The Top Mistakes to Avoid in Internal Assessment Writing for International Baccalaureate

by Rosemarie Hardison
internal assessment writing

The Internal Assessment is a crucial component of the International Baccalaureate education program, representing a significant portion of a student’s overall grade.

However, many students make common mistakes when writing their IAs, which can negatively impact their grades.

In this blog post, we will discuss the top mistakes to avoid when writing your IA and provide tips on how to avoid them.

Mistake #1: Lack of Understanding of Assessment Criteria

One of the most common mistakes students make when writing their IA is a lack of understanding of the assessment criteria. Each IA is graded based on specific assessment criteria, and it’s essential to have a thorough understanding of these criteria before starting the IA. This will ensure that you focus on the most important and relevant areas of the grading process.

To avoid this mistake, it’s essential to review the assessment criteria provided by the IB and understand what is expected of you. You should also consult your teacher or supervisor if you have any questions or concerns about the criteria. Additionally, you can review sample IAs to understand better how the criteria are applied in practice.

Mistake #2: Poor Time Management

Another common mistake students make when writing their IA is poor time management. IAs have a set deadline and must be completed within a specific time frame. Therefore, it’s essential to plan and prioritize tasks to ensure the timely completion of the IA. In addition, time management and other life tips may increase your chances of success.

You should create a detailed timeline for the IA writing process, which includes specific milestones and deadlines. You should also prioritize tasks based on their importance and urgency and allocate sufficient time for each task. Additionally, you should avoid procrastination and ensure that you’re making progress toward your goals each day.

Many students turn to help with internal assessment to save time and hassle.

Mistake #3: Insufficient Research and Data Collection

A crucial aspect of IA writing is conducting thorough research and collecting relevant data. Unfortunately, many students make the mistake of not conducting sufficient research or collecting enough data to support their arguments.

You need to conduct extensive research on your topic, and collect data from reliable sources. You should also ensure that the data you collect is relevant to your research question and supports your arguments. Additionally, you should organize your data in a way that makes it easy to analyze and evaluate.

Mistake #4: Lack of Originality and Creativity

The IB program values originality and creativity, and IAs are no exception. However, many students make the mistake of not being original or creative in their IA writing. This can include plagiarism, or simply repeating ideas that have already been explored in existing research.

To avoid this mistake, you should ensure that your IA is original and creative, and avoid plagiarism at all costs. It should reflect your personality. You should also cite your sources appropriately, and ensure that you’re not simply regurgitating existing ideas. Additionally, you should think critically and creatively about your topic, and explore new and innovative ideas.

Mistake #5: Inadequate Analysis and Evaluation

Another common mistake students make when writing their IA is providing inadequate analysis and evaluation of data. IAs require critical analysis and evaluation of data, and it’s essential to provide meaningful and insightful analysis and evaluation to receive a high grade.

You should analyze and evaluate your data thoroughly and provide insights and conclusions that are relevant and meaningful. You should also ensure that your analysis is based on sound reasoning and supported by evidence. Additionally, you should provide recommendations for future research and areas for further exploration.

Mistake #6: Poor Organization and Structure

The IA must have a clear and logical structure, which can be a challenging task for students who may be new to academic writing. Poor organization and structure can make it difficult for the reader to understand your arguments and follow your thought process.

You need to ensure that your IA has a clear and logical structure. You should start with an introduction that clearly outlines your research question and provides background information on your topic.

Then, you should provide a literature review that discusses existing research on your topic.

Next, you should present your data and analysis, followed by a conclusion summarizing your findings and providing recommendations for future research.

Mistake #7: Inadequate Editing and Proofreading

Finally, many students make the mistake of not adequately editing and proofreading their IA. This can lead to grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors, which can negatively impact your grade.

To avoid this mistake, you should carefully review your IA for grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors. You should also ensure that your IA is well-written and easy to understand. Additionally, you can ask a friend or family member to review your IA and provide feedback on areas for improvement.


Writing an IA for the IB Diploma program can be a challenging task, but by avoiding these common mistakes, you can increase your chances of receiving a high grade.

It’s essential to understand the assessment criteria, manage your time effectively, conduct thorough research and data collection, be original and creative, provide meaningful analysis and evaluation, have a clear and logical structure, and edit and proofread your IA carefully.

By following these tips, you can ensure that your IA is well-written, well-researched, and meets the standards expected by the IB program.

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