TASIS Students Perform Admirably on 2019 IB Exams
Posted 07/23/2019 12:51PM

The 2019 IB Art History exam

Congratulations are due to the 72 TASIS students who sat for at least one International Baccalaureate (IB) exam this spring and to the School’s first-rate collection of IB teachers, whose devotion to their craft is best summed up by the following remark from a 2019 IB Diploma recipient: “All of my teachers went the extra mile and were amazing. Every one of them was flexible and offered extra help when needed. All of them taught well in preparation for the exams and were passionate about their subjects.”

Second-year IB students also expressed their gratitude for the tireless work done by International Baccalaureate Coordinator Howard Stickley; Creativity, Action & Service Coordinator Mara Bernasconi; and Extended Essay Coordinator Dan Kirsch behind the scenes. “The IB is hard but 100% worth it,” noted a diploma recipient. “I believe that under the masterful guidance provided by Mr. Stickley, the IB Diploma at TASIS is truly a well-designed program and a fantastic learning (and growth) opportunity for all of us students. I believe that despite the necessary and inevitable challenges the diploma entails, the majority of distractions or unnecessary things have been taken care of to allow the students to really give their best during the two years.”

The TASIS IB Diploma Program, which recently drew praise from the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO), is not for the faint of heart. But students noted repeatedly that although the program is extremely demanding, the inevitable struggles along the way pale in comparison to the satisfaction they feel when they finally cross the finish line. “So far, the IB Diploma is the biggest accomplishment of my life,” remarked one 2019 diploma recipient. “I am very glad that I chose this path—to a large extent, it made me the person I am today. Even though receiving an IB Diploma is an academic accomplishment, the program’s values and principles have been a part of my life and my personality for two years, and they certainly will remain so forever.”

Below we offer a closer look at the results from this spring’s IB exams and highlight some of the many successes from the hardworking Class of 2019.

IB Diploma pass rate nearly perfect once again

Fifty of 51 candidates (98 percent) passed their exams and earned an International Baccalaureate Diploma. This is the seventh consecutive year TASIS students have passed at a rate of 97 percent or higher while the worldwide pass rate has remained around 80 percent. 

IB Diploma Pass Rate (5-year trend)
 

TASIS Average


Worldwide Average

2015

98

81

2016

98

79

2017

98

78

2018

98

78 

2019

98

[figure not yet available]

Scores top world average by nearly three points

The average score posted by candidates who earned an IB Diploma was 32.2—exceeding the 2019 worldwide average by 2.6 points. (Learn how a student’s IB Diploma score is determined.) The five-year TASIS average sits at 31.6, with this year’s average score representing the highest mark posted by TASIS students since 2014. 

Two students—Minjoon Seo and Aurelia Dochnal, who will be attending Imperial College London and Yale University, respectively—scored more than 40 points, a feat accomplished by fewer than 10 percent of candidates worldwide. Thirty percent of all TASIS diploma recipients scored 35 points or higher.

Including students who took individual IB exams but did not pursue a full IB Diploma, 75 TASIS students combined to take a total of 326 exams in 47 different subjects—with their mean scores matching or exceeding the world average in 36 of the 47 subjects (77 percent). There were 18 different subject exams in which at least one TASIS student recorded a 7 (and 39 7s overall).

Students recorded scores of 4 or above 93 percent of the time, 5 or above 73 percent of the time, and 6 or above 39 percent of the time. The average subject exam score climbed to 5.19 after sitting at 5.10 for the past two years. The worldwide average remains 4.70. 

Average Candidate Diploma Score (5-year trend)
 

TASIS Average


Worldwide Average

2015

31.2

30.2

2016

31.4

30.0

2017

31.7

29.9

2018

31.5

29.8

2019

32.2

29.6

25 students earn a Bilingual Diploma

The impressive internationalism and multilingualism present in the TASIS student body was once again on full display. Of the 50 students who passed their exams, 25 earned an IB Bilingual Diploma—meaning their first language (Language A) is not English or their Extended Essay was not written in English. The School’s Bilingual Diploma rate of 50 percent stands out in comparison to the worldwide rate, which typically hovers around 30 percent. 

Standout subjects

In 2017, Niccolò McConnell became the first TASIS student to earn a 7 on the incredibly demanding Mathematics Higher Level (HL) exam. This year, two TASIS students—Minjoon Seo and Mariko Yamada—accomplished this rare feat.

Overall, 12 students averaged 5.08 points (0.40 above the world average) on the Mathematics HL exam while 12 students averaged 4.83 points (0.67 above the world average) on the Standard Level (SL) exam. These students greatly appreciated the efforts of their teachers—Jim Shields and Dan Schwartz—with one noting afterward, “Thank you for making math an even more exciting subject and for preparing me for battle for what I believe to be the hardest exam—yet also the most fun. It’s been a great pleasure to spend two years together with the people whose personal qualities I admire. An exceptional luck was to learn from you, my dear teachers! I will always remember your help.”

IB Mathematics with Jim Shields

IB Mathematics with Jim Shields

IB science students again took advantage of state-of-the art facilities and a dedicated faculty, exceeding the world average in Environmental Systems and Societies by 1.57 points (taught by Emma Bassett), in Chemistry SL by 1.17 points and Chemistry HL by 0.63 points (Alec Ogilvie), in Biology SL by 0.54 points and Biology HL by 0.67 points (Dr. Jill Sawyer-Price and Peg Crockett), and in Physics SL by 0.57 points and Physics HL by 0.45 points (Tim Hughes). Graduating students were effusive in their praise for the entire Science Department and repeatedly singled out Dr. Price, who was “always keen to help and was there for whatever we needed,” and Ms. Crockett, who “held review sessions on Sundays and allowed us to add one more period (having four lessons a week instead of three) to make sure any questions we had were answered.” 

Science students also performed exceptionally well on their internal assessments (IAs), the practical work component of their assessments and exams. In Physics, 91% of HL students received a 7 or 6 for their practical work while 80% of SL students received a 6; in Environmental Systems and Societies, 86 percent scored a 6 or 7; in Biology, 82 percent earned a 6 in HL, and 50 percent earned a 7 or 6 in SL; and in Chemistry, 62 percent of HL students and 50 percent of SL students secured a 6. “It is very clear that the TASIS IB science teachers understand the importance of every point gained in the internal assessment,” said Mr. Stickley. “They have put much time and effort into providing a practical experience for the IB students that not only produces good grade outcomes but also gives them a thoroughly worthwhile educational science experience.”

IB Chemistry with Alec Ogilvie

IB Chemistry with Alec Ogilvie

Paul Diviani’s Business Management students did very well on their exams: 10 students combined for a 5.80 average (1.05 point above the world average) on the SL exam, and 22 students averaged 5.27 points (0.48 above the world average) on the HL exam. “Mr. Diviani took the responsibility to guide us not only through his course, but also to assist us in going through the IB path in general,” noted one student. “He was interested in what was going on overall in our IB lives and gave us a lot of useful advice with regards to IA and EE formatting and deadlines, providing us with strategies to manage our time efficiently all the way until the final exams.”

TASIS’s many gifted linguists were once again well-prepared for the Italian, French, German, and Spanish exams (B HL, B SL, and AB SL). Of the 44 students who took IB exams for Italian (taught by a combination of Natalia Carretta, Florence Kofler, and Stephanie Roth over the course of two years), French (Brigitte Cazebonne, Caussette, and Kofler), German (Ania Barciak), or Spanish (Angel Alvarez and Paloma Simona), 28 earned a 6 or 7. 

Of the 19 students who sat for the English B HL exam, 17 scored at least a 6. This continued run of success serves as a testament to the excellent work done by the entire English as an Additional Language (EAL) Department—particularly current IB English B teachers Carolyn Heard and Tamara Schumacher.

Howard Stickley and the IB year-two teachers help seniors prepare for their exams  at a historic Carthusian monastery in Tuscany during the Spring Academic Travel session

Howard Stickley and the IB year-two teachers help seniors prepare for their exams  at a historic Carthusian monastery in Tuscany during the Spring Academic Travel session

Howard Stickley and the IB year-two teachers help seniors prepare for their exams 
at a historic Carthusian monastery in Tuscany during the Spring Academic Travel session.

Dr. Christopher Love’s seven English A: Literature HL students averaged 5.71 points—1.05 above the world average—with two students, Aurelia Dochnal and Virginia Italia, scoring a perfect 7 on this extremely challenging exam. Students in the demanding Literature HL class noted that Dr. Love “was always available to help and truly taught us a lot” and “organized his classes extremely effectively so that we would be as prepared as possible.” 

Eight students took the European History HL exam and compiled an average score of 4.88, exceeding the world average by 0.11 points. Dr. David Gress-Wright’s “passion and drive is inspiring,” noted one student.

Khan-Page Master Teacher Mark Aeschliman’s 12 Art History SL students combined for an average of 5.83, nearly a full point above the world average of 4.85. “Mr. Aeschliman is one of the most knowledgeable people I have ever met,” said one student. “He made me fall in love with Art History.” 

Thirteen Visual Arts HL students posted an average score of 4.50 (0.24 points above the world average) while two students averaged 4.50 (0.74 points above the world average) on the SL exam. Martyn Dukes (Painting), Frank Long (Photography), and Mr. Aeschliman (Architecture) were praised by student artists for consistently going the extra mile.

Student artists display their work at the IB Visual Arts Exhibition each spring

Student artists display their work at the IB Visual Arts Exhibition each spring.

Learn More About the TASIS IB Program

To better understand why some students at TASIS choose to pursue an International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma while others focus their efforts on Advanced Placement (AP) classes, we recommend reviewing this article, which also includes an analysis of AP and IB results from 2015 and earlier. Analyses of the 2018 IB results, the 2018 AP results, the 2017 IB and AP results, the 2016 AP results, and the 2016 IB results are also available on the TASIS website.

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