Welcome to the second post in our series on IB grade boundaries! Please read the first post for an introduction to IB grade boundaries. This post is on Group 2 subjects:language acquisition at SL and HL (if applicable). Note that language ab initio subjects are only available at SL.
Little Geniuses have compiled data from May 2014 to Nov 2016 to analyse trends in grade boundaries for a wide range of subjects.
This graph illustrates the average cut-off for a band 7 in a variety of commonly-taken language subjects. Ab initio subjects are on the left, then classical languages, then other languages. Ab initio subjects tend to have high average cut-off marks of around 84, so remember that if you choose an ab initio subjects, you will not be able to afford to lose many marks, and still get a band 7.
Classical languages tend to have lower average cut-offs in the high 70s, reflecting the challenging nature of these subjects.
There is more variety in the language B subjects, ranging from 81 in French HL to 87 in Japanese SL. European language B subjects tend to have slightly lower cut-offs than Notably, all language B subjects have average cut-offs above 80.
The chart below shows the movement of the cut off mark for a band 7 over the past 2 years. As in the previous post, exam number 1 is May 2014 TZ1, exam 2 is May 2014 TZ2, exam 3 is Nov 2014 TZ1 etc. Note that there are three exams every calendar year - there is only one time zone in November.
There don’t appear to be any long term trends in the data, however, the cut-offs in Group 2 subjects are more variable than in group 1 subjects, perhaps due to the smaller sample sizes in some languages. The biggest range is in French HL which varies between 78 and 83 and Chinese SL which varies between 82 and 86. Whenever you do a past paper, check the cut-off for that year, as a 78 might be a 6 when year and a 7 the next.
Please contact Little Geniuses if you need help choosing the group 2 subject that is ideal for you.