What is the MYP?
The IB’s Middle Years Programme, or MYP, is a five-year programme for students aged 11-16, which requires students to complete studies across eight subject areas, as well as an interdisciplinary subject and the Personal Project. Schools can opt to offer an abbreviated form, of two, three, or four years, but it is only the final year which contains an externally assessed aspect of the course, resulting in the MYP Certificate. MYP Certificate is marked from 1-7 in each subject, making the highest possible total score 56, and attaining the Certificate is dependant on completing the necessary externally assessed assessments ("eAssessments"), as these are all carried out on a computer), the Personal Project, and the e-Portfolio, which contains all internally assessed, summative, work. Since 2017, the Personal Project must be externally moderated, while schools can opt to register for externally assessed exams in the rest of the MYP’s subjects- although students can only attain the Certificate if they sit the exams, course results are produced for each MYP student, regardless of their participation in the eAssessments.
UK Map of IB Schools
The MYP is not taught in a large number of UK schools, particularly in comparison to the Diploma Programme- currently the IBO list only 14 schools offering the MYP, sat alongside 115 schools whose students can sit the Diploma. This may be for any number of reasons, including the UK education sector’s strong tradition of splitting pre- and post-16 qualifications and offering these in differing institutions, or the ubiquity of the GCSE or IGCSE courses. However, with the introduction of eAssessments, we believe more schools will look to take on the MYP as ideal preparation for the IB Diploma.
Worldwide, over 1400 schools offer the MYP, which has grown steadily since first reaching 1,000 schools in 2013, although in 2016 89% of MYP students were not entered for the Certificate, and instead took Course results only.
The MYP (Middle Years Programme) sits between the PYP (Primary Years Programme) and the IBDP or CP (IB Diploma Programme, or IB Career-related Programme), providing support for students aged 11-16, as part of an International Baccalaureate education.
As of 2017, the PYP was being taught in 1,472 schools in over 109 countries. The IBDP was taught in 2,666 schools in over 139 countries, and growing at a rate of 8% year on year over the past 3 years. By comparison, the MYP was only offered in 613 schools in 86 countries. So why the disparity?
One of the main issues the MYP has faced is not having any externally moderated exams. Due in part to the MYP’s previous lack of external moderation, and particularly in cases where schools or parents feel exam practise is vital in years leading up to the IB Diploma’s final year exams, alongside the view that externally moderated exams are crucial for university admissions (see UCAS blog here), the MYP has struggled to gain the traction the IB had hoped for over the past decade.
Exams last two hours, completed using a laptop or similar device
Schools do not need to offer the e-assessment just because they offer the MYP
Not all students need to sit the e-assessment
The Personal Project (see below) is the only mandatory component of the MYP
Whilst the exams themselves are assessed on a computer, internet access is not required, as the tests are sent a month prior to the exam date so that schools can download them and make them accessible to their students offline
Students can use their own laptops or devices for the assessments
Students must complete 8 eAssessments, which include on-screen examinations in Language and Literature, Individuals and Societies, Mathematics, Science, Interdisciplinary learning, plus ePortfolios in Language Acquisition, the Personal Project and one of the following: PE, Arts or Design.
Each eAssessment is weighted equally so that the maximum total score for the MYP certificate is 56 with a grade of 1-7 being assigned to each eAssessment (8 x 7=56).
A maximum of three examination sessions is allowed in which to satisfy the requirements for the award of the IB MYP Certificate.
Average overall total: 35.54 (out of a maximum of 56)
Average subject grade last year: 4.96.
Unlike the e-assessments, the Personal Project is a mandatory component of the MYP, and is externally moderated.
The Personal Project is a wonderful initiative for independent thinking, and inter-disciplinary learning. The MYP’s brief for this is comprehensive, and the fundamental idea behind these projects are very well geared towards many components of the IBDP and indeed university study.
“The Personal Project formally assesses students’ ATL skills for self-management, research, communication, critical and creative thinking, and collaboration”
In terms of moderation, as with MYP & IBDP exams, a selection of projects are sent off for moderation, so that all school’s grades are moderated accordingly.
The MYP: going forward
The IBDP typically modifies curricula every three years, making small modifications to content, and trying to update it to stay up to date with recent phenomena. There is undoubtedly a shift taking place across the educational world globally at the moment, and arguably the MYP is making great strides in the right direction, changing outdated teaching methods by “encourag(ing) connections between studies in traditional subjects and the real world.”
For families deciding whether the MYP is the right route for their child, we believe there is no better preparation for students looking to complete the IB Diploma in later years, and, although it will vary from school to school, and indeed from student to student, the holistic nature of an MYP education makes it invaluable for later IB study.
Over the next few months, we will be undertaking a big project to create mock eAssessments for students to get a feel for how these will work in practice, and look forward to welcoming you back to find out more about these in due course.
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