Internal Assesment

IBO guide to Maths Studies IA

Below I have made some notes on the structure of the project, subtitles and what to include. I have highlighted the criteria points you should be getting, aim for the blue highlights. Achieve these and you will get 13/20 which is 13% towards your final grade - about an entire grade boundary. There are more points available if you would like to aim for them, however these are the points you should achieve first before extending. 

Structure of Project with notes:

Cover Sheet:

<insert title: An investigation into ......>

lB Mathematical Studies SL
Internal Assessment

Name: <insert name>

Candidate Number: <you do not have this yet so leave blank>

School: International School of Geneva, Campus des Nations

Exam Session: May 2017

Teacher Name: Lorna Brown

Word Count: <insert word count>

SUBTITLE: Table of contents

    - subtitles with page numbers

LINK: Example of statement of task, plan of investigation and raw data (criteria A,B&C)

SUBTITLE: Statement of task 

Write a simple introduction of what you are going to do and why you have chosen this project.

SUBTITLE: Plan of investigation

Write a detailed plan of how you are going to investigate your project

    - How have you collected your data? where from?

    - State the processes you will use and why you have chosen them (mathematical reasons)


Introduce your raw data. Short paragraph.
    - Quantity of data - make a comment that you have enough data to proceed with your processes
    - Quality of data - make a comment on this which includes where you got the data and why it is of good quality

Organise your raw data into a table. 
      -If you have too much data to fit comfortably on a page or two then take use first section and put the complete raw data in the appendix - refer to this in the above paragraph.

SUBTITLE: Mathematical Processes and Interpretation of Results  

You need 2 simple processes eg mean, median, mode, range, upper & lower quartile, chart, scatter plot 

For each process:
    - introduce the process you are using
    - say why the process you are using is relevant to the project -- irrelevant processes do not earn  marks
    - before each mathematical process include the table of data or graph you will be using
    - do not make mistakes in simple processes and check your answers make sense
    - Immediately after you have performed the maths you should discuss the results (see Interpretation of results below
   - You will have a conclusion section where you discuss these in more detail

For each process with a calculation eg the mean, you must:
    i) write out the formula and define notation
    ii) show the substitution step into that equation 
    iii) show the final calculation

Once you have written out the calculation once for a process, after that you can just state the value eg if you show the calculation for the mean of one of your variables then if you want to use the mean of your other variable you can just state the value found rather than show the complete calculation again.

Charts can be drawn in excel or sheets and copied and pasted in. Each chart, where appropriate, should have:
    i) title
    ii) well labelled axes / key
    iii) appropriate scale
    iv) clear presentation

    - make a simple statement about what the results shows you 
    - summaraise information represented in a table or graph
    - are they significant?
    - are they what you expected?
    - compare results from different data sets

SUBTITLE: Conclusion 

    - what can you conclude from your processes, what does this tell you in the wider context of your project - this should be a direct link to your title  
    - use the results to generalise or make conjectures and hence draw relevant conclusions
    - comment on sources of error

SUBTITLE: Validity 

    - How random was your data?
    - Do you have enough data?
    - Is there bias? Have you dealt with it?
    - Were your questionnaires filled out honestly?
    - How valid were the processes you used?
    - discuss any limitations on the processes and any conclusions drawn
    - Discuss whether the maths used is appropriate
    - Are any measurements accurate or approximations?
    - Are events truely independent / mutually exclusive?
    - Try to propose extensions or improvements to your project, if you recognise weaknesses too late, be honest and discuss them and explain how you would overcome them given more time
     - reflect critically on the process as a whole

SUBTITLE: Bibliography

    - reference ALL sources

SUBTITLE: Appendix

    - copy of questionnaire if you wrote one 
    - complete raw data if it is too big for main body of project
    - any other relevant appendix needed to support your project

*** THE END ***

Criteria Descriptors with notes:

Criterion F: Structure and communication

    - Set your project out neatly and if you lay it out with the subtitles indicated on this page in order it will follow a         logical progression.

    - Use a spell checker!

    - format page numbers into footer


Some attempt has been made to structure the project.

Partially complete and very simple projects would only achieve this level.


The project has been structured in a logical manner so that it is easily followed.

There must be a logical development to the project. The project must reflect the appropriate commitment for this achievement level to be awarded.

Criterion A: Introduction


The project contains a clear statement of the task.

For this level to be achieved, the task should be stated explicitly.


The project contains a title, a clear statement of the task and a description of the plan.

The plan need not be highly detailed, but must describe how the task will be performed. If the project does not have a title, this achievement level cannot be awarded.

Criterion B: Information/measurement


The project contains relevant information collected or relevant generated measurements.

This achievement level can be awarded even if a fundamental flaw exists in the instrument used to collect the information, for example, a faulty questionnaire or an interview conducted in an invalid way.


The relevant information collected, or set of measurements generated, is organized in a form appropriate for analysis or is sufficient in both quality and quantity.

A satisfactory attempt has been made to structure the information/measurements ready for the process of analysis, or the information/measurement collection process has been thoroughly described and the quantity of information justified. The raw data must be included for this achievement level to be awarded.

Criterion C: Mathematical processes


At least two simple mathematical processes have been carried out correctly.

A small number of isolated mistakes should not disqualify a student from achieving this level. If there is incorrect use of formulae, or consistent mistakes in using data, this level cannot be awarded.


At least two simple mathematical processes have been carried out correctly. All processes used are relevant.

The simple mathematical processes must be relevant to the stated aim of the project.

You get marks for at least TWO CORRECT processes. IF you have two correct processes and a third incorrect this will not gain you the marks. 

Gain these marks first, if after you have completed an initial draft you would like to carry out the further processes then go ahead but do not do this until you are confident you have reached the blue highlighted grade for all the other criteria. 

Examples of processes (not exclusive)
 Simple Processes
(substitution into formula and any calculations,           graphs using technology only)
 Further Processes
 percentages compound probability
 areas of plane shapes
standard deviation (grouped data)
 graphs mean (grouped data)
 trigonometry chi-squared test
 bar charts Pearson's correlation coefficient
 pie charts linear regression
 mean differential calculus
 standard deviation mathematical modelling
  analysis of exponential functions


Criterion G: Notation and terminology

- Draw neat graphs and make sure they are labelled correctly and have an appropriate scale
    - Use appropriate mathematical language and IB notation
    - Do not use calculator or spreadsheet notation


The project contains some correct mathematical notation or terminology.

Criterion D: Interpretation of results


The project contains at least one interpretation or conclusion.

Only minimal evidence of interpretations or conclusions is required for this level. This level can be achieved by recognizing the need to interpret the results and attempting to do so, but reaching only false or contradictory conclusions.


The project contains interpretations and/or conclusions that are consistent with the mathematical processes used.

A “follow through” procedure should be used and, consequently, it is irrelevant here whether the processes are either correct or appropriate; the only requirement is consistency.

Criterion E: Validity


There is an indication, with reasons, if and where validity plays a part in the project.

There is discussion of the validity of the techniques used or recognition of any limitations that might apply. A simple statement such as “I should have used more information/measurements” is not sufficient to achieve this level. If the student considers that validity is not an issue, this must be fully justified.