MYP Curriculum Corner: 15/02/2019

Assessment in the MYP

“Assessment is integral to all teaching and learning. MYP assessment requires teachers to assess the prescribed subject-group objectives using the assessment criteria for each subject group in each year of the programme. In order to provide students with opportunities to achieve at the highest level, MYP teachers develop rigorous tasks that embrace a variety of assessment strategies.”

MYP – From Principles into Practice.

MYP assessments take different forms and it’s very important for students and parents understand how assessments are done at ISC.

Assessments come under two areas, internal assessment and external assessments. Internal assessment happens in school and the assessments are graded by ISC subject teachers based on their professional judgement. External assessments are taken in or out of school but graded by other professionals.

Internal assessments

  • Formative and summative unit assessments including interdisciplinary units
  • Cycle assessments

External assessments

  • ISA tests
  • E-assessments
  • Personal Project
  • National exams

Formative assessment tasks happen daily when teachers carefully monitor students progress to help students to reach their full potential. Formative assessments can also be graded but it is the summative assessment tasks that are used for report grades. Formative assessment can also be classed as students peer and self assessments.

Summative assessments are criterion based and give evidence to evaluate students achievement. They are the big assessments and the goal for students during each unit. Summative assessments normally happens near the end of a unit after a series of formative assessments. Summative assessments conclude the achievement of the student.

Cycle Assessments

Cycle assessments are a new Inspired approach to assessments that will start in March 2019 and they are a requirement throughout all inspired schools.

Students will have a rotation of official cycle assessments in English language and literature, Italian, Maths, Sciences, Language Acquisition (Spanish, German ) and Individual and societies (Geography and History). Students will have one assessment per week in a different subject area. Each subject area will only do one assessment every 6 weeks.

PHE, Design, Drama and Arts will not take part in cycle assessments due to the low number of hours the teachers see students and the nature of the subjects.

Cycle assessments are not extra assessments, but assessments that are in connection with the students current unit that they would do anyway, they are just timetabled more carefully to allow for student preparation and revision. They can be formative or summative. They will happen during lesson time and take 45 minutes to complete in a formal exam setting.

Cycle assessments will really help students to get used to exam settings that they will be required to be part of in MYP5 and in the diploma programme.

Cycle assessments will also support students IB ATL (approaches to learning) skill development such as:

  • Self-management skills – Time, revision, preparation
  • Critical thinking skills – Evaluate evidence and arguments
  • Communication skills – Read critically and for comprehension
  • Reflection skills – Consider personal learning strategies

We hope that students can benefit from cycle assessments by seeing their personal progression throughout the school year.

ISA Tests

ISA tests happen in MYP2 (Grade 8) and in MYP4 (Grade 10). They are externally assessed. ISA stands for International Schools’ Assessment and they have an international focus to be able to monitor student performance over time, as well for teachers being able to see how we can improve our curriculum to support students needs. ISA tests will start next week (18th March) and always happen during February each year for Science, English and Maths.


E-assessments are IB assessments that happen for MYP5 (Grade 11) every May during the first two weeks. They are official external assessments by the international baccalaureate to give a final grade for a range of subjects. They are all online and done on computers taken in strict exam conditions. Cycle assessments leading up to e-assessments will help to prepare students for the e-assessments. The assessments are taken in English language and literature, Maths, Science, Individual and Societies (History and Geography) and interdisciplinary. The interdisciplinary assessment checks students ability to transfer knowledge between different subject areas and the subjects change each year.

Personal Project

The Personal Project is another MYP5 (Grade 11) compulsory externally assessed assessment. Students choose a project to work on personally from September to January during their MYP5 year. They create a product and write a final report on the process. Students then do a project fair to show what they have created and it is open to the whole ISC community. This project helps student to build on many personal and organizational skills. Our personal project coordinator is Mrs Helen Turner.

National Exams

National exams are very important for our Italian strand students in MYP3 (Grade 9). Students will be working hard towards the terza media exam for most of their grade 9 year. At ISC we believe it is ethically important to allow students to obtain qualifications in their national system. The exam is taken in a local Italian school and externally assessed.

Grade Boundary Guidelines

On your child’s report you will see an overall grade for each subject. Please see the table below to understand what the overall grade actually means.

grade boundaries.jpg

An overview of the subject specific criterion

What does A, B, C and D criterion mean for each subject? Please see the table below to help with your understanding.


If you have any queries in regards to assessment or other curriculum questions then please do not hesitate to contact me.

Mrs Karen Lockett – MYP Coordinator.