Internal Assessment

Here you can find information regarding the requirements for your internal assessment.

Here is are two documents (SL and HL) that aredetailed and should contain everything you need to know for the internal assessment. It has been constructed with the help of textbooks and information copied from the IB guidelines, as well as from the subject reports for Psychology. Everything you need to know should be able to be found in this document.

Detailed Internal Assessment Guidebook SL

Detailed Internal Assessment Guidebook HL

Here are some additional resources you might find useful…


Table of Section Requirements HL

Table of Section Requirements SL

Internal Assessment Checklist (this is included in the guidebook above)

IA Proposal Detailed (this is included in the guidebook above)

Ethical Guidelines for Internal Assessment

Here is a really useful slideshow created by John Crane (author of the blue textbook) that outlines a lot of common errors that students make in their IAs.

Crane Slideshow Advice for IA

Here are two exemplar internal assessments. One is a 17/20 for SL and the other is a 26/28 for HL. These should be used only as an example of what excellent work looks like and to help clarify any areas of the IA that you’re not sure of the expectations. (Please note that the SL example was originally given a 13/20 but this was increased by the moderator to 17/20)

Internal Assessment Example SL 17outof20 Moderators Comments

Internal Assessment Example SL 17outof20 Student Work

Internal Assessment Example HL 26outof28 Moderators Comments

Internal Assessment Example HL 26outof28 Student Work

Referencing is an important part of the IA and one that most students overlook. Poor referencing is a costly mistake and one that loses unnecessary marks. Here are the two formats that you should use for referencing – APA or MLA. Choose one and follow its rules, especially for referencing websites.

APA Referencing Outline

MLA Referencing Outline

15 thoughts on “Internal Assessment

  1. I have asked the current Grade 12 Psychology class to leave some advice in comments here. As they are in the final stages and adding finishing touches to their final drafts of their IAs, they should have some valuable advice for those who have not been through this process yet.
    Mr Dixon.

  2. Hmmm. the IA. First of all, I think its really important to be prepared for the experiment to fail. Thats exactly what happened for Sakura and I. We did Bransford and Johnson’s title before title after memory experiment and got results completely opposite to the original. However, that is fine as long as you are able to explain why your experiment failed, identifying the confounding variables. Its actually kind of good for your experiment to be flawed to a certain degree because then you have more to write about. Of course, its best if everything just works out smoothly. Another important thing is to ensure that you are completely prepared before conducting the experiment. Once you collect your participants, there is no turning back. Try to be well prepared to avoid errors in methodology. Right after you finish your experiment, you should take down your results and analyse them. It is really crucial for you to do this when everything is still fresh in your mind. Also, try to choose an experiment which is not too complicated. In the beginning, its easy to underestimate the effort it takes to actually conduct an experiment and write a detailed paper on it. Bransford and Johnson’s experiment seems quite straightforward but we did hit a couple of walls along the way. I think thats all I’ve got for the IA. Good luck!

  3. I only have a couple of suggestions but I hope they help!
    First of all, try and write concisely. I’m not sure what the word limit for HL is, but for SL, the word limit we had was definitely not enough. Make sections like the method as short as possible so you can focus on discussion / evaluation of the results.
    After you finish the experiment, write down factors that could have affected your results, because they’ll be important for the discussion section.
    Getting a copy of the paper that your experiment is based on can be helpful in understanding the original experiment and comparing your results to the researchers’, if you can find it. We found Bradsford and Johnson’s online.

  4. Well Im not amazing at psychology but i think that you should keep working on the IAs even though they are due an year later. You should choose a topic you are really interested and confident in. As sakura said, comparing the results of the original experiment and you experiment will be helpful.
    Also you will face difficulties in analyzing the results because there are always screw you effects.

  5. What I have noticed by doing this IA was that similar to what Gen said, you have to be well prepared before collecting the participants and conducting an experiment. Also, you should consider about the screw-you effects. I conducted my experiment with Rio about the Serial Position Effect, but there were some results from the participants that totally ruined our results of the experiment. Therefore it is important to think how you will cope with that problems.

  6. Continue to motivate yourself. Make sure you choose an experiment to replicate as simple as possible. You’re mostly graded based upon your ability to reflect and analyze the experiment. Try not to complicate things. Make things easier and straightforward for yourself. If you fully understand the experiment that you need to conduct, then your IA will clearly demonstrate that. Also, try your best to not procrastinate… Getting it done as soon as possible and putting your best effort into it, is the only way to get a superb IA as well as a good grade. :)

  7. Be as systematic as you can throughout your experimentation. I think it is important to be aware of the many obstacles that you face when you do your experiment. For example, in Joseph and my case, while we did write out a plan for the experiment and IA, when we actually conducted the research, we omitted some possible confounding variables or possibilities of demand characteristics (to be precise, a participant was guessing words at the top of his/her head without actually attempting to recall the words that were given in the presentation for the levels of processing study).
    Now I have realized that Mr. Dixon said the Gr 11s are in their draft stage of the IA so the above advice is basic rubbish.
    However, you can take a similar approach and consider these factors that limited your experiment. If you can explain this in your analysis and also incorporate knowledge from different areas of psychology, that can establish a strong analysis as well.

  8. I’m basically repeating what everyone else has already said above, but they are valid points so I will just restate what they said. First off, choose a topic that you enjoy and are compfortable with. With that being said, be sure to thoroughly understand the replicated experminet . Furthermore, take some time to consider whether or not your replication is at its best, rather than jumping right in there. I say this because Kohei and I made a simple error, as he mentioned, which may have altered the results. Just be prepared.
    When it comes to the actual write-up of the IA, make sure you write as concise as possible, as you would be suprised of how many words you have to cut out at the end. Try to finish the IA as soon as possible, and don’t cram everything on the night before submission, which are words that come with experience.

  9. Everyone has said everything.
    Just make sure you have the correct wording when writing the IA, because if you don’t, then you will get minimal points. Be specific when analyzing data, do not talk about irrelevant things. I advise you to work on it little by little, because this is not something you can cram at the end and expect to get a good grade. Make sure you discuss all the problems because theres definitely something wrong with all your results.
    Good luck.

  10. IA is a big project, however the word count is very limited, so you have to be careful with what you write. When writing your IA, just make sure you just cover the requirement and delete everything unnecessary. Try to be organized when processing your experiment because you will need to analyzing your result is the most important part of your IA. Try your best to get the topic you understand the most.
    God Luck.

  11. What are the criteria’s for choosing the original study we choose to replicate. My teacher has a doubt regarding the one i chose, cause it is a senior honor thesis I found on a university website. Is that acceptable or does it have to be a famous study by some psychologist. I’m HL psychology.

    • I think your teacher’s doubt is valid. As far as I am aware, it isn’t written anywhere that the study has to be “famous”, but I would say that it should have been published in an academically regulated and edited publication, either online or print form. Although, I have not seen the “rules” regarding this written anywhere. Thus, I think you should choose a different study. In this case, I would say it is better to be safe than sorry.

      • The study i’ve chosen is Whitney Sims (2008). Its published by the Ohio state university. and on Knowledge bank. does it qualify?

  12. I’ve just found the study you are talking about. I suppose, technically, you just need to be able to reference the study as part of your research process. Therefore, as long as it is published in some sort of academic publication, then I guess it would be OK to replicate. Just make sure that you can find the whole of the published research paper, as the background research for an HL IA is very important.

    Be sure to follow your teacher’s advice and guidance though, as they are ultimately responsible for approving your IA topic (and taking the heat if it ends up being an inappropriate choice).

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