IB Assignments: 5 Written and Practical Assessments Explained

The first thing you need to do before enrolling in the International Baccalaureate program is to look at the types of IB assignments that you’ll do.

It doesn’t matter if you want to prepare yourself for a more challenging program in college or you hope to earn college credit within the two-year period, it’s good to be familiar with what’s in the IB program.

So in this guide, we look at all the four assignments done in IB, as well as why they’re important. Then, we point you to the resources that you can use to learn more about each assignment.

Key Takeaways

  • IB’s reason for existence is to empower you to become a responsible and knowledgeable citizen.
  • The education framework is rigorous enough to prepare students aged between 16 and 19 years to prepare for higher level of learning.
  • The IB assignments that every student in the program must complete are Internal Assessments, Extended Essay, Theory of Knowledge Essay, CAS project, and Theory of Knowledge Essay. 

Types of IB Assignments Explained

The following is an overview of the different types of IB assignments that you’ll have to complete and pass to earn an IB diploma:

1. Extended Essay

The extended essay is an individual assignment that requires you to select a subject, pick fascinating topic, develop a research question, and write a 4,000 words report.

IB requires you to work on this project to improve your research and writing skills, not to mention enhance your ability to think critically. To pass, you’ll not only invest your time in focused research from primary and secondary sources but also structure your work, reference properly, and stay within the recommended word count.

Every extended essay, regardless of the subject and focus topic, must focus on critical analysis, the synthesis of evidence, and development of unique arguments.  

IB requires that you interact with your supervisor in sessions known as reflections. These reflections are part of the assignment and they’re worth 7% of the final grade.

2. Theory of Knowledge Essay

Theory of Knowledge essay challenges you to assess the nature of knowledge across diverse subject areas.

You’ll engage in a rigorous examination of the essence of knowledge, its origins, and its limitations. Also, you’ll investigate various ways of acquiring knowledge and learn how these approaches shape how you understand the world.

The bottom with a ToK essay is: 

  • You choose one of the prescribed essay title and build an argument in response to it.
  • The work exhibits a well-organized outline that ascertains coherence and logical flow.
  • Your work should show your aptitude for introspection and critical thinking.

The fundamental objective of the TOK essay is to inspire you to explore the link between various realms of knowledge, and to delve into the processes of knowledge creation, dissemination, and assessment.

Furthermore, the essay illustrates your ability to apply knowledge and insights from diverse subject areas to real-world situations. Also, it should reveal your ability to assess different perspectives on intricate issues.

3. Internal Assessments

IB IA, or internal assessment, is a key component of your coursework across six subject areas, and it contributes significantly to your final grades.

The organization requires you to write 3 to 5 IAs to teach you the value of independent, inquiry-based learning.

Through the IAs, you can demonstrate your comprehension of a specific subject area by either conducting a research project or fulfilling a task that assesses your knowledge and skills.

Internal assessments’ formats vary depending on the subject. However, they typically involve a research project, practical work, or a written assignment.

For example:

  • Science subjects require you to design and execute experiments, analyzing the results.
  • For languages, you may tackle a written assignment that delves into a particular language aspect.

Every IA, despite focusing on different subjects, follows a specific work pattern. You choose a topic, conduct research, collect data, plan your writing, draft your thoughts, and write the paper.

From the day that you join the IB class to the moment you complete the second year, you’ll take part in independent research and work on every IA based on a set of instructions. Your teacher will be there to guide you and even predict your IA grades based on your performance records.

4. Theory of Knowledge Exhibition

Theory of Knowledge exhibition is a commentary assignment that requires every IB student to reflect on the nature of knowledge and how ToK manifests itself in the real world.

You’ll choose a prompt, identify three objects with real-world context, and write a 950-word commentary. 

5. IB CAS Project

IB CAS, or Creativity, Activity, Service, is an integral component that fosters personal growth. It seeks to cultivate life skills and nurture responsible and engaged global citizens.

  • Creativity: This facet focuses on the cultivation of creative and artistic abilities that spread across domains such as music, theater, art, and writing.It encourages students to explore and nurture their creative aptitudes and to think innovatively.
  • Activity: Activity involves physical exertion and the acquisition of skills associated with sports, games, and so on. Activity encompasses both individual and team sports that range from basketball and soccer to outdoor adventures such hiking, camping, or kayaking.
  • Service: This category centers on community service and volunteer work, with the overarching goal of making a positive impact on other people. Activities may include tutoring, mentoring, volunteering at local hospitals, and everything linked to community service.

CAS transcends mere hour count in each category. It hinges on the reflection upon these experiences and the subsequent learning derived from them. So, it’s important to keep a record of activities and reflection the lessons extracted from them.

Engaging in CAS can cultivate a heightened sense of social responsibility and an awareness of the needs within your communities. It also facilitates a deeper understanding of personal strengths and weaknesses while fostering crucial life skills such as communication and leadership.

Final Thoughts

Remember, the goal of the IB program is to help you meet the criteria in the IB learner profile.

By the end of the second year, you should develop into a caring, reflective, open-minded, thoughtful, knowledgeable, communicative, principled, and risk taking individual.

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