How to Choose the Perfect Topic for Your IB Internal Assessment

Table of Contents

 What is the IB Internal Assessment, and why is it important? 

If you’re an International Baccalaureate (IB) student, you’ve probably heard of the Internal Assessment (IA). This project is a key part of your IB Diploma Programme and counts for 20-25% of your overall grade. So, just what is the IA, and why is it so important to choose a suitable topic? Let’s take a closer look. 

What is the purpose of the IA? 

The goal of the IB Internal Assessment is to give students the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to conduct independent research, analyze and evaluate sources, and communicate their findings effectively in written form. It is an important part of the International Baccalaureate (IB) program, as it allows students to showcase their skills and knowledge in a specific subject area and can be used as evidence of their academic abilities.

The IA is typically a written report or essay that is based on original research that the student has conducted. It is an opportunity for students to demonstrate their ability to think critically and independently, as well as their ability to communicate their ideas and findings in a clear and concise manner. The IA is also an opportunity for students to demonstrate their understanding of the subject matter they have studied in class, as well as their ability to apply that knowledge to real-world situations.

This article is a part of The Ultimate Guide to IB Internal Assessment: Tips, Strategies, and Best Practices

Why is choosing a suitable IA topic important?

Given that this project carries such a high percentage of your final grade, it’s very important to choose a suitable topic so that you can do justice to it. You don’t want to choose something too broad or ambitious, as this will make it difficult for you to complete it on time. Nor do you want something too narrow or specific where there isn’t much research available for you to draw upon. Finding the right balance between these two extremes will ensure that you can stay focused on providing quality work while meeting all the IA requirements. 

It’s also important to select a topic that interests you and that you can get excited about researching and writing about. This will make all the difference when it comes time to actually complete the project! After all, if there’s something out there that fascinates you and has caught your attention, chances are there are others out there who share that same curiosity too!  

Start by identifying your Interests and Strengths 

Take some time to reflect on what you enjoy learning about, as well as what topics you feel confident discussing. This can help you narrow down potential topics for your IA. Once you’ve identified your interests, start researching potential ideas for your IA within those subject areas. For example, if you’re interested in psychology, look at different theories or concepts within the field that may be worth exploring further. 

Consider your resources 

When selecting a topic for your IA, think about what resources will be available to support your research. If possible, try to choose a topic where there is sufficient information available so that you can delve more deeply into the subject matter without running out of material. To make sure that your research efforts are successful, consider using library databases or reliable online sources such as JSTOR or Google Scholar to access peer-reviewed articles related to your chosen topic. 

Think about what you can do with your topic 

An effective IA must do more than just explain a particular issue; it should also explore solutions or offer recommendations related to the problem being discussed. Consider how you could use data or statistics to support any conclusions reached in your paper. Additionally, think about how you could apply any existing theories or models discussed in class in order to provide additional insights into the issue being addressed in your project. Doing so will help ensure that your paper is comprehensive and engaging for readers.  

 Consider the requirements of the IB Internal Assessment

It is important to understand the requirements of the IA in order to choose a great IB IA topic that meets all of the necessary criteria. Every IB program has different requirements for its IAs, so it is crucial to familiarize yourself with the specific requirements of your program. Some common factors to consider include the length of the IA, the scope of the research, the type of experiment or investigation required, and the citation style that must be used.

Understanding the requirements of the IA can help narrow down your options and make it easier to choose a topic that meets all of the necessary criteria. For example, if your program requires a specific length for the IA, it is important to choose a topic that can be adequately covered within that length. Similarly, if your program requires a certain type of experiment or investigation, you will need to choose a topic that allows you to conduct this type of research.

By understanding the requirements of the IA, you can choose a great topic that meets all of the necessary criteria and allows you to demonstrate your skills and knowledge in the best possible way. It is also important to choose a topic that is engaging and interesting to you, as this will make the research and writing process more enjoyable and help you produce a high-quality IA.

Research potential IA topics

The first step in choosing an IA topic is researching potential ideas. Look online, ask teachers, or talk to classmates about what other students have done for their IAs in the past. Once you have identified some potential topics, do some more research into each one. Look at scholarly articles and textbooks related to each topic to ensure there is enough content available for your IA requirements. Doing this research upfront will save you a lot of time down the line when you’re writing your paper.  

Consider Feasibility 

Once you’ve identified some potential topics, it’s important to consider which ones are feasible, given your timeline and the resources available. If there isn’t enough information available on a particular topic, or if there isn’t enough time for you to complete it thoroughly and accurately, it might be best to choose another option instead. It can also help to break down large tasks into smaller chunks, so they don’t seem as overwhelming; this will help you focus and stay organized throughout the writing process.  

Create an Outline 

Finally, once you have chosen a great topic for your IA paper, create an outline of what specific points you want included in each section of your paper. This will help guide your research journey and ensure that every part of your paper has relevant content that contributes directly back to this overarching thesis statement or argument created in your outline. It also helps with organization; having an outline gives structure so that all of the pieces fit together nicely like puzzle pieces!  

Choose Something Unique 

Finally, try to choose something unique for your IA topic rather than something generic like “the effects of caffeine on heart rate,” which has been done many times before. Choose something fresh and exciting, and avoid topics that are too broad or too narrow. You want something challenging yet achievable so that you can demonstrate what makes you unique and showcase your knowledge while still meeting all of the IBO requirements. 


The IB Internal Assessment is an important component of your IB Diploma, and choosing a suitable topic is crucial to doing well. When considering potential topics for your IA, take into account your interests and strengths, as well as the requirements of the assessment. Narrow down your options until you have a final topic that you’re confident with – this will give you the best chance at success.

Valerie Green

Valerie Green

Valerie Green is a dedicated educator who spends her time helping high school and college students succeed. She writes articles and guides for various online education projects, providing students with the tools they need to excel in their studies. Friendly and approachable, she is committed to making a difference in the lives of students.

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