IB Psychology

Themantic Education's resources for the new syllabus, by Travis Dixon.


Assessment shouldn't be a daunting word. At ThemEd, we LOVE it!

If there’s one thing we think we know at Themantic Education it’s assessment. Our assessment frameworks can provide students and teachers concrete examples of what high achievement looks like. More importantly, we can explain the rationales behind the allocation low, mid and high marks in IB Psych’ assessments using our three levels of thinking.

Themantic Education’s IB Psychology: A Student’s Guide has detailed instructions and outlines of the exam content. You can find more information on this site as well.

Paper One

Paper One is designed to assess student knowledge and understanding of key concepts in the three approaches. The essay component (Part B) requires knowledge, understanding and an ability to demonstrate “critical thinking.”

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Paper Two

SL students have one essay for Paper Two while HL students will have two essays. The style and structure of these essays is the same as for Paper One Part B, so our essay writing resources can be used across both exams.

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Internal Assessment: Experimental Report

The IA can be a cumbersome beast, so we’ll provide all the resources and details to help you make your way step-by-step through this task, including the planning, preparation, investigating and reporting.

Paper Three (HL Only)

The Paper Three is arguably the easiest exam paper of the lot. With our guidance, trips and tips you’ll be able to have all the confidence in the world to ace this exam.

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The best approach to preparing for your exams is to understand the requirements and format of each exam paper and begin to design your own questions.

 Command Terms

The IB has constructed a range of terms to use in exam questions in order to help make it easier for students and teachers to understand requirements of assessments. Unfortunately, as these are aligned with Bloom’s Taxonomy, their practical application has limited value.

The Themantic Education™ model uses only “describe” for level one thinking (knowing) and “explain” for level two thinking (understanding). To demonstrate abstract thinking (level three), the command terms discuss, to what extent, evaluate and contrast can still be applied.

  • The difference between outline and describe (Read more…)
  • Command terms that will never be in the exam (Read more…)
  • Why you shouldn’t “analyse” in exam answers (Coming soon…)
  • Describe v. Explain v. Discuss (Coming soon…)

We’ll be posting a range of materials, including video tutorials, to help students and teachers understand the assessment requirements.

Before you stay up all night “cramming” for a big test, watch this video about the importance of sleep…

Three Levels of Thinking

The themantic model of curriculum design and lesson planning is based on our three levels of thinking, which is a rebranding of the SOLO Taxonomy (Biggs and Collis, 1982) and Bloom’s Taxonomy.

Level One: Knowing (Read more…)
Level Two: Understanding (Read more…)
Level Three: Abstracting (Read more…)
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