IB retakes and resits guide

Students with books over their heads

If you've not got the grades you wanted in your IB exams, you might decide to retake

Students go for retakes for all kind of reasons. Maybe you were unwell or had extenuating circumstances during the exam period. Retaking your exams in another session might give you a chance to perform to your full potential.

Or maybe you missed out on your ideal university offer. Combining retakes with a gap year could give you the chance to improve your grades and get the uni place you really wanted.

If you do decide to register for the next session having done your exams in May, you can retake papers in the November exam session, or the following May.

Bear in mind, though, that May 2020 is the last opportunity you'll get to retake. IB regulations state that candidates get a maximum of three exam sessions in which to obtain the diploma.

IB study group

Before deciding to retake any of your exams

Before you register for resits, talk to your IB programme coordinator about your situation. They'll be best placed to advise you on whether retakes are the best idea for you. 

Retaking an IB subject is not a small decision. You're going to have to dedicate just as much time, preparation and motivation as before (if not more), so make sure you're confident you ready and willing to follow through on that commitment.

You might also consider applying for remarks for any papers that are close to the next grade boundary. The papers you send back for remarking will be marked by another examiner and moderated by a senior moderator. You never know – this may just tip the odds in your favour! However, your grade may well stay the same, or even drop, so bear this in mind. 

Registering for the November IB exam session 2018

The final date for registering for the November session is 29 July 2019. You should contact your IB programme coordinator in order to register for the next session.

According to the IBO, lower registration fees were charged last year for retake candidates registered before 29 July. If you decide to send some of your papers for remarking and the grade improves, it's possible to withdraw the registration for the subject concerned on request from the coordinator. 

For more information, ask any questions you have in our dedicated IB forum

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