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11 IB SL Math IA Topic Ideas that Actually Work!

If you are here because you are stuck with an idea for your IB Mathematics Standard Level (SL) essay topic, you have come to the right place. We understand that the IB Math is the toughest subject (no kidding, we feel you) and therefore, we are here to aid you as much as we can.


You can request a custom suggestion of a Math SL IA topic from IB IA expert writers, or you can spend several minutes of your time, read this article and find awesome suggestions for your next IA.


Before we proceed with the topic ideas, let’s fill you in with some basic pointers on the IB SL Math essay. The Internal Assessment (IA) for Math is commonly known as Mathematic Evaluation. This is a written assignment in which students are required to investigate a specific area of math subject. Students are encouraged to take a different take through this assignment, a different angle on the mathematical practice.

One of the mistakes that students commonly make is that they take this IB assignment very lightly. The IB Mathematics internal assessment makes up 20% of the entire grade. Rest assured, it definitely does not need to be taken lightly. And of course, it is a lengthy assignment; consists of 6 to 12 pages that focus on demonstrating a student’s knowledge on a comprehensive assessment, requiring them to draw conclusion and arguments through formulae, graphs and more.

Why do You Need to Choose an IB SL Math IA Topic of Your Interest?

Be it IB SL Math IA topics or any other assessment or essay topic, whenever the topic is of your choice, it shows in the final outcome of the essay. Studying the concepts of Math is one thing, but interlinking the concepts with theory, abstract and evaluating a long report is an entirely different ball game.

When you are looking for topics, you need to go for one where you think you can put your mathematical knowledge and skills into good use. The topic should be the one which makes you excited. For instance, if you are into basketball, as a mathematician, you can always correlate the two varied but interlinked subjects. How? Well, that’s for you to decide.

Remember to Stick to the Criteria of the IB Internal Assessment


The common mistake students usually make is that they go out of the syllabus and go for complicated mathematical concepts. This is not only a bad idea but also leads to one wasting a lot of valuable time.

How to steer away from this problem? Simple: stick to the syllabus. This is the ideal way for one to showcase their knowledge as well. Just be sure that your Mathematical IA addresses five concerns:

  1. Use of mathematics
  2. Reflection of mathematics
  3. Personal engagement
  4. Mathematical presentation
  5. Communication

Following this pattern will allow you to form a clear structure of your assessment as well.

Now, Let’s Look Into the Different Topics

In this article, we have compiled a list of 11 topics you can choose for the International Baccalaureate standard level  Math Internal Assessment. You can, of course, choose other topics that meet your requirements.

1. Month Hall problem:

Looking into Bayesian probability work as a real-life scenario and add some sort of complexity to it.

2. Pythagorean triples:

See the Pythagorean triple and analyze the number patterns.

3. Pascal’s triangle:

The infamous math assessment is to discover patterns in the array of numbers.

4. Cracking a password:

If you were to guess a password, how long will it take for one to do that? Furthermore, how safe does the password get when you add numbers and symbols to it?

5. The toast problem:

If you are standing in a room full of people, how many toasts would you need to see that everyone has a toast?

6. Rock, paper and scissors:

While playing the game, I got rock, and I won. Is it important that I make changes in the next round? Or should I choose rock again?

7. The Risk of Insurance:

Investigating asymmetric information to see how sure we are of the future, concerning the various risk-averse situations.

8. The Tragedy of the Commons:

The population of fish, for example, is reducing. As such, we how do we need to reduce the consumption and production to retain fishes?

9. Modeling Virus and its Spread:

In case of a virus, how long will it take for the entire population to be wiped if there’s a deadly virus all over the world?

10. Normal Distribution:

You can use the distributions to study a financial crisis.

11. Mathematics and photography:

Explore the relationship shared between the geometric sequence and a camera’s aperture.

Now you are ready to start writing your Math SL IA

Hope this article helps you in choosing the SL mathematics assessment topic. Should you need custom topic ideas for your IB Internal Assessment as per your instructions, please contact our support team. If you are to create a topic yourself, remember, stick to the topic that meets your interest criteria.

Vasy Kafidoff

Vasy Kafidoff is a co-founder and CEO at Writing Metier, who has a keen interest in the academic world and technology. He is a cryptoromantic and blockchain enthusiast for more than 4 years now, and he is excited about the way technology shapes financial and educational systems. Check his personal blog to find more tips on writing.

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