The Weight of Mock Exam Grades and Final IB Scores
Before I get into the topics of packing and preparing to go off to university in Spain, I feel that it is important to tackle a concern that is common among students deciding whether or not to apply to university using their IB predicted grades, or to even to study through the IB programme at all; that would the importance of mock examinations in comparison to the real IB examinations. So here it goes…
If you are currently studying through the IB Diploma programme, or if you happen to be an IB Certificate student, your school will test and prepare students through mock examinations a few months before the final IB exams. These mocks are the same examinations that determine the students’ last predicted grades before the finals. Some schools test students under mock examination conditions several times to ensure that they are indeed prepared for the final exams; however my school opted to only examine us under such circumstances once – that being two months before the final exams – while all of our other tests resembled IB papers and consisted of past IB questions, yet were not taken using the same precautions and time restrictions as the official or the mock examinations.
Do mock examinations truly matter? The weight of mock exams will vary depending on two main things: how you apply to specific universities and/or your university’s condition.
Why the way you apply matters… If you applied using your IB predicted grades (like I did), there is a higher possibility that the mocks actually won’t matter that much for you. When the acceptance is conditional regarding the student’s IB scores, many universities will only keep up with the first set of predicted grades you send them (often the ones you apply with) and will wait until the final IB transcripts are released in order to officially accept or revoke your admission. However, if you apply independently from the IB, such as only using your SAT/ACT scores (or any other possible tests of the sort, primarily to universities in the United States), your mocks will likely weigh more than your final IB scores, as the university will take the mock examination grades as your final high school transcript, and will indeed demand them in order to officially accept or revoke your admission.
A friend of mine that studied through the IB Diploma Programme but still took the SATs and applied to university only using her SAT scores, for instance, had to use the mock examination grades as the determinants as to whether her university’s conditional offer would be dismissed or admitted. An advantage to having it done such way is that the student will know if he/she has been formally admitted earlier than students that applied using their IB predicted grades – that usually being months before the end of senior year and even before the final IB exams, while those that apply using the IB predicted grades have to wait until summer to ascertain their spot in their chosen colleges.
Why your condition matters… Following what is mentioned on the paragraphs above, it is important to keep in mind that that some universities will still ask for the grades of your mock examinations even if you initially apply with your IB predicted grades, so it is important that you get informed on the topic according to whichever university you plan to attend.