Purpose of internal assessment

Internal assessment is an integral part of the course and is compulsory for both SL and HL students. It enables students to demonstrate the application of their skills and knowledge, and to pursue their personal interests, without the time limitations and other constraints that are associated with written examinations. The internal assessment should, as far as possible, be woven into normal classroom teaching and not be a separate activity conducted after a course has been taught.

The internal assessment requirements at SL and at HL are the same. This internal assessment section of the guide should be read in conjunction with the internal assessment section of the teacher support materials.

Additional Aspects

It should be noted that the 10 hours allocated to the individual investigation refers to the time required for the student to plan and implement individual investigative work.

The individual investigation not only allows students to demonstrate their skills in scientific research but, in conjunction with the collaborative group 4 project, also provides a positive opportunity for teachers and students to address meaningfully, and to develop to a significant extent, the five categories of approaches to teaching and learning recognized by the IB. The five categories are:

  • research skills
  • communication skills
  • thinking skills
  • social skills
  • self‐management skills.

Some of the possible tasks include:

  • a hands-on laboratory investigation
  • using a spreadsheet for analysis and modelling
  • extracting data from a database and analysing it graphically
  • producing a hybrid of spreadsheet/database work with a traditional hands-on investigation
  • using a simulation provided it is interactive and open-ended.

Internal assessment details

Duration: 10 hours

Weighting: 20%

Individual investigation

10 hours allocated to the internal assessment,

  • for the teacher to explain to students the requirements of the internal assessment
  • for consultation between the teacher and each student
  • to complete the investigative work
  • to review and monitor progress and to check authenticity.

The internal assessment criteria

The new assessment model uses five criteria to assess the final report of the individual investigation with the following raw marks and weightings assigned: