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What is IA (Internal Assessment) in IB?

Updated: Mar 15, 2022

A brief overview of IA in IB

IA in IB refers to the research-based assignment in each subject conducted primarily during the second year of the diploma course. The teacher evaluates these assignments and sends a sample to the moderator to validate or modify the marks already provided to the students.

It is a critical task for IB students to evaluate their level concerning the common objectives set in the diploma program. Overall, judging the knowledge, skills, etc., which the students obtained in their subjects is a factor. Let's see a few examples to understand it better. Group 4 subjects usually focus on IAs involving experimentation (a primary source of data), but it needn't be the same for group 5 or even group 3.

The IB scores of students for a subject are obtained by a sum of the students' marks on both internal and external assessments (which students give at the end of their IB Diploma degree program).

How does moderation work in Internal Assessment?

After the moderator receives the sample IA with marks, if they think that the teachers' marks are not in line with the international standard (they are either very generous or very harsh), he follows the procedure mentioned below.

· First, he applies a moderation factor to all the students' marks of that particular subject in the school.

· The process will increase or decrease the marks obtained depending on the case.

· The marks calculated after applying the moderation factor are then added to the total marks of the students.

Marks acquired in IA


The marks given in IA depend on the subjects. The standard value is 20%, which is the weight in science subjects. However, other topics have a more practical component, like design and technology, etc., where IA can be worth 40 to 50% of the marks, i.e., a higher weightage. It is why IB students must find out how much it is worth in their subjects.

The evaluation criteria of IA in IB

The marking aspect of the IAs are based on the evaluation criteria set by IB. Therefore, the professors evaluate each subject distinctively, taking into account different points.

This evaluation criterion contains numerous sections that an IA is graded against. A few standard criteria are mentioned below

· Personal engagement, i.e., inspiration.

· Research.

· Data analysis.

· Conclusion & evaluation.

· Presentation.

Importance of IA in IB

· Students who fail to take the exams for valid reasons will rely on internal assessment and predicted grades for their final results. Thus, the IA for such students becomes the only source of the evaluation. So it is essential to score good marks in IA.

· It is a compulsory project which tests the students' skills, knowledge, etc., that they gained during their course. Thus they need to focus almost equally on the IA as on the external assessment (though we know this is not feasible for many).


· It is almost always advisable not to procrastinate working on the IA. This will significantly impact the quality of research, affecting the IA's overall content.

· Always go through the respective subject IA criteria to understand what is expected and work on accordingly.

· Try working your way through a few IAs to get an idea of how things work. Also, ensure to look at the annotated version of the same.

· Try to complete the IA at the beginning of the second year to ensure enough time for revision before the finals.

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Note: Blogs by 7Wiseways are written based on the writer's information, knowledge, and perspective. While every caution has been taken to provide readers with accurate information, please use your discretion before making any decisions based on the information in this blog. In case you find any information that is factually wrong or something that could be made better, please write to us at

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