Exam Guidance

International Baccalaureate: Academic Honesty  

Teaching and learning in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) will develop the positive behaviours that students will need to demonstrate clearly that they complete their work carefully, honestly and authentically. In their academic work, DP students develop research skills and study habits that demonstrate academic honesty in more formal ways than would be expected of younger learners. DP students investigate and evaluate the usefulness of a greater variety of resources, and incorporate and reference them within oral and written presentations of increasingly complex formats.  

All IB students should understand the importance of acknowledging others because it is a central feature of the constructivist, inquiry-based approach promoted in all IB programmes. In the DP, this requires them to learn specific conventions about the use of ideas and work of others which are accepted in a community of learners for being transparent: note making, in-text citation and the preparation of a bibliography, to name but a few examples.  

Academic Dishonesty and Malpractice  

The following practices fall under the label of academic dishonesty and malpractice: 

Plagiarism – this is judged as presenting someone else’s ideas, words, information or illustrations as your own without giving credit to the original author. Students must be aware that, despite the fact that the internet is a public domain, all sources taken from the web must be acknowledged and quoted. All ideas and works of another person such as pictures, maps, diagrams, illustrations and data must be acknowledged in the same way as a quotation from a book.  

Collusion - this means working with another person with intent to be academically dishonest. Collusion often happens when students are asked to work collaboratively but to produce individual written work. Although cooperation is encouraged in some internal assessments, students are expected to work independently and produce written work which is solely their own. If two students produce essays or coursework for external assessment which contain, for example, identical paragraphs, this is collusion. It is perfectly acceptable for written and oral assignments to be written on the same topic but the expression and specific content must be different. The distinction between collusion and cooperation is a very fine one and if students are in doubt they should consult their subject teachers.  

Examination misconduct – communicating with another student in an exam, bringing items into an exam which are not allowed or using prohibited materials in an exam for the purpose of gaining an advantage. 

The School 

The school will make all pupils aware of the need to submit authentic work for assessment and of the procedures in place for suspected malpractice. The school will provide resources and will teach pupils the methods for referencing work, which are appropriate for their year group and assignments.  


Heads of Department should ensure that students are briefed and understand the meaning of academic honesty within their subject at all levels. When work is submitted to external examining bodies, the Head of Department should inform the IB coordinator if malpractice is suspected.   

Subject teachers should ensure, to the best of their ability, that all work submitted for external assessment is the student’s authentic work. If they have any doubt about the authenticity of a student’s work they should inform their Head of Department in the first instance.   

Invigilators should be vigilant during the exam sessions and report immediately any suspected cases of cheating to the Examinations Officer and/or the IB coordinator.  

Currently all Extended Essays, Theory of Knowledge Essays and some internal assessments for the IB are submitted into a plagiarism checker to ensure that plagiarism has not occurred at the various stages of the writing process. Training for teachers is available via the IB coordinator. 

The school/IBO will ask students to sign a declaration to acknowledge that the coursework or controlled assessments they are submitting are their own work. Therefore pupils must agree to take responsibility for their own work and to ensure it is authentic and appropriately referenced. In particular, pupils should understand the need to reference sources and that failure to do so could be judged as malpractice. It is the pupils’ responsibility to make sure that all sources are acknowledged and that the work they submit is authenticated as their own.