The IA

What is Internal Assessment (IA)?

The IA or Internal Assessment provides both SL and HL students with an opportunity to explore any part of your history programme in more detail, or indeed to explore an area that is not covered by your programme (see question guidance).

What are the requirements of the IA?

  • It should take up about 20 hours teaching time which includes the setting up of the assignment, time in class to work on it and also one-on-one tutorials
  • It is internally assessed according to the criteria; if two teachers are involved in the process then internal moderation must take place
  • Teachers can look at and provide feedback on one draft of the IA
  • Teachers must check for authenticity of the students work at all stages of the process
  • The final assignment must not be more than 2,200 words
  • There must be consistent referencing throughout and a bibliography

What is the structure of the IA?

The IA consists of 3 sections.

Section A requires students to state their question and to identify and evaluate two of the sources that have used. They also need to say why these sources are relevant to their investigation.

Section B is the main body of the assignment where students carry out their investigation and set out their work as they would do in a formal essay.

Section C is the reflection section where students need to reflect on what they have learnt about the methods of historians and the problems that historians face in dealing with evidence.

The criteria are dealt with in more detail here:  IA: Explaining the criteria

Selected Pages

IA Sample 4: Operation Gibraltar 7 October 2021

These are the examiner's comments for this IA:Criterion AAn appropriate question for investigation, appropriate and relevant...


3. IA: Graded student examples 7 October 2021

This section includes some samples of IAs with the marks and examiner's comments.

IA Sample 5: Italian general election, 1948 8 April 2021

IA Sample 5“To what extent was the victory of the Christian Democratic Party in the Italian general election, on 18th...

IA Sample 3: Battle of Midway 8 April 2021

Click on the eye below to read this essay or download the PDFThese are the examiner's comments for this IA:To what extent...

IA Sample 2: Suez Crisis 8 April 2021

Here are the examiner's comments for this IA:Criterion AAn appropriate question for investigation has been clearly stated....

2. IA: Getting the question right 9 December 2020

The starting point for students is to find a topic that they are interested in. They then need to ensure that they come...

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