What To Do If Your IB Results Are Unfavourable

The day you received your results this July must have been a rollercoaster of emotions. Firstly, congratulations on completing your intensive IB programme, it goes to show that you are a student capable of organised study and research, getting through possible distractions from proper study, such as regulations from the Coronavirus pandemic.

While looking ahead for university admissions, you must have applied to quite a few of your preferred colleges and institutions, with guidance and prompts from your respective schools. Some of you would have gotten conditional offers from your favourite institutions - meaning, you receive entry once you achieve the IB score that they have set as your criteria for joining the institution.

What if my results are unfavourable?

Unfavourable results can seem so discouraging, especially when you have already started planning ahead, or have included specific scenarios for your near future. With conditional offers, you might sometimes face rejection due to the smallest deficiencies in your score - usually referred to as a near-miss.

A near-miss happens when you are a few points short of your required score in order to get into the institution that offered you the conditional offer. Does a near-miss mean it is over? The good news is, it does not mean you are even rejected, for the moment.

A near-miss does not mean you can't get entry into your dream university. There are 3 different steps you can take at the present moment, without changing any of your plans whatsoever. These three paths require little to no effort, and all you have to ensure is to not give up hope:

1) Wait until mid-August

On the 11th of August 2022, Cambridge will be releasing A Level results for this academic year. Universities will only make a decision regarding your conditional offer after these results are out.

If the A-Level results are slightly unfavourable, and the university has not filled up their remaining spaces with other candidates who have fulfilled the offer, there will be seats left in the course for you to join, and universities will re-consider your spot, and perhaps approve your application.

Another way you can utilise this oppotunity in August is through the Clearing process - I will explain how you can apply to universities thorough Clearing just right below, but before that, there is something else you can do right now, which will possibly increase your chances of entering the university of your dreams seamlessly:

2) Decide to have your results re-marked

This is a path most students resist taking, due to a fear of being graded even lower than the initial results that were received. I feel like this is the wrong approach, especially if you genuinely felt like you wrote the exam really well and felt confident about your grades - until you received them.

Chances of a technical error cannot be dismissed, and we have observed a lot of students who have asked for a re-marking or a re-evaluation, and then getting a higher grade. I would especially recommend you to take this measure if your results are close to the mark that you wanted. For example, if you narrowly missed a 6 or a 7, it always helps to take that leap of faith - it is only taking a chance.

You have time to request for a re-marking throughout the period starting from July 6, upon getting your results, up to September 15, 2022. The re-marking process requires schools to place Enquiry upon Results (EUR) requests on students' behalf. There are a few categories for initiating re-markings, and so you will need to contact your school's IB coordinator to go forward with the process.

Your new results will typically come back within two weeks, which makes it quite a fast process. If your initial IB score was a near-miss, and you get re-marked higher, you can possibly pass the criteria for your conditional offer, and get into the university without any delay! However, if you get similar results back, or if you are not keen on applying for a re-marking, you can consider the third step, which is to:

3) Apply through the Clearing process

The Clearing Process is for colleges and universities in the United Kingdom. It is a system employed by universities in the UK and UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admission Services in the UK), and it is specifically intended for students who have not yet secured an unconditional offer from a college or university of their preference.

UCAS provides Clearing as a means of filling any remaining seats for their courses, and each year, the Clearing process allocates a large amount of seats to students who received near-miss results. Once the Clearing process starts, you can start research on the universities that have announced vacancies in their course.

Clearing opens at July each year, which means it is already up and running for this year! This year, you can apply for a course through Clearing from the 5th of July until the 18th of October (2022). You only need to register on the UCAS website in order to gain access to the course vacancies that are regularly listed and updated by colleges and universities in the UK.

What if my marks are not a near-miss?

As you know, all of the above methods are ideal for you only if you have narrowly missed the criteria set by the college or university of your choice. If you missed the score you were expecting to have by a larger amount, you might be considering re-sitting your IB exams. Find out more below:

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Is re-sitting a good idea?

Re-sitting IB exams are usually a normal procedure after each May examinations, and these examinations are conducted in November each year. Similarly, this year's re-sitting will be conducted in November, as per usual procedure.

Re-sitting an exam is not looked down on by colleges or universities during the admissions process, especially if you are able to secure higher grades after your re-sit. Students who consider re-sitting are usually confident, and sure that the reason their score came out lower than expected, was circumstantial - and this can be corrected.

4) Resitting for November 2022

As you prepare to resit for November 2022, you have a handful of months to go through all the important topics once again. Make sure you go through a valuable amount of past papers to make yourself completely prepared to face the examination this time around - you are a veteran after all!

View the May 2022 examinations as a necessary step for you to consider your weaknesses and turn them into a progressive pay-off in November. Students who are considering re-sitting the exams in November should be determined, and focused on getting a 43 - 45 when they get results back. This form of determinism is always be accepted and recognised in colleges and universities during application processes.

The deadline for signing up for the re-sitting for November is October 15, 2022. However, if you are signing up anytime after July, you will be paying a slightly higher registration rate for the re-take.

Is re-sitting in November better for your chances?

Re-sitting the examination can be better than re-marking for multiple reasons. This is because re-marking is not going to create a significant difference in your overall score. In fact, the chances of you getting the same score you received in the beginning is quite high - about 50%. While re-marking is great for your chances in the short-run, it makes more sense to apply for a re-take if you are sure your score decreased due to external reasons.

These reasons can include anything, from incompetent teachers, family problems, personal health issues, to simply you knowing you could do a lot better, if you get a second chance. The biggest step you could take if by giving yourself additional resources.

As you already know, scoring a great score of around 43 - 45 in IB can be quite hard. There have been cases in the past where students re-take their examinations, only to not receive great pay-offs and getting another average grade. It is crucial to make sure this doesn't happen.

How can a great grade be ensured?

Around 2000 students worldwide consistently apply for re-takes each year - including the past year - just because they know they can do better. IB has suggested numerous times, and we have also observed an inclination for students who are actively seeking external help, to be scoring a higher grade, compared to students who are not seeking such additional help.

There are numerous reasons for this, including:

  • limited resources from school compared to the vast amount of external resources available online,

  • not enough support, guidance or clarity from your school teacher on the occasion that you might need it, or

  • not having a clear idea of the rubrics by which you will be marked by the examiners.

On platforms like ours, IB teachers and subject matter experts compile external resources in order to help you understand the scope of the things you could include in your written work.

External help from qualified IB teachers who can ensure a learning experience that is fun yet enlightening, and to have a ready mentor to guide you through the process - this is the best path for students who are aiming to re-take their examinations in November this year.

In case you are unsure about online learning of this kind, our session with you is free of cost, in the occassion that you are unsatisfied with the very first hour you spend with a teacher from this platform.

With live online one-to-one classes from dynamic, certified tutors handpicked from across the world, Vidyalai is here to help you along your journey. If you aren't satisfied with your tutor, your first session will be free. Request for a lesson in any subject by clicking here, and take a step towards the score you know you could achieve, with the right guidance.

What To Do If Your IB Results Are Unfavourable
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