IB results: global averages fall

2023 IB results return to pre-pandemic levels.

IB Results 2023 ACS Cobham

ACS International School Cobham students celebrate

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The 2023 IB results published on July 6 showed a decrease in the average mark as grade distribution returned close to pre-pandemic standards. Just under 180,000 students around the world received their results across 5700 schools in 159 countries, with 179 worldwide scoring 45, the top number of points.Globally, the pass rate dropped to 79 per cent in 2023 compared with 86 per cent in 2022 after 2020 and 2021 saw a rise in pass rates and in average scores.Students taking their final assessments in May 2023 were the first cohort to have experienced only limited disruption to their studies due to Covid. “This return to established distributions of awarded grades is aligned with university expectations and has been a phased process,” says the IB governing body, suggesting the end of Covid-related grade inflation. The organisation says marks awarded are closer to the pre-pandemic 2019 grades.In 2023 the global average grade of a student was 4.84 (the diploma awards grades from 7 – the highest – to 1); the average points was 30.24 (down on last year’s average of 31.98) and the global pass rate was 79.3 per cent, slipping by six points from 2022.

UK results

In the UK, 4850 students took the IB diploma in 2023 with an average grade of 5.51, slightly below last year’s average of 5.75; the average points awarded was 34.67, again slightly down on last year’s average of 36.35 and the UK pass rate was 94.7, slipping by 2.8 points.The maximum score of 45 was awarded to 25 students in the UK with the best performing schools including Godolphin and Latymer where the average score was 42.6; North London Collegiate with an average of 41.3 and Kings College Wimbledon with an average of 41.

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TASIS, the American School in England celebrated a 97 per cent pass rate and an average score of 34 and 27 students were awarded the prestigious bilingual diploma.  IB Coordinator Jessica Lee concurs, “We celebrate the fantastic accomplishments of this year's graduating IB students. We are not only proud of their academic achievements, but their personal attributes as well. They leave us as strong learners, disciplined in their studies, and creative, analytical thinkers. Most importantly they are good and kind people.”ACS has three international schools in Greater London in Cobham, Hillingdon and Egham and educates 3500 students. Its Cobham school celebrated an average score of 35 points with students going on to study at top universities around the world including Harvard, Oxford and New York University. “We are immensely proud of their achievements,” says Barnaby Sandow, head of school.  “They exemplify the values of curiosity, integrity, and global citizenship that form the foundation of our educational approach."Not only did this year’s cohort at Impington International College (IIC) achieve a point score that beat the national global average but one of the 25 UK students to achieve the perfect score of 45 points is also an IIC student. The College is now the first state secondary school for 11–18-year-olds to offer three IB programmes: the Middle Years programme, The Diploma Programme and the Career-related Programme free of charge to enable more students to access the benefits of an IB education. South Bank International School students also achieved remarkably in a year when global averages fell slightly. The average Diploma score attained by students was 35.1, surpassing the world average for 2023. A quarter of the central London international school's 75-strong cohort achieved a bilingual diploma, reflecting their exceptional linguistic abilities, with a fifth posting a score of over 40 in both IB pathways. The overall pass rate was 97.3%, with one student achieving the maximum 45 marks.

South East Asia success

Singapore traditionally performs strongly in the IB and this year 1800 students at 26 international and local schools scored an average of 35.05 points, slightly lower than in previous years; 409 students received over 40 points. At Tanglin Trust the average score was well above the global average at 38.3 with 11 students achieving 42 points or more and one student being awarded the top mark of 45. “It was wonderful to note the very positive results this year, says CEO Craig Considine. “The IB is a challenging but fulfilling qualification and each student has embraced their studies with enthusiasm and perseverance.”Dulwich College Singapore also posted strong results with two students achieving 45 points and an average score of 36.7. In addition, 12 students were awarded the prestigious bilingual diploma.In Malaysia, the IB is growing in popularity and there are 19 schools offering the full diploma including 2023 Relocate Award winner, The International School of Kuala Lumpur (ISKL) where 97 per cent of students passed with an average score of 34 points. Three ISKL students received the perfect score of 45 points placing them in the top one per cent of candidates globally. “The way we approach the curriculum at ISKL includes diverse, cross cultural experiences that promote global awareness and an international mindset,” says the school.In Hong Kong, where IB scores are historically high, over 2200 students took the IB with an average score of 36.4 and included 23 students who achieved the top mark of 45, down from 93 in 2022, in line with global trends. Ten students from English Schools Foundation (ESF) schools, the city’s largest international school group, were among those who scored full marks with the German Swiss and Chinese International schools also recording strong results.

Round the world achievements

The UAE has 2492 IB graduates this year from 48 schools, with an average score of 31.97. Over 170 students achieved 40 points or more. As in other countries these results represented a slight decrease on the last two years. “The past couple of years have posed significant disruptions to traditional learning and examination patterns,” says Richard Drew, principal of Jumeira Baccalaureate School and chair of the IB Heads Association for the UAE. “Despite the hurdles our resilient IB students have demonstrated incredible determination to succeed.”Repton Dubai IB Diploma students were also well-rewarded in their final assessments, achieving an average score of 36 points in the IB Diploma Program (IBDP), which compares favourably with the global average points per student of 30.2. David Cook, headmaster at Repton Dubai and Chief Education Officer of the Repton Family of Schools in the UAE, expressed his elation at this year’s results: “Reptonians, once again, have shown their dedication to achieving academic excellence and passion for Repton’s core values through their results. I’d like to thank our teachers and parents for their support and devotion to the development of our students in the classroom, helping to nurture well-rounded professionals of the future. Congratulations to this year’s graduating cohort for ending this chapter of their lives on a high note; I wish them the best of luck in the bright future that lies ahead for each and every one of them.”Nord Anglia is the world’s largest IB diploma provider – 1813 students were enrolled on the programme with an average result of 33.4 points. Top performing schools included Amman Academy in Jordan (38 point average); the British International School Ho chi Minh city (36.5) and La Cote International School Aubonne (35.5).The IB is a two-year programme giving 16-19 year old students an internationally recognised qualification to enter higher education. The enquiry-based programme is recognized as the gold standard of education, encouraging students to be independent thinkers. Students at Schule Schloss Salem in Germany celebrated an average of 32 points with a 94 per cent pass mark, but the school also recognises the wider education the IB provides: “We invite people to think bigger than the scores,” says the school. “Our graduates are capable team members and caring members of the community.”In Europe, IB students at the International School of Amsterdam (ISA) are also transitioning to the next stage of their journey with an excellent set of results, taking with them the life skills and awareness the IB programme helps to develop. This year's cohort scored an average grade of 5.4, above the world average grade of 4.7. Almost half (43%) secured the prestigious IB Bilingual diploma, and 83.6% scored above 36 points – broadly the equivalent of AAB at A level.

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