The IA Struggle

Miranda Curnutt

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For almost every IB course that a student wants to receive IB credit for, they must complete an Internal Assessment, a.k.a an IA, a.k.a. the bane of every student’s existence the night before it is due. The premise is simple enough; a student must conduct an investigation into a topic relevant to the specific course. The ranges from lab work and data collection in a science course, to an analysis of the impact of a historical event in a history course. As this is IB and nothing can ever be simple, the assessment is scored based on around 6 criterion, ranging from organization to validity. The IA is scored by the instructor and then a sample of the IAs are sent to IB examiners to be “moderated”–judged if the instructor score was accurate or not. The score of the IA is part of the student’s score for the course–somehow. Like everything with IB, the details are obscure and unnecessarily complicated.

Whether it is the IAs due date always been long after the actual IA is introduced, or an underestimation of the time it will take me to complete the criterion, somehow I always find myself stressed out at the last moment, obsessing on if I’ve reflected enough on my process(es) and desperately trying to through a semi-readable graph together. My advice for anyone completing an IA: choose a subject you’re interested in, keep it as simple as you can, and do it as early as you can. Unfortunately, this is a little hypocritical coming from me, as writing this article to avoid working on my History and Math IAs. But don’t be like me: that due date is coming up faster than you think.