MYP/DP Coordinator’s Corner (Yesenia Ramos)

Looking into the MYP: How is my child assessed?

As we enter the second half of the first semester, questions arise concerning assessment and how the students are assessed in the Middle Years Program. It is no secret that assessment in the MYP can seem complicated, especially since it breaks away from traditional grading by shifting away from content driven assessment and moving towards skill-based performance assessment, and it uses a scale that closely resembles the grading scale in Europe. Needless to say, Robinson feels that the MYP reinforces the school’s mission of academic excellence to support and encourage student growth. This means teachers are constantly gathering and analyzing information on student performance and continually encouraging students to be active and reflective learners. In doing so, students continue to develop a wider range of critical- thinking and self-assessment skills.

The MYP employs a criterion-based model of assessment that provides students with the opportunity to know what is expected in order to reach a high level before attempting a task. The value in this model is that students are assessed based on what they can do, rather than ranked against each other. The MYP model emphasizes the assessment of students as individuals, and uses assessments to further support the development of skills.

The Process of Arriving at a Student’s Achievement Level (Grade)

Throughout the year teachers will collect evidence of student achievement from many different types of assessments including formative and summative assessments. Sometimes all criteria in the subject are applied to an assessment, but more often only 1 or 2 criteria are assessed per task. Only summative assessments that are criterion-related (that are assessed against criteria provided by the teacher for that specific assessment task) count towards the overall grade.

To explain how we arrive at a semester grade let’s follow the creation of a Mathematics grade for a year 8 student called Cindy. There are 4 criteria in Mathematics. Over the course of the year, each criteria will be assessed at least twice. After Semester 1 Cindy will have at least 1-2 grades in all 4 of the Mathematics criteria. In our example for Cindy during semester 1, Mathematics Criterion A ‘Knowing and Understanding’ has 4 pieces of evidence (grades).

Summative Assessments: Mathematics Criterion A ‘Knowing and Understanding’. Score/8

Math Project 1 Fractions Assessment Prime Time Test Students as Teachers Project
Cindy 4 5 6 6

 The criteria for each subject area are assessed out of 8. Using the summative assessment results for each criterion, Cindy’s teacher will then make a professional judgment on the criterion level of achievement for her in this criterion. This is not an average of all of the marks for this criterion, but a professional judgment based on patterns in the data, the development of that student and the context that the work was completed in. As a result of Cindy’s consistent improvement over the semester her teacher awards her a criterion level of achievement of 6 out of 8 for Mathematics Criterion A.

How do criteria achievement levels become a grade out of 7?

This process of determining criterion levels of achievement is done for all criteria in every subject. In each subject these criterion levels of achievement are then added together to give a criterion levels total. This total is then compared to the grade boundary table published by the IB (see table below) to give the student a grade out of 7 for that subject. Cindy’s 6 out of a possible 8 in Mathematics Criterion A would be added to her criterion level of achievement in the other 3 Mathematics criteria, which would give a criterion levels total of 21. As a result Cindy would receive 5 out of 7 for her final semester grade in Mathematics. 

Criteria Level of Achievement
Criterion A: Knowing and Understanding /8 6
Criterion B: Investigating Patterns /8 6
Criterion C: Communicating /8 4
Criterion D: Applying Mathematics in real world contexts /8 5
Criterion Levels Total /32 21


IB published Grade Boundaries for All Subjects – Overall Levels of Achievement

Grade 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Boundaries 1-5 6-9 10-14 15-18 19-23 24-27 28-32


What does a grade of 1-7 really mean?

Grade MYP General Grade Descriptors
1 Produces work of very limited quality. Conveys many significant misunderstandings or lacks understanding of most concepts and contexts. Very rarely demonstrates critical or creative thinking. Very inflexible, rarely using knowledge or skills.
2 Produces work of limited quality. Expresses misunderstandings or significant gaps in understanding for many concepts and contexts. Infrequently demonstrates critical or creative thinking. Generally inflexible in the use of knowledge and skills, infrequently applying knowledge and skills.
3 Produces work of an acceptable quality. Communicates basic understanding of many concepts and contexts, with occasionally significant misunderstandings or gaps. Begins to demonstrate some basic critical and creative thinking. Is often inflexible in the use of knowledge and skills, requiring support even in familiar classroom situations.
4 Produces good-quality work. Communicates basic understanding of most concepts and contexts with few misunderstandings and minor gaps. Often demonstrates basic critical and creative thinking. Uses knowledge and skills with some flexibility in familiar classroom situations, but requires support in unfamiliar situations.
5 Produces generally high-quality work. Communicates secure understanding of concepts and contexts. Demonstrates critical and creative thinking, sometimes with sophistication. Uses knowledge and skills in familiar classroom and real-world situations and, with support, some unfamiliar real-world situations.
6 Produces high-quality, occasionally innovative work. Communicates extensive understanding of concepts and contexts. Demonstrates critical and creative thinking, frequently with sophistication. Uses knowledge and skills in familiar and unfamiliar classroom and real-world situations, often with independence.
7 Produces high-quality, frequently innovative work. Communicates comprehensive, nuanced understanding of concepts and contexts. Consistently demonstrates sophisticated critical and creative thinking. Frequently transfers knowledge and skills with independence and expertise in a variety of complex classroom and real-world situations.


What does a Robinson MYP achievement report (report card) look like?

Example: Mathematics – Geometry 10

*It is important to note that in the MYP Quarter 1 and 3 are progress reports. Students will only receive a final OLA(grade) at the end of semester 1 and 2.

Quarter 1* Semester 1 Quarter 3* Semester 2
Overall Level of Achievement 5*
Math Criterion Quarter 1* Semester 1 Quarter 3* Semester 2
Criterion A – Knowing and Understanding 5
Criterion B – Investigating Patterns 5
Criterion C – Communicating 5
Criterion D – Applying Math in the Real World Context 4

Overall Level of Achievement for each subject area based on IB established boundaries below:

Grade 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Boundaries 1-5 6-9 10-14 15-18 19-23 24-27 28-32

On your child’s report card, you will see the criterion grade for all four criterion for each subject area. Since your child’s final assessment report for each marking period is based only on summative assessments, their level of achievement for the first quarter may be based on a limited quantity of summative data. If summative assessments have not assessed one or more criterion as of the end of the first quarter, teachers will use their professional judgement based in evidence from formative assessments to provide a level for the missing criteria. As the year progresses and teachers continue to accumulate and analyze information for each student, you will more readily see the progression your child is making in each subject area.

For more information on the IB Middle Years Programme, please access our school website ( , visit the IB website (, or attend our next parent meeting.