Summative Assessment: Summative assessments are used for making final judgments about students’ overall performance and mastery of the content. They are often used for assigning grades or determining if students are ready to progress to the next level.

In summary, formative assessments are focused on the ongoing learning process and provide feedback for improvement, while summative assessments are conducted at the end of a learning period to make final evaluations of student performance. Both types of assessments play important roles in the overall assessment process at BBIS.

How do grades work in the MYP? MYP grades are based on a scale from 1-8 for each objective/criterion as follows:

1-2 indicates limited progress/performance; this is below a passing grade and suggests significant interventions may be needed.

3-4 indicates satisfactory progress/performance – 3 is a passing grade but suggests improvements are needed

5-6 indicates good progress/performance that is meeting expectations,

7-8 indicates strong progress/performance that meets and beats expectations with depth and extended understanding. 

What grade indicates my child is meeting age-related expectations? A grade of 5 against any criterion is the benchmark for meeting age-related expectations. 

My child received a task grade lower than 5. Should I be concerned? A grade of 4 generally indicates the student is working at a level which is very close to reaching age-related expectations,  but may need further practice or improvement. 

A grade of 3 would indicate a passing grade, with the need for improvement. A grade of 1-2 indicates that significant interventions are required. We would expect to have conversations with you in these cases so we can work out how to develop a shared plan for your child to improve.

How are grades calculated? Individual criteria are assessed on a scale of 1 to 8. When all four criteria are assessed, teachers will make a professional, evidence-based judgment as to where your child’s performance best fits against each of the four criteria in their subject. Then, these four grades are added to get a total score out of 32 possible points (max 8 points x 4 criteria). The total score is then compared to grade boundaries set by the IB to give students their overall grade using a 1-7 scale.

  • 1-5 = 1: very limited performance towards/understanding of course outcomes 
  • 6-9 = 2: limited performance towards/understanding of course outcomes 10-14 = 3: acceptable performance towards/understanding of course outcomes 
  • (passing threshold)
  • 15-18 = 4: approaching proficient performance towards/understanding of course outcomes
  • 19-23 = 5: proficient performance towards/understanding of course outcomes
  • 24-27 = 6: proficient, occasional sophisticated performance towards/understanding of course outcomes
  • 28:-32 = 7: proficient, frequently sophisticated performance towards/understanding of course outcomes.

Is this just me, or is it overly complicated? No, it’s not you – it is really complicated. The IB’s goal in both the MYP and DP was to create a grading system that did not reflect any country’s national grading system. This means unless you were an MYP or DP student, this grading system will be completely new to you and might seem quite odd. But there’s nothing to worry about – come and ask any of our secondary staff, who will help you understand how we grade students and what it all means.

Subjects in the MYP and Descriptions of the Four Criteria

A table of terms used in the MYP