The new guide was published in 2020, but May 2022 was the first assessment period aligning with the changes in the framework. This post will highlight what we can learn from the specimen assessment and previous subject reports. The aim of this post is to help any teachers of current and upcoming cohorts to know how to best set up their students for success in the assessments. It should be particularly useful for teachers who want to create assessments in a similar format. As the past papers are only available on MyIB, and are not available in paper format, you can find a bundle of practice papers, question and lesson resources here (created independently from the IB). This post addresses both the standard and extended framework.
If you are completely new to the e-assessment, you should start by reading the posts from the previous e-assessment series:
This post will cover the following topics if you want to jump ahead:
What was the structure of the specimen E-Assessments?
As with the previous assessments there were three tasks aligning with the MYP maths objectives - knowing and understanding, applying mathematics in real life contexts and investigating patterns. Communication was assessed across the three tasks.
There were four questions in task 1 which were 7-10 marks each. They were based around the key concept of form.
There were two questions in task 2. The first was a long real life problem of 20 marks which required problem solving and reflection on the solution(s). The second was 10 marks and just addressed the first few strands of criteria D (identify the relevant elements, model and solve the problem). They were based around the key concept of logic. The global context was scientific and technical innovation with an exploration focus on adaptation, ingenuity and progress.
There was one extended question in task 3 worth 35(standard)/36(extended) marks. It began with a highly structured investigation (predict the next values in the table, describe a pattern etc.). The final part was 22 marks and required students to explore with guidance in the form of bullet points. The whole task was based around the key concept of relationships.
What content was assessed (standard vs. extended)?
Five of the questions were very similar across the two assessments in terms of content, although the questions themselves differed. In task 1, there were three similar questions. The first involved Venn diagrams and set notation. The second required students to use an algorithm. The final common question in task 1 involved box plots, cumulative frequency and probability. The shorter task 2 question looked at the area of squares, triangles and circles. Interestingly, the question was the same, however the standard assessment separated it into 3 parts (calculate area 1, calculate area 2, compare) while the extended assessment had it as one question with bullet point guidance). The task 3 investigation for both was about linear functions, quadratic functions and coordinates. However, the structured investigation part of the extended problem (at the start), was the exploration question for standard (at the end). While the exploration for extended had the additional complexity of dealing with translation vectors.
Then each assessment had a unique question in task 1. The standard assessment had a question involving tessellation and centre of rotation. Meanwhile the extended question looked at sequences, substitution and bounds.
In addition, each assessment had a unique question in task 2, the extended real life problem. The standard assessment had a question involving bearings and speed, distance, time. Meanwhile the extended question looked at network pathways and corresponding matrices.
What media and technology was used?
On screen calculator from which calculations can be captured and pasted as evidence of working.
Digital formula book that has a contents page with click through links.
A highlighter tool to emphasise key phrases.
Unfamiliar words (e.g. courier) could be hovered over and a definition shown.
A variety of media and tools were used to structure the questions and give context, as shown in the table.
What was the guidance from the subject report?
There was a lot of key information in the subject report, but here are some highlights:
Make sure students know the correct notation for the general rule. E.g. an equation should be in the form P =
In line with notation, make sure they have had practice with the equation editor and can write powers, fractions etc.
To get the communication marks, they also need to use appropriate vocabulary for describing patterns e.g. product, increase, multiple, coefficient.
On questions where they need to show calculations, knowing how to use the on screen calculator and screen capture will save them time.
For the investigation, know to use the original problem context as a way to write and justify general rules. Looking for connections between the position and the terms won’t always be obvious and even if it is, having in mind the area formula for the shape or the properties of functions would help students understand what is happening and why.
For the extended real life problem, use the background information given in the problem to justify the accuracy of a solution or to make a suitable recommendation. There is likely no requirement to bring in any other prior general knowledge. So state if a solution is accurate and then justify it using context rather than just discussing precision of a value.
For both of these extended questions, students should explicitly respond to bullet points given to them.
Determine and write down: no need for calculations, just the answer
Find, calculate, show that: calculations needed, use on screen calculator and screen capture
Test your general rule - substitute a value given in the original problem. Substitute into your general rule AND show that the same answer is given in the question table.
Verify - use a value not given in the original problem. Substitute into your general rule AND show that the same answer is generated by continuing the pattern.
Use the command terms and marks as a cue for timing. 3 marks = 3 minutes, 22 marks = 26 minutes. The diagram below shows how many marks were attributed to different command terms in the standard assessment. Using these in summative assessments will help students become familiar with them. (Note: as sections of the mark scheme were incomplete, marks may differ slightly).
Remember to access the specimen assessments, mark schemes and subject report on MYIB to see this information in context. Or feel free to send a message with any follow up questions.