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What is Internal Assessment in IB? Essential Guide

Oh Lord, this International Baccalaureate Internal Assessment, also known as IB IA… What are the main associations that come into your mind when you think about it? Stress? Fear? Hmm…maybe happiness? If so, lucky you, my friend 😉

As a student, you might have so many different options ahead of you, each taking you to an entirely different road. You know and understand how tough it will be, but you also know that if you give in your hundred percent to what you are doing, things will certainly fall into place.

As a student who has just started with the IB, there might be so many questions going through your mind- how will I do it? What all will it entail? You might even be wondering what an internal assessment is in IB?

In this guide, we take you through a detailed analysis of what the IB IA is all about and how you can score well on it. We will take you through tips and tricks and a few examples so you understand how this has to be done and how you can do a sound job. Understand that with the right will and determination, you can make things work out the way you want. 

What is IA in IB?

Many students ask what an internal assessment is. IA in IB is a research-based assignment in each subject, which is usually done in the second year of the diploma course. In this assignment, students have to conduct in-depth research on a topic of their choice, and they then have to work towards finishing that assignment showing how analytically involved they are in that.


After that, the teacher evaluates these and then send a sample to the moderator, who then validates or modifies the marks the students have already gotten. 

The IA is a very critical task for students of the IB Diploma program. They really have to show a great understanding of the topic in essence and have to work towards being able to critically analyze a topic. The students are checked on the basis of their research skills, analytical skills, overall knowledge, and so on.

The IB has developed the IA with this ins mind that they have to make students reason out things in the right way. Since there are different tests and assignments that students have to do, the IB requires many teachers so they can check all of these.

With the help of the IA, students really do go to learn a lot. They get to sharpen their skills in all arenas. Not just that, but they also get to polish themselves and groom themselves so that they can appear stronger in front of the examiners. 

Why is it called Internal Assessment?

Many ask why this is called an internal assessment. The idea behind this is that your own teachers grade these assessments. They are the ones who evaluate your performance to see how well you have done here. This is why it is called an internal assessment.

Say if you opt for IB Economics, then you will be required to write three commentaries over the course of two years. All of these are counted as internal assessments, which your own teachers then grade.

Every subject that you opt for in the IB has some internal assessments that you have to do, and all of these will be graded by your teacher only. These can be in any form at all-, as essays, commentaries, or even oral presentations.

BTW…you can order any type of IB writing services from Writing Metier.

ib ia help

Just contact us to get assistance with your IAs, EE, or TOK. Now getting back to the main topic of this article.

The idea is to help you learn and expand your skillset so that you can work toward becoming better at what you do and can perform even better at academics in the future. 

Importance of IA in IB 

The IA is a very important part of the IB. Before you embark on this journey, do take a look at the IB internal assessment guide to help you better understand what is required of you before you actually delve deep into it. The one major reason why the IA is very important is that it allows you to get grades rather easy. You have to pick a topic of choice, and then you can easily work your way through it with ample help from your teacher.

So it allows you to score very well this way. All you need to do is be committed to what you are doing and give in the hard work that will be needed from your end to work on it. 

How is it different from other assignments?

Unlike other assessments, you have the opportunity here to organize and structure your IA very well. You can develop your argument just as you wish to by knowing what direction you are headed in.

Apart from that, this also doesn’t give you any sort of pressure. A lot of students are generally known not to perform too well when under pressure. With the IA, this is definitely not the case. You don’t have to work on a given topic, and neither are you pressed for time. You have your teacher’s guidance, who can help you every step of the way and can assist you in organizing all the information there is.

IA is way different from IB extended essay or IB TOK essay. Your teacher can walk you through every step of the way to help you with what you need. You just have to be very sorted with what you are doing, and you need to have in mind what you wish to achieve.


The IA also prepares you for other long-term projects in the future, such as the famous IB EE, which might seem even more taxing. You just have to be very smart with your approach when working on this and need to work towards getting what you want. 

I had a very close friend who was working on the IB IA, and they told me how it was so easy for them to score well on it. When choosing a topic to work on, they spent a lot of time. They worked on going for something that they knew interested them. Once they were sure about it, they chalked out an entire plan with their teacher and then started working on it. Once they started working, they slowly progressed after looking at all the information they had.

It started unraveling well for them, and that was when they worked their way through doing it. With a plan in mind, it became so much easier for them to do justice to it. 

Tips for Success in IA 

Acing your IB IA is definitely not as hard as you think. Remember that if you have belief in yourself and know that you can do whatever you set your head to, then nothing can come your way. You just need to be extremely confident in whatever you do for you to do a good job at it. Start off somewhere, and you will surely get to your end goal in no time.

Mark Victor Hansen says:

ib internal assessment

Here are a few valuable tips that we have come up with to help you do great at your IB IA. With the right mindset, you can achieve all that you have in mind. 

Put in the Hard Work 

Remember that there is no shortcut to hard work. If you want to achieve what you have in mind, then you need to work hard to do that. When you get a topic that you have to work on, start doing your research, prepare and plan beforehand, know what all you will need, and start preparing for that.

You can only get a decent grade on this when you work hard and put in all that is needed from your end to get where you want to. You will only see results when you work extra hard and when you work towards getting what you want. 

Listen to Your Teacher’s Advice 

As you already know, your teacher is the one who checks your internal assessment. So you need to follow their guidelines and listen very closely to them when they speak. You have to learn from them as much as you can, and you have to be one to really take tips from them.

A lot of students seek advice online when working on the IA. While there is nothing wrong with that, you need to understand that you have to follow what your teacher says because they are the ones who will give you the final grade. Your IA grade is entirely in your teacher’s hands. 

A lot of students ask what happens if the teacher is too strict. Does that negatively affect their grades? The truth is that IB has an external examiner who ‘moderates’ a few of the assignments from every school just to ensure the teacher has done a fair job in assigning grades.

They want to make sure that they do justice to the student’s work, and hence they get this checking done. So this is not something you should be worried about at all. Know that this is all taken care of. 

Choose the Right Question 

You can choose your IA question yourself- so when doing it, try to do your research first and then choose something that you are genuinely interested in. When you pick something that spikes your interest, it will definitely become easier for you to work your way through that. Not just that, but you will also be more willing to put in the hard work that is needed from your end. So do a lot of hard work when it comes to picking your topic.

Your IA will only be as good as the topic you pick. So be super smart with that. Here is a video that can really help you choose the best topic for your IB IA

Start Early 

A lot of students make the worst mistake ever- they start very late, which means that they have to rush through with what they are doing. They don’t get enough time to work their way through with what they are doing.

Not just that, but when you start late, you don’t even get time to recheck and see what you are doing. So always try to be extra organized with things, so that you don’t have too much work pending at the very end.

When you start early, you can have a very planned approach to things, which makes it very easy for you to work through it. 

Bear in Mind the Principles of Academic Honesty 

Academic honesty is one of the essential elements of independent research. So always be very honest when it comes to taking information from somewhere. If you are using someone else’s information, then be extra mindful about it. Also, cite it in the right fashion.

This is key for you to work as a student. You need to show respect for others’ work, and you also have to allow the reader to check where you got your major chunk of information from. When you do that, you make things a lot easier for the one on the checking end. 


Now that you know what the IA is all about, its importance, and how you can score better on it, you are definitely on the right track with things. You just need to be super motivated for this.

If you need help writing your IA, consider using our professional writing services at Writing Metier. Our team of experienced writers and subject matter experts can provide you with high-quality work that meets all the IB requirements. Contact us for more information on our services.

Know that if you give in your best to this, you will definitely get where you want to be. With your eyes set on the end goal and your motivation soaring, you have already made it halfway there. Good luck with your IB IA!

Vasy Kafidoff

Vasyl Kafidoff is a co-founder and CEO at WritingMetier. He is interested in education and the ways modern technology makes it more accessible. He wants to bring awareness about new learning possibilities as an educational specialist. When not working, he’s found behind a drum kit.

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