The Benefits of MYP Assessment

Written by Michelle Schuler,
Individuals and Societies Teacher
IBDP History Teacher
MYP Coordinator

BFIS is currently in a MYP roll-out process with current emphasis on assessment as a main point of change.  The MYP places less emphasis on exams compared to other national curriculums, employing a diverse range of assessment methods such as increased internal assessments and project work. Initially, the assessment structure of the MYP may seem intricate and perplexing, but it proves to be better suited for 21st-century students compared to traditional exam systems. The assessment guidelines and rubrics in the Middle Years Program (MYP) of the International Baccalaureate (IB) offer positive benefits to our community such as greater transparency, feedback for growth, as well as an emphasis on transversal skills.

MYP Students in Science Lab

Standardized Expectations

The MYP rubrics offer a clear line of communication to the community in terms of internationally recognized and standardized expectations and objectives for students.  The rubrics ensure that all students are assessed using the same criteria, promoting fairness and equity in the grading process.  Because the rubrics are criterion-referenced, meaning that they are set with predetermined criteria, it means students are evaluated against the rubric rather than their peers.  Moreover, these criteria are aligned with educational objectives and reflect the MYP’s emphasis on holistic learning, approaches to learning, and conceptual understanding – key elements of a strong international education. 

MYP assigns four (4) criteria to each subject. Criteria are assessed using an MYP 0-8 point rubric. The Assessment Criteria for all eight subject areas are listed below.

SubjectsCriterion A Criterion BCriterion CCriterion D
Language & LiteratureAnalyzingOrganizingProducing textUsing language
Language AcquisitionListeningReadingSpeakingWriting
Individuals and Societies (I&S)Knowing and UnderstandingInvestigatingCommunicatingThinking critically
SciencesKnowing and UnderstandingInquiring and designingProcessing and evaluatingReflecting on the impacts of science
MathematicsKnowing and UnderstandingInvestigating patternsCommunicatingApplying mathematics in real-world contexts
The ArtsInvestigatingDevelopingCreating/PerformingEvaluating
Physical & Health Education Knowing and UnderstandingPlanning for performanceApplying and performingReflecting and improving performance
DesignInquiring and analyzingDeveloping ideasCreating the solutionEvaluating
Community projectInvestigatingPlanningTaking actionReflecting
Personal projectPlanningApplying skillsReflecting

Each criterion is given a punctuation from 0-8. Each class has a total of 32 points which can be converted to a 1-7 scale that appears on the semester reports.


Subject: Language and Literature

Criterion A: 5/8
Criterion B: 6/8
Criterion C: 5/8
Criterion D: 4/8
Total points: 20

grade boundaries.PNG
Final Grade: 5

Specific Feedback

Assessment in the MYP also allows for more specific feedback based on the various descriptors within each criterion.  The use of rubrics allows for self-assessment, peer assessment, and ongoing detailed and constructive feedback and reflection for student growth.  It emphasizes the process of learning and reflecting to grow and improve.  Because teachers use a “best-fit” approach (also used in the IB Diploma Program) and they do not average students’ grades, it highlights the importance of development over time.  Furthermore, the 0-8 system also allows for various levels of success and specific measurements of growth, rather than 60 forms of failure in the 0-100 system.


Student Agency and Skills Development

Ultimately, the MYP assessment system allows for greater student agency and supports students’ transversal skills, referred to as the Approaches to Learning (ATL) skills in the IB.  The integration of the ATLs in assessments often allows for more diverse forms of assessment, which supports learning and student performance in a variety of ways.  In most subjects, three of the four criteria are tied to a specific skill.  This stresses the significance of how students learn and develop subject-specific and transferable skills over time.  By focusing on skills development, students are more well-prepared for the IB Diploma Program and beyond.

Other related articles:

BFIS Expands the IB Program to MYP

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