IB Math Internal Assessment: The Complete Guide for the Year

This is the complete guide to IB Math internal assessment.

We look at the definition, course options, assessment criteria, and structure. We also link t useful resources related to this subject, so that you can expand your knowledge base before you start working on your assignments.

Let’s get started.

Key Takeaways

  • You can choose to do Math AA or Math AI, which are all available at Standard and Higher level of the diploma program.
  • There’s no official word count limit for the Math IA assignment, but your report should be between 12 and 20 pages long.

How to Do IB Math Internal Assessment

Here’s how to do your IB Math IA like a pro and increase the chances of bumping up your overall grades:

1. Choose a Topic

The first step is to choose an IA topic that intrigues you. The topic can be anything, from what fits into your personal story and something that fits in a real-world situation to anything in between, as long as it has a connection to Math.

2. Do Your Research

Explore various sources on the Internet, including research papers and journals, to identify mathematical relationships and proofs relevant to your topic.

For instance, if investigating the mathematical aspects of employees’ payment deductions, you can delve into detailed research since HRM is such a common challenge. You should select and comprehend components that are pertinent and comprehensible to you.

3. Reference Your Work

Prioritize referencing by not only including citations in the bibliography but also incorporating them as footnotes in the body of your work.

This practice demonstrates transparency, enables examiners to crosscheck your paper for accuracy, and acknowledges the contributions of the authors to the topic you wish to investigate. If anything, referencing helps to enhance the overall quality of your internal assessment.

IB Math IA Structure

Your assignment should have the following structure:


The introduction of your work should reflect three elements: rationale, aims, and plan of action.

  • Rationale: You should establish the context of your paper and give a justification for the topic you’ve selected.
  • Aim: Define the objective of your investigation and articulate what you aim to achieve by focusing on the topic.
  • Plan of Action: Specify the area of the math curriculum you intend to focus on. You must align the complexity of your investigation with the appropriate Math level.

Body Section

Detail the methodology employed in your work, making sure you provide a rationale for the chosen approach.

Utilize pertinent mathematical tools, such as labeled graphs and charts, to support your mathematical work. Ensure that you explain these tools within the context of the Internal Assessment.


Summarize your findings, linking them to the initial aim of your Internal Assessment.

Emphasize the significance and impact of the results. Briefly reflect on the personal benefits gained from the research and consider potential avenues for further investigation.

IB Math IA Assessment Criteria

The following is the assessment criteria that IB teachers in your school use to evaluate your paper:

AMathematical Presentation0-4Evaluate investigation clarity and coherence. The presentation must have a logical development, be easy to follow, and meet the aim.
BMathematical Communication0-4Assess appropriateness of terminology, notation, and symbols. Use marks and notes correctly. There should be relevant use of tools and one must avoid inconsistent terminology.
CPersonal Engagement0-3Evaluate personal involvement, demonstrated through independent thinking, creativity, exploring different perspectives, and investigating real-life situations.
DReflection0-3Assess evaluation and analysis quality. Considers limitations, compares approaches, links to aim, and comments on learning. Discuss implications, strengths/weaknesses, and different perspectives.
EUse Of Mathematics0-6Assess implementation of Mathematics, which must be commensurate with course level and relevant to aim.

Criteria A: Mathematic Presentation

You get a 1 to 4 based on the clarity of your investigation and brevity of your presentation.

To score a 4, develop a clear structure, have a logical flow of ideas, and ensure your work meets the aim of the assessment. Also, ensure your presentation has an introduction, a clear description of the aim of the investigation, and a sound conclusion.

Criteria B: Mathematical Communication

Your teacher looks at how you use mathematical notations, symbols, and terminologies in your exploration. Any use of representation tools such as diagrams, graphics, and tables should be relevant to the IB Math IA topic under investigation.

Ensure you use mathematical term the correct way and apply ICT tools wisely. IB allows you to use a Graphic Display calculator, but you should demonstrate that you understand the math formula.

Criterion C: Personal Engagement

To score a 3, select a topic of personal interest, preferably something unique or relevant to real-life situations.

Demonstrate independent thinking and creativity. Make a Math idea your own, investigate the idea from unique perspectives, and explore different possibilities. Refrain from showing superficial interest in your work.

Criterion D: Reflection

The focus is on thorough evaluation and analysis of the investigation.

Merely stating results is insufficient to warrant a satisfactory score. You have to explain the results and emphasize the significance of your exploration. You also have to discuss the potential limitations and justify your procedure.

A meaningful reflection acknowledges limitations of your work, it compares various mathematical approaches, it establishes links to the initial aim, and it provides a commentary on the learning process.

Criterion E: Use of Mathematics

It is important to align the Math used with the course and ensure that it neither oversimplifies nor necessitates external assistance. The topic you choose should be easy to understand.

Your work should be commensurate with the course level. In other words, it should fall within the syllabus or just slightly beyond. Also, your paper should utilize relevant Mathematics that supports the development of the exploration toward achieving its aim.

To score a 6 for Criterion E, your work should be free of errors and have an appropriate level of accuracy consistently. Your paper should align with the Higher Level (HL) syllabus, and there should be clarity in logic and language when presenting arguments and calculations.

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