I’ve been teaching the IBDP Information Technology in a Global Society (ITGS) for almost 15 years and have been examining for well over a decade, probably more.
So, why do I examine?
Yes, it’s great professional development
I am now a team leader for one of the papers and therefore get to be part of the online standardisation meeting and really get to grips with the paper. Then there is the mentoring role for the examiners in my team where you set up online group team meetings to go through the paper, answer questions and guide the team. During exam time, you are ‘on call 24/7’ to advise, discuss, coach, mentor, encourage… It’s a great collaborative effort and you feel very much part of the overall ITGS team.
Do I do it for the money?
Absolutely not! Like teaching, I don’t think that any of us are in it for the money!
Bottom line: I do it for my students
It’s mock exam week and I am now marking my students’ papers. Being so familiar with the workings of a paper has really paid off as students have risen above the common pitfalls, interpreted the questions correctly and have structured their answers to maximise their marks. OK, maybe we need to work on their content, but their exam technique is really coming along nicely.
What do I really think about exams?
Ideally I would love to see the demise of the high-stakes terminal examinations (and I could write a whole Extended Essay on the reasons why) but the reality is this: if you are an IB DP humanities teacher, your students will be writing their exams, by hand, in your school gym each May (or November) for the foreseeable future. So the best I can do for my students is to ensure that they are fully prepared for those exams and if that means teaching them how to play the ‘exam game’, then so be it.
Oh, and one more thing, if you are in a 1:1 school like I am, you may also want to give them handwriting practice…and ‘gift’ them a black pilot pen or two!