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Ib History Coursework Guidelines For Child

Introduction to the Historical Investigation

The internal assessment (IA) in IB History (first examination 2017) is an integral part of your History course and is compulsory for both Standard Level (SL) and Higher Level (HL) students. You will demonstrate skills and knowledge, and you can follow your personal interests, without the time limitations and other constraints that are associated with written exams.

What is the IB History IA

How to use this website.

  • You should read all the information on this site as well as the IA section of the IB History Guide. The History IA is a technical piece of writing and you can do well if you follow instructions diligently and work hard.
  • Hover over the menu options at the top, there are several tabs per section.
  • The information on this site has been written for students of IB History. It has been created by a group of experienced IB History teachers who participated in an IB History IA workshop in Melbourne, June 2016. 
  • Your teacher is your ultimate guide and the ultimate arbiter of what you have to do and how to do it. If anything is unclear, speak to your teacher. 

Key Points about the IB History IA

  • Requirements for SL and HL students are the same.
  • You can chose your own topic, follow your own interests. The topic of your IA does not have to be related to the school's syllabus.
  • The topic must be historical, and therefore cannot be on an event that has happened in the last 10 years.
  • The IA is important to your overall success in IB History. It is worth 25% of the final assessment for SL students, and 20% for HL students.
  • The historical investigation will be internally assessed by your teacher and externally moderated by the IB.
  • The investigation must be a written piece and should be done individually, group work is not permitted.
  • The word limit for the historical investigation is 2,200 words. 

Guidance and authenticity

The historical investigation submitted for internal assessment must be the your own work. You must discuss the internally assessed work with your teacher.
As part of the learning process, your teacher will read and give advice on onedraft of the work. You must confirm that the work is your own authentic work and constitutes the final version of that work. Once you have officially submitted the final version of the work, it cannot be retracted.
​The requirement to confirm the authenticity of work applies to the work of all students, not just the sample work that will be submitted to the IB for the purpose of moderation. For further details, refer to the IB publication Academic honesty in the IB educational context.  

The International Baccalaureate® (IB) assesses student work as direct evidence of achievement against the stated goals of the Diploma Programme (DP) courses.

DP assessment procedures measure the extent to which students have mastered advanced academic skills in fulfilling these goals, for example:

  • analysing and presenting information
  • evaluating and constructing arguments
  • solving problems creatively.

Basic skills are also assessed, including:

  • retaining knowledge
  • understanding key concepts
  • applying standard methods. 

In addition to academic skills, DP assessment encourages an international outlook and intercultural skills, wherever appropriate.

Student results are determined by performance against set standards, not by each student's position in the overall rank order.

Using external and internal assessment

The IB uses both external and internal assessment in the DP.

External assessment

Examinations form the basis of the assessment for most courses. This is because of their high levels of objectivity and reliability.

They include:

  • essays
  • structured problems
  • short-response questions
  • data-response questions
  • text-response questions
  • case-study questions
  • multiple-choice questions – though these are rarely used. 

Internal assessment

Teacher assessment is also used for most courses. This includes:

  • oral work in languages
  • fieldwork in geography
  • laboratory work in the sciences
  • investigations in mathematics
  • artistic performances.

Read further information on understanding DP assessment.

Requesting DP transcripts and certificates

The International Baccalaureate® (IB) provides an official transcript of grades for the DP. Before results are released, students can request to have results sent to six universities free of charge – and request to pay for additional transcripts as well.

IB assessment principles and practices

The IB takes great care in ensuring assessment of candidates is meaningful and fair. The following guides provide an overview of the assessment process across our programmes. 

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