Modifying grade boundaries is something the IBO does with every examination period; it is a process which takes into account the strength of students in a given year, the difficulty of the exam etc. with the aim of seeing similar quantities of students achieving certain grades each year. The IBO expects that boundaries will be lowered this year to allow for the number of students achieving particular grades in a subject to be broadly similar to previous years, despite the disruption to their learning due to COVID-19 and that their performance in exams will likely be weaker than students in previous years.
Rather than just instituting a blanket change to grade boundaries before exams, the IBO will instead wait until after students have sat exams. They will consider:
Using this information, the IBO will decide on grade boundaries that most fairly distributes students between grades as appropriate.