Word Count in Mock Exams

2 03 2012

The following did not meet the required number of words (1,000-1,500) in the following exams:

*the number beside your name refers to the approximate number of words you used in the indicated assessment


Paper 1: (Commentary)

Alberto, Quirby – 770

Benitez, Javi – 540

Chua, Steven – 660

Co, Benedict – 680

Ibasco, Martin – 780

Mayoralgo, Aldrich – 630

Nacion, Kenneth – 770

Oxales, Alberto – 850

Tan, Matthew – 690

Ty, Edrich – 640

Yulo, David – 630


Paper 2: (Genre Essay)

Alberto, Quirby – 770

Chua, Steven – 900

Co, Benedict – 870

Ibasco, Martin – 770

Mayoralgo, Aldrich – 780

Nacion, Kenneth – 840

Ng, Kenrik – 830

Ngo, Timothy – 850

Ong, Jon Ridge – 790

Oxales, Alberto – 850

Tan, Matthew – 840

Tee, Kendric – 940

Ty, Edrich – 880


I was surprised to find out that half of the class did not manage to meet the required number of words. While I don’t blame you because all of our writing preparations only covered 70 minutes, you must make the necessary adjustments to elaborate more your arguments.

As always, preparing an outline can help you see the scope of your essay even before you write the essay.

Also please take note of the number of words that you have per line on the answer sheet. The number of lines in the front page is 20, while the back of the paper has 26. On the average, most of you write about ten words for every line. And since sometimes, because of paragraphing, one line would contain less than ten, we can approximate that, if your handwriting is normal, you’re using 450 words per sheet (back to back). You have to be able to use at least three sheets with five sides all used up, therefore (and remember, this is what I told you during the exams).

I browsed through some sample exams from previous IB students from other schools, and I was surprised that the least number of sheets used was FOUR! There was a guy who used up to seven sheets, back to back!

A student, whose paper doesn’t meet the word count, is automatically demerited three points in the Presentation criterion. So those who did not meet this criteria (listed above), you already have an automatic -3 out of the possible 25 points in your mock exams. Don’t worry though, because the range for getting a 7 is 20-25. Let’s just hope that you score high in the other criteria.

I’m not sure if we’re going to meet again as a class, so this is why I posted this here. I hope you will be guided well when you take up your official exams in May.

I will be showing you your mock exams in the upcoming PTSC. Please do not be absent on this day.

If you have any questions or clarifications, please reply below. Thanks!

– Mr. Nicolay




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