1. What is an “IA” in the IB curriculum?
The Internal Assessment often known as the “IA” is an assignment that is evaluated within your school by your IB class teachers, in comparison to External Assessments like the final exam which are sent off to be evaluated by the IB examiner.
In the 2 years of studying the IB, you will be assigned at least 2 assignments for each subject. They account for about 20% to 30% of the final assessment of the IB. The timing you get assigned those assignments depends on each school, but the period of time you have to prepare the work is set to 2 weeks. During the 2 weeks, students will be assigned the task, expected to set their own agenda, conduct a survey, and prepare and submit a report. The content varies depending on the subject, but since it must be created and submitted in a short period of time, it is important to carefully check the IB Criteria and proceed in an efficient and organized manner.
2. How can I be sure that the IA is graded fairly?
You may be wondering, how can the IB evaluate fairly if the grading is up to each school’s teachers? Isn’t there a chance that your school’s teacher might evaluate your work a lot stricter than another school’s teacher?
Don’t worry, you can be rest assured that this is taken into account. The IBO (International Baccalaureate Organization) uses a method called “IA Moderation” to ensure that all students will be graded fairly under the same standard even amongst different schools. A sample of each classes’ grades will be sent off to the IB examiners where they can assess whether an adjustment for the grades of all students in that class need to be made or not.
3. What kinds of IAs are there?
Although the overall schedule and goal if the IA is the same throughout all subjects, there are various other formats of the IA depending on each subject, such as an oral commentary, fieldwork, laboratory work, and artistic performances.
For example, Subject Group 1’s First Languages requires an Oral Commentary of 10-15 minutes which students have to prepare in 20 minutes as an IA. In Group 4’s Science related subjects, students are expected to design and conduct an experiment based on a Research Question which they must set by themselves, and write a final report about it.
For more detailed IA content and countermeasures for each subject, please check out our other blog posts!