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6. 1. 6  Reception of the Practical Exams Reception by the Jury

Thanks to the meticulous reviewing process, we were able to prepare interesting and chal­ lenging exams that were extremely well received by the international jury. We have several indications for this. Firstly, only a very small number of changes (on average less than 10 per practical) were requested during the jury discussion. Among the practical exams, practical 1 (Cell) was changed the most with about 4% of all words affected by a change. In contrast, only 2.6% of all words were changed in practical 2 (Plant) and 4 (Syst). None of the changes altered the exam qualitatively. Rather, most changes requested by the jury aimed at reducing potential ambiguities by adding small clarification. As a result, the practicals were extended by 0.7%, in terms of characters. Among the practical exams, practical 4 (Syst) was extended most (1.2%) and practical 2 (Plant) was the only one that was slightly reduced in length (0.1%). Secondly, the discussion in the jury session went extremely smooth and was finished in less than one hour per practical on average, despite the fact that the jury was given a lot of time to study the exams before the discussion (all of Monday morning). Thirdly, the jury rated the quality of the exams very highly in a survey conducted after the IBO (see Chapter 7 Survey).

8 6 4 0


Number of delegations


The high quality of the exams was achieved with the total length of the exams similar to recent IBOs. On average, the exams were 2786 words long, which corresponds to a total of 13,172 words. In comparison, the exams of 2010, 2011 and 2012 were 14,121, 11,281 and 10, 356 words long. As a result and thanks to the extended time available for translations (all of Monday), most delegations finished their translations relatively quickly after the final revi­ sions were made available (FIGURE 6 .6). However, few delegations did nonetheless work until past 04:00 a.m. on their translations. Furthermore, it was a source of great satisfaction for the organizers to see that all delegations decided to translate the exams digitally – for the first time in the history of the IBO.







FIGURE 6 .6  Time at which translations were finalized:

For each delegation we recorded the time the final version of all four practical exams was uploaded to the server. Shown is the distribution of these times as a histogram with bins of 30 minutes. The arrow and the dashed line indicate the time at which the last document with the changes made by the jury was made available by the hosts.

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IBO 2013 Final Report