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Criterion-Related Assessment

An important and fundamental aspect of the IB Middle Years Program (MYP) is the implementation of criterion-related assessment. This means that a learner’s performance is measured against subject-specific criteria and not in relation to another learner’s performance. Approaching assessment in this way makes it more probable that a student will experience a successful learning outcome. Various levels of achievement are possible for each criterion so a successful outcome can differ for each child. Learners understand their own learning goals and are empowered by a clear understanding of how to reach those goals. Criteria-related assessment supports learning that is learner-centered and allows for a more authentic evaluation of a student’s progress and achievement.

Grade Reports 2017-18

In the ManageBac account, this report indicates each student's level of achievement for each class at the end of Semester. The IB Middle Years Program does not average assignments throughout a grading period. Instead, a student's current performance is reported based on four criterion each with a level of achievement 1-8. A level of achievement of 7-8 reflects mastery, 5-6 proficiency, 3-4 developing and 1-2 novice. The IB achievement levels are converted into a local grade which is listed on the ManageBac grade report.

Students should approach their levels of achievement as opportunities for improvement in each subject and these areas of improvement may differ for each student. To understand the benefit of assessing based on the criterion and how it will positively affect a student’s learning, it is important to understand both summative and formative assessments:

Summative assessment

Think of the summative assessment as the culmination of the formative skill building and explored content coming together in the form of a project, performance, an essay, lab report, art and design portfolios, simulations, or any other final product that will show evidence of the criterion it was created to evaluate.

Teachers may also provide feedback in the form of a comment or narrative on a particular task or assignment. It is important to remember that feedback is meant to be an indicator of understanding of the material and not an average or calculated percentage. The MYP offers seven subjects each having four criteria that are evaluated.

The MYP assessment criteria across subject groups are summarized below:

  Criterion A    Criterion B    Criterion C    Criterion D
Language & Literature Analysing    Organizing    Producing text    Using language
Language Acquisition Comprehending spoken &
visual text    
   Comprehending written &
   visual text
   Communicating    Using language
Individuals & Societies Knowing & understanding    Investigating    Communicating    Thinking critically
Sciences Knowing & understanding    Inquiring & designing    Processing and evaluating    Reflecting on the impacts of science
Mathematics Knowing & understanding    Investigating patterns    Communicating    Applying mathematics in real-world contexts
Arts Knowing & understanding    Developing skills    Thinking creatively    Responding
Physical & Health Education      Knowing & understanding    Planning for performance    Applying & performing    Reflecting and improving performance
Design Inquiring & analysing    Developing ideas    Creating the solution    Evaluating
MYP Projects Investigating    Planning    Taking action    Reflecting
Interdisciplinary Disciplinary grounding    Synthesizing and applying    Communicating    Reflecting

Formative assessment 

Ongoing assessment aimed at providing information to guide teaching and learning, and improve student performance is referred to as formative assessment. Formative assessment often "spirals" touching on various skills and content as needed repetitively over time. This assessment for learning becomes an indicator of understanding during this formative phase and can be in the form of a conversation/discussion, questioning, writing, reflection, and non-verbal cues.

In ManageBac, tasks marked as “Formative” will either have a comment or 1 - 5 indicators to provide feedback as seen in the chart below.  Based on this indicator, a student should consider the following about his or her progress:


  • “I get it!”


  • “I’m not quite there yet . . . "


  • “I don’t get this.”


  • “I had an opportunity to do the work, but I did not take it.”
  • Missing Results

The overall goal of IB MYP assessment is to have students take ownership of their learning by understanding their own personal growth as a learner over time-based on the criteria and to assess what students what they know and are able to do. 

Growth Mindset

It is important for students to understand the difference between a growth mindset and a fixed mindset. If a student is not satisfied with their level of understanding they should ask questions, email their teacher, and/or seek other practice and support on campus and online i.e. math lunch bunch, Kahn Academy. If what has been tried has not worked, it is important to recognize that the process of becoming an effective and successful learner is to seek new pathways to success with the help of peers, teachers, and parents.



SMA Prep faculty utilize ManageBac to record and report formative and summative assessment comments, indicators and achievement levels to both students and parents. Parents need to sign and return a parent account form in order to receive a welcome email and create their ManageBac account. 

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