Latest News, Updates, and Changes in IB Chemistry May 2021 Exam

Latest News, Updates, and Changes in IB Chemistry May 2021 Exam

This article talks about the latest news, updates, and changes in IB Chemistry May 2021 Exam authenticated by the International Baccalaureate (previously known as the International Baccalaureate Organization IBO).

Changes Implemented in November 2020

Owing to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the IB brought about a couple of changes such as:

  • Assessment Model for the November 2020 Exam: A dual assessment model with modifications in a few assessment components or elements. (For example, removal of the Group 4 – Project as students cannot access the labs).
  • Syllabus: Removed the options paper (Paper 3) from the science subjects (including Chemistry).

The Situation in March 2021

When the world has not completely recovered from the COVID-19 maiden wave, another wave of COVID-19 pandemic has begun hitting many countries. From schools to colleges to universities, all the doors continue to remain closed. Unforeseen, online sessions have been the savior since March 2020. 

But, we have to accept that the student community, parents, and teachers have profoundly suffered amidst these tough times. Thus, keeping them at the forefront, the International Baccalaureate has come up with a set of changes or alternative options that support the whole IB community. 

Explore how IB extensively reacted to the COVID-19 pandemic! 


IB’s February Update on  IB May 2021 Exam

The International Baccalaureate organization conducted a survey involving around 3000 schools across 150+ nations in January 2021. The survey results enabled IB to make crucial decisions with respect to the upcoming May 20021 IB exam, their assessments, and grading systems.

Besides, IB also consulted the government regulators of distinct nations across the globe to understand their local situations, restrictions, and the challenges of COVID-19.

As a result, IB published a bulletin in February 2021 that had the information of the Latest News IB May 2021, updates, and changes. 


(i) Dual and Reduced Assessment Model

In the bulletin, IB has acknowledged the continuity of dual-route of conducting the May 2021 examination like the November 2020 sessions. Hence, the students appearing for IB Chemistry May 2021 can choose from:

  • Examination Route: 

Schools that are capable to administer the exams in line with the COVID-19 safety standards are encouraged to conduct the assessments. In this case, for students appearing under this route, the predicted grades cannot be suitable. The grading follows the May 2020 assessment module. 

The May 2020 assessment is a reduced assessment module that resulted out of a new algorithm that involves a combination of internal assessments, coursework, and exam results.

The final total score formula is 20% to 40% of coursework & internal assessment scores + 60% to 80% of actual exam grades. 

  • Non- examination Route:

Schools that cannot administer the assessment in line with the COVID-19 safety standards are encouraged to take up this Non- examination Route. In this case, the assessment for students appearing in this route will be similar to the examination route except for the actual exam grades. Here, predicted exam grades play the role of the important component.

The final total score formula is 20% to 40% of coursework & internal assessment scores + 60% to 80% of predicted exam grades. 

The schools are accountable for providing the predicted exam grades. 


(ii) Boundaries 

The grade boundaries are set independently between the dual assessment model. This is to ensure parity among both the group of students (exam and non-exam routes).

For details on grade boundaries for each of the assessment routes, visit here!

The fair distribution of grades depends on three factors:

  • Overall performance of the student
  • Student’s performance compared to predicted grades
  • Students’ performance compared to previous years.


(iii) Predicted Grades 

Predicted grades ought to be provided by the teachers. The IB guidelines are framed in such a robust structure to keep predicted grade/ score by teachers generous in nature. In case if any of the students or teachers or IB schools feel discrepancies, their suggestions are welcome. The disparity in predicted grades can be submitted in the form of a request. This may help modify or improve the current grade distribution module.


Latest News IB Chemistry May 2021

We have come across the overall changes to the IB May 2021 exam. Now, let’s check the important changes with respect to IB Chemistry May 2021 Exam!

  • The project component will no more contribute to the final grade like the previous years.
  • Paper 1 and 2 does not impart any crucial changes 
  • Paper 3 (Optional Topic and Data on Experimentation Questions) shall not be considered for the assessment.

P.S: So far, about 71% of IB schools have signed up for the examination route. To know the choice of your school, please do check with your school or respective IB coordinator!

For more information on IB May 2021 exam, click here!


Based on the option chosen, a particular school or a student shall get enough support from the IB organization.
For further quick updates on Latest News IB Chemistry May 2021, stay tuned with us!

For the latest IB Chemistry curriculum, visit