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As I am sure you are aware the internal assessment (or IA) is worth 20% of your final grade. It is assessed by your teacher and then your teachers marking is looked at by a moderator. The aim of this blog post is to introduce you to the IA criteria and to give you some tips and suggestions as to how you can achieve your best possible grade.

There are 5 criteria that are assessed. These are:

  • Personal Engagement (PE) marked out of 2
  • Exploration (EX) marked out of 6
  • Analysis (AN) marked out of 6
  • Evaluation (EV) marked out of 6
  • Communication (CM) marked out of 4

This gives a total of 24 marks.

What goes into the IA?

The IA is an independent research project that is carried out by yourself. There are 2 key words in the last sentence:

  • Independent – the work needs to be carried out by yourself and cannot be carried out in groups or in collaboration with anybody else. Your teacher is allowed to guide you and to make suggestions but is not allowed to tell you what to do or to correct your work. Your teacher may also suggest a broad topic for you to follow in your IA.
  • Research – the work needs to involve finding out something that you did not previously know. The work cannot prove anything that was already known (for example, proving that the gas constant R = 8.31 or showing that the iron content in an iron tablet matches that shown on the box or packet) but could involve seeing how the iron content of an iron tablet reduces with exposure to the air over time.

However, it is acceptable for the IA to cover subject material that is covered in the syllabus. The content does not need to go outside the syllabus as it may do in the Extended Essay.

It is my aim to start producing blog posts over the forthcoming months introducing the IA criteria and giving you suggestions for things to include in each criteria when you are planning and carrying out your IA. Fingers crossed, it will help you to achieve a good grade.