FAQ: How DP Grades will be awarded

Earlier this week UNIS Hanoi’s DP Coordinator, Elliott Cannell wrote to Grade 12 families to share more information on how Grade 12 students will receive their DP grades following recent updates from the International Baccalaureate Organisation (IB). Here are answers to the most frequently asked questions.

Will students be awarded an IB Diploma?

Students who fulfil the requirements will receive an IB Diploma. A total points score will be awarded out of 45, as normal. All students will receive an IB Transcript with their grade (1-7) for each subject. Results are expected to be published to students on 6 July, like any other year.

How will students be awarded their DP subject grades? 

The IB will award each student with a grade (1-7) for each of their DP subjects using a calculation that takes into account their coursework marks (IAs, Orals, WT, WAs, etc.) and their predicted grades from their teachers at UNIS Hanoi. Teachers will use evidence of learning accumulated since the start of Grade 11 to predict the final grade that each student would have achieved had the DP exams taken place. The DP predicted grades that UNIS sends to the IBO will not be distributed to Grade 12 students in keeping with previous practise at UNIS Hanoi.

What about students who perform better in exams than coursework? 

The IB has said they will use a calculation ‘based on the relationship between coursework marks, predicted grades and subject grades to estimate the subject grades candidates would have received if the exams had gone ahead. If the relationship between these elements shows that in previous years candidates globally tended to achieve higher outcomes on their exams than their coursework, the calculation used this session will reflect that.’

How will coursework (IAs, Orals, WT, WAs, etc.) be marked?

The IB is taking a more individualized approach to marking Internal Assessments (IA) this year in Chinese B, French B, Spanish B, Spanish Ab Initio, Business Management, Economics, History, Psychology, Biology, Chemistry, ESS, Physics, Math HL, Math SL, and Math Studies. The IB will mark the IAs of all students in these subjects, instead of requiring UNIS teachers to mark these IAs and then applying moderation. This process will give students a more individualized grade.

Can students make last minute improvements to their coursework (IAs, Orals, WT, WAs, etc.)? 

The IB has asked all schools to ‘ensure that students do not receive any additional feedback or support beyond what they would normally receive’. Many items of coursework by UNIS students have already been submitted to the IB. It is essential that UNIS submits all remaining coursework to the IBO as soon as possible so that students can receive their results on time.

If you have any further questions, please contact Elliott Cannell by email. 

Elliott Cannell

Grade 12 Students Sign Up for Pre-University Courses

This week, Grade 12 students were given the unique opportunity to sign up for bespoke pre-university courses. Scheduled to start from next week, the courses will offer students a level of challenge equivalent to first year university courses in terms of study skills and content. Each student was invited to select up to four courses out of a total of 18 that have been designed to extend and enrich their learning in areas of personal passion or in subjects they are curious about. 

Topics include poetry writing, women in film, astrophysics, investigating economics, international human rights, and personal investment. These courses will provide students with authentic distance learning opportunities until High School Graduation. Each course consists of six weekly assignments that students will undertake from home, plus a weekly live tutorial. Commenting on the programme, UNIS Hanoi’s DP Coordinator, Elliott Cannell said, “The rigours of the Diploma Programme result in an incredible bond being formed between DP teachers, counsellors and students. As teachers, we’ve been determined to ensure that the cancellation of IB exams did not equate to the cancellation of academic learning. DP teachers have come together to offer courses they know their students would be interested in and that add value to their lives after High School. We’re proud of our students, their resilience and show of the Phoenix pride in these unusual times.”

Take up of courses has been strong. Eighteen year old Bailey Shelley said she’s pleased the School has offered this programme to her year group. She added, “I’m excited because these courses will be a breath of fresh air and will be something that I can put my mind to that will benefit me in the longer term.” Her classmate, Chinh Mai agrees. He has seized on the opportunity to take the positive psychology course after realizing it would not be a module offered as part of his Psychology degree at the University of Melbourne next year. He explained, “Taking this course before I start university will give me an advantage and ensure I’m better prepared for the degree I’m about to take. I’m so thankful for the support we have been getting from our teachers and counsellors.”

University and College Admissions Update for Grades 11 and 12

University and College admissions update for Grade 12 students

Our counselling team continues to communicate with other high schools, universities, and college counsellors from around the world. Universities and colleges are well aware of the COVID-19 situation and the impact on students’ high school grades and their IB diploma course results. 

Thus far, the trend is that universities will be flexible in terms of their admissions practices. Different colleagues in admissions from the UK, US, Australia, Hong Kong, and Canada have stated to UNIS Hanoi counsellors that they will be looking at the student’s overall record since their applications arrived. 

Universities DO NOT want to lose amazing applicants like UNIS Hanoi students! The counseling team is working individually with universities and Grade 12 students to support them. The strong underlying belief is that so long as a Grade 12 student continues to be engaged in their school work, they should have unconditional offers.

Given everything that the Grade 12 students have lost in their senior year, this is one bright spot during this difficult time. 

University and College admissions update regarding Grade 11 students:

Many universities, including selective ones, are stating that they have decided to go “test optional” for the 2021 application year given that students are unable to sit for these standardized tests. They also understand that students’ extracurricular activities will be impacted and will be relying more on references and how the students are coping with this situation.

We remain fully committed to doing all that we can to assist UNIS Hanoi students and families throughout the application and admission processes. As developments continue to unfold, we will be in touch with affected students directly. 

Scott Schaffner

Overview of Grade 12 Programme

Dear Grade 12 students and parents,

UNIS Hanoi’s DP Completion and Pre-University Courses for Grade 12 students

After Spring Break Grade 12s will begin a seven week programme that allows them to complete their DP courses and to collaborate with teachers and counsellors to learn more about life after high school. Additionally, students will be given the chance to sign up for pre-university taster courses tailored to their interests. 

There will be three parts to the programme:

DP Courses Completion

Universities are expecting that graduates from UNIS Hanoi will have completed all course components in their IB courses therefore some subjects will continue with regular classes to fulfill those conditions. These subjects include Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Music, Visual Art, Film and Theatre.

University Transition

Designed and facilitated by our School Counsellors each year, Grade 12 students are guided through a comprehensive plan for preparing to transition out of high school and home, to living independently and succeeding at university. This year this will be presented as a distance learning experience which will incorporate support from Grade 12 Mentors in weekly synchronous discussions as well as some fun ‘life skill’ challenges.

 Pre-university courses

Grade 12 students will select up to four courses to extend and enrich their learning in areas of personal passion or in subjects they are curious about. Pre-university courses will provide a level of challenge for Grade 12 students equivalent to first year university courses in terms of study skills and content. Each course will consist of six weekly assignments that students complete online from home, plus a weekly live tutorial. Each course will be led by a G12 teacher, or two collaborating G12 teachers. Courses are not limited by DP subjects or subject guides. 

After Spring Break, Grade 12s will receive further information including synopses of each course and details about how they will be able to sign up for their selected courses. 

Have a great Spring Break!

Scott Schaffner

Distance Learning Offers Insight into Life after High School for Grade 12s

Grade 12 students have been letting their teachers know that the distance learning experience has inadvertently prepared them for life after high school. 

Students such as Emma Héloïse Dufour-Nogueira say that the past two months of learning from home has been a ‘nice simulation for university’. She added, “After we graduate from High School, everything will be left up to us and so this was really insightful for me. This period has given us an opportunity to figure out how we want to study.”

Emma, who joined UNIS Hanoi in Grade 11, is one of 76 students currently in the final year of the IB Diploma programme. With fantastic offers from her top choice universities already under her belt, Emma says she’s more excited than ever to start the next chapter of her life. And it’s all thanks to UNIS Hanoi. She explains, “I got into film because of UNIS Hanoi. When I first came to the School I was going to take Visual Arts, but then I saw there was a film course on offer and two years later, here I am – accepted onto a film production course at Simon Fraser University and the University of British Columbia!”

Emma says her teachers have been fully supportive of her and she’s grown to further appreciate the relationship she has with them. “You can still ask teachers anything and as a result, I feel even more in control” Emma revealed. 

Emma’s mother, Sophie Dufour agreed. She said, “I’m not worried for my daughter anymore. It’s become clear that Emma’s found a method that works for her, which is wonderful. Normally, it’s during the first year of university that a student would expect to struggle and learn how they’re supposed to study at that level. But Emma’s already experienced this and I think that’s amazing. It’s a blessing that we were here in Hanoi, just so she could attend UNIS Hanoi.”

Grade 12 Extended Essay Work Day

Grade 12s who are undertaking the full IB Diploma have been working hard on their Extended Essays. “The extended essay is an independent, self-directed piece of research, finishing with a 4,000-word paper” (IBO). The Extended Essay Work Day provides students with focused time, access to supervisors to get targeted feedback and support prior to the draft deadline.

Here are some comments from students:

The EE day provided me with a lot of independent time to think and write which resulted in me almost finishing my evaluation and conclusion. During the day we were given useful resources (for example, a session learning about the format) and chances to ask questions which would have been more difficult to obtain without this day! (Flora Hamilton)

The EE workday helped me a great deal. It forced me to work on my essay which allowed me to polish my work and be happy with it. It was a great stress-free experience which I am sure was useful to all. It was nice having the opportunity to ask for help when needed. (Bohemond Iskandar)

The EE Workday helped me out tremendously as I am at a stage of hammering out the writing. I found the allocated time to be very generous and gave me the opportunity to relieve pressure off of other school work to only work on the EE. Furthermore, not only was I productive and focused, having time to take my own break was very helpful. I find that sometimes it is hard to focus on a fixed schedule so having my own timings were very helpful. Overall, enjoyed the day! (Richard Dang)