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International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme

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Assessment - Sciences

Table 1

Here are the key concepts to be explored across the MYP. The key concepts contributed by the study of sciences are change, relationships and systems.

Aesthetics Change Communication Communities
Connections Creativity Culture Development
Form Global Interactions Identity Logic
Perspective Relationships Systems Time, place and space

These key concepts provide a framework for sciences, informing units of work and helping to organize teaching and learning.


Change is a conversion, transformation or movement from one form, state or value to another. Inquiry into the concept of change involves understanding and evaluating causes, processes and consequences. In sciences, change is viewed as the difference in a system’s state when observed at different times. This change could be qualitative (such as differences in structure, behaviour, or level) or quantitative (such as a numerical variable or a rate).


Relationships are the connections and associations between properties, objects, people and ideas— including the human community’s connections with the world in which we live. Any change in relationship brings consequences—some of which may occur on a small scale, while others may be far reaching, affecting large networks and systems such as human societies and the planetary ecosystem. Relationships in sciences indicate the connections found among variables through observation or experimentation. These relationships also can be tested through experimentation. Scientists often search for the connections between form and function.


Systems are sets of interacting or interdependent components. Systems provide structure and order in human, natural and built environments. Systems can be static or dynamic, simple or complex. Systems in sciences describe sets of components that function due to their interdependence or complementary nature. Common systems in science are closed systems, where resources are not removed or replaced, and open systems, where necessary resources are renewed regularly.

Assessment Information

Assessment for sciences in all years of the programme is criterion-related, based on four equally weighted assessment criteria

Criterion A Knowing and understanding Maximum 8
Criterion B Inquiring and designing Maximum 8
Criterion C Processing and evaluating Maximum 8
Criterion D Reflecting on the impacts of science Maximum 8

Copyright IBO 2014
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